TRIGGER. SEXUAL ABUSE... WWYD? I am so confused(23 Posts)
I have a huge decision to make and am terrified. Long time lurker, first time poster and unsure if a) the warning is done correctly and b) if this is ok here as I couldn't find anywhere else more suitable (if not, how do I move it or alter the title?).
Also, may be long, but desperately hope someone has some good advice. Please don't be nasty with me, I'm struggling badly with suicidal urges, but don't think I would act on it.
I am extremely lucky (relevant) that I have 4 amazingly caring, happy, hard working adult children, a gorgeous 1 year old grandchild and another due soon. I don't see my children often as they live abroad. I am extremely isolated. I have no friends at all (due to trust issues), I rarely see my only sibling and I do not like my mother, I do not love her and visit only due to duty calling. My father died 6 years ago. This year all 4 children came to stay over Christmas, and they all went home yesterday so missing them terribly.
Here goes anxious as hell.
From my 1st memory my father sexually abused me, physically hurt me every day I lived with him and said plenty of wicked things. He took no interest in me, despite me working hard to please him etc and there was substantial neglect by both parents. All familiar things so far.
When I got to 5 years old my dad started taking me to 'see his friends', I can't spell it out, sorry, but (looking back) this was like a warm up series of events.
At school I was very clever but once I hit 13 (age passed for statutory rape) everything changed.
As I got older I realised these were all professional men and women, but it wasn't until a few years ago that the meaning of all this hit me so hard, it was truly like a switch was flicked and a red hot poker went through my chest every time I think about all this.
It is this next bit causing me utter desperation and unbearable anxiety.
I know, without even 0.001% doubt, that my father and his 'friends' were also sexually abusing other children and teenagers. My father was in a position of trust (did not work with children) but I can't say what his work was as it would easily identify me.
Over the years have suffered with debilitating depression, anxiety and Isolation. I attempted suicide times just after I left my controlling and abusive husband, which I guess reinforced for me that I was worthless.
I started therapy 9 months ago but only spoke about the past very recently. I realised that there must be others who were also affected by this but they may not know who it was who abused them.
I searched online and found The Survivors Trust, an ongoing inquiry into sexual abuse by people in a position of trust.
I contacted them because I may have the names and other information that these other children, now adults, can't remember.
I have an overwhelming sense that I have to tell the inquiry everything I know, to be able to help these other people who were so badly abused in places they should have been safe and cared for. But, an equally overwhelming sense that I can't do this.
I know I NEED to, and need really to give permission for the police to contact me to help with their enquiries too, but I am so alone and isolated (and lost my job this year due to a quickly progressing, terminal neurological disease).
Part of me wants so much to help, but the other part doesn't want my last 1 to 2 years alive being questioned about things I find so hard to think about, let alone talk about, to police and this enquiry. The other thing is, my children all know their grandad was a prize cunt, but they don't know much more and I am worried what these revelations may do to them. I am not bothered about my mother finding out, she did enough damage, she is a nasty judgemental person who has no interest in anyone except herself. My sibling seems to have excused our father so I have no idea how they may react (I don't like them, but they must have gone through the same as me, and I don't want to hurt them as they have sort of accepted it all and clearly forgives our father)
I kept it as brief as possible; what would you do?
1.Work with the survivors trust enquiry for sake of others who may need answers?
2. Give full police interviews which could lead to prosecution of any surviving offenders?
3). Live my last year or two with my experiences kept to myself and my children none the wiser that their granddad was such a prolific and violent sexual offender working with others for sexual gratification?
PS . When I was in my early 30s my father raped me again, after a huge violent argument. I went to the police but they would not even take a full statement. I tried at that time to talk to them about my childhood and it was unbelievably obvious that they did not believe me which eroded my confidence and trust further, making making me feel more worthless and still hate myself.
Tragic OP. I'm so sorry this has happened to you (and others). And I understand your dilemma. I wonder what the survivors trust has said? Is there any way you can report, in full, but it not to take away from you living your next years under the shadow of an inquiry? I think you might need the support of your adult children and would one of them come and hold your hand so to speak?
These rings of abusers are heinous. The very worst humans. And I personally would like each and every one of them to receive a life sentence as that's effectively what they have their victims. However I appreciate that I am not the one who has to relive it all. I'm no expert but I would expect the survivors trust to be able to offer professional support to ensure that your own suffering throughout whatever process is required is minimised whilst every possible attempt is made to bring these perpetrators to justice.
You can only make the decision that you can live with. Good luck OP. And again, I'm so sorry this happened to you.
@ladyg thank you so much for taking time to read, but more so for such a long thoughtful response, you have no idea how much I appreciate it. I've put info about points you raised about support from survivors trust at the end.
I totally agree with you that these people should be jailed for life with no chance of parole. My dad is dead and gets away with it.
The reason I contacted survivors trust was because I know that information and knowledge I have could help someone else like me; I know so many names, dates, addresses etc so If I can make sense of it for even one other person involved I know it's the right thing.
It can make me physically sick, thinking about my past, but more so because I know they did it to so many others too. Part of me would love to meet the others (all now adults) who were forced into this but a bigger part of me feels totally disgusted with myself because, even when I was little, I sort of knew it was wrong but I never told anyone (mainly through true fear). Now I almost torture myself with the knowledge that perhaps I could have somehow stopped it all. Or could I? I just, get so confused.
I know that if my children knew what had happened 1 or more of them would do their best to get to the UK for interviews etc, but then I have 2 lots of added guilt - 1st, them knowing, and 2nd the cost and time to get here, being away from their daily life.
I have sent off my first lot of forms to the survivors Trust and there is definitely support available throughout. There is also a section that discusses how they use information gathered to inform the police and how the Police would contact me. I have agreed to police contact/interviews but as soon as I had sent everything back the panic, anxiety and feeling worthless and isolated increased so much.
I keep wondering what their support system is like because I truly have no one around me because all my children live abroad. I have no friends or other family for support. The survivors Trust asked for the names of 2.people who can go to private sessions and interviews with me - I just sat and cried because I could not think of one person I even speak with, let alone feel comfy with for this.
This year was the 1st time for 10 years that all my children (and gorgeous grandchild) have been together. They planned it between them as a huge surprise following the terminal diagnosis I recently had... Seriously, they are all so amazingly supportive, caring, loving and more. I know they have already started planning frequent visits when I get to the stage of being unable to do much. One of them is teased by the others about their super-organised personality, but sounds like it's going to be so useful, it makes me feel so sad that he has to use this skill because of me (feels like I can't even die neatly or conveniently, fucked it right up stretching it out over a couple of years).
From reading your reply I know what I have to do, now I just need the balls to follow it through. Thank you so much, for caring and helping.
1 and 2. Think of it as your legacy, what you leave behind, how much good it would do. That's what I would choose anyway but of course it's entirely your decision
OP, I can't even begin to imagine what you've been through and I am so so sorry you've been subjected to this.
That being side, I do understand the fear, anxiety and reticence you might feel about talking about these memories.
It's possible that if you reported and got convictions, you may well feel vindicated, validated, believed, even relief, because someone has finally stood up for you and those other children.
You have an incredibly hard decision to make, and not one that I envy, but I seriously admire your courage and strength to have even got this far.
@ollivander sorry for being slow responding, am feeling sort of distanced and somewhat distracted.
The way you worded your response really struck a chord, thank you so much.
@jamboree05. I now totally understood what you said about potential feelings of vindication, being believed etc. Last night I kept reading your message over and over again because I couldn't grasp the meaning of your message and then it just clicked. One of the longstanding issues from my childhood is (makes me sound so stupid and embarrassed) that quite often I just don't get it... Like there is a link missing in my head, and your message initially gave me that feeling. I am so thankful for your reply, and taking time to help me, because looking at it in a different way, as a legacy, might be a way to cope? I don't know, but will try to find more positives because leaving a legacy sounds so much better, than leaving a trail of destructive, confusing emotions and behaviours behind for my children to make sense of, thank you so much.
I am hoping that one day I will wake up and all this suddenly makes sense.
I am so grateful you all took time to read my anxious post and care enough to respond. I genuinely hope you all know how much I appreciate how you have helped me. It still feels overwhelming, but I hope I can now start by sorting my head out. Happy new year.
I am so saddened that this happened to you and that you are so alone now. I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel.
You have to follow your gut but I like to think it was me I would do 1 and 2. It may be hard but they will support you the best they can and perhaps doing this will give you some small release.
What ever you do please find some real connections locally or with friends back in the UK online. You have so much on your plate. Also speak to your children in a supportive environment. They will want to be there for you.
My children have been very supportive of my efforts to expose the people who abused me when I was a child.
You don't need to tell them all the details, just that you were abused.
You're very brave to consider reporting this, and think you should be proud of yourself.
And I agree with everyone else. 1 and 2.
I don't think you will ever have any peace of mind until you have got this all out into the open. Sometimes it's easier to keep things inside and not verbalise them, it's a form of defence mechanism but it's not going to help you process and deal with it. I think you are very brave and your children will be very willing and able to support you.
You should be proud of how strong you really are.
@cottage. Thank you for coming back and caring, and asking: I tried answering some replies last night but couldn't. I just feel so confused, and upset. I really appreciate it so much, that others care, and am sure l will be able to reply properly tomorrow.
Gosh confused, what a shocker of a hand you've been dealt. I hope you're coming to some answers about why you want to do 💐
I would do 1+2. But, you must realise that this is your choice and whether you do any of those things, you are not at fault. Not then not now.
He is a horrific, cowardly bastard and I commend your bravery (yes, bravery. Continuing on and getting up every day and living is fucking brave when you've been through that even if you don't believe so)
Remember, whatever you do, this IS NOT on you.
The reason I'm telling you this is I was faced with a similar dilemma (abused by someone, a family member, and I had information that he had abused others and may be abusing his 2 kids).
What helped me make a decision is realising that no matter what happened his actions were on him.
That I wasn't at fault then, nor now. And whatever you want to do from now on is all you. But please don't do it because you feel at fault.
I did a combination of 1+2 myself. But unfortunately nothing came of it I would still try again though if I had to.
Have you managed to speak to anyone this week. Not about this but just to get some human connection?
Op, one thing struck me re your post - “torturing yourself with the knowledge that you might’ve been able to stop it.” You were a child and these were a group of evil adults. Absolutely do not blame yourself for any of this.
Re your question, I think based on your post 1 & 2. And I think you should tell your children so they are fully aware of what your father, and mother, did.
I hope you are ok.
Hi. @coldcottage, thank you for asking, it made a difference to log on now and see your.message.
I hadn't been online for a few days. Apologies if this is a long post.
I am going through a stage of being unable to sleep and although it is physically exhausting it has actually given me a strange push mentally, in (I hope) a positive way. I have always been a writer, as a way of coping, but over the last week I have filled a huge notebook and it felt like a bit of a release for the stress.
A support worker contacted me earlier this week. She was lovely and explained what happens with this enquiry. Parts absolutely terrified me but she gave me a very clear explanation and reasons, and said I can stop at any time. I told her how guilty I feel and she said we can talk more about this. I have an appointment end of this month to start the official statement giving process. I am so confused and worried still, but have realised now that this guilt I feel has affected me so badly (and caused a few issues with one of my children... Totally understandable and I am working on this), and know that if I can give them what I know it may help others, children, be safer, and perhaps a few of those who were involved as children with my father and his friends some answers, or validation?
I am still worried about talking more to my children, who are truly wonderful, so am trying to work out how to do this.
It feels like the time for tears has passed and now is the time to try to do something positive about this, before it is too late.
One of my sons is expecting their first baby soon, a special dear new life through surrogacy for him and his husband. And I am so lucky that a wonderful woman out there has such an amazing heart to be able to do this. I didn't think I would live long enough, so amongst my confusion and desperate thoughts there is also hope.
A huge thank you, I appreciate your support so much, especially with being so isolated.
PS. If anyone reading this has been through similar, by people in a position of trust the enquiry is The Truth Project, the independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
www.truthproject.org.uk/ on my first message I actually wrote survivors trust, this was an organisation my counselor directed me to and I'm not sure why I wrote the wrong name. I haven't been in touch with them yet, they offer support etc, not part of the inquiry. Sorry if I confused anyone.
You are doing so well.
Be kind to yourself and take it day by day. Trust your gut when talking to your children and maybe test it with their partner first if your are worried. Not the details but an over view. They will be there to support your children.
You are being so brave and doing the most amazing thing. Your time and words even if you don't finish will make such a difference.
I hope your weekend went well. Have you managed to look into any social groups to keep you busy.
You are so so strong. Good luck with the process. Much of what you wrote it seemed like you had a lot of fear about the process - which it totally understandable. But you also had many questions remaining unanswered. It seems your latest conversation (well reported here at least) gave more insight. You have precious days available to you. But you already sound even stronger. You are stronger than you think. Good luck.
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