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Sibling back in contact with abusive reletive(24 Posts)
I've namechanged for this post, as people may recognise me.
I've had a very difficult time recently and just need to get it out. When I was a child, from the age of 10 my father sexual abused me. I didn't tell my mum until she kicked him out when I was 15. He was horrible abusive to her growing up - mentally, physically and financially. It was a hellish environment all around.
My mum has been fantastic and so supportive ever since I told her (I'm 30 now), and growing up she was a great mum all in all. However what I went through has caused me to suffer from an anxiety disorder, eating disorders and many more issues. Over the last 15 years I have been trying to overcome what has happened to me, and have made great progress.
I have two wonderful girls, am married to an amazing man, in a job and career that I love and have finally started to feel like I can mentally relax, and start to feel safe.
However, I now feel that my world has been turned upside down, and like my safe, happy life is being shattered. My brother and his wife (who I get along brilliantly with) have decided to now go from no contact with our father, to fostering a relationship with him. They have two daughters who are very similar in age to my two, and they have taken their two to meet the Grandad, and have all started to build a very close relationship to him.
I worry that this will somehow lead to him having contact to my girls, and has brought him terrifyingly close to my life now. My brother and his wife know what our father is like, and the abuse I went through (and all of us mentally and physically). According to my brother though, this is not his issue and he believes our father has 'changed' and become a better man. When asked if he would leave his girls alone with him, he said that he never would...so he knows that this man is potentially dangerous to his children! Why would you let your kids anywhere near a man you would not trust alone with them?!
I'm am feeling very hurt, and in turmoil. My anxiety is in overdrive, and I feel very vulnerable. My father is a very manipulative man, who even after 15 years won't give up on trying to get me back into his life (he once turned up at my work, when luckily I wasn't in that day...). He will stop at nothing if it means getting to me and/or my children, and I am scared. I feel that there is nothing I can do, as I never spoke to anyone about what he did outside of the family and my DH. He had his computer seized by the police when I was a teenager as they suspected him of possessing child pornography (he did), but there was no evidence of it on the computer they did take.
I am angry at myself that this man can still affect me 15 years later. I can't even look at pictures of him as it makes me feel nauseous, panicky and my skin crawl. I would literally move countries to get away from him and to feel safe again, but can't due to wanting to be near my mum as we are very close, as are my kids and her.
My DH is being amazing, and so supportive, but I just feel like I'm falling apart. I feel ridiculous for feeling like this after so long, but I just can't help but to feel so vulnerable and scared. I also feel very hurt and betrayed by my brother.
I'm not sure why I've written this post, and I apologise that it's so long. I think I just needed to write it all down somewhere. Think I'm going to try and find a private counsellor, but am scared that they'll think I'm being melodramatic and wasting their time.
No counsellor would ever think your being melodramatic.
How dare he come to work place.
How do you think contact with your brother will get back to your children? Off it's via your nieces, can you ask your brother to tell his DDs never to mention your dad to them?
My god, you poor thing. This all sounds horrific.
Sorry for the questions, but to understand better, do you live geographically near to your brother and/or dad. Why do you think that their contact will affect your daughters?
With regard to your brother, have you sat down and talked to him and his wife? It is beyond comprehension as to why he would do this. And his wife? She knows that this man sexually abused you for five years and she is introducing her daughters to him? What has she said about it?
You have done so well making a lovely life for yourself. It is not surprising you feel so anxious about all this. Try to accept that this is a natural reaction but be hopeful that you will work your way through it one way or another.
Thank you all for the kind replies! It's been a tough time recently, and I feel emotionally rung out tonight. I swing between feeling justified in how I'm feeling, and like I'm making a drama out of something that's not directly affected me yet!
I have no idea why they have decided to get back in contact with him, apart from knowing my brother has uumed and arhed over it for years, and believes that he can and has changed.... Why you'd risk having your girls safety on hoping someone's changed (which I don't believe someone like that can) I can't fathom.
My sister in law seem to buy into the whole 'hes changed' things weren't as bad as people remember them ethos that my brother and father appear to have.
I live very close to my brother, and my kids and his are very close...I'm very worried that they'll have him over to see the grandkids without informing me, as they know I'd obviously object, and they didn't even inform me that they were back in contact with him until I confronted them about if after seeing them post pictures on Facebook.
I feel like the trust there has been broken
Also I recognise that my anxiety disorders my be making me over sensitive to the perceived danger, but my father has never accepted that I want nothing to do with him, and believes it's his right to see his grandkids. I've always been honest with my kids as to why we don't see him (in an age appropriate way), but the thought that he could be around them due to my brother and have the chance to abuse them and my niece's to is making me feel sick...
Not sure I could pursue any legal action against him, as I never reported it and it was so long ago and I have no proof
Not sure I could pursue any legal action against him, as I never reported it and it was so long ago and I have no proof
There's no time-limit for reporting sexual abuse which happened when you were a child. You can report it now. And the proof is your account of what happened. You can report him if you want to.
Your brother is putting his children in danger by allowing them contact with this man. It doesn't matter if he never leaves his children alone with him: abuse isn't always obvious to anyone who isn't directly involved. If you don't want to report him to the police, perhaps report him to social services.
Actually I think you do have proof! You told your Mum, who has supported you. Have you been through counselling for your anxiety/ eating disorders (if you have mentioned this then that may be taken as evidence). You also have the fact that the police already know/ believe your father to be a paedophile! They may have a case waiting, just hoping that someone can report him! Your report may add to already waiting evidence and allow them to charge him.
You won't know until you try! Contact the police and place a complaint about the abuse you underwent at his hands. If your 'f' has truly changed he should admit to every single charge!!!
Apart from this, I think that you need to go nc with your brother, sil and neices. You need to protect yourself and your family, if your brother insists on contact with your f then he is putting you, your children and your neices at risk. Tell your brother why you have to do this, that he made the choice to get in contact with your paedophile abuser! If he continues to put your f first, then he doesn't deserve contact!
In fact I would be considering reporting your bil and sil to nspcc, for knowingly endangering their innocent children by seeking contact with a known paedophile! Your db has behaved appallingly! I can only think that your F has offered him money, or worse he is hoping to be a beneficiary in your 'f's' will.
Two female family members spoke up about their father's abuse in adulthood when they saw that he was getting access to his new step grandchildren. They had never told anyone, but 20 plus years later he was prosecuted and is in prison now. You will be listened to so that is a very real option for you.
Your brother is being ridiculous but I've heard of this reaction before. The fact that his father is a predatory paedophile is such a horrific thing to live with I guess it's easier to minimise than to actually confront and process. But what the hell is his wife thinking?
Let your brother know you'll go Nc with him and his family. It's his choice to see his vile father but you get to decide who sees you and your kids. And consider reporting F and DB to social services for monitoring or even the police to prosecute F
Also I recognise that my anxiety disorders my be making me over sensitive to the perceived danger
Please please do not think this. You are reacting appropriately. Your brother is massively under-reacting.
You are not overreacting. Your brother, knowing what your father did to you, has chosen to introduce his daughters to your father.
Would talking to the NSPCC help? There are serious safeguarding issues here.
You are not over-reacting and I am so sorry that you have been put in this position.
I was abused by my brother (who I am NC with), but my sisters and mother still have a relationship with him.
One of my sisters lets him see her DS and when I pointed out that she was putting her son at risk, she responded by saying 'It's totally safe, as he only abused girls'
I spoke to the NSPCC about it and as he's not on the register or been prosecuted, there's not much can be done. I am now low contact with my sister. She's an idiot, but it's her choice, just like its your brothers.
All you can do, is make it very clear that your DF is not to have any contact with your children. My family are dicks, but they know that my DS is not to ever meet my DB.
Stay strong none of this is your fault. xxx
Thank you all, it's helping me feel more grounded and stronger.
I will have another talk with my brother and his sister in law, and let them know how I feel about what they have done and are doing, as well as letting them know I'll be protecting myself and my family by not having contact.
Will nspcc talk to me or be able to offer advice, as I'm no longer a child? I have thought about reporting him in the past, but honestly don't know that I could face reliving it all when giving a statement, and then having to actually see him in court while talking about it and being cross examined if it ever went that far... I can't even talk about it to my DH without bursting into uncontrollable tears and panic.
I hate the fact that thanks to something out of my control, he's now taken another piece of my life away... I also feel so angry that it's up to me to deal with this, and whichever way I do I loose out...all thanks to my brother.... It makes me angry that I seem to have more of an interest in his kids wellbeing than he does....and hurt that he's so uncaring and minimising what I went through.
I thought all this was behind me....that me and my family were safe. I've finally been content with my wife, and it's just been torn apart. I wish I could just fly away and start afresh where he can't reach me
Oh and unfortunately I don't trust that my kids would be kept away from my father... Especially not as they get older and more influenced by my brother's children. It also wouldn't surprise me if they invited him over and just didn't tell me...
I just can't trust my brother to think about my kids safety or respect my boundaries. . As he's already shown they mean nothing to him
Reporting him would make all the children safer but it will be awful for you
Could you speak to rape crisis in the first instance for support and advice?
In your position I would be telling your brother you have to go no contact with him whilst he is in contact with your father. I know the panicky feeling you have right now of what if your kids are around him, you can stop that by distancing them from the problem which is your brother now. PleAse please consider going to the police, other children including your nieces are in a vulnerable position so if you can do something to possibly put him away, you need to really think and muster up the strength you have to do it. for you, talking about it in any capacity takes huge courage.
What does your brother and his family get out of the relationship with your father? Do they just want to be able to say their girls have a grandpa? Don't they have another one from the wife's side?
Your brother is stupid and naive by the way. Was he ever abused or harmed in any way by your father?
Yes, the NSPCC will talk to you, as you were a child when the abuse happened. And if you did decide to go to the police and the case ended up in court you would almost certainly be able to give your evidence by video link, so you wouldn't have to be in the same room--or even the same building--as that abuser.
I had to give a statement, which was video'ed: it took about three hours to do, and the police were very sensitive in their questioning, and very reassuring. I was told the video statement would be used in court so I didn't have to present my case at all, apart from some questioning by both sides to clarify points.
In the end it didn't reach court because it was discovered the man who had abused me had died very recently. But don't worry that you'd have to be looking at him, or even in the same room as him: you won't. You'd be a protected witness and the police would look after you.
I think reporting him might give you closure. It will take a while but I hope it pays off. Hopefully your brother will see this still affects you and he won't want to put his children at risk. I'm baffeled why they would. I wouldn't allow him to have your children if you cannot trust him. I would also
Speak to your children about him
Thank you all again, your really helping give me strength and clarity.
I am seriously considering going to the police, I just worry that it won't do anything would rape crisis speak to me even though I wasn't actually raped? (It was bad and sexual abuse, but not as far as rape)
I have no idea what my brother is getting out of it, apart from knowing he's always felt that he misses having a father figure, and believes 1) he's changed and 2) it was never that bad. My sister in law is no contact with her family, due to them being highly toxic...so I guess they also want their kids to have a grandad, and think that in the worst scenario they can protect them by not leaving him alone with him...but give home the chance to have changed (god knows how they can risk this or believe it)
My brother was mentally abused by our father, and he saw our mother getting horrendously abused (though apparently this is her problem not his).... Though he was not physically abused once he got big enough to fight back. Also growing up he protected himself from my father by siding with him, not backing me up etc to stay on his good side.
I think I'm starting to see my brother in a whole new light....and think that if he can say how our father was is mine and my mum's issues and not his, and put his kids in danger, and mine as a by product, then he is actually not a very nice person at all
My children know about my father, and why we don't see him. I refuse to feel ashamed by what happened to me, and not talk about it with them, and have always felt it was important for their safety to know (in an age appropriate way) what he's like and why we don't see him.
just wanted to say you sound amazing, you have done so well and have a wonderful husband and family.
Your brother is an idiot people like this don't change, don't let him drag you down, carry on being strong and looking after/and out for your own family. I would go nc with your brother too. Good luck.
If your brother has made his choice then you need to make yours. Step away from your relationship with him and his family. Your dc need you in a good place more than they need cousins and an aunt and uncle. And please do consider going to the police. It may be the closure you need. And your dc will gain massively from you coming forward - seeing justice for you and him punished .
I’m so sorry OP. You must feel really let down by your brother. Lots of good advice here and in addition I wondered if it may be worth having a serious talk with your SIL one to one to really ensure she knows what happened to you and the risk she is putting her daughters through. Perhaps your brother is not being totally honest with her in how he explains what your father was like back then. You’ve said he used to side with your father so maybe he is back to this same way of thinking? I think she deserves to know the full truth if she is to make an informed choice about allowing her daughters to be around him.
Sadly now the trust is gone I can totally see why you wouldn’t allow your children to visit your brother unaccompanied as you would be a worried mess the whole time. So unfair that you have been put in this position and I wish you all the best. You are clearly a really strong women so keep fighting and never feel you are overreacting. Great you have such a supportive husband by your side too.
Thank you Howsthings I do feel very let down by him, but I need to move forwards protecting me and my family and grieve for the loss of a relationship I thought I had, as there is no way I will be turning a blind eye to this.
I will try and sit down with my sister in law, on her own and lay it all out for her - I need to feel that I have done everything I can, so that I never ask myself 'what if' if the worst happens.
I will also give nspcc a ring when I am feeling strong enough, as I feel a lot of posters are right, while being immensely hard it may give me the closure that I need.
Again, thank you all for the support, I don't know what I'd do without it - it is making me feel so much stronger and able to deal with this. My DH is also being fantastic and supporting me in whatever I want to do about it.
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