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To take this further (or not) even though it was so long ago? (Sexual abuse trigger)

(16 Posts)
NameChangedForThisOne2 Sun 09-Apr-17 18:32:09

Name changed for this.

When I was 7 years old my 14 year old cousin used to do things to me, and make me do things to him when I stayed at his house. Never penetrative sex, but other things. I never really understood why, or what I was doing, all I know is that I never liked it.

It always stayed in the back of my mind as a hazy memory, and I never really thought too much about it. I've never told a soul, not even on a site like this (until now). I spent much of my teenage years and early twenties with very low self esteem, and slept around, mostly with much older men, and sometimes even with women even though I wasn't sure of my sexuality. I made a reputation for myself as the village bike, even though I was shy and anxious, I used to act like a maneater. I've never understood why.

I live on the other side of the country and don't see my cousin often, only at family weddings, christenings, funerals etc. He's always very polite to me and suggests we meet to catch up. I suppose it was only when he recently tried to add me on Facebook that the memories came flooding back. Feelings of being deeply uncomfortable and not understanding what was going on.

I suppose this is more of a WWYD. My then 14 year old cousin is now in his late 30s, married, four children who adore him. Should I let this go as he was just a child himself? Or say something and risk breaking up the entire family? My mother already has issues and if she found out about this I'm pretty sure she'd blame herself and do something stupid.

I wish I could forget.

minionsrule Sun 09-Apr-17 18:49:02

Firstly I am so sorry this happened to you, I had something similar happen to me when I was a similar age but by my maternal grandfather. It only stopped because he died a few years later, the relief I felt was huge. I also never told anyone, my mum adored him and I just never plucked up the courage to tell anyone to this day (my mum is no longer alive). I sometimes wonder if he did the same to my older sister as she was very troubled teen but as she is no longer alive there is no way to know.
I don't know the answer I'm afraid, only you can make that decision. I have never really regretted not telling anyone, I was also sexually active quite young but I don't know if it was connected. I think I thought the fallout would be too much as I got older.
It doesn't haunt me now so I guess it will go to the grave with me
flowers to you OP

havingabadhairday Sun 09-Apr-17 18:49:19

I'm so sorry this happened to you.

I did actually contact the police about the abuse I suffered 30 odd years ago. They were very nice, took it very seriously and would have investigated but I chose not to take it further for various reasons, but mainly because my family don't know and I didn't like the idea of telling them and then plunging them into a police investigation straightaway.

They did say it would be important to show that he knew that what he was doing was wrong - he was a teenager.

Only you can decide this, but I would suggest contacting your local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (sarc) and seeing if you can have a chat with someone. They can give you the option of making an anonymous statement so you could at least pass his name onto the police.

havingabadhairday Sun 09-Apr-17 18:54:02

Forgot to say, you can just talk through you options with the sarc as well, I found them really helpful and supportive and they just let me talk through everything. They even contacted the police for me when I decided not to go ahead, and would have provided ongoing support of I had decided to go ahead.

They offered to refer me for counseling as well.

NameChangedForThisOne2 Sun 09-Apr-17 18:55:37

Thanks, I'll consider that. Even just typing it for the world to see felt pretty daunting, not sure how I'd handle a phone call.

havingabadhairday Sun 09-Apr-17 18:59:23

I was terrified, ultimately it felt good to have done something though, and they have his name so if anyone else reports him for anything similar they'll know it's not isolated. They did tell me that.

NameChangedForThisOne2 Sun 09-Apr-17 19:04:25

That's great havingabadhairday. I think part of me feels like at 14 was he really old enough to know what he was doing was so wrong? And by telling people it would ruin his children's (and wife's) lives. I don't feel angry towards him, just kind of upset that his actions may have led me down the wrong path in life when I was younger. But on the other hand, I don't know what he's like now, what if he's doing this to his daughters now? He's very charming and witty and it sends shivers down my spine when he talks to me. I have also deleted my Facebook account now so I have an excuse not to add him, as I felt he might have twigged that I was thinking about the situation as I have the rest of the family on there.

foxyloxy78 Sun 09-Apr-17 21:10:00

At 14 he most definitely knew what he was doing and was preying on the young and innocent. No one can tell you what to do, but if it we're me, I would need some closure of the matter.

havingabadhairday Sun 09-Apr-17 21:11:27

It's difficult. For me, the 'person' told me not to tell anyone and the police said that would count as evidence he knew it was wrong.

And I did worry about his family as well. His mum was lovely and I know he's married with children.

I take some comfort in the fact that worrying about all this shows just how much of a better person I am than him halo

DJBaggySmalls Sun 09-Apr-17 21:13:19

Did you know you can talk to Rap Crisis in absolute confidence? You wont be wasting their time, and they will support you whatever you decide to do.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 09-Apr-17 21:13:47

Oh ffs that should have been Rape Crisis, sorry. blush

Daisydots Sun 09-Apr-17 21:16:13

It massively depends on whether you think that he is/has been capable of doing it again. Although this is very difficult to ascertain.

If you don't need to do it for your own peace of mind and closure, think carefully about your intentions. I really think that this kind of thing has to be stamped out, but it's so difficult. At 14 he should have been aware but all sorts of things go on at that age mentally.

Please don't think I'm minimising, that isn't my intention.

FairytalesAreBullshit Sun 09-Apr-17 21:20:32

I had something similar happen, it's not something I have really thought about, but if it's something that bothers you, then by all means seek further assistance. I don't know if curiosity can be excusable or not, I'm guessing that would be his excuse, even when there was a huge age gap.

I'm sorry you're troubling. Do you think it's provoked PTSD or anything?

havingabadhairday Sun 09-Apr-17 21:34:32

The age gap is to large for it to be reasonably claimed to have been curiosity. IMHO. I've struggled with that question myself though, as well as blaming myself. Counseling helped a lot with both those things.

pepsiandshirley Sun 09-Apr-17 21:43:55

14 is well old enough to know it was wrong.

The age of criminal responsibility is 12.

He shouldn't have done it.

somethingwitty3432 Sun 09-Apr-17 22:17:47

Something similar happened to me. Sorry OP, know exactly how you feel.

Do you think it's possible someone had done something similar to him? This happens often, he may well be beating himself up about what happened & wanting to talk to you about it but unsure if you even remember. Or he could have been the predator... hard to say without confronting him.

Up to you, but I would respond to him in a message & be very direct. You remember what he used to make you do, it wasn't ok, why did he think it was ok & that you've considered/have spoken to family/police/etc. See what he says...

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