Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Avoiding someone who abused me(10 Posts)
What I'm about to ask might seem odd but hopefully if I explain you will understand why.
I was sexually abused when I was a young child by my half brother. My family don't know. He moved away shortly after and I have only seen him twice since then - the last time being over ten years ago when I was a young adult. It has never been mentioned. He acts like nothing happened.
He is my mum's son from a previous relationship to my dad.
He's coming to visit this week. I've just had my first baby. I absolutely do not want to see him but I don't know how to get out of it. I can't tell my parents what happened. I couldn't bear to put my mum in that position and I couldn't ask my dad to keep that secret from my mum. My dad is my best friend and I know he would do anything for me but I can't ask him to do that.
My other half said to me months ago I should write him a letter or an email saying you did this to me and I don't want you to come and visit. I have no issue with my mum coming to visit you but you shouldn't come here. I won't say anything to my parents but you need to stay away.
However, I buried my head in the sand and didn't do it. My pregnancy was emotional and I just didn't feel strong enough to confront what had happened to me. In all honesty - and I know this is cowardly and brings my morals into question - if I could pretend it never happened I would. He lives in another country so I can pretend he doesn't exist for the most part. I have suffered hugely over the years mentally with what happened but I don't like to talk about it so I just get on with it and deal with my issues as and when they arise. Until now, because I am really struggling with seeing a way out.
My parents will expect me to come and visit with my baby at some point over the next couple of weeks, and they will also expect to come and visit me and my baby too. The only way I can see that I can avoid either situation is to pretend me and my little one have some kind of infection or sickness which means we can't have any visitors. So my question is - does anyone know of an infection or sickness that would put us in that position? I feel horrendous making up a story like this and I don't want to worry my parents unnecessarily but I've left it too late and I can't see any other way out.
I love my baby with all my heart but I'm only a couple of weeks in to being a mum and I am finding it hard. I had a difficult labour and I feel huge guilt over it. I shouldn't but I do. I'm very tired and overwhelmed. I'm not a strong person. I struggle to deal with my emotions. I just don't have it in me to confront this in any way. I feel like I've let my baby down as a mum already by not confronting this. I'm running away from the situation but right now, I honestly feel like that's all I can do.
I'm sorry if I sound utterly pathetic or ridiculous but I'm desperate. Please, if anyone knows of an infection or sickness that I could say we have, please let me know.
Thank you for listening.
You have not let your baby down,
Do whatever you need to do to protect yourself (mentally and physically). You have just had a baby and will be full of hormones, this mixed with facing your traumatic history could place you at a higher risk of problems with mental health. You and your baby don't need this so don't feel guilty just do what you need to do to protect yourself from the person who abused you.
Sending you courage.
Why don't you want your parents to know? You have nothing to be ashamed of. He's a criminal.
Stand your ground. Be firm. It's your life and your baby. Don't be bullied and you don't have to give them a reason if you don't want to.
You need to empower yourself
Op I'm so sorry that he did that to you.
I urge you not to lie and create excuses. You will effectively turn yourself into the bad guy with your parents. And making a situation where your abuser looks like the good guy and you look crazy, strange , untrustworthy, etc. I know you don't see this at the moment but you will make far, FAR more pain for yourself as you attempt to lie to cover up the abusers crimes.
You can just tell your parents you don't want to see your half brother. You don't have to give a reason. At most just say you only want to see them, who are closest to you.
If you lie you will make this even worse. Don't, please.
Tell the truth in a limited way - that you simply don't want to see him. Then at the very least, in future you may yet find a way to tell the truth and set the record straight.
Don't dig the hole he put you into even deeper by lying to cover for him x
Thank you all for your kind words and advice.
I don't want my parents to know partly because I'm ashamed. I can tell myself a thousand times that it wasn't my fault, but my memories of what happened tell me I didn't do anything to stop it, or didn't even feel at the time that it was wrong. From what I remember, it seemed normal. And I'm ashamed of that. I feel embarrassed. Also, I don't want their pity and I don't want them to feel sad. I've had a few failed relationships, and what happened probably played a large part in those failures. I can't bear to see the look of pity in my dad's eyes again. I feel like his heart breaks every time he sees me sad. I don't want them to feel like any of this is their fault, that they've let me down because they haven't. But I know they'd feel that way.
I know the right thing to do is confront it and all I'm doing is delaying the inevitable. If I tell my parents I don't want to see him they'll ask why. And because it's such a big occasion with him visiting it won't really be accepted me saying I just don't want to see him. He video called my mum the day before my wedding and she tried to get me to chat to him and I threw a bit of a hissy fit and stormed out the house just saying I was too busy and my mum was really hurt by that, I know she was, but she let it go.
I wish I had done what my other half had suggested months ago. But it's too late now. I also don't want to ruin this for my mum. I've spent my whole life seeing my mum very regularly, sometimes every day even as an adult. My mum's mum brought him up from the age of about 10, he came to live with us at 17, and left at 19 or 20. She's only seen him a handful of times in the 25 years since. They speak on the phone all the time and are close. I don't want to break her heart. My other half tells me it's not me breaking her heart, it's him. But it doesn't change the fact that it would break her heart. I love my parents so much, I don't want to do this to them.
Congratulations on the birth of your child.
You dont sound pathetic at all. I don't agree with posters urging you to tell them. You can only do that if and when you are ready. 15 years after my abuse ended I finally felt ready to tell my family but it took a till on my wellbeing for a while. Telling other people brought up a lot of pay that if kept hidden. I fully support people who are ready to tell but I don't think many people factor in the emotional upheaval it causes.
If I were in you position and didn't want to say, I too would be thinking of ways to avoid him for now. As you are so close to your father could you not just explain that you are really still getting your head round the birth and motherhood and you are not able to cope with adding more visitors to the mix. Do you have a partner? If so enlist them in supporting you with this. They can agree that for a period you have both decided that you won't be taking visitors.
I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. It is so easy to bury our heads. If you want to start exploring you feelings but want to do so alone I suggest the 'Breaking Free' book and accompanying workbook. it is for adult survivors of sexual abuse. I found both very useful.
Op, I just want you to know that your reaction when you were a child was normal. That's how lost children feel and react during/after sexual abuse. It's how I was too. I just wanted to tell you that because it hurts me to imagine you berating yourself for doing exactly as the vast majority of survivors do/have done xx
You weren't in the wrong in any way x
Whatever you choose to do, that's up to you. I hope whatever happens (whether you follow my advice or not!), you manage to make peace with the little girl you once were and know in your heart that she was innocent. Hugs to you and your little one.
Thank you @WingsofNylon and @beesandknees
I'm so sorry you've both been through it too. Sending you love and hugs. And your words of support mean more than you know. It's odd how we berate ourselves when if this was someone else telling me that this had happened to them, I'd be saying exactly what you're saying to me.
My other half is supportive although I know he struggles with my mindset. He's very matter of fact about life and sees things in black and white. To him, it's not my fault and therefore I shouldn't think it was my fault. He doesn't understand that I know that but I can't help feeling the way I do. We've argued about it before whilst I was pregnant. But he doesn't mean any malice in what he says and I am very confident that he will go along with whatever I ask him to.
I think the no more visitors thing could be the way to go. I've had issues with anxiety before that my dad is aware of, although no one else is. So my dad wouldn't see that as being far fetched or too far out of the ordinary. Plus it could still allow my dad to come and visit me and not my brother. I'll speak to my other half at bedtime tonight.
Thank you all so much for responding x
Op as previous posters have said, this was not your fault and you are not weak or pathetic. And you have certainly not let your baby down!
I think it is very important you feel safe from your abuser, you are a vulnerable new mum and don't need the trigger of seeing him. Is it practical or affordable for you, baby and dp to be away while your half brother is here? If it is could you say an opportunity came up that was too good to turn down, like a free holiday house or travel for DPs work?
I know other posters have said don't lie but IMHO desperate times, desperate measures.
Op I'm so sorry your having to face this now. You have nothing to be ashamed of, however it's completely your decision if/when/how you want to tell your parents/deal with the situation.
Once this visit is over it might still be an idea to write the letter to your half brother to make sure your not faced with him again. I did similar but sent to the wife of the man who abused me. I was guilt ridden that her daughter was the same age I was when he abused me and that would also give him access to her friends of the same age. He was eventually arrested and questioned for the assault when it all came out years later and I went to see a counsellor. It's at least given me peace of mind that I'm never going to have to see him again given that he's a relation and had at one time been planning to visit my family.
If you absolutely don't want to tell anyone yet I'd suggest faking something like hand foot and mouth. My DS had it last year and we both caught it too. It's very contagious and there are different strains of it so can be caught more than once. It was an awful two weeks where we all felt crap, couldn't go out or have anybody over.
In the long term though maybe ask GP about some counselling? It really helped me lose the guilt and shame about what happened to me. I was also worried about what it would do to my gran and her relationship with her sister/neice (his family) but that burden isn't on me it's on him. It's not easy but it did help me move forward. I hope you find some peace
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.