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Right this is very long and very sensitive, but just need to get it all down

(11 Posts)

Not sure if I am looking for advice or just for an ear really so please bear with me.

DSD who is 16 in 2 weeks lives with us (has done for 7 years) and she also has a very close relationship with her (maternal) nan who stays with every weekend. (Very sporadic and poor contact with her mum). She is a very social, bright and happy girl. She has (literally) hundreds of friends and is never short of boyfriends. Her current boyfriend is a few years older and lives in London (we're in the north). They have a LDR and speak mostly on her mobile or MSN. She's been with him for 5 months.

At the beginning of the summer holidays she was out every day staying in various friends houses and her nan's house regulary. UNtil a month ago she came home from spending the weekend in her nans and she was like a different person. She was very quiet (completely out of character), hardly any make up on (again it's usually piled on with a trowel), and just went up to her bedroom. She didn't want to go on the computer and hardly ate. She was still on the phone to her boyfriend all the time so I knew they hadn't split. She refused to tell us what was wrong, just kept saying she didn't want to talk about it and to leave it.

She wouldn't phone any of her friends or go to their houses, she said her boyfriend was the only one she could trust. Alarm bells starting ringing. She wouldn't go out unless it was with us in the car or to her nans.

I started to maybe get an inkling of what it was, after reading so many stories (and honestly having been through something like that myself). *starts to get sensitive here*

So one morning a few weeks ago I asked her, had she been raped or attacked. She closed her eyes said "Don't just leave it please," So of course I did. I hugged her and told her she could tell me but she wouldn't.

Last week my mum was staying as she confided in my mum. She was drugged, and raped by 2 brothers, one of who was on remand and had done it before. She had lied about were she was staying - told us she was in her nans, told her nan she was at a friend's. And her and her friend had gone clubbing. She went to the police, who took samples (god I ahte thinking about it), and they called in social services because she's underage. They were going to call DH but she begged them not to, and instead they called her nan. She's had to have an AIDS test (all clear thank god) and have two Hep C injections.

All the while she adamant she doesn't want her dad to know. Now my mum told me because basically she can't keep secrets, but DSD doesn't want me to know because she thinks I'll tell her dad. And I can't let her know that I know IYSWIM because she will feel betrayed by my mum.

So what do I do? I want to support her and also let her know she's not alone. I went through something similar at the same age. But also do I tell DH? Honestly it would kill him, he doesn't handle that kind of thing very well and he has problems connecting with DSD now she's a teenager. But on the other hand she obviously needs her dad right now, she's gone through most of it alone. She's had to go to the local sexual diseases clinic to be tested for every STD under the sun and she's gone alone.

God if I had only known I could have gone with her, held her hand. I keep crying and unexpected intervals and DH keeps asking whats wrong. I want to kill those goddam mother fuckers for what they've done. She was a bloody virgin FGS!! I don't know what to do, do I let her know I know, do I leave it (don't want to do that) do I tell her dad, wait until she hopefully tells one of us.

It's going to court later this year as he's already on remand so he will get a lengthy sentance, She'll need time off school for that, also she'll obviously need loads of support.

HELP. sad

Carmenere Sat 06-Sep-08 22:49:11

Well what I would do, and I know it would be dodgy as I believe in never having secrets with dp, is I would go to her and tell her that she has your total support and that you will keep it from her dad and that you have had a similar experience and that you now how she feels and that you love her and want to take care of her and help her through it. On her terms.

controlfreakinfreaky Sat 06-Sep-08 22:50:02

how awful! BASTARDS.
no easy answers.
might you suggest to her she rings childline if there's anything she needs to talk about? o8oo 1111

Carmenere Sat 06-Sep-08 22:50:45

Tell her that you asked your mum because you had suspected something already.

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 06-Sep-08 22:52:38

I have no experience of anything like this.

But if she is going to have to go to court, then I can't see how your dh/her father can't know.

Are you sure she woulnd't really feel better to know that her dad is there for her? Can you not tell your dh and deal with his immediate reaction away from her?

She needs you and she needs her dad.

Even is she says she doesn't want him to know, surely it would help her enormously to know that he is there for her and on her side?

Anifrangapani Sun 07-Sep-08 00:33:39

I would explain to her what has happend to you. Don't tell her father b//c her confidence has been betrayed once and she may feel that she has to bottle it up. Give her a broad shoulder to cry on and be her friend not her mother. If she sees you as a confident person she will see a way out of it. It took me over 20 years to face up to what had happened to me. I pretended everything was OK b/c I had no one to empathise with me and not judge my part in what had happened. I wish her and you all the best things in the world xxxx

Bowddee Sun 07-Sep-08 01:11:24

From personal experience, do NOT tell her dad.

My only regret in life is that I told my dad about my rape.

There was nothing he could do. He could not protect his lttle girl from one of the worst horrors. He felt he'd failed me. He ended up having counselling.

I don't know how you can help her, but don't tell her dad. Not yet at least.

nooka Sun 07-Sep-08 01:26:12

I think as you have already broached the possibility that she had been raped and been given what equates to a yes then you should be able to follow that up. In that follow up you can say that your mum told you, but I think if you can avoid doing so that's better. Rather than ask her any questions, could you try a "I'm worried about you and I thought it might be useful if I shared my story with you" sort of approach?

Very difficult. Poor girl. I'm glad her boyfriend is standing by her, it's a really tough call for him too.

Re her Dad I think the way to go is to ask your dsd (if you can get her to open up) if she would like you to tell him. If she says no, then you have to respect that. If she doesn't want him to know for now or if she really doesn't want to talk to you (and she may well not be able to yet) I think you just have to be as supportive as you can be, and make sure that your husband is sensitive to her needs (I know that will be very difficult for you).

If you feel that you are traumatised by this bringing back memories for you (which it may well do) then make sure you have some outlet for you to talk about that too.

branflake81 Sun 07-Sep-08 08:12:40

Very tricky.

While it's importanat to respect her wishes, I also thnk you ned to look at this from her dad's (your DP's) point of view. Imagine if, years later, he found out not only that his daughter had been raped but that his wife and MIL knew all along and kept it from him. I think that secretes like this never stay secret forever and that could well end up really hurting him and being quite destructive. What does your DSD think will happen if her dad finds out?

You are in a very difficult position. If I were you I would let DSD know that you know (if necessary twist the truth a bit and say that you were convinced she had been raped and got MIL to tell you the truth) and that you really need to tell DP. Make sure she understands why so she dosen't feel betrayed.

lilacclaire Sun 07-Sep-08 08:24:24

Is your DSD worried about her dads reaction to her not being where she should be? I know it may seem insignificant to you, but teenage minds work differently.

I don't see how you cannot tell him, but I would do as someone else has suggested and tell him away from DSD to shield her from his initial reaction.

I would do it asap tbh, is he not likely to be furious that this has been kept from him.

Good luck

Freckle Sun 07-Sep-08 09:14:52

The fact that she didn't deny it when you asked if she'd been attacked gives you a way in. Approach her from the angle that clearly something awful has happened and then share your story with her. As a result of that, she may open up to you and you need never reveal that your mum has told you already.

I don't in all honesty feel you can keep it from her dad, as that would be a betrayal of him and may even cause problems within your marriage if he later finds out. Perhaps you can persuade her to let him know by suggesting that she needs all the support she can get, that you can tell him for her, so she doesn't have to go over the story again/see his initial reaction.

Has she been offered any counselling? Is Victim Support involved? Or Childline?

Poor child and poor you.

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