Post # 1
Long time lurker…anonymous poster. Thought people may have some advice for me. I will try to not to make it too long.
I havent seen or spoken to my dad in just over a year . I had a kinda breakdown last year because I had been holding in all this hurt and emotions from what he did. He has been an alcoholic my whole life, and when I was a child, he molested me on multiple occasions. I suffered so much emotionally because I had to keep all the anger and hurt inside (i was around 9 or 10 when he was sexually abusing me and i am now in my late 20s). Last year is when i started going to therapy over everything and things were getting to be too much and I broke down and told my Fiance, my mom, and my brother. My familys reaction wasn’t what I expected, but a few days after the talk with my mom, she told me my dad would be moving out. I avoided being home until he left and have felt much better since. The source of my anxiety and depression was gone. I haven’t spoken to him since before all that happened. I feel like I do want to forgive him someday when I’m ready, but I haven’t really gotten to that point yet. My mom and brother are still involved in his life and my mom is still taking care of him (read: enabling his alcoholism).
Yesterday was a family party (his side of the family) that I was planning to attend. I haven’t seen that side of the family in over a year and missed the same party last year as it was the day after I first confronted my mom about my dads abuse and was hurt by her reaction. Anyway, so I was all ready to go and thinking I would ride with my mom. But my brother asked if I knew my dad was going too. I went to ask my mom and she confirmed that he was going. I said I wasn’t going if he would be there and she said “you can’t expect our lives to stop because you don’t want to see him” . I was so taken aback. By then I was already crying and said I wasn’t expecting anything and they should go have fun at the party and just take my gift and wish her a happy birthday. She asked why I wouldnt just go and said I didn’t need to talk to him or anything. I said she didn’t get it. I was like can’t you see how upset I am just at the thought that I would have to see him before I’m ready. The look on her face showed that she was disappointed in my reaction or thought I was being unreasonable. I don’t know how to make her understand. Or will she never truly understand? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering she brushed it off when I first told her about the abuse. I never went into detail of what he did and she seemed to feel like what I said wasn’t a big deal. I know I’m not in the wrong, but it certainly felt that way yesterday. It all just felt so unfair. Why does he get to go the party and everyone thinks he’s a great guy and I have to be at home crying to Fiance about what happened and my relatives probably think bad about me not attending their event . No one questioned that I didn’t go see my dad when he was in the hospital last summer, didn’t call him on his birthday or Christmas, why would she think I would be okay seeing him now. My therapist helped me see that the choice to forgive and or having him be a part of my life is my choice alone and can I take as long as I need. I shouldn’t be forced into something just to keep up appearances for my family. That’s what I did my whole life and it made me miserable . My mom seemed to also be surprised because my dads name is on my wedding guest list. I said that that was because I hope to be okay with him there by the time my day comes, but if I’m not that’s my choice too. I haven’t gone back home since yesterday so I don’t know what she’s thinking. Our usual response to things is to brush things under the rug, but I don’t want to ignore this.
Anyway thanks for letting me vent and for any advice anyone has. I haven’t been to therapy in months, but I’ll definitely being going this week.
Post # 2
I’m so sorry you went through that. Your mom obviously has problems if she didn’t reject him entirely after your confession. I don’t think you ever need him back in your life, but I don’t have direct experience with this. I’m glad you know your mom is not healthy, nor is your dad obviously. Is your brother able to be a source of support for you?
Post # 3
It is truly sad that your mother is not being supportive. Even without knowing the details, she should be able to make the link that it is not a good thing for you to be at an event with your Dad, until you, yourself, make the decision that you are ready.
Unfortunately for you, his side of the family doesn’t appear to know what happened, if I am reading correctly. While you may have been absent when he was in the hospital, family members don’t know what happened so they are carrying on life with him as normal. Even if they did notice your absence, they probably assumed you has some minor disagreement with your Dad. It would not be the normal reaction for them to leap to the conclusion that he did something horrendous that violated the trust of his own daughter.
See your therapist and keep working towards recovery.
Post # 4
I couldn’t read your post and not reply. I dont have a great deal to add. I echo what the others have said about keep working through your mum and dad issues with your therapist. It’s going to take a lifetime. I don’t mean that in a ‘life sentence ‘ kind of way, I mean it isnt something that’s ever ‘done’ and various situations and life’s happenings may make you feel things you thought you’d dealt with. And that’s ok. you are actually going to have more insight into yourself than some others will ever have. It doesn’t have to have any particular path or ending. But I promise you if you keep working on your therapy you will find peace.
Post # 5
I just wanted to say how sorry I was that this happened to you and to say that your mum clearly doesn’t understand the severity of it. I can’t understand her thinking as if it happened to a child of mine that man would be beyond dead to me. It’s as though she has dimmed it down so that she can mentally deal with it And not face any guilt in it. I would probably have another talk with her and explain how hurtful it is that she clearly chooses his side even if she doesn’t mean it. Making you feel like you should just get over it means she clearly can’t picture it happening and if she had seen it she would feel so differently. I have to say I don’t understand why he is invited to your wedding as I believe this man shouldn’t get any privilege. What he did to you is unforgivable and at the very least has mentally scarred you into adult hood. Could I ask have you ever spoke to him about what he did? has he ever tried to deny it to your family. Thinking of you during this tough time chin up you have come so far and will get there. They are in the wrong not you. X
Post # 6
Thank you for your kind words. Unfortunately, my brother also doesn’t seem to get the severity of it. I think he respects that I don’t want him to be in my life, but I don’t know if he thought I was just overreacting yesterday or what. He still keeps in touch with my dad and goes to see him and stuff. When I first told him of the abuse, it was because of the concern for my niece being at home with my dad. I expected his response to be completely disgusted with my dad, but he wasn’t. His wife was the one that had that response and doesn’t allow him to take my niece to visit him. I do have another brother who I think would support me, but he’s got his own problems he’s dealing with and I didn’t want to make him feel worse. It was just like this unspoken agreement that we wouldn’t tell him. He doesn’t live at home and doesn’t see him much anyway.
Post # 7
Firstly, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry this happened to you. I can relate as it’s something that happened to me except with an Uncle. I completely understand where you’re coming from.
^ I agree with parts of those posts. Therapy definitely helps. I was around 6 when it happened to me and I’m 24 now with a little one of my own. You held onto that for so long!!! I only managed to hold it for 7yrs then it all came out.
What happened in my situation was that he was basically kicked out of my mothers house and never invited back. I was never sent back for holidays (he was the Uncle in law, my aunty was my mothers closest friend etc). Then gradually over time, it seemed like I was the only one who still had a problem with it. We’re talking by the time I turned 18-19 which is when I went overseas. Not related to situation with my Uncle, just normal OE stuff. After having my own child, I had to go back to therapy too because of the effect my son had on me and those memories. Trust issues, over protectiveness etc.
It does feel like a betrayal, my family taking him back in. But in saying that, he’s always slightly on the outskirts. What I’ve come to realise is that everyone else has in part, forgiven him whereas I haven’t yet. And that’s ok.
So I guess what I was saying with my blurb is that how you cope and the length of time it takes is completely on you. Nobody can set that time, it’s your stuff to deal with. And you held it in for soooo long! That has an effect too!
You can email me here if you want to talk more indepth. Just know that you’re not alone and people can relate to your message. 🙂 You’ll be ok.
Post # 8
Thank you both for your support. I will definitely be making the call to my therapist tomorrow. I probably won’t go home today because I don’t know what I want to say to my mom just yet, but talking to my Fiance has been helpful.
Post # 9
thank you for the support. She definitely doesnt seem to understand. There’s actually a little back story: when I told my mom last year, it wasn’t the first time. I also told her once when I was about 16. She asked why I didn’t tell her sooner, etc. The next day my dad came in the room, told me my mom talked to him and he apologized to me. It sounded heartfelt and he understood if I hated him etc. And that was it. He continued to drink and nothing changed. Then when I talked to my mom last year, she kept asking specifically what he did because she didn’t understand. Like the fact that he did something to me wasnt enough and its not as if I had any desire to recount the specific details to her. But then when she eventually seemed to understand and confront my dad, she said she told him that even though it happened 20 years ago it was still affecting me and she couldnt have him at home anymore and he said that he shouldve apologized to me better the first time. As if just an apology would have been enough. But I think she definitely minimizes it. Whether it’d because of guilt or just to make things easier for her, I don’t know. I think I’ve been just feeling that she’s just doing the best she can, but yesterday her telling me that I can’t expect their lives to stop, it made me feel terrible. Like sorry that he was going to be a little inconvenienced.
Also, about the wedding, I know what you mean. I think because I know he is expected to be there that I’m hoping to be in a place where I’ll be okay with it. My Fiance has said its completely up to me. After seeing my reaction to what happened yesterday, he suggested that if I want my dad there at all maybe it would be only for some point of the reception. There’s no question that he won’t be walking me down the aisle or having a special dance, but maybe he would get there later and be given the privilege of seeing me at my wedding. I’m still not sure yet. Part of me wants to just have s super private wedding to avoid everything.
Post # 10
Thanks so much for the support and sorry about what you had to experience too. It definitely feels like a betrayal and makes a person question whether they’re overreacting since it doesn’t seem to be a big deal to anyone else. But therapy has helped me understand that the invalidation is wrong. I might take you up on messaging ya as sometimes its easier to talk to someone that has been there ☺
Post # 11
I guess I just don’t see how child molestation is a forgivable offense. I mean, it speaks to a deep personality flaw. How does his wife move past that? I’m sorry 🙁
Post # 12
I understand where you’re coming from. When I see my Uncle, it’s hard for me to stomach my feelings.
He makes me feel sick and less of a person unfortunately. The whole “how can you walk around with your head held high when you’ve done such horrible things”. It’s hard to explain the emotional roller coaster that comes with the betrayal of a family member in that situation. They’re the ones who are supposed to love and nurture you, not hurt you in that manner.
Family do tend to brush things under the carpet. If they don’t acknowledge it, then it’ll go away type of mindset. But further burrowing does no good in the long run, you truly need to address your emotions/feelings/thoughts with a therapist or even the significant other. My fiance was the first person I truly spoke to about it all. I mean, I told my family obviously. But I talk to my fiance about it whenever I feel it affecting me and he was the one who supported me through therapy.
I don’t go all the time, just when I feel it weighing on me. I’m not comfortable talking about it with my mother as well, simply because I don’t want to cause her anymore heart ache. I can’t make everyone dislike him and that’s not healthy anyway! All I can do is live to the best of my ability. And I never let my son stay with him alone. (Unfortunately my mother lives with said aunty and uncle now in a different city as she has an amazing position and couldn’t afford high rental costs). She’s forgiven them but I haven’t.
OMG YES! The mind games that come from it! Wondering if you’re going batshit because you’re second guessing yourself and the people you meet. Their intentions. Then convincing yourself that not everyone is as messed up as that individual when really, you don’t know. The insecurities…At least that’s what it was like for me. I’m not so bad now but it kind of helps that my fiance is super protective (even though we’re long distance). He’s veryyyyy suspicious by nature.
It is your wedding. Your day. If he doesn’t add to the positivity, if in fact his presence makes things worse, then it’s completely your choice and right to not have him there. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, aside from your soon to be husband.
It feels like alot but there’ll come a time when the burden is not so heavy. There’ll be reminders. But you’ll be ok. 🙂