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Sexual abuse - may trigger - read with care(20 Posts)
I'm a regular on mumsnet, albeit also a regular name changer (and will nc again after this!), and I wanted to hear views on this situation. I read a similar one in AIBU which really struck me and as I posted on. This will massively out me in RL and I know my sister will very possibly read this too.
I was sexually abused as a child by my GF. He is quite possibly the worst person you will ever meet. My GM passed away a few months ago and was verbally and physically abused by him to the end. I told my parents about the abuse a few years ago. They did nothing at all, and the thing I had hammered to me over and over was if I or anyone else confronted him, his temper is so violent he may kill my GM. He has mental health issues which have worsened significantly in his latter years and has alluded to having done many awful things.
18 months ago I confronted him by letter (as I have been NC for years) not only for the CSA but for his continued abuse of my GM who was very frail and completely blind by that point. I did not sign it and it was typed, and delivered at night as I was terrified, but I did it, or rather DH did whilst I stayed in the car in the next street! I said I'd call the police if he hurt my GM again in response to the letter. The shit hit the fan straight away, he rung my parents ranting that he was going to go to prison, and he said he knew it was one of their kids who had sent the letter. My Dad seemed to think he had used some sleuth work to reach this conclusion, which told me my Dad had never really believed me or accepted it, as an abuser knows who they have abused you would think. GF denies the CSA, emphatically, which is no surprise.
Anyway, things died down and then my nan passed away a few months ago. My parents continued to visit a lot before she died. I never got to say goodbye whilst she was dying of cancer because he wouldn't let her leave the home to go to a hospice which would have meant going to his house. He actually said he couldn't let her go to a hospice because of what she might say (about him). I guess fear of her dying words or whatever. I visited her in the morgue to say my own goodbyes. It was a bloody horrible, upsetting time.
My parents, despite saying when my nan went they may confront or would have nothing to do with him, continue to speak to him every day on the phone and meet his 'basic needs' of food, delivering stuff etc.
My sister (hello if you are reading) and her DH have done something amazing this week and confronted him and told him they will not see him again. They live away and with my GM gone don't wish to see him, but my GM was kind and loved and understandably people wanted to see her whilst she was alive although it meant tolerating him. Few of my siblings / cousins visit him now anyway because CSA aside he is just a horrible person and everyone despises him. Although he CSA'd me, he was also verbally and physically abusive to many of us.
This is long and thank you for reading this far.
My issue right now stands with my parents. My mother is useless; its her F and she hates him, her childhood was awful etc, but she is weak. She is very, very manipulative. She cries every and any time the subject comes up and makes it about herself, her childhood, her experiences, and repeats the same stories over and over....which are usually insignificant and nothing to do with anything.
I can't bear to be around her as she has never stood up for me and she just cries about it and says she's sorry and blames my GM who always insisted we visit as kids. Its bullshit, they made a choice, but her version blames my GM. Because she cries I end up saying it's ok, don't worry etc. I have to be strong around her ALL the time becsuse she is so pathetic. I end up comforting HER and never once has it been different, which as a mother I now find very dysfunctional.
My Dad has done sweet FA, spent a long time in denial, and now just waffles on to other family members about 'showing mercy' to my GF in his old age.
In terms of police involvement there has been none for the simple fact that I was 6 or 7 and my memories are patchy, I repressed it for years anyway, and what I do have is just so bloody holey I'd crumble under the probing. I also have small kids and can't face it. It would never get to trial unless another victim came forward too with clearer recollection. I know what happened, or part of it, but its through little flashbacks, dreams and body memories. A family member also witnessed part of it and knew something was very wrong. This person approached me a few years ago disturbed by their own recollection.
Anyway I'm sorry this is so long, I just wanted to hear some responses from people outside of my own family as its all so bloody murky. I am contemplating going NC with my own parents as things stand. I mean they should be NC with him I think, but they're very religious and use that to defend themselves.
It's not murky, it's horrendous! So sorry for you, op.
It doesn't sound like your parents are likely to go NC with him. For whatever reason, he has some hold over your parents, your mum anyway. She seems scared to go NC.
I don't buy the "childhood was awful" line, my mother had a horrible childhood, she passed that onto me, however, I vowed not to do it to my children, and I haven't! It's an excuse.
You have to protect you. If you need to go NC, do it. Get counselling, confide in a close friend or two, but do not keep this bottled up.
Look after yourself
Thanks different. I have had counselling, I'm just in a rough patch and starting to wonder what normal even feels like in terms of family.
OP here - have reverted to old name in case posters think I am a troll as I actually want geniune views but this is such a sensitive topic that I appreciate some people may think its false.
Would you consider reporting this to the police, particularly now that your grandmother has died? You say someone came to you, having recognised something was very wrong - it sounds as though they would stand as a witness.
He sounds absolutely awful - don't you think that reporting it now would be better than (maybe) regretting it when he dies?
I would seriously consider going NC with your parents. What kind of parent stands by when they KNOW their child has been abused? Knowing what he was like, there seems no doubt they knew you were telling the truth.
I have considered it imperial, I just struggle with how hazy it all is. I know its normal to be hazy and I was only little, but I wish I could be 'right on this date, this happened'. I think the person who witnessed it (an older sibling) would come forward for me, and I am considering it, though I am almost certain it would reach an 'insufficient evidence' conclusion. I disassociated loads around the time and continued to disassociate (which means splitting off from your body for thosr unfamiliar, its a very weird sensation) so my true memories are somewhere in the ether.
willtry they do know I'm telling the truth. Even my nan knew. But they sweep it under the rug constantly.
I reached boiling point yesterday as after my sister / BILs confrontation he (obviously) denied it and I just got so effing angry. I felt like ringing the police there and then because it makes me sick that someone can do that to a child, then say 'no I didn't' and everyone shrugs. Because, you know, they've denied it. So now what. A crime has been committed but where's the evidence? I just don't know what I'd say to them if I did ring, I think I'd just make it harder for myself.
Gosh, how awful. You have been living a nightmare. First of all, I really would reconsider going to the police. The police would be used to hazy accounts when it comes to child abuse because you were a child. Don't let that you don't have exact details prevent you from reporting it (if you want to). What about the relative you said suspected something as they witnessed an incident? Could they go to the police with you?
As for your parents, I would have to go NC with them. They have no excuse and your mother sounds awful - she turns your abuse around and makes it all about her. What kind of a mother is she? They should have protected you from him (since she had a difficult childhood). You're never going to change them.
I don't really have any advice but just wanted to say I hope you're ok
If you are strong enough., OP, do think about going to the police. Even with little evidence, or after the passage of time, they may still have enough to prosecute, and even if they don't, you can rest easy that GF has not got away with it scot-free. He will still have a report against him. Can your other relative who witnessed it go with you?
I think you may find that once the first step is taken, others may follow. Once there is a light shining brightly down on his foul behaviour, others may feel that they could also speak up. Strength in numbrs. It doesn't have to SA, it could be physical abuse, or even verbal/emotional. All a crime, now.
Oh, and I have to be strong around her ALL the time because she is so pathetic. - your mum is not being pathetic; that's what she wants you to think, and do. She is being manipulative, crying, because she knows that it stops you from confronting her or pushing any further. Don't let it stop you - if she is crying, it's not because of what you are doing, it's because she wants you to STFU!
It's no excuse for the lack of support but do you think that your mother was also abused?
Absolutely NC is the way to go, if that's what you want.
I could slap your mother from here, really, OP. Just let me at her. She had a tough childhood? Big fucking deal. So did I and whilst I have my flaws, my experience made me utterly determined to protect my child, not neglect him or allow anybody to do whatever they like with nary a murmur or, indeed, to disregard his experience or call him a liar. I simply cannot put myself into the head of a sick fucker who could do that to their own child.
And don't even get me started about what I'd do to your GF.
Thanks all. Some of my family are very supportive, so if I do go the police route I'll have a few people in my corner fighting for me. I'm holding my fire on making NC official, though at present I am unofficially NC as all of this kicked off last week. If they continue to 'mediate' if you like and speak to my GF about the allegations in the terms that they are (my Dad apparently told him to make a witness statement denying it.....wtf.....) then I will be left with no option. In their shoes I would just stick with my daughter on it no matter what, especially given then know the nature of the beast, and the relative who witnessed it was a sibling of mine i.e. another of their children, who has told them very clearly what she saw and has told them more than once. The fact that they stil aren't nailing their colours to the mast for me leaves me deeply questioning our relationship. But, our relationship has never been a great one, and it was so bad in my teens I left home young....of course their view of this is that it's my fault, dodgy boyfriend, bad influences or whatever. It's pretty much always my fault.
ptumbi that's a good point, and one my sister has really called her on recently as unlike me, she sees the tears 100% as manipulation and has shredded her for it. I think it's about time I started calling her out on it too instead of feeling so bad I console her and tell her its ok. It isn't, she failed me, but when someone cries all the time it's impossible to say that.
Abuse-wise I have asked my mum if she was SA'd and she says she wasn't or if she was she has no idea about it. But she was physically / verbally abused and obviously growing up watching her mother being beaten up and screamed at regularly would have been massively damaging. It's that which gives me 'empathy' for her really, but to be honest my own childhood was also very violent from my Dad, and it sure as heck hasn't made me weak. If anything I am more of a lioness about my own children than ever. However, I don't think for a moment I am his first or only victim, because that makes no sense to me. I'm pretty sure you don't turn around in your 60s and think 'I'll start abusing this particular grandchild'. My mum also makes a degree of excuses for GF whose own childhood was a mess. But it's no excuse, someone has to break the cycle, which in this case is me.
Thanks preemptive, this is why I posted really, I sort of need to hear people who are not living this to reiterate that it isn't actually normal or ok for parents to behave like this. It was reading a thread in AIBU over the weekend which I commented on under my previous username which hit home really.
You could get advice from and talk to the police and see what they say. Explain exactly what you have here and what you are concerned about.
You can be in control of what happens. It may be helpful to have this conversation with them first so you can decide whether you want to proceed and what the process is.
That's a sensible suggestion britmod, I really don't want to make it worse for myself as I've been through a lot to get to where I am, but equally I hate the idea of him thinking he's got away with it.
I think a lot of people think that the floodgates will open as soon as they go into the police station.
The police are more effective and sensitive about dealing with these issues.
They will be able to discuss your concerns and look in detail about the process with you. They will understand that it's not easy.
I meant also to add - an awful thing to have happened to you but doubly awful to not be supported. Good Luck
Long-time lurker, new to posting here. Hello, all!
OP, two years ago I told the police about the person who sexually abused me when I was a child, and I'm in my fifties now. Like you, I was worried that my memories were too vague, and that my word alone wouldn't be enough for them to do anything: but the police were FANTASTIC. They were thoughtful and kind and always concerned about my emotional state. They asked me, at every stage, if I was ok, and if I was comfortable with what they were going to do. I had to give a video statement, which took about three hours. I was astonished by all I remembered with their careful questioning.
I am so glad I did it. I wish I'd done it years ago: the little worm who abused me died before the police could speak to him, but while he ended up not facing justice, just having the police's support for the few months while they investigated really empowered me.
They said that as he was so old they would probably not prosecute him, but would give him a caution which would mean he would have to admit to the charges, and it would be on his record, which would have all sorts of implications for him. So even if your GF is very old and infirm, and not well enough to face trial, it can be done--if you want to go down that road.
After the investigation was done, Victim Support pointed me to all sorts of resources; my GP offered me counselling, and I'm still going through that (it's been hugely helpful). I am very glad I took the steps I did, even though it's been extremely difficult at times.
As for your mother: well. She knew how awful he was, and she should have protected you from him. The fact that she didn't means that she too was abusive to you. Weakness is not an excuse in this case: I've really struggled with depression, anxiety and cPTSD, and I've protected my children from my abusive parents. You deserved much better, and I hope you find it.
OP, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make your parents step up, validate your feelings, and support you.
However, that is unlikely to happen. So I think you need to focus on getting the validation and support that you need, from other sources, like friends and therapists, and deciding whether or not - and on what terms - you wish to continue a relationship with your parents.
For once, it really is all about what you need and what you choose. No choice is better or worse; just try to find that voice in your gut that knows what is best for you, and follow it.
This could mean going to the police to seek justice, or it could mean deciding that you don't want an experience that will stir up emotions. You choose.
It could mean cutting off your parents, or it could mean accepting that your parents are who they are and having limited contact with them, while learning how to stand up to them and to keep your emotional distance. You can even go NC with them now, and then revert to limited contact later on, once you feel emotionally stronger about it. Again, you choose.
But please, please know that you do not need to be drawn into the web of your dysfunctional family members. They are dysfunctional. They are very damaged individuals. They have made and continue to make very poor decisions. They want you to not rock the boat so that they can carry on in their chosen dysfunction. You can't stop them or change them, unfortunately, but you do not need to play along with any of that!
It seems to me possible that you were not his only victim of csa and that may go some way to explain the dysfunction in your family. I think it's unusual for there to be only one victim in this kind of scenario.
However, not knowing, all you can do is do your best for yourself and your own family.
Thank you for the great responses. Yes, I'm sure I can't be the only one, but burying heads in the sand is something that side of the family do for a past time. There are plenty of examples I won't bore you with where pretty awful things have been carried out, and then swept under rugs. I know there are a lot of families out there like mine!
ontherise thank you so much for sharing, that's incredibly helpful. It's really helpful to hear how it was for you as obviously it's a very daunting prospect but to be treated so well would make it easier.
rice what you say is spot on ref the poor decision making and choosing not to continue to be part of their dysfunction. You are so very right.
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