AIBU to confront my mum - Trigger warning(22 Posts)
Possible trigger for rape victims.
Trying not to drip feed so: I was raped when I was 13 by my older cousin at a wedding. I then got pregnant and had an abortion. But I had a boyfriend at the time and days later lost my virginity to the bf, except obviously I didnt but I didnt feel I could deviate from the plan to lose it to eachother.
ANYWAY. I've been in therapy for the last six months which has really been helping. Since my abortion 13 years ago, my mum has NEVER mentioned it again. But a lot of my anxiety and depression recently has been about family, basically because I don't know who knows or who doesnt.
When My mum phones my aunt to tell her about it I remember she was angry because my aunt said that my cousin had denied it. I have an older sister who is a huge support for me and I have no idea if she knows about this or not because it was kind of seen as the best thing for the family to not mention it ever again. But does that mean that maybe my mum believes my cousin is innocent as well/ is pretending to feel that way because its easier for family.
the reality is that this is what happened and everyone is pretending it never happened. As if I'd got knocked up and was trying to pin it on my cousin and that that was all a bit embarrassing.
I am going to visit soon and maybe this is more WWYD. I don't even know how to start this minefield of a conversation.
I imagine your mother knows very well it's true but she has preferred to keep it swept under the carpet rather than tear the family apart by making them face up to awkward truths. How old is your cousin and do you still have to see him? Have you ever spoken directly with him or your aunt about it?
And as far as who know and who doesn't goes, I imagine your aunt would have kept it very much to herself - it's hardly the sort of thing you shout about, and your mother has, by the sounds of things, made it easy for her to do that.
I think you need to sit your mother down and have a frank discussion with her. Tell her you are suffering as a result of it all and you need to know she believes you and supports you.
FrenchLavender Part of me totally understands that approach but through therapy have realised that my family thinking something different is worse than actually recognising that I AM the victim and I was a child ffs.
I have never spoken to him or my aunt or my sister or any of my other cousins on that side about it, or my mum for that matter.
I do have to see him sometimes at family stuff. I don't necessarily want to tear the family apart or have anything happen to him or anything. I just feel like I need to know what the event has become in my mum's mind. I'd really like to be able to be open with my sister about it but I don't know if or what my mum has told her.
Oo hadn't seen the last message. That's true that's what I want. To know i'm supported.
You know you can talk to your sister about it regardless of what your mother has told her? It's your 'secret', up to you to talk about or not, depending on what is best for you.
I'm furious on your behalf about this, tbh. Your mother may think she did her best, but she failed you then and she's failing you now, by making you feel it's not your decision about who knows.
Presumably there was no question of reporting the bastard to the police? I'm pretty sure that would still be an option, albeit not an easy one, by all accounts. But it was a crime and you were the victim.
many for you OP. what a very difficult, awful and traumatic thing to have happened both at the time, and subsequently.
You are obviously taking steps to come to terms with it, and the way your family dealt with it - and the lack of support.
I don't really want to offer any advice because only you can decide what is right for you. There is no wrong / right way to handle this, you must simply let your feelings guide you.
Actually, I'm going to suggest you talk to your sister first. It doesn't matter what anyone else has told her. You can tell her the truth.
You might need to brace yourself for your mum's response. There's a chance she has minimised it out of existence and that would be very painful for you.
I feel U about ambushing my mum with this. she is difficult to talk to at the best of times. She works full time and is always busy. I try to talk to her when she's doing another job so that I don't suck her time, but realistically I need us both to not be doing anything.
Good point about telling my sister. I am on the verge of setting several of these conversations in motion... trouble is we have TWO massive birthday parties coming up in May and June where he will be at both of them. One of which my sister is hosting. IF I tell my sister she will go FULL mamma bear and rock the boat.
I think I just want to individually correct people's understanding.
Gah All the layers. I don't know.
How do you feel having to go to things when the cousin is there? Doesn't that affect you?
I am not that close with that family so I don't have to see him that much, luckily if he is there it's usually a big enough gathering that my mum is also there and will make sure we're sitting far away from eachother etc.
Now that I'm confronting things that have been left undiscussed for 13 years, I do worry how things will be at the upcoming events because I'm dealing with all of the feelings from it, including rage...
It doesn't seem healthy for you to be in that situation and to have to behave as if it never happened. The adults let you down, it should have been acknowledged and dealt with at the time.
I was 11 when my grandmothers husband started abusing me. My whole family knew about it but they all thought I was a slut. My grandmother hated me for making her husband cheat on her. I moved abroad at 13 away from my grandmother. She maintained contact and i was forced to talk to her husband every month. He also had 2 further visits that he used to abuse me again.
The whole situation was swept under the carpet but I was always talked about as the black sheep of the family. I struggled for years with the phonecalls and other contact but I had no way to stop them.
I spiralled mentally and had a breakdown. I became afraid to answer the phone in case it was my grandmother. I stopped being able to function.
2 years ago I went no contact. For the first time in more than 20 years I ddin't feel like a victim and I didn't feel like a terrible person. I now surround myself with people that love me and believe me. They don't hold me responsible for what happened.
Every survivor of rape deserves to be believed. Having people not believe what happened and brushing it under the carpet hurts.
Op - the rage you feel is totally normal. You were hurt and not believed. The people around you should have supported you. You need to talk to someone about it. Be aware that when abuse is confronted often familes pull together and blame the victim. It's easier to have a black sheep in the family than having a rapist in the family.
I have had many people recommend counselling but have not been brave enough myself to do this. It might give you somewhere to talk and to work through your rage and anger. You deserve closure and peace. You will not be causing problems by talking about the abuse. They caused the problem by ignoring it and trying to make it be silenced and go away.
Most of all in all this protect yourself. If you don't feel able to attend family parties don't force yourself. Do what makes you feel safe. Your mental health is the most important thing you have. Be kind to yourself
Did you write what happened in a diary at the time? Or tell anyone outside your Mum, Aunt or cousin? At thirteen the Doctors who carried out the termination must have asked how it happened, did you have counselling prior to the termination? I'm asking because I think you should go to the police and report your cousin. Your own Mother has failed you unbelievably! She should have protected you, taken you to the hospital and pressed charges against her nephew. Instead she has swept it under the carpet! It was her job to keep you safe, but she put her sister/ sil/ nephew before you.
Please tell your sister, if she goes Mama bear then GOOD!!! That is how your parents should have reacted when you told them about the rape! You were a little girl, your cousin brutally raped you then you were forced to go through the trauma of an abortion! You were forced into silence! I have a neurological condition that has left me unable to walk/ wheelchair bound for five years. One of the questions I was asked was if I was sexually abused. I wasn't and was very shocked at the question so asked why it was relevant. The neurologist told me that often individuals who have been forced to hide their sexual abuse present with severe neurological symptoms. Their bodies protest at the trauma of their having this awful secret. Knowing that there are woman out there physically disabled because of traumatic sexual abuse in childhood makes me so angry for them. You deserve better op! You should never, ever have to be in the company of that rapist!!!
Please consider confiding in either your sister or the police, you deserve to feel safe! Your body and brain need for the truth to come out, your Mother is unbelievably cruel to have protected her nephew before protecting you! Your cousin could continue to rape and abuse little girls, what happens if he marries and has a daughter that he abuses?
Rescuepuppy I had the abortion abroad. It all worked out very nicely I was 8 weeks half way through the summer holidays, hasty abortion and new school in September. I didn't really understand what the Doctors were saying, I didn't have much of the right vocabulary! But no no counselling.
I wanted to say about being * brutally raped*. It wasn't brutal. I was in a hotel room with two of my cousins ( I was 13 and HUGELY drunk, as in slow blinking drunk) and when the other cousin (female) curled up to sleep he started to kiss me and I kept saying no. Then eventually the other cousin got up and left me there. I had been using her presence as a reason not to. Then she left so I was out of arguments. It was all a bit sad. "Tell me when it's over" kind of thing. It wasn't brutal necessarily. Just... overpowering.
I don't understand why your mum didn't involve the police? Is she usually quite passive and avoids rocking the boat?
It's your decision who you tell. Not your mothers. I also think it's fine for your sister to go all mama bear and bar him from family functions. He's got away scott free and left you in turmoil.
Georgie I'm so sorry you are in this place now
I think the first thing you should try to do is stop taking responsibility for your cousins, and other people's actions. By not talking to your sister, that is what you are unintentionally doing I think.
I do sort of see how your Mum was in denial. I can imagine lots of reasons she let you down and has been afraid to deal with those events since. But those are her issues, it's not your duty to protect her.
I would encourage you to speak to your sister. Hopefully she will be able to support you in having an open conversation with your Mum. Which I think will be a massive step forwards for you in dealing with your past abuse and the termination.
Without wanting to sound patronising can I say how incredibly brave and strong you are to be working to resolve this. So many people never have the courage to do what you are doing. You are truely inspiring
My very best wishes to you
I don't aagree with the way it's unfolded, but I was so afraid to tell my mum, I was at an age where I thought I'd be kicked out and I was 13 so I knew if I was kicked out I'd be in real trouble.
My feelings towards my mum are some of the disapointment and anger that you're all feeling, but also I have a lot of sympathy for her and a lot of love for her for loving me unconditionally.
I don't know why she didnt get the police involved. Maybe it didnt seem like a rape to them. for many years I didn't either. but through therapy, and being a bit older and wiser, I know that I repeatedly pushed him off and said no and I was off my face drunk. AND I was 13. These are things she doesn't know. Obviously as a child the details of your sex life is not really something to discus with mum.
Alot of pps have said to tell my sister. I agree. something makes me want to talk to my mum first because all of the family shit that went down after it... makes me need to know her perspective now.
Does anyone have any advice about how to start a conversation like this?
Choose a time and place where you feel most comfortable, and when you won't be interrupted.
I'm not sure of your living arrangements - ie whether you still live at home with your mum or elsewhere. If you have your own home I would invite her over because in her home she could create her own distractions if she doesn't like what she is hearing.
If you are living together, tell her you want to have a serious chat with her, then set the scene. Make a cup of tea and sit down together. Tell her you don't want her to answer the phone or the door if anyone calls. Tell her it's going to be a difficult conversation for both of you but you need to ask her some questions.
Be gentle if you can. She may well have a lot of hidden guilt that initially may surface as anger. If it gets too much, have a break for 10 minutes but tell her the conversation is not over and you need to carry on.
Good luck. You are obviously ready to have this conversation now - you are very brave and you will get through this.
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