To feel so disappointed and angry at my parents **trigger warning, sexual abuse**(23 Posts)
Long time lurker, first time poster I hope I did the appropriate title and apologies in advance to any one this might upset. I will try and keep this as short and uncomplicated as possible.
I was sexually abused for 6 years by my uncle (married to my dads sister) I used to go there at least once a week or go to my grandmas house where he would also be. Most of my childhood is a huge blur, I remember the abuse with absolute clarity but not the details of years, times etc.
My uncle left (I suspect the country) when another one of his victims told her mum what was happening. My parents asked me if anything had happened to me and I said no. At around the same time they both fell out with my Grandma and it was like I didn’t exist anymore she refused to answer the phone to me, didn’t send me birthday or Xmas cards and never invited me over but was perfectly normal with my cousins. My parents said she was taking their fued out on me and I was better off without her.
When I was in secondary school I was suffering awful night terrors about him and confided in my head teacher, who I was very close to. He told my parents about it and I felt so much relief that they were aware but also felt incredibly guilty that I had lied to them when I was younger. They were devastated, it ruined their marriage and everything fell apart for them.
I moved across the country when I was 18 for uni and didn’t go back, I hate going back but I do often to visit my parents. On a recent visit I discovered that when I was 4 I told them what was happening to me. They were very young when they had me, 15 (relevant). They confided in my grandma before going to the police but she ‘convinced’ them I was lying. It didn’t occur to them that a 4 year old would be hard pressed to make up such a horrific claim. I told them it didn’t matter, they were only 19 and it must of been incredibly hard for them.
Now I am back home I keep looking at my DC and thinking that under no circumstances would I allow that to go on. I keep trying to reason with myself but I end up thinking awful things about my parents, I think I hate them. I am so close to them both but the thought of seeing them at Christmas is making me sick and angry.
Not really an AIBU but more of a what should I do? I can’t talk to my DH because I don’t want him to hate them too, I still suffer with night terrors so he is fully aware of how it has affected me. No one else knows about it.
I’m so sorry
I don’t have any advice but I couldn’t just read and run. Have you spoke to them honestly about it? It might make you feel better to tell them how you feel.
Thank you littlemissamy,
I felt a bit shell shocked when I found out, when I asked them it was very casually. I wasn’t sure if it was true so didn’t want to jump to go on the attack but they admitted it and I rushed to make them feel better. They were very upset. I wouldn’t even know were to start in broaching it again without loosing my cool...
Have you had any counselling about this? Its an awful burden to carry alone and might well be worth contacting somebody with experience dealing with trauma, or there may be a service specifically offering support to sexual abuse survivors in your area.
So sorry this happened to you
What an awful, sad situation.
I agree to counselling, you really shouldn't have to deal with this alone. I'm sure your DH would want you to talk to him, too.
Of course you are hurt and angry, they should have protected you, but I think you are right saying their age is relevant. It sounds like your Grandma influenced them very strongly and they didn't know how to go against her and when they found out he had abused someone else realised how she had controlled and manipulated them. I bet they felt awful and still do.
Hopefully, you will be able to forgive them and get some peace for yourself.
All the way through this no one has done what’s right for you including yourself.
Tell your dh if he gets your parents for it then that’s his choice, he will be a massive support for you though.
Same with if you don’t want to see them at Christmas just say after what you’ve said I need some space this year
Time to look after you first
That is a lot to process, for you and for them. They must feel incredibly guilty, and your anger is entirely justified. Are you able to get counselling to deal with it?
Thank you all. Yes I have had counselling before, it was mostly for the night terrors and dealing with them because they got out of hand for many years, the counselling helped and in terms of dealing with the sexual abuse I am in a really good place. My parents were a huge help to that end. I think that’s why I am so angry.
I am also aware that I am a people pleaser to an extreme degree and the idea of upsetting anyone would have me in a mess...
Your parents made a mistake not believing you but you know why they didn't
. By all accounts they were loving parents. Will it make you feel better falling out with them, I'm sure it wouldn't.
Hi, OP, I'm really sorry to hear this.
I can relate to a certain extent as I was abused in the family while my parents turned a blind eye, and still now they pretend that they didn't know anything (they did).
All I can say is that it is ok to feel sad and angry at the same time.
I have had a lot of therapy about what happened to me. I asked my parents to meet me hallfway and discuss their actions over the past and they have refused to. To me, that says that they haven't and aren't prepared to change from same mindset that they were in when they allowed my abuse to happen.
I know you say your parents were young when they had you .But your abuse sounds long term - did they keep you away from your Uncle after your disclosure?
If not, then in my eyes they are simply NOT SAFE. No excuses.
They may have been young then, but they are mature adults now. What have they done to accept their responsibility in all of this? If nothing they remain NOT SAFE.
Also, although I find MN posters well intentioned I don't get great advice here about this kind of stuff (just a kind of black and white GO NO CONTACT kind of thing...)
Survivors understand that it is much more nuanced than that, so I can recommend wwww.havoca.org for proper, understanding support.
what happened to you should happen to no child, and you were failed by the people whose job it was to protect you. I do think your parents were naieve and often it is easier to believe that it is just a little girl lying than a family member doing something horrific. But that doesn't make what happened to you ok and it doesn't make their in action any better. I hope you find something which can bring you peace.
Helen- I couldn’t lose them, I am just not sure it will be the same anymore.
Fingers- I am sorry you have gone through this too. It’s an awful thing to have live with you.
They did not keep me away from him after I told them, I kept going nearly every weekend. The abuse stopped when I was nearly 9. I am going between they could of stopped it 5 years previously and they were very young. I can only remember the abuse starting when I was 3ish because my cousin had just been born but I don’t know if it was before that too.
And you’re right going NC isn’t an option, I would be going backwards in my treatment because I do need them, just knowing they are there is comforting.
Thank you for the link, I will have a look through the website.
Ok...well they may have been 15 when they had you but you were still being abused when they were 24.
They need to accept some responsibility.
I know exactly how it feels to look back and go...wow...this could have been stopped.
And also the whole thing about traumatic memory and the stuff being there but there being no narrative or timeline. I'm so sorry, because in my experience that happens because there is so much traumatic memory there it just gets rolled in to one.
For me, the realisation that it was all very indistinct was tied up in understanding that it happened a lot. A Lot.
Years in my case. Years in yours.
YOU come first.
Your parents must feel awful that they didn't believe you but believed your grandmother. On the other side your anger is totally justified. You must find a way to let go of your anger- I do have experience similar to yours so I do understand. I had to let go of my anger although it took time, I have 2 beautiful children and I focus on them and my life, I will not let him rule or ruin it. I took the power back if that makes sense. I wish you all the best and truly hope u find a way through xx
Yes I suspect it did happen a lot. When I did my counselling bits and bobs came back about my Aunt being an enabler to it all. Making sure I was alone in the room and not letting me share with my cousins but insisting I stay in their bed and leaving through the night. I am not sure how to even go about that one though.. he was abusive towards her very violent behind closed doors.
I am hoping if I spoke to them about it they would be understand my anger, I don’t want to say something I regret though.
Schmoozy- yes I was completely there, i didn’t blame myself and wasn’t angry but rather grateful that I had managed to get through it all. This has all just shook me up.
I'm so sorry op good luck to you and I hope you and your family pull through
I actually think it's absolutely fine to feel your anger.
Feel it and let it motivate you and claim something of yourself back. I was absolutely outrageously livid for 6 months this year while my family danced around pointing fingers at everyone else.
I embraced it. It made me tell the truth to people instead of sucking everything up for everybody else's sake.
It made me finally challenge all of the ways I was expected to behave.
It burned out in the end, when I was finally ready for it to.
But don't feel bad for being angry and don't be rushed out of anger. It's a cycle in the process.
None of it should ever have happened.
The people who should have protected you enabled it.
It's not your job to make this stuff easier for anybody else.
The uncle who abused you - did he have children of his own?
And your parents marriage breakdown is not your responsibility in any way, shape or form.
Please be kind to yourself.
I'd try and go low contact with your parents for now and see how you feel.
Have you had any contact from your grandma - what was the reason she fell out with your family?
I'm so sorry this has happened to you.
Your parents must be feeling terrible, they were manipulated by your Grandmother. In turn lied to you, it is ok for you to be angry and cross with them, you have every right to feel let down.
I don't have any good advice other than be kind to yourself.
i'm so sorry OP, I have no words of advice but understand the runaway train of thoughts/emotions you must be going through.
I too was sexually abused by a family member up until I was 9 (when he died). I tried telling my mother when I was 16 but the abuser was her idol and she refused to accept it...it caused a big rift between us. She still talks about the abuser and the other day wanted me to watch a video of her with him which has stirred things up again, part of me now believes that she knew all along...she would get very angry with me if I had a friend round their house if his wife wasn't there.
I can only say it's ok to feel angry, betrayed and let down and if you can find someone whom you trust to discuss it with it is a big help...for me I think i'll have to accept that for whatever reason the abuser was more important to my mother than me .
Fingers- I will definitely talk to them both before Christmas And tell them how I am feeling. I am angry, just writing this post has worked me up so much. Thank you for your advice. 💐
Chapter- He did have children, sadly he abused his son also. It’s horrible to even write but he forced him to abuse me. No-one knows this, just me I am not even sure if he remembers (he’s older than me), I don’t plan on outing him to anyone which is another reason for me to let it go. I don’t know about his youngest Son.
I never found out what the falling out was over, but if I read between the lines I think my parents probably did a ‘we told you he did it’ and she didn’t like it. I have seen her once since I was 9 at my Grandads funeral. She tried to wheel me out as her pride and joy to her sisters.
Rota- I am sorry, that’s awful. When I first wrote this I kept thinking my parents are different but actually I am realising that they really aren’t. I know they love me, but like you for whatever reasons they decided to neglect me during that time. I hope you have or do find a way through it. 💐
My mother decided a four year old could lie about sexual abuse too. She didn’t have the excuse of being so young either.
I think it’s easier for some people to betray their child than face up to a difficult situation. I’m afraid I don’t have respect for the people who are weak enough and selfish enough to do this to their child.
Like you, I found it easier to excuse before I had my child, then I realised quite how inexcusable it actually was. When you feel the love and bond you have for your little one, you realise what a disgusting thing it is to leave your own child unprotected, and sacrificed like that.
I’ve had counselling and have in my own way got over much of that time. But I don’t have a relationship with my mother, I can’t forgive her for her selfishness or her weakness. I probably would be able to forgive her if she ever admitted what she’d done, but she won’t ever do that. She pretends that she is some kind of perfect wonderful mother, and it’s the hypocrisy of that which still has the power to hurt me. I certainly wouldn’t be parading myself around like I deserved a fucking medal with that particular skeleton in the cupboard. She tells anyone who will listen how awful I was and how difficult her life was, and what a ruddy saint she is... I wonder if she does really know under all the delusions that maybe a child does turn out to be an angry mess if you damage them like that...
Anyway, I was a right mess as a young adult about it all. Took a lot of time and healing to be able to get past it. I’d really recommend getting counselling rather than trying to minimise it or pretend it doesn’t exist (I wish I’d done it a lot earlier!)... especially if you want to have a proper relationship with your parents.
I wish I could help you know how to move beyond the strained relationship with your parents, but I’m afraid I still feel sick and angry at the idea of seeing my mother... I hate Christmases, I don’t really contact her the rest of the year which is a much nicer way to live! My dad I did forgive, because he didn’t really know what was going on, it was all mediated through my mother, and she was pretty convincing at making me into the guilty party.
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