Post # 1
Hi bees. I’m a regular poster, but needed to post this under an anonymous name to help protect my identity. I’ve always gotten great tips and advice from other bees regarding my upcoming wedding and other things, so that’s why I’m using this forum as a place to get some help.
From the age of 9 to 12 years old, my older brother sexually abused me. He is five years older than me. There was never actual intercourse, but I knew that what he was doing to me was wrong. I am 26 years old now. When I was 16 years old and in my first serious relationship, I let the cat out of the bag to my boyfriend about the abuse. He encouraged me to tell my mom. After a few months of his persuasion, I finally got up the courage to tell my mom. I will never forget what happened next… she didn’t believe me. She called me a liar and insisted that I must be mistaken. It was only when she confronted my brother about it that he admitted to her that yes, it did happen. After their conversation, he did apologize to me and I have forgiven him. Our relationship has been great these past 10 years since this happened. None of us have talked about the abuse since. However, ever since, my relationship with my mother has not been good. We do not get along and argue quite frequently. It wasn’t until the premarital counseling with my fiance (who by the way is that same boy who told me to tell my mom about the abuse ) that I realized that I have been holding all this anger against my mother for her not beliving me in the first place. She just had to confirm it with my brother first.
Things blew up today due to another issue and she asked me, “Why have you hated me since you were 16?” She’s asked me things like this before, but I’ve never had the courage to tell her. Today, I told her that it was because she didn’t believe me when I told her about the abuse. There was a lot of yelling back and forth and I walked out. Obviously, now she’s very hurt and upset… and I am too. I don’t understand why she didn’t know this before. How could she not realize that this might have been the reason for all this tension between us for the past 10 years? As my mother, shouldn’t she have been aware?
Anyway, I’m sure she and I will sit down later tonight and talk this through. I’m just scared. I don’t want to get married and have this still hanging over both of our heads forever. I want a good relationship with my mom, but I feel so betrayed by her because of this issue.
Post # 3
Okay, first of all, I am sorry for your troubles. I am proud of you for working this out. I think it is good that you confronted her about why you are angry with her. While your feelings toward her are valid (she should have believed you, and it may take time for you to rebuild your trust in her), maybe she was in denial, maybe she felt responsible, maybe it is difficult for parents to be in-between their children. I know this is a difficult thing for families to go through, and maybe she was just flabergasted at the thought of your brother doing this. I am not justifying her, I am just trying to think of some human explanations as to why she treated you that way. It is more about her, (the reason she didn’t believe you) than you. At the same time, while I can attempt to be rational, I was in a similar situation and I am still resentful to my mother for it. I had a rape issue in college and when I told my sisters they believed me, and they went to my mother, who did not believe me. She told me it takes two. ! It helps me to remember that she herself told me she was once raped – so maybe no one believed her. I think my mother was putting off her guilt for what happened to her onto me -(she had an affair with the person she told me raped her and it split up our family). I am still not okay with my mother for a lot of reasons, and I don’t speak to her anymore (for many other reasons- mainly-because she does project and make me feel bad.) Anyway, I can’t speak for your mother- the best you can do is tell her you are hurt she did not believe you and talk it through to try to come out on the other side. Hugs.
ETA: I also wanted to add, she DID believe you- I mean- she believed you enough to confront him. I second the other poster that said it seemed you were misdirecting your anger toward your brother at her. It is natural to feel upset that she was not able to protect you, but what you are angry at her for you were able to forgive as far as the person that actually did it to you? I think family counseling, as the other poster mentioned, is a really good idea. I asked my mother to do this with me and she told me “she wouldn’t waste the money,” but if your mother is willing to work this out with you with the help of a professional- it would be a good idea, and I think your brother should see someone too-. I think she does care about you because she DID confront him. In the moment she was probably just terrified, although she should have believed you.
Post # 4
I think your mom is upset because she is in denial and can’t believe something like this could happen to between her own children. She is to protect each and every one of you and she may feel like she failed her job to do so.
I wish you the best of luck between you and your mother. (hugs)
Post # 5
abusedwhenyounger I am speaking from personal experience when I say this. I recommend family therapy, or atleast someone to mediate while you both get through your issues with each other. Trying to deal with this by your self may work but more likely then not it will lead to more fighting and resentment. I hope things get better between the too of you.
Post # 6
@abusedwhenyounger: First of all, I’m so sorry that this happened to you — both the abuse and your mother’s disbelief.
May I ask what happened when your brother came clean about the abuse to your mom? Please tell me that at the very LEAST he got some therapy. I’m glad that you’ve been able to forgive him, but he has some very large, very disturbing issues that he needs to work through with the help of a mental health professional, if he hasn’t already.
I think that you could also benefit from some counseling, perhaps also with your mom. It seems like maybe you’ve channeled some of your anger at your brother over into your relationship with her. The way you phrase it — “As my mother, shouldn’t she have been aware?” — speaks also to the circumstances of the abuse. How could she not know that this was going on? How could she not know that something was very wrong with you, and with your brother’s behavior towards you?
It seems like there’s a lot of guilt and hurt and anger to go around, and I recommend that you get someone trained in handling this stuff to help you, especially as you and your Fiance work on building your own new family.
Post # 7
I don’t really have any advice. I just wanted to send you hugs and best wishes that y’all can work things out.
Post # 8
From my experience, you’re feelings are pretty common among victims. You really aren’t alone in this. Have you considered joining a support group or individual counseling to come to terms with the abuse and your mom’s role in it? Keep in mind, your mom is probably also dealing with a lot of denial and guilt over the abuse. I think the most important thing to repair your relationship with her is for both of you to talk and share your feelings without it turning into a fight. That can be very hard to do and you might consider mediation.
Post # 9
I’m very sorry this happened to you. I was abused for years by my step father and when my Mum was told she believed us, I can’t imagine how you feel and i’m very very sorry that she didn’t belive you, I hope you can work through this. *hugs*
As a PP asked did your brother get any help or therapy after this? Thats a huge concern for me as he may have children one day or you may have children one day and i’d hate for something to happen to them.
Post # 10
I’m so sorry you went through this. I feel as if you told my story but my abuse was at the hands of my mothers boyfriend. I endured my abuse when I was 9-12 as well. My mother was made aware then and had the same reaction; I was a liar and a attention seeker despite that I had 2 friends that he abused as well and reported it. I haven’t been with my mother since then. Throughout the years and countless hours of therapy I’ve recovered and have tried to reach out to her multiple times but she still thinks I’m a liar. I’m almost 32 and have no relationship with her and I can honestly say it’s for the best and only has helped my recovery. I could never forgive my mother choosing a man, one she went to jail for and is no longer with, over her children. Where your relationship goes is up to you but it will be a hard, difficult road. I highly recommend personal therapy first to help you deal with what happen and feel secure again. I think your mental health is more important right now than your relationship with your mother. Then once you feel in a good place you can see where she’s willing to meet you to work on it. It’s going to take time and I can’t promise you your mother will come around; I honestly had hopes too but unfortunately she lost out. PM me anytime you need to talk.
Post # 11
I’m sorry this is happening to you!
I grew up with a similar situation and am still dealing with it. SO encouraging to hear about your future hubby! He sounds like a jem and I am so glad you have someone like that to hold onto.
Your mother not believing you is wrong, and also incredibly hard to understand and forgive. And you guys may have a great relationship in the future, maybe maybe not. But one thing should happen before that’s possible. I really hope she opens up her mind and accepts the fact her son did this to you. I think the difference would mean the world and even if she never believed you as a teenager, maybe now she’ll be able to see that. She made a mistake in not trusting you. She was wrong! You have nothing to do with her reaction, you actually did the right thing in telling her at all.
Let us know how the conversation with her goes tonight! Hopefully there will be some healing and understanding for you in talking to her.