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Really don't know what to think - death, abuse, family!!

(57 Posts)
Hollyhock82 Tue 09-Oct-12 19:48:43

Namechanged (you'll see why), I'll try and keep this short and sweet and really didn't know where to post this but feel I need some perspective, and that perspective would be better from people outside this situation who I don't have to see every day! Please be sensitive with this though, it is a really difficult subject - but I felt I was being a fraud puting it in Relationships and felt it was too important to call it 'Chat'.

Here goes.... my grandfather was a serial, long term sexual abuser who abused me and other family members. He abused me over a period of 3 years as a child when I used to regularly stay with gp (3 times a week) as my father was a farmer and my mother did nightshifts. When all was revelaed and my DPs went to the police and court (he was convicted for 14 years) my grandmother swore she never knew it was happening. However still to this day i do not believe her, I believe he was a wife beater, an emotional abuser and she was terrified of him. Him going to prison was a huge relief for her and she turned her back on him. I cannot get over not believing her, she would get up early and knew the my Grandad would always want his 'special cuddles' with me in the morning (this was always when the abuse happened). She would never come up stairs and check on me, never call me down etc and every time I tried to get up early with her, she would send me back to bed and say I had to stay there till 7.30am. There was even one incident when she told me off for trying to hide away some knickers in my bag to take home which, after a particularly nasty incident were bloody, and she would wash them before I went home and told me I wasn't to tell my parents as they would be mad at me. I remember this clearly and it has stayed with me.

My Nan is lying in hospital this evening dying. She is unlikely to make it through the night. In the past 8 years I have seen her twice. I have always meant to go and see her more and try and put the past behind us and understand that she was just a very frightened victim herself. My father has tried to maintain a relationship with her but is abroad at the moment and extremely upset that he cannot be with her. My older siblings have gone to the hospital, but I have choosen not too. I feel like a fraud if I go, but then I keep thinking she is dying, surely now is the time for forgiveness. I don't know what I feel, I keep trying to work out if I am sad or feeling guilty and the only image that keeps coming to my mind is her telling me off for having dirty knickers. In many other ways in my early childhood she was a lovely nan.

I am so confused and trying to make sense of this, part of me thinks have I posted this in AIBU to get a tirade of abuse for being an awful grand-daughter as I almost feel I deserve that. I just cannot face it and cannot face dealing with all these thoughts shooting round my head.... sad

Whitecherry Tue 09-Oct-12 19:54:14

Maybe go to the hospital.... Sit outside/waiting room/chapel.... I don't know, but it might help you decide. 'be there' if not with her

So sorry.

hoopieghirl Tue 09-Oct-12 19:54:55

I am so sorry, no real advice I'm afraid apart to say, maybe this is one of these times you need to follow your heart. Whatever you do will be the right decision. Be kind to youurself x

Fairyjen Tue 09-Oct-12 19:56:45

Bless you. I really don't know what to say. My thought would be to bugger what anyone else thinks. This is your last time with her. The last thing you want is any regrets. How about going to the hospital, you could wait outside the room rather than seeing her but your physical presence may help acknowledge that you had some good memories??

That doesn't really help I know. sad

cheekydevil Tue 09-Oct-12 19:57:36

I don't think anyone is going to call you anything.
That was an awful thing you went through and I completely understand why you feel the way you do about her.
That said its a hard call whether you will feel better not seeing her or making your peace with her.
I think the answer will come to you. You are the one left behind with the pain.
I hope that you do what's best for you and dont feel pressured to do what is expected.

Hollyhock82 Tue 09-Oct-12 19:59:26

It sounds awful but I feel like a real fraud to even be sad over this, it seems to have unleashed a lot of anger I thought was dealt with years ago. I am sad for my father as he cannot be with his month, but I feel ice cold towards the situation.

I really can't go to the hospital, it is just too much and with everything that happened the tensions between the extended family are huge, I think all out war would break out. My sister and I were the ones who led the conviction of my grandfather, they blame us for him going to prison, even though his own daughters and their daughters were victims themselves. we haven't seen them in 20 years.

kinkyfuckery Tue 09-Oct-12 19:59:26

Oh love stealth hug

You need to remove everyone, but you, from the equation. Do what you need to do?

gordyslovesheep Tue 09-Oct-12 19:59:44

how hard sad

I would go and see her - even if I felt I couldn;t 'forgive' you may find it helps and if not you can leave

It's a horrible situation - my abuser had the good grace to die 2 weeks before his sister, my beloved Grandmother, died so I never had to face him at her funeral x

Hollyhock82 Tue 09-Oct-12 19:59:54

I meant Mother not month (damn predictive text!)

reddaisy Tue 09-Oct-12 20:03:26

I was abused. There is no way I would go. She was complicit in the abuse of you. She was probably also a victim herself but she should have protected you. I am so sorry you went through this. I also did not receive help from adults who could have protected me and I blame them as well as my abuser. Be kind to yourself and make peace with whatever decision you make.

reddaisy Tue 09-Oct-12 20:05:34

Is he still in prison or he is dead now?

Viperidae Tue 09-Oct-12 20:05:50

I am so sorry that you had such awful things done to you.

I think here you have to try to think of yourself and look forward a bit. If she dies and you have not seen her will it leave you feeling regret or with unresolved issues? If you think no and you don't want to see her then don't go but, if you might suffer more by not going then it is different.

If you are worried that seeing her in some way condones what happened, please don't. Always remember forgiveness is more about the person giving it then than receiver.

No matter what you decide you are not an awful granddaughter but they were awful grandparents. Don't lose sight of that.

joanofarchitrave Tue 09-Oct-12 20:07:14

You do have every right to be there if YOU think you would like to go. I do think that you are more likely to find some peace of mind if you do. There's a reason why going to a dying person's bedside is a universal impulse.

You might be surprised at other people's reactions, they might be less awful than you fear. And if they aren't, you are an adult now and you can just leave. Remember that whatever they think, she had a better life because of what you did, and you loved her for at least some of what she was able to be to you.

apostropheuse Tue 09-Oct-12 20:08:52

You have done nothing wrong. You are the innocent in all of this - please remember that.

If you really don't want to go to the hospital, don't. You also should not feel guilty for this, you care coping as you best know how and that's all that you can do for the moment.

Perhaps you should seek some counselling to try to come to terms with what happened. I have not been through anything like this so I hope I'm not saying anything wrong here, but although you will never forget what happened perhaps in time you may be able to leave it in the past and focus on your future.

It may be too late now for your grandmother to acknowledge that she did know, or reiterate that she was entirely in the dark about it all. You may need to find some peace for your own sanity without ever knowing for sure.

I'm thinking of you and pray that you find some peace in this sad and difficult situation.

Take care.

Pagwatch Tue 09-Oct-12 20:09:54

I may be wrong but here is how I feel, having had a life with echos of your experiences.

Grief is a bugger because it dredges up everything. People will tell you that her dying is your last chance to make peace.
But maybe you are angry because her dying is evidence to you that she will never acknowledge what she did. She has made you create excuses for her. She has never held you and said 'I am so sorry.' she has never touched your face and said 'I let that happen. It wasn't your fault. I'm so sorry. You were just a child'

She will never do that now. And yet the world wants you to make this last departure easy for her. You are angry because everyone misses that you have been making it easy for her your whole life.

apostropheuse Tue 09-Oct-12 20:12:00

are coping - not "care"

edwinbear Tue 09-Oct-12 20:12:09

I am so sorry, what a difficult and upsetting situation. The only advice I can offer is that my dad and I had been estranged for a year before he died, having been close to him all my life before that. I couldn't forgive him for the underlying reason we had fallen out and didn't see him before he died. This was 4 years ago and I don't regret my decision.

reddaisy Tue 09-Oct-12 20:13:45

What an insightful post Pagwatch and it actually sums up how I feel about the particular person who was complicit in my abuse.

SwimmingLikeADuck Tue 09-Oct-12 20:13:59

Ahh, you poor thing sad. Have no words of wisdom other that YANBU whatever you decide.

Portofino Tue 09-Oct-12 20:15:39

I totally agree with Pagwatch too.

perfumedlife Tue 09-Oct-12 20:16:16

I don't know what to say to you to make this better other than do exactly what your gut tells you. I don't believe in forgiveness for forgiveness sake, you should forgive if it sets you free of the agony a little but to forgive your nan, I think you need her to admit her part in this shameful childhood. And she did play a huge part, she neglected you and didn't keep you safe. Neither did your parents for that matter.

This must be so hard for you. Have you tried to visualise her being dead and feeling you still have things to say? Would that churn you up more?

larks35 Tue 09-Oct-12 20:16:37

I agree with the poster that said to follow your own heart with this. Don't do what you think you should do or what you think others would expect of you. Your second post makes it sound like you don't want to visit her in hospital, well, don't, would be my advice. See how you feel later about the funeral.

It sounds like you have suffered terribly in the past and I imagine this is bringing a lot of it back. Do you think it might help if you had some counselling? Could you ask your GP for a referral? You say you felt you had dealt with it, but the trauma you suffered is bound to continue to haunt and events like this will bring it back.

sad for you OP, look after yourself.

noelstudios Tue 09-Oct-12 20:20:24

I am so sorry that you have suffered all of this.

I would only go if I thought I would regret not going in years to come. I wouldn't do anything because anyone else thought I should, or because I felt obliged by any other reason.

Do you have any information on what sort of condition she is? I.e. would she even notice if you were there?

Bigwheel Tue 09-Oct-12 20:20:42

You've seen her twice in 8 years therefore I presume you have not had a great relationship even since your grandfather went to prison. She has other people with her, it's not as if she is all alone. If she hasn't asked for you I wouldn't go.

justmyview Tue 09-Oct-12 20:21:41

I have never had experience of this, but Pagwatch seems to talk sense. Very sad story

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