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During the entire time it took me to walk to school, I started to ponder why I would have these intense feelings in my belly and then my chest when my dad was about to visit. I used to call it the knowing, but then if I described it to people, they freaked out on me. I wondered if any of my friends felt on edge or even a little frightened of their fathers. If they did, they sure knew how to suppress their feelings well.

Maybe I'm weird, I thought. I should get over these sensations and this fear. I had begun to doubt the state of my mental health, especially since I had experienced these uncomfortable feelings around my father since I was a young child. Am I secretly adopted? What is wrong with me?

I tried to sort through my strange emotions, but I only felt more tense and unsettled, especially since I could not find a logical explanation. I was feeling the same way I had felt that day on the couch in our old home. If I were to act on my emotions, I would run and hide until his visit was complete, but I was sure I would only question myself when it was over, and that it would make people question my sanity. I felt strangely alone. I didn't know anyone in the world who had experienced this kind of thing.

I wondered if I would ever grow out of this peculiar phase and want to be close to my dad. Recently, I had watched a movie where a bride was dancing with her father. The thought of me dancing with my father made my stomach turn in disgust. This is crazy! I thought. I am abnormal.

Once I got to school, I let go of my deep thoughts as my friends greeted me. I pretended to let go of the knowing—the warning—and started to walk with my friends through the halls to our homeroom.
FROM: Dr. Phil Returns to The Oprah Show: My Father Is a Serial Killer
Published on September 17, 2009

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