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Should/How can I tell my mum I was molested?(31 Posts)
Hello everyone. This is an unusual post because I am not a mother (and wont be for a long time lol), but I want some perspective from mothers so I know how I can talk to my own mum. Im not sure if this is the right forum (I found it whilst looking for advice) , but everybody seems nice, please be patient because I am crying whilst I write this, its the first time I have ever told anybody even if it is to strangers.
I'm 18 years old and I just started university. As you can tell from the title I was molested when I was younger. It is my earliest memory, being around six years old, and it stopped when I was 11 or 12. It was quite intense and how can I say it...very agressive and violent ? in that I wasn't just molested but raped over a period of those years, I would say no less than 15 times and molested countless other times, whenever he had a chance. I would rather not get into detail but it was quite painful. When I was younger he made it seem like a normal thing and would always buy me something when he had finished, and then when I got a little older he would say things like my parents would be angry if they found out. What makes this even more difficult is that it was my mums brother who did this to me.
Over the years I have supressed it, and tried to forget about it, for a while I managed to block it out, and although it has been a struggle at times I have got on with my life and I promised myself that I would not tell anybody,ever. A few days after I started university my uncle died in a car accident and my parents were quite upset about it. I hoped that it would give me some closure, but it just brought everything back up and I can barely concentrate on studying at all. I feel very angry with myself that he got to die free and I never got to confront him, I had seen him after the abuse stopped a lot of times because he lived just a block away and he and my mum are similar ages and were close, he just acted like it had never happened, I even questioned it myself but of course you don't forget things like that. When my mum texted me to say that he died I just cried for hours. I managed to get out of the funeral, by saying I had an exam at uni. I did not realise how much it was affecting me. It feels like I am carrying it around with me, and it is difficult to do anything at all. I have always been withdrawn and anxious but I never linked what he did to me with how I was, I think my mum and dad just assumed I was shy as I had a small friendship group and good grades. Now he has died it seems like this has given me a new look at the situation. I went on facebook and my cousin (on my dads side) posted a photo of her and me when we were eight I just cried and cried because that was at the time when the abuse was at its very worst.
I have tried to tell my mum about four years ago but I just backed out. I really don't want to upset her, she is great mother in that she is always there for me but we have never really had a close bond that she has with my brother, I think it might be because it is difficult for me to have close relationships with anybody because of what has happened. My Dad has a little bit of a temper but has also always been there for me, and I am not sure that I would be comfortable with him knowing but I would assume my mum would tell him. He has also had some health problems. I am not sure what the extent of them is (I heard mum & dad discussing it a few years back) but they were before I was born, I think he had a breakdown from a stressful job but was eventually able to go back to work, Im worried that if he finds out then he may get ill again.
I am not sure I want anybody to know but I can't keep it inside any longer. I am pretty sure that my mum would believe me but is there anything to be gained from it now that he is dead? I really don't want to upset her - this is her brother!!, or have her look at me differently. I don't think I am strong enough to deal with everybody knowing, also he has a wife, I don't want to upset her either. There is so much damage that this could cause if I tell and I don't think I could deal with it if she didn''t believe me.
What I am asking is that would you want your daughter to tell you even after all of this time,how would you feel? I don't know how to approach this.
Sorry I didn't realise this was so long. Thanks for listening.
Oh love, that is hard.
I'd hope I could hear that and do the right thing for my daughter. I think you will probably have to work out when rather than if.
Maybe start by talking to your GP, though as you are still at Uni talk to the Uni counsellors and get some support there before you talk to your mum. They are usually really good and well connected to all sorts of pother support agencies.
I hope you find the support and conclusion you need.
My heart goes out to you it really does. I don't know what I would do but I wanted to let you know that if you were my daughter I would want to help you through this. I know it would be hard to tell your mum but if she could help you at all she would want to know.
The uni councillor will help you but why not call Rape Crisis tonight if you need to talk straight away.
You don't have to deal with this all at once my lovely. Just one step at a time.
I didn't want to read and run when it must have been so hard for you to write this down.
As a Mum I would hate my girl to cope alone. As a sister it would be very hard to lose my brother twice in a matter of months. This will eat you up if you carry it alone. There is a charity called Rape Crisis who could help you. You could Google their number or email and talk to them first. They are really supportive.
I am sorry this happened to you.
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As a Mum, I'd be mortified if my DS opted to keep quiet and suffer alone rather than come to me for help. Your abuser may be dead but you're not..... and you're far more important to your parents than anyone else.
Please don't suffer alone any longer. Good luck
Please tell her, she'll want to help you. I hope my daughters can tell me anything. I can honestly say I understand how you feel. You will get through it with your mum's help.
I believe you and your uncle was completely at fault here. He betrayed yours and your family of origin's trust utterly.
I would talk to NAPAC first as they work with people who were abused in childhood.
As a mother, and a sister, I would want to know. Firstly so that I could support my dd, and secondly so I could understand my brother in a truthful way, even if that made me angry and hate him.
Every family is unique. I agree with pp, try to access some counselling at uni to help you decide what is right for you to share, when and how.
I am so sorry for what has happened to you.
I feel for you: your brave post really moved me. Maybe this is your first step. Now you deserve a lot of support. You are a strong person - you have got yourself to Uni and you should have the chance to be successful there, rather than this bringing you down now. And I agree with Fab: so kind to think of how it may affect your family. But as a mum, I'd definitely want my daughter to tell me, so I could help her. But it will be very difficult telling your mum, so it might be a good idea to talk to a 'neutral' person first, like a counsellor.
Don't blame yourself. None of it is your fault.
I wish you all the very best.
Poor you :-( I am so sorry you went through all of that. I think you should sort out some of your own feelings in the space and privacy of one-to-one counselling before you confront perhaps difficult emotions with your Mum.
As others have said, as a Mum (of an 18yo daughter who has just started Uni), of course I would want my daughter to talk to me, and allow me to do my best to support her BUT it is not about your Mum just yet - it is about you, and what will help you to heal and come to terms with the dreadful things that happened to you.
It may or may not be helpful for you to tell your Mum just yet. She may not react as you expect and/or hope - have you thought about the different ways in which she might react? She may not want to believe you at first as it will be such a shock for her 9and I see this has occurred to you as a possibility), and if she does believe you she will undoubtedly feel immense guilt at not having kept you safe which may make it hard for her to focus on helping you etc etc You may want to have thought through how you will deal with all of that before you have to cope with it. Of course, your Mum may also be a massive source of support. But please have some counselling first so that you are equipped to deal with whatever the outcome is. I wish you much strength and admire you for having got to Uni despite all those bad experiences. You are an amazing girl.
How are you feeling now you have written down what happened and what you went through? I've read your post a few times and my heart breaks every time I read it.
Namio makes a good point about seeing a councillor first, so you can decide if or when you want to tell your mum. Remember, you don't have to do anything, and if you do it's all in your own time. Just keep talking my love. Your own mum might not know but we do and we will look after you and help you deal with all this one step at a time.
Op, I am so sorry you have had to go through this, and had to carry it alone for so long.
I would absolutely want my daughter to tell me if something this dreadful had happened to her, no matter who the abuser was. And I would also absolutely unreservedly believe her. No matter how hard it was to hear I would want to support her and help her heal in any way possible.
If you feel strong enough to then tell your mum...will she keep it to herself if you asked her to, just until you had time to deal with it a little together before telling anyone else?
As a mother, without question I would want to know if something this awful had happened to a daughter of mine. My children are the most important things in my life, without question. I would be devastated if my kids were suffering and I wasn't able to support them.
I'm sorry such a horrible thing happened to you. It's not your fault. You couldn't have stopped it. And yet you have to live with the consequences. If you feel you can, please let the people who love you most help you now.
talk to napac and get some counselling before speaking to your mum, if you can. just in case she's so shocked she'll be unable or unwilling to believe it, and you'll need support.
So very sorry to hear how you've suffered and carried it alone. I've been through something I never felt able to tell my parents about. I didn't want them to look at me differently or our relationship to change.
I had some counselling and it really helped me. One thing she told me was that it was 'my story' I owned it. I didn't cause it, but it was entirely up to me who I shared it with. No one has the 'right' to know what happened to me.
Please understand I am not saying you shouldn't tell your mum. I'm a mum, and there is no way I would want my kids to shield me from their pain. Just that I understand that parents want to protect their kids and often kids want to protect their parents.
Wishing you strength, this experience does not define you. You can certainly go on to have happy life, relationships, career. I definitely recommend counselling before anything else. I got referred by my GP and saw someone quite quickly, it quite literally changed everything for me.
Are you absolutely certain that you want to disclose this to your mother right now? Before you've talked to anyone else outside the family about this?
Similar happened to me as a child and I didn't disclose it to anyone until I was an adult in my 30s. The response I got from my own mother was not the one I expected, or had hoped for. It was completely unexpected and very unhelpful.
I honestly think that talking about it to someone competent to help you would prepare you for making the disclosure, if after getting some counselling or similar, that is what you choose to do.
Still thinking about you and hoping that after reading the responses, you're slowly gathering strength in the belief that you should talk to someone. Even if your mum is not the first to tell.
You asked what is to be gained from it now? Well, this recent event may trigger a slow and difficult journey. But with the right support you can make your life what YOU want it to be, not shaped by what happened to you as a child, which wasn't your fault.
Please ask for help.
Sending you love and goodwill.
Can only speak as a mother here. I would absolutely want you to tell me what had happened. I would be devastated to learn what you had gone through, and that you were suffering in silence. As a mother your children's pain is also your own. If I could take away any of that pain, however that could be done, I would do it in a heartbeat.
It's such a hard thing for you to do that some sort of counselling/advice would, I feel, only be a positive thing. I remember from being at Uni that there were lots of different people to access for help, I hope this is the same for you.
You sound like a wonderfully caring person, your post is really about others, not yourself - that's a very rare quality. If you were my daughter I would be very proud of you.
Do you feel you could call the napac support line sometime? They are open weekdays and it is free to call them.
Jessica if you are still reading I hope you are feeling better. I was thinking about you today and you are in a terrible position. Please seek help from someone more capable than me. You sound so lovely and so together I just want to protect the life in front of you. I don't know what it was about the way you talked about your experience but I can't stop thinking of you. Take care x
Jessica, this is a very brave first step. We all feel for you!
I speak as a brother of a 46 year old man who was abused over years as a child by our Uncle, the brother of my mother, a pious man who had been placed on a pedestal his whole life by us all. He is now damned by us all and you should take note of this - parents, brothers, sisters and all good people rally to the victim no matter who the abuser - you will be better for sharing, I promise you, but perhaps first, do seek some professional help to help you first and foremost, to prepare you for sharing, and to arrange a plan for your own future.
It had affected my brother and his relationships his whole life without telling others about it!!! so I am glad you are being so brave and contemplating sharing at this time and at your age - you do have a long life ahead of you and it can be a great one! As a result of sharing and seeking the appropriate help, my brother is a much happier person, much more content and has had huge support from us all.
My brother first sought professional help in his early 40's and shared it for the first time with us all, his family, including our parents (in their mid 70s, now 80) 4 years ago. Unlike you and I am sorry for this but it is not the most important factor here, our Uncle will die a lonely guilty man and now in his 80s is dealing with the shame of being brought to court in January next to defend himself. He has admitted his offences. I feel you will find in therapy though and even though he is dead, you will have the opportunity to confront your abuser still. In the mean time, yes, this abuser is dead and yes you have not confronted him, however he will never do this to another and the b@satard will never take a breadth from a life he does not deserve - take some solace from this in the mean time.
Jessica, share you worries, your heart ache and your history - if your mother and your father are good people and you say they love you and you them, yes they too will be heart broken and shocked (they will grieve) at first, but I promise you as a father to two young children, they will rally around you and hold you and protect you like they will have wanted to had they known when you were this beautiful young girl. You will gain hugely from their love.
You have the thoughts and love of us all on here. I wish you well.
DadsnotBad - you sound like a wonderful brother, what an awful time you are all going through. I so hope your brother is continuing in his recovery (if that is the right word). What an unspeakable thing to do to him, there are just no words.
I have also been thinking about you Jessica since you first posted. Are you any nearer to thinking what your next step might be ? You come across as such a lovely, brave girl and you've already taken such a massive step. Hoping you are ok.
If you were my daughter I would want to know, although I admit I may well be shocked and need a day or 2 to come to terms with the information myself. I would feel, wrongly or rightly, that I let you down.
I was sexually abused by my half brother, 11 years older than me. I only admitted to it 8/ 9 years from when it started, about a year after it stopped when I was 13/14 years old. It was a tough time for everyone in the family and not everyone stuck by me, despite him pleading guilty in court and being improsioned. That said I'm so glad I told what had happened. It took time, but eventually I got closure,and self respect. The nspcc have an adult helpline you can call, or at 18 I don't think your to old for child line. I rang both several times before finally telling the police, who told my family. Does your uni have any counselling they can offer you? I wish you all the best no matter what you decide. No matter what happened you didn't deserve the abuse, you did nothing wrong. Never forget that, and make sure you treat yourself with the respect you deserve sexually in the future.
Dadsnotbad whilst every sympathy with your brother, what a great, supportive post which speaks a lot of sense. Your doing so well Jessica to start dealing with this at 18. It may not seem like it now but you really do have your whole life in front of you. Yes your uncle has totally fucked up your childhood, but don't let him fuck up your adulthood as well.
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