A few months ago, my cousin tried to “touch” me when I was asleep. Because he was adopted, he says it was okay, but I know it wasn’t. I confronted him later but he told me a sob story about himself and I ended up feeling bad for him. Now I feel awful that I didn’t stay mad like I should have. I don’t know what to do.
These situations can be rather confusing, so try not to beat yourself up for not knowing exactly what to do.
Before figuring out your next step, it might help to know what you want out of the situation. Are you feeling like you just want to talk to him to let him know, in no uncertain terms, that touching you was unacceptable and that you do not want him to do it again? If so, it’s probably best to be firm and direct. Tell him first that you understand he’s had a hard life, but there is no excuse for his behavior.
If you think you can no longer trust him not to touch you and you don’t feel comfortable with him around, then you may want to talk to your parents about what happened. They should be able to intervene and make sure there is distance between you and your cousin. They also might want to talk to his parents because he may be doing this to other relatives–even younger ones who may not be as assertive as you are–and he may need help.