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WWYD? {potentially very triggering, & very long regardless}

(53 Posts)
lindyf Thu 14-Jan-16 00:44:13

This is all going to sound very, very “A Child Called It”//dramatic because several horrible things happened to me at once. My life has been largely uneventful apart from these couple of things, though!

My mum died when I was 8. After that, my grandparents abused me. Happened when I was staying with them. It only happened a few times and I told my dad almost straightaway. Thankfully he believed me. Less thankfully, it was because…well, because it happened to him, too, when he was younger, practically all his childhood. They’d never had a good relationship in my memory – we moved away from where they lived and though they kept up sporadic contact, I hardly ever saw them. I’ve visited the Stately Homes thread and, although it didn’t happen to me, most of that sounds familiar, the mind games they used to play on him etc.

I probably would be dead or supremely messed up now if not for him. Seriously. Like if he’d made a thread here about me back when I was in my terrible teens, everyone would’ve been saying I was the most abusive Satan child who ever lived and needed to leave/be exorcised. I stole (a lot) from him, I lied to him (a lot), I once kicked him down a flight of stairs (and no I’m still not sure how I bloody did it). I used to throw stuff at the walls, trashed our house every other day, picked so many fights…Somehow I never ended up getting seriously injured – I mean, again – or hooked on drugs or anything, and I think it was probably thanks to his patience & compassion etc.
I mean obviously it was the ramifications of what had happened to me coming out but given it happened to him too…he was just a great dad.

The part I’ve left out? When I was younger, he told me not to tell anyone about the abuse. It always kind of made sense to me but now it particularly makes sense to me – he was a single dad {well he always has been since my DM died but you know what I mean}, pretty young when he had me, said he always felt paralysed with guilt, didn’t know what to do, afraid of losing custody of me, knew we could move and we did. He has a good job and he’s also financially supported me for most of my life. {I have a strong suspicion they brainwashed him to be terrified of “official channels” for pretty obvious
reasons but he never told me that.}

Fast forward to the present day. I’m pg!! YAY! I’m going to have a baby. I can’t wait, I’ve wanted to have children so badly since almost forever. Nobody knows what happened to me, nobody does except my DF & a couple of counsellors. They didn’t know the big detail about my DF, though, just told them he didn’t know.

Well – until I told my best friend. I told her everything. I don’t know, I guess I just felt like somebody else should ‘know’, pregnancy hormones & whatnot.
She freaked out & told me I couldn’t let my DF babysit my soon-to-be DS/DD. She basically said he was a danger to children. Obviously I didn’t take that well at all and we ended up having a huge row. She said a good father would never do something like that and that I’d been screwed up from what had happened, so I couldn’t function normally.

I don’t know. I don’t even know where the right place would be to post this. I know how dramatic this sounds, btw. We’re best friends and I know she wouldn’t tell anybody else. It also sounds stupidly limp to say AIBU. So…WWYD?

SeoulSista Thu 14-Jan-16 00:48:20

I can't see what your Dad has done that makes him unsuitable in her eyes.

lindyf Thu 14-Jan-16 00:50:58

Soulsista because he knew what had happened and did 'nothing.' My argument was it'd already been done (not by him), & there was no taking it back. She said he should've done more & she was worried someone who was capable of that could be capable of harm against my DD/DS. I said obviously not, but she said of course you wouldn't think that, he's your DF, and you've been "protecting" him all these years (which I haven't been imo. But. you know. pregnancy and all...)

lindyf Thu 14-Jan-16 00:51:16

sorry, misspelled your username! Seoulsista smile

SeoulSista Thu 14-Jan-16 00:56:56

I agree with your analysis. The friend will probably have to fall by the way-side.

It doesn't seem to me that he did nothing. What would she have had him do?

juststeppedoutofasalon Thu 14-Jan-16 00:59:53

Instead of listening and supporting you, you friend has given you barmy advice. You and your DF went through terribly painful times and have come out as survivors. Good for you both. Enjoy your lovely baby.

LizKeen Thu 14-Jan-16 01:06:12

I agree with pps. He didn't "do nothing" he moved you away from the abuse and he believed you. Maybe in an ideal world he would have taken it further but he was abused by them too and for whatever reason he didn't. I cannot see how that makes him a danger at all.

Gobbolino6 Thu 14-Jan-16 01:08:05

I imagine your friend is questioning why he allowed you to stay with his parents when he knew their proclivities. I still agree with you though.

lindyf Thu 14-Jan-16 01:16:16

yes, Lizkeen and Gob, that's it exactly. She felt he hadn't done enough to protect me, and "someone who would show that kind of lapse" wasn't trustworthy. Her exact words were "can you seriously trust him with your child" and I don't know...I know I can. Like I do feel he did EVERYTHING he could, as far as he could, but as you might've guessed, I did blame him (to a certain extent), when I was younger. Now I'm grown up, I appreciate the stress he was under, but I guess I just freaked out when she said it.

lindyf Thu 14-Jan-16 01:19:12

Damn it, why doesn't MN let us edit? She thinks he should've reported them, & "any parent would've."

(Sorry for the drip feed/many posts. Things are a bit overwhelming right now.)

Antisoc Thu 14-Jan-16 01:19:38

Are you in the UK? You 'sound' American. It's not relevant I'm just curious. You also sound very young?

I would steer clear of your friend

PitPatKitKat Thu 14-Jan-16 01:20:43

Your dad did his best. He was probably terrified/brainwashed all his childhood, minimised his experiences to himself and "woke up" when you were abused. He's broken the cycle of abuse by not being abusive himself and by keeping you away from his parents. That's a huge thing.

It used to be really common to not trust e.g. social workers, children's homes etc. When you hear some of the things that went on/still go on (e.g. Savile enquiry, some of the Irish homes for wayward girls and their children. Rotherham) etc, it was/is not unreasonable to be wary of the system. Some people still view the child welfare system as "out of the frying pan, into the fire" for children who are already traumatised/vulnerable.

Badders123 Thu 14-Jan-16 01:22:30

He left you in the care of people he knew to be abusive.
I can see where your friend is coming from Tbh.

MyFavouriteClintonisGeorge Thu 14-Jan-16 01:23:19

You can trust him with your child, I think. If friend is insinuating he might himself be directly abusive then I would say that he didn't abuse you and there is no reason to believe he'd abuse your child.

BUT... His ability to make the right decision to safeguard your child from abuse by others may be a little skewed, because I imagine there was quite a lot of pressure, manipulation from his parents-there must have been, or he wouldn't have let you go to stay. That's where I think you need to be careful ( but also compassionate).

LittleBearPad Thu 14-Jan-16 08:39:22

I'm sorry she was so unsupportive. It seems your DF did everything he could, especially given what had happened to him in the past which must have had a terrible impact on him too. I don't understand why she thinks he wouldn't be trustworthy. Best of luck with your pregnancy and congratulations.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 14-Jan-16 08:48:50

hey OP

I know people always say "see a therapist" but your friends advice is just a classic example of people NOT knowing how to react to shit like this. Whilst her intent might have been god (?) she has fuicked with your head in a way you don't need, or deserve

your dad did his best, and was also a victim of this abuse. Yes he should not have left you there- big fucking mistake but he took you out. This is the issue that might have concerned your friend

I think seeing a decent therapist is a major investment to make to get a lot of this shit out so you can embark upon motherhood in a stronger place and clearer on stuff

do it! and I am sorry your mate let you down - and more importantly you evil bastard GPs

differentnameforthis Thu 14-Jan-16 09:13:48

I can't see what your Dad has done that makes him unsuitable in her eyes.

He exposed her to abusive grandparents & failed to protect her from them.

I'd not be letting him baby sit either. I wouldn't worry that op's father would hurt her child, I'd worry that he wouldn't prevent anyone else doing so, because abuse has been normalised in his mind, due to the fact that he failed to protect his dc, and told her to keep the abuse a secret.

differentnameforthis Thu 14-Jan-16 09:15:40

What would she have had him do?

Not left op with his parents, because he knew they were abusive.
Not encouraged op to keep it a secret
Not ran away instead of facing it

Told someone in authority so they couldn't do it to others.

differentnameforthis Thu 14-Jan-16 09:41:07

He's broken the cycle of abuse by not being abusive himself I disagree, sorry. He didn't break it, because they abused op.

Yes, so op's father didn't abuse her, but he did allow her to be subjected to abusive people who DID abuse her. It's up to op to break the cycle now, and prevent the grandparents being allowed access to her child.

He left you in the care of people he knew to be abusive... I can see where your friend is coming from Tbh At last!!

lalalonglegs Thu 14-Jan-16 09:52:36

My understanding is that lots of people who are abused, especially by close relatives and people who should be implicitly trusted, blame themselves in part for what happened. It could well be that the OP's father deep down felt that he was in some way responsible for the way his parents abused him and therefore that his lovely, innocent daughter wouldn't be at the same sort of risk because she had done nothing wrong.

Second, we don't know how old the OP is but if these events took place more than, say, 20 years ago, attitudes were very different - there was less awareness of these crimes, more victim-blaming, police and authorities didn't always have training to deal with these crimes and, again, many survivors felt a great deal of shame. I don't think it is in the least bit surprising that the OP's dad decided not to take further action.

On the basis of what the OP has said, her dad made what we would now consider a very poor decision in exceptionally difficult circumstances. It doesn't seem to me that the OP's child would be at any sort of risk from him.

SeoulSista Thu 14-Jan-16 10:00:13

Well I think it is very harsh to say he is today unfit to be an active grandparent because back then he got caught in the FOG. You wouldn't make that assertion on Stately Homes because you would, fully deservedly, be told to stop being so horrid.

How many people on here made police complaints back then? A few, but not many.
But you judge away namechange, keep spreading that happiness about, confused

AyeAmarok Thu 14-Jan-16 10:41:47

But as soon as he knew they were abusing her he moved them away from the abusers to safety.

Yes, reporting itwoukd have been better, but my God, how many threads are there on this board from women whose partners or ex are abusive and they don't go to the police and stay with them, at least temporarily?

I don't think your dad deserves this, he did his best, and did pretty well, in a very tricky situation.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 14-Jan-16 10:45:17

why all the bold nit picking posts? is that meant to support OP?

OP if you want advice on how to most effectively seek a good decent therapist please PM me XX

differentnameforthis Thu 14-Jan-16 10:57:08

But you judge away namechange I have had this name for several years, actually. Search it. Haven't namechanged at all for this thread, I don't need to hide from my opinions.

I won't make any apology for what I have said here. I was abused, I managed to keep my children free from the abuse by keeping them away from the person who abused me.

And I have been on the Stately Homes thread, in fact I was on the very first one & spent many of them supporting people on several of them (when I was under a different name) and PLENTY of them also kept their children away from their abusers, so you cannot assume what I would be told.

why all the bold nit picking posts? is that meant to support OP? I was answering posts I disagreed with...the whole point of a discussion, no?

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 14-Jan-16 11:00:23

different, now you have posted that I can see why you have such a strong opinion on this topic flowers

its a discussion, and yes. And we have an upset |OP- it looked a but harsh without context

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