(Closed) Need advice on an unpleasant topic (trigger warning: abuse)

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Firstly, I’m really sorry for what happened to you and, even more, the way your parents reacted. No parent should respond that way to hearing about a child being hurt. Just as an aside, have you heard of http://www.pandys.org/forums? It’s forum I used when dealing with my experiences of sexual violence, and I found it really helpful 🙂

As to what your cousin did – the really awful thing about sexual violence and trauma, is that it’s nearly impossible for other people to know what our triggers might be. I’ve been known to be triggered by certain sounds, smells, textures…pretty much anything.  It’s hard, once you have been triggered to realise that people didn’t mean to trigger us, and they don’t understand what we’re feeling right now.
From what you’ve written, it sounds as though you’re offended/hurt that your cousin posted those photos on facebook. You have every right to be upset and hurt looking at those photos, because what happened to you was an upsetting and hurtful thing. But I don’t think what you’re feeling there should be directed at your cousin – I doubt she posted those things with the intention of hurting you, rubbing your face in anything, or reminding you of what you have been through. She may have felt that she was sharing some happy childhood memories with her family and, unfortunately, very few people understand how it feels to have even a small reminder of a traumatic experience.

As for your dad relaying messages from your cousin, it may not be as bad as you think. She may have simply said “Say hi to littlegreenleaf for me next time you talk to her!” which is something loads of people say to each other. Also, she might ask after you when talking to your father as a way of making conversation. It doesn’t imply anything and, unless your father says that your cousin has said you no longer talk, I would try and assume it’s all okay between you two (easier said than done, I know!).

Good luck with everything, and I hope you feel better soon (hugs, if okay)

Post # 6
643 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I agree entirely with Skyeblue as well. I am a survivor myself and it has taken me a while to separate the triggers from the experience of abuse and those from the person that caused the trigger. No one ever means to trigger someone they care about. And one of the hardest part of being a survivor, I’ve found, is coming to understand that other people do not inherently understand your reality. The first thought in their heads is not about you, and certainly not about your abuse. People are way too caught up in their own realities to think about every person on a Facebook friends list every time they post something. 

Another thing to consider is that, while all your memories of that house are tainted by the abuse, all of hers may not be. She may still have some fond memories of that house and her time spent there. Life doesn’t always balance out the positives and negatives. +3 happy memories and -5 unhappy memories don’t always equal out to -2. Sometimes it just stays a +3 and a -5. And that’s ok. In a weird way, asking her to disregard her happy memories of that house is to let the abuse continue to take happiness away from you and your family. Abuse takes enough away as it is. 

By the sounds of it, your cousin had no bad intentions. I would, by all means, invite her. Again, allowing the abuse to cause another rift in your family is giving it more power than it has to have. Something awful happened to you, but you now have the opportunity to own the rest of your life and to live well and happily in spite of it. Don’t let it continue to control you.


Post # 8
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@littlegreenleaf:  First of all, I’m so sorry about the horrible things you’ve been through. Secondly, I’m not an expert but sometimes, as much as you may love your family, you HAVE to walk away. You should only handle so much, you know? Especially now that your wedding is right around the corner. If you and your cousin have fallen out, it may be because you’re not ready to dissociate her from your traumas.

I suggest you start being more vocal about what triggers bad feelings and memories. Just say “enough is enough”; you don’t have to put up with your mom driving by the horrible memory-filled house, and you don’t have to have your cousin on facebook if you know that she has a good relationship with your estranged side of the family.

Best of lucks to you!

P.S. You can invite your cousin, and if you meet her before the wedding, make it clear that you do NOT want her to speak about your estranged side of the family; set your limits, and ask her to respect them. 😉 

Post # 9
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am sorry for what happened to you. I’m always the type of person to want to take control of the thing that trying to control me. I don’t know if you can ever do this, but my advice would be to take control of your past. Remember that you have overcome that past to be the strong person that you are today.

For you, I would recommend watching some buddist videos about learning to let go. I dont recommend becoming a buddist, but they have some very good advice about how to let things go, let the past go, and accept things to live a better life. I’m christain, but I feel that the tips are actually grounded in my faith. 


If you find it helpful, you can search this channel for other helpful talks.


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