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.
Just curious, seems like a lot of us on another thread - how many of us have been abused as kids?(84 Posts)
Just curious, it seems like everyone was saying they had been abused as kids - have we all been through this together?
My sister on the other hand believes some of the things my parents did was abusive.
What kind of abuse do you mean?
Not sure really. It just seemed that on another thread loads of people were chatting about being abused. Sexual, emotional, physical I guess.
FWIW I was sexually abused and i have, in the last year, chosen to talk aout it as a concious decision not to be asahmed any longer.
When it ever is discussed I always get a response that includes 'actually I/my sister/my cousin/my best friend was abused as a child'.
I remain pretty shocked by that actually. I think it is way more common than I had ever suspected.
I think shame keeps to many people involved silent.
My parents were very open about sex, I think mostly because of my dad's strained relationship with his father and having been raised to think sex was dirty. This was the 70's (when we were kids) and judging by the books I remember being on my parent's shelves they adopted the view that children should be aware of what their bodies did etc.
My sister, as I said, feels very differently about this to me. We talked at great length about this at the weekend and I was shocked at what she thought was 'abuse'. However, I can understand that some of the things we witnessed or were told were difficult for her.
as was my brother I later found out as it was his father, and it was not told to his aunt (who adopted him...I was taken in by our mothers sister)......his was more children porn picture sent thro the post to him when he was 8 tho, as there was no contact thro being so far away mile wise. Mine was 'physical and sexual', his 'emotional and sexual' I would guess.
I have heard of others who have also been abused...it is not rare.
I feel just the same as you pagwatch. I have made a conscious decision to feel free to talk about it whenever I think it is appropriate and not to keep it hidden for any particular reason (also sexual abuse). Dammit I did nothing wrong so I don't see why I should have to keep it like a dirty secret.
People I know who have been sexually abused include 3 of my aunts, my mother, 2 cousins, 5 friends and several people I went to school with. I think it is a lot more common than most people think. And you know what? Not ONE of them was abused by a stranger or anyone outside their immediate family.
i was. physically. not sexually. and emotionally as a teenager. forgiven now and they are different people.
I was. I used to be really ashamed and keep it hidden, but I feel a lot better emotionally, since I've been honest about it to friends. The shocking thing is that so many people I know have been abused.
one of my best friends was phsically abused as a teenager
her ada was unemployed and depressed and rowed with her mum (never touched her though) and one time my friend intervened and got told to mind her own business and was 'shoved' down the stairs
she went away to uni and feels guilt for that as her brother then ore the brunt of it, so much so that he attempted suicide (my friend walked in on him and revived him one holiday )
She now says her dad is a totally different person, feels nothing but remorse etc etc, the family are cloer than ever now that her dad is no longer depressed but what toll that must take is anyone's guess....
Yes, and I think it's very common. And as provincial lady says, not by a stranger. It's very rarely a stranger and very commonly a friend/family member.
I am over any harm I may have suffered and now I feel I should speak about it in order to let people know it's a really horrible thing to happen but that you can get over it. Victims need to know they are not to blame. The right emotion is anger, not shame.
I was sexually abused by my grandfather for over 7 years.
I now attend a support group for victims of incest and while it can be harrowing, I know it will be good for me in the long run...maybe...bit unsure atm as it really is difficult
It does help to know that you are not the only one, that others feel exactly the same way as you do, that you aren't odd/wierd.
can I just ask - does anyone feel like they aren't sure if they have been abused or not? I mean that in the sense that things might have happened that were ambiguous,made you feel uncomfortable but that may have been down to growing up/onset of puberty rather than any sinister intentions by the person involved.
Kind of... i was sexually abused by an 11 year old when I was 7 / 8. It may sound very 'innocent' but in fact it was manipulative, he knew I didn't like it, he was terrified of getting caught (so knew it was wrong on some level) AND he did it to at least one other girl that I know of. But because of his age at the time that it happened, some people feel that it does not count as abuse, or that it is 'normal.' I think they're very VERY wrong. Children abusing other children is more common than once thought, I reckon.
My step-father did the 'sexual-emotional' abuse, e.g. sexual comments, offers of looking at pornography, sexually explicit discussions etc but was too drunk to take it any further physically, apart from once, mildly.
My mother did the emotional / psychological abuse. My mother feels that my stepfather's actions were entirely innocent and that I should have been 'flattered' by his comments etc, but at the same time says she did her best to make sure he wasn't left alone with me!!! This has farked me up beyond belief. I refuse to have anything to do with them now.
Yes I think it's very common
I also feel that I can tell when other people have been through similar experiences
However if you feel some things are 'ambiguous' then you just have to go with your gut reaction.
babyinacorner- yes, that's a pretty good description of much of what happened to me although I have a solid feeling that there were inappropriate and creepy intentions. There's alot of advise (quite rightly) about dealing with obvious sexual abuse but not alot about what to do if your dad is a creepy bastard but doesn't actively abuse you. I do have one memory of him touching me across my chest but the rest is mainly him hanging around when I was getting changed/coming out of shower etc, a sense that he was ogling me etc. He was an alcoholic so it's very easy for people to justify sexually inappropriate behaviour as simply 'drunken-ness'.
I agree that when the abuse is ambiguous that you should go with your gut reaction but you must be prepared for family's possible negative reaction (this is what i encountered when confronting, leading to no contact with majority of close family).
Do you have an experience you want to discuss babyinacorner?
my stepdad stuck his hand up my skirt once when I was nineteen, in front of the whole family - mym mum just said "what the hell do you think you're doing XXXX" and he withdrew it
later in the kitchen she said "I hope you're not going to Make A Big Deal Out Of This Greensleeves - it's nothing, he just got confused
which I accepted!
I have various dodgy and uncomfortable memories of him which I choose not to look at very often
how I wish I hadn;t stumbled across this thread
<wanders off, whistling very loudly>
Severe physical abuse by my father, my mother hit as hard as she could every day but could never manage the damage that my father could. Her specialty was emotional abuse which is probably what me marginally angrier looking back. No sexual abuse.
Ladybabo agree that children abusing children is common and should be seen as abuse, both kids need help.
You can add my name to the list
Sexually abused by my stepfather from around the age of 3 til he left (I was around the age of 9/10).
I plucked up the courage to report him at he grand old age of 21-went to crown court blah blah (didn't end up in a conviction) but it was something I had to do so I could move on.
Had group therapy and specialised sexual abuse therapy-helped me not feel like a victim,although I yearn for my childhood and shit comes back to haunt tme at times.
*thoughts to all you survivors
i was too, and my brother, and my other brother. mine was a cousin, i was 7-10 and when i finally did pluck up the courage to tell my parents they didnt believe me at first accused me of lying, dreaming it up, reaing it in a book...how a ten year old whom went to a tiny village primary school with 9 pupils and lived in a village of about 4 houses, knew the words cock and blow job etc i dont know...i wrote it down all the things he did to me.
I was believed no action was taken. Then only last year my step mum asked me if it REALLY happened so looks like i still am not really believed. charming.
justageek, I have the a similar problem. In my case my grandmother , uncle and aunt don't believe it, even though he did a similar thing to my sister and cousin and he was charged for the things he had done to me (when I finally plucked up the courage to make a statement) My grandfather committed suicide before it went to court which some would say shows he was guilty, but they just won't have it, despite my grandmother admitting she knew he was doing something to me.
The way I am trying to see it is that it must be incredibly hard for them to get their heads around the fact that someone they felt they knew so well would do something like that. It doesn't excuse their actions, but in my grandmothers case it would have had quite a devastating effect on her life if she had 'believed' me. I know she knows what he did, I don't know if she knows to what extent, but she knows he wasn't innocent.
I have a very distant relationship with her now and I only have that relationship becasue I allow for the fact that she is an elderly lady and I don't want to cause her any more upset in her life.
I have real trust issues because if it. I would never allow my grandmother to be alone with my children, she didn't protect me! I also feel very similar about my parents (I told them whe I was 16, but they didn't do anything and still allowed him to visit...hence my leaving home at 17) I actually couldn't list all of the ways this has affected my life, it would take waaaaay too long. I just wish I could put it behind me I am trying to now, but I know it will be a long road.
MrsMacaroon - Well it's all a bit something and nothing really so don't want to make a big deal out of it. Basically when I was about 12/13 I got it into my head that my grandads behaviour towards me was sometimes inappropriate - lots of hugging,kissing etc. although having said that up until that point I had never felt uncomfortable and looking back on it now I don't know what I got myself in such a state about. I have no memories of anything you would def. point the finger and say that was abuse. All I can go on is this weird feeling I had at the time but now I think was it just puberty and the fact that you're becoming more sexual which leads you into thoughts that you wouldn't normally have iyswim? He died when I was nearly 14 so I didn't ever really get any 'closure' on it.
babyinacorner- it's good to discuss even if you're not too sure what happened i reckon.
sounds like you might have picked up on something but as you say, it could have been you're age etc...with my dad there was a sense that it was inappropriate attention and when drunk he would go on and on about how i looked. My memory of him touching me is very vague but the feeling of being incredibly uncomfortable is still clear in my head...clear enough that i decided to stop contact with parents once i had my two daughters. My mum didn't believe me when i told her and he denies all knowledge but my kids safety is more important to me than anything else in the world so i can live with it...
do you have siblings/cousins you could talk to about their experiences in case they picked up on anything?
Thanks for the response - To be honest I think I would be looked at as if I was crazy if I broached the subject with any of my family. Maybe one day.At the time when I was 12 I did say to my mum that i was uncomfortable without going into specifics with her and she did have a word with my grandad and apparantly he was very upset to think that I was feeling that way. That has always made me feel very guilty tbh. I hate to think that he felt bad when i'm fairly sure his intentions were innocent.
It sounds like with your experience your instinct was talking to you loud and clear and I think you were incredibly strong and brave to have taken the action you did.
Hi namechanged as I'm a regular. I was abused by my Dad from the ages of 8 to 14.. He was/is an alcoholic and the abuse was usually when he was drunk. I beleive its because he knew it was wrong and had to anaesthetise himself. It was sporadic. I would start thinking I had dreamed the whole thing up then suddenly it would start up again.
For a year or so I thought it had stopped. I used to wake up in the mornings and find my knickers were off but I thought I'd been wriggling round in my sleep I woke up one night to find him there and I realised it had never stopped, I'd just been sleeping through it. God knows how.
I confronted him when I was 16 and the after effects were more traumatic than the abuse.
I did post on another thread the other day, it was possibly a bit of a thread killer but I was trying to say that while there are perhaps only a few physical "excuses" to be overweight, the emotional ones are plenty and I told my story for the first time. There was barely a reaction. I felt so shit. If someone had told me that I would have sent a brief message of support at least but only one person mentioned it and I felt a bit worthless. Probably over reacting I know. The person who did respond said, 'ok yes thats a sad story but I think what ** was trying to say was...' and I thought no, thats not a sad story, thats my life.
squirdle, i said one day i would write a book and call it the ostrich in the sand, the ostrich being my family. I think its worse when you have kids yourself and realise you would walk through fire for them, then wonder why our own family wold rather put an abuser over the abused, just because its 'hard' for them to get their heads round it.
I am very bitter and twisted and angry in so many ways, but like you i am trying, trying really hard to keep myself level, to move on and be a 'normal' person.
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.