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please please HELP... my sister...(14 Posts)
I'm not a troll, I realise this is an awful thing for one of my first posts to be about... I'm on mumsnet because you are all awake and it's late in Australia where I'm from... I'm living overseas and I just got an email from my sister saying she's been sexually abused for 8 years since she was 5 or 6... she's only 17... by my FATHER!
I'm so shocked... numb... crying my eyes out... how can I support her? What do I do? I'm not physically there for her but I want to support her 100%. And I feel like a bitch cos I'm so shocked it could be true, cos he NEVER did anything to me, nor was he ever abusive, argumentative, always thought he was a great dad... how do I get over my denial? I NEVER want my sister to get an inkling of doubt, if she says it happened, I believe her.
God you poor thing, and your poor sister. Others with better words than me will be along soon but just to say, keep calm, take some deep breaths - you'll be more use to her as a calm source of support than anything else.
Just listen to her and be there for her, whatever she wants to tell you, however much she needs and wants to repeat things - just be there.
As to denial - that must be hard, I don't have any suggestions really except to not be too hard on yourself about this. It's your childhood too that has been turned upside down here, and if nothing like this happened to you your sister's revelation will have rocked your world - it's ok to be shell-shocked and disbelieving about that (to yourself) - it's a natural reaction. To get past it? When you feel the disbelief rise up, say to yourself that you will focus instead on your role here - which is to listen to and support your sister. You're already conscious that you don't want her to feel ANY sense of scepticism, so just work on that supporting role, listening rather than asking questions. By doing that you can maybe park those feelings and not be thinking 'But how - ?' all the time.
That's for now. I can guess that in the future, your feelings will become a lot more crystallised as more details emerge. Your poor sister, and poor you - I wish you all the strength in the world.
Of course you are torn, it is so often the way. As shouty says, others with more relevant help/experience will be along and in the meantime, stay calm, listen and support her as much as you can.
Remember that there is no emergency, that everyone is safe right this second, and that it'll be OK, whatever happens, in the end. You have all the time in the world to listen to her, and all the time in the world to help her heal.
Hugs to both of you, what a tremendous shock for you both.
You have some good advice from shoutyhamster. If your sister lives in the south east she could contact www.familymattersuk.org a charity helping victims of sexual abuse. f not, other charities local to her may be able to help by offering specialist counselling, You need to look after yourself- you have had a shock and disbelief, denial, the shattering of your father's image- all may be swilling about. Friends and family will be important. You have done a great job of listening to your sister and , despite what she says about your father not chiming with your memories of him. you have been supportive. she will need you but you also need to be supported. Seek professional help if you need it and don't expect too much of yourself.
Sometimes rape crisis centres can help with sexual abuse. How about childline as she's under 18?
I reported sexual abuse to the police nearly 2 years ago, and they were lovely. Couldn't have been nicer. I know that that would be a big step for her to take, and perhaps an even bigger one for you to support her through.
One thought though, abusers very rarely have only 1 victim.
My mother, aunt and I were all sexually abused - possibly by my uncle. My 'd'm also procured me to be sexually abused, including being vaginally penetrated before I could talk, by at least 3 men. She also took her little sister to be sexually abused. So sadly, I speak from some knowledge and experience of people who abuse.
Sorry - meant to add, 'well done' for believing her, even though it must have been an unbelievable shock to you to hear what she told you, never mind believing it about someone you know and love.
Thanks for the warm words everyone, it helps just to let it out with someone - anyone - even online. You are so much more than just words on a screen. TB I am so sorry for what you went through, you sound very brave and those are wise words of advice.
So I spent the day crying, emailing and speaking on the phone to various family members. He admitted it was all true. He did everything but rape her, over eight years. Said he knew it would come out someday, couldn't explain why he did it, although I strongly suspect he was abused as well as a child.
I feel betrayed and angry, first and foremost on behalf of what the scumbag did to my poor darling sister. And I feel like I'm in morning for my family, because I respected and loved him so much. I always thought he was a great parent. He studied at university whilst working full time and raising a family, then had a high-flying career, took us on lots of holidays, he was always supportive of me, never yelled or fought with us, helped me in school, was very respectful of my mother and set us a good example of a strong marriage (24 years next month).
And now I don't have a father I can respect or love, my future offspring won't have a grandfather, my husband won't have a father-in-law. And my mother, I love her but she's been dependent on him financially and emotionally all her life. This is going to uproot her entire life.
Thanks for the helplines - as I am in Mexico and my sister is in Australia, I will have to look up some local ones, but it is a good idea.
You poor thing, I'm so terribly sorry to hear this. What a horrible shock for you. And your poor sis obviously.
I have no words of advice, just wanted you to know someone was awake and thinking of you.
God that's hard. Hard for all of you - for your sister primarily but for the rest of you as well to deal with the disintegration of the family that you believed in for the last 10 years or so.
What is your mother doing/saying about it all? It's going to be very hard if she "takes his side", iyswim. I don't know that she would, she might not but she wouldn't be the first wife to forgive her husband for abusing their children.
Are you in Mexico for the forseeable future? Or is there any chance you can go back to Australia for a bit until the dust settles?
TB - horrible horrible situation for you and your family! So that you had such a poor introduction to life and hope you have overcome it, or are in the process of doing so.
What a terrible, terrible thing! I'm so sorry.
And tb that is so awful! I just want to take the poor darling little girl you were and run far, far away.
OP, I don't have a lot of advice that hasn't been echoed here already. I'll be thinking of you.
Sorry, that "wouldn't be echoing what's already here."
I think a hotline would be an excellent idea. My brother was a relationship with a woman who couldn't break things off with her abusive boyfriend, and I called a domestic violence hotline. They were incredibly calm and warm, and had lots of advice.
Thanks for the warm words, all of you. Wasn't meaning to hijack, just to show that, from experience unfortunately, I knew that a parent could do something dreadful.
I suppose it's made me the person I am. Some of that good, some bad. I feel very sad and a bit cheated that I haven't accomplished anything, except survive. Had I not had my mother, things would have been very very different, and it's hard not to feel a little cheated.
I found this here It doesn't seem quite like childline in the uk, but might make a good starting point. Will have another look - dh just rang in panic - car suddenly undrivable in the wilds - so mightn't be around for a while.
here you are This looks a little more like it.
Take care - both of you
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