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Family bombshell just landed (triggering)

(132 Posts)
Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:30:48

Not nice subject matter, be warned. Name changed due to sensitive topic. So my little sister (33, anorexic) told me my father abused her when she was around 7. She's not sure how many times (could be twice, could be 20) but she has a vivid memory of it happening twice and in which room at home. Hands down pants basically. I'm shocked. I don't know what to do with this information. She said this memory only came to light in the last year. She's been mentally ill for years. I am one of 6 (she's the youngest) and afaik nobody else has experienced this. Can't say it to my elderly mum. Or my other siblings as we're not close and sister has sworn me to secrecy. Parents are divorced and I don't often see him but not on terrible terms. What do I do with this information? If it's a false memory (she's always in and out of hospitals and therapy) then it's a terrible slur on an innocent man. Never happened to me. If it's true, then what?

OP’s posts: |
PinkiOcelot Sun 04-Oct-20 17:35:44

Could this actually be the reason for her MH problems and anorexia?!
I would just be there for her. I would ask her what she wanted to do and say you’ll stand by her whatever that is. It must have took a lot for her to tell you.

user1932456542587 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:36:25

"False memories" are rare. What is common is for people to push traumatic memories away and try to block them out to survive.

Her mental illness is more compelling as obvious signs of a traumatic injury. It is also entirely credible for only one child in a family to be targeted. Although equally others may have too and be differently affected. Everyone responds to trauma differently.

Anorexia is about trying to feel in control. Trauma and abuse are about a loss of control.

You don't need to do anything with the information, just support your sister.

Fl1mflam Sun 04-Oct-20 17:38:56

I would believe her and support her, the trauma caused by child sex abuse can often manifest as eating disorders and other mental health issues later in life.
Very difficult issue to cope with, families tend to close ranks and protect the perpetrator, this causes further trauma to the victim sad

Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:40:07

Thanks. I realise I don't sound particularly supportive in my original post. I don't want to believe it, it's so earth shattering and just out if nowhere. Just horrible.

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user1932456542587 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:41:02

Saying "you're mentally ill and traumatised, therefore I don't believe this traumatic experience could have happened to you as I don't think mentally ill people are credible" is a pretty terrible slur too in my view. And prejudiced. (And ignorant).

You wouldn't use physical illness or injury as an excuse to call someone a liar about an assault or accident, would you? It's pretty twisted.

I hope you never tell her that one of your first thoughts was that you didn't believe her because she's mental. That would be soul destroying.

Amammi Sun 04-Oct-20 17:42:21

Has your sister got support? She’s ready to deal with her abuse now but maybe needs professional help. When she’s ready this should and must be reported - it’s vital in case other children are at risk.

Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:42:21

No, she had a traumatic experience in her teens which we all thought caused her issues, it wasn't that I thought her illness came from nowhere.

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Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:43:43

Amammi

Has your sister got support? She’s ready to deal with her abuse now but maybe needs professional help. When she’s ready this should and must be reported - it’s vital in case other children are at risk.

She has access to health professionals on a daily basis and has been talking to them about it.

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gypsywater Sun 04-Oct-20 17:44:47

Big burden on you alone. Can she definitely not tell your mum? You say your mother is elderly but your sister is 33? So in her 70s?

Fl1mflam Sun 04-Oct-20 17:45:34

Could this actually be the reason for her MH problems and anorexia
this^
so often people's thought process goes 'she's got mental health problems so we cant believe her'
they dont stop to consider that the trauma of this will lead to mental health issues, they look at this wretched thin woman (I'm talking about myself here, victim of CSA with eating disorders and mental health issues as a result)
they look at this wretched dysfunctional person and she seems worthless compared to the man who she says was the perpetrator, so they believe the strong powerful functional head of the family and blame her for the cardinal sin of staining his reputation.
He is the sinner who has forever stained his own childsad

gypsywater Sun 04-Oct-20 17:47:06

I think you also need support. So you can support your sister. Must be a huge thing hearing someone say your own father is a paedophile. Please make sure you have support too.

Fl1mflam Sun 04-Oct-20 17:49:03

she had a traumatic experience in her teens
a sexually abused child is likely to become a reckless teenager, it messes up your radar, this early experience where the person who you've been trained to love and trust dominates exploits and humiliates you, you have been trained to trust predators and you spend much of adult life in a dream running into the lions den unable to understand that this is a predator

Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:49:35

gypsywater

Big burden on you alone. Can she definitely not tell your mum? You say your mother is elderly but your sister is 33? So in her 70s?

Yes late 70s. Would kill her.

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ButterflyBitch Sun 04-Oct-20 17:49:40

My mum remembered her childhood abuse when I was about 2 years old. Before that she’d blanked it out. It came out when I was 16 that my uncle had also been abused. I would speak to your other siblings. And I would believe your sister and offer support and help her find the right support.

Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:50:16

gypsywater

I think you also need support. So you can support your sister. Must be a huge thing hearing someone say your own father is a paedophile. Please make sure you have support too.

Thank you. I am going to talk to someone this week.

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gypsywater Sun 04-Oct-20 17:50:24

@Blindsided12
Your sister deserves the support of her mother though, surely, with something so huge?

gypsywater Sun 04-Oct-20 17:52:07

So many victims of CSA dont want to tell their mothers for fear of breaking their hearts but surely a mother's job is to be there emotionally for their children even when the child has grown up? I cant imagine a mother would want the child to protect them by not telling them.

Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:52:11

She's not particularly maternal to be honest

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gypsywater Sun 04-Oct-20 17:52:36

sad

gypsywater Sun 04-Oct-20 17:53:11

Family secrets are very corrosive. My advice would be do all you can to not hold this secret alone in your family. flowers

Audreyseyebrows Sun 04-Oct-20 17:55:14

Be there for her, listen to her. What does she want to do next?

Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:55:30

Thanks, you're right. I'll ask her if I can discuss it with another sibling.

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Blindsided12 Sun 04-Oct-20 17:57:23

Not sure, early days. She only told me Fri. I will ask her.

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Fl1mflam Sun 04-Oct-20 17:57:51

Blindsided12

She's not particularly maternal to be honest

Mark my words, the mother will blame the victim and protect the perp

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