or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Personal Growth › I think I was sexually abused as a child- (I Was- Updated- #47)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I think I was sexually abused as a child- (I Was- Updated- #47) - Page 3

post #41 of 61
's for all of you who have shared. I can relate.
post #42 of 61
that's the most damaging part of abuse. It's a sensation, a feeling, a suspicion, is hard to "prove" but the victim knows something happened. Also, the fact that it was never named, no one said to you: you are feeling like this because this has happened. The victim lives in this disociated state where what happened (because it was experienced) didin't happenede (because no adult put a name to it).
That's why it's healing to name those experiences you had.
Another thing...and this might be a hard one...is that if we have a mother who is really present, and caring for us, abuse cannot take place. it can happen as a one time event, but if its something ongoing, there is no way an attentive parent won't see what' going on. When we see cases of children abused for years, it's because there was a family dynamic allowing it.
I would talk to your mom. Secrets are very heavy to carry, the truth will set you and you family free. I would tell her that you are trying to heal your past and need her help.
i wish you all the best.
post #43 of 61
Talking to your mom may be more frustrating than therapeutic, if your experience is anything like mine.


When I told my mom of my feelings on this topic, the FIRST words out of her mouth were, "Well you just have to have forgiveness." And we didn't really get beyond that.
post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Talking to your mom may be more frustrating than therapeutic, if your experience is anything like mine.

When I told my mom of my feelings on this topic, the FIRST words out of her mouth were, "Well you just have to have forgiveness." And we didn't really get beyond that.

I sure hope my daughter will never live through such an experience - but I'll know what NOT to say then.
post #45 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by proudmomof4 View Post

I sure hope my daughter will never live through such an experience - but I'll know what NOT to say then.
Thank you.

I've spent a long time processing it, so I'm ok. (And my dh helps me a lot.) But I just wanted to let the OP know of my experience. You'd expect a mother to be immediately supportive but that's not always the case, unfortunately.

But, in a weird way, my mom's response made me feel less crazy. At least she admitted something about it, by saying that I needed to be forgiving.

Now though, I rarely talk to my mother. (I used to talk to her once a week.) I had the audacity to name the elephant in the room. She can't handle that. And really, I don't even blame her.
post #46 of 61
And once you hit 500 posts (I think) you can apply to have access to the Surviving Abuse forum, where you can talk more in "private."
post #47 of 61
Thread Starter 

Update- talked to mom

Well, I got the courage to talk to my mom about it tonight, and she confirmed that she believes it happened.

She told me that when I was two, I told her that my brother had peed in my mouth. He would have been 13 or 14 at that time. He was also at this time on probation because he and a friend had been accused of raping or molesting a nine or ten year old neighborhood girl the year before. At that time, she and my dad didn't believe that the girl was telling the truth, so I guess they didn't really think much of leaving me unsupervised with him.

My mom said that when I told her what he had done to me she was absolutely furious and told my dad about it. He didn't say anything to her, but she found out later that he went out and found my brother and apparently beat the living sh*t out of him, and told him that he would never be allowed to be alone with me again. My mom said that after that, I always had babysitters instead of my brother watching me after school or when my parents went out.

Shortly after that, she had my dad make him move in with my grandma. Mom said that the entire family, except two people, sort of "black-listed" her and nobody would speak to her. All of them knew what he had done, but apparently didn't think it was that big of a deal or something. Anyway, when my mom took me downstate to visit her mother for a weekend, my dad moved my brother back into the house again. She let him stay, as long as my dad agreed that I would continue to have babysitters and not be left alone with my brother again.

I'm not really sure how I'm feeling right now. I was thinking about this at work before I came home and talked to my mom, and I had myself half convinced that I was crazy again. Now I feel a little shaky, like shivers keep going through me, and I feel a little nauseated and like crying, but I can't cry. It still feels too distant, like not real.

My mom encouraged me to go back to counseling. Now that I know it happened, I really think I need to. I think this is a little much to process on my own.

I do want to say that it is reassuring to know that my parents believed me, and took steps to protect me. I don't know if they necessarily handled everything right, but I think they did what they could to make sure my brother wouldn't hurt me again. With the exception, obviously, of my dad not seeking therapy for my brother for the stuff he'd been through. My mom said that Dad believed it would just be something brother would use as a crutch for continuing his behavior- as in "it's not my fault I do this bad stuff, I'm in therapy, you can't blame me". Well, I don't agree with Dad about his decision, but at least it wasn't just him being intentionally cruel, he thought he was doing right by him.

I feel bad for brother, and the terrible life that he has lived. But at the same time, I believe 14 is old enough to be held responsible for your actions, and I believe that a 14 year old should more than know better to do that kind of thing with a 2-year old kid. For the time being, I've made it clear to mom that DS is not to go over to brother's house or be near him without her. She was very understanding and cool with it. I don't think he would do anything like that anymore, but I am not comfortable with the idea and I think I have a lot to work out before I would be, even with SIL and the nephews around all the time.

A&A- I also wanted to say I'm terribly sorry your experience with your mother didn't go well. That's a terrible thing for a parent to say to a child who has suffered this kind of thing. I can't even imagine how much worse I would be feeling right now if my mom had just told me that I needed to forgive my brother.

And again, thank you to everybody who has shared their stories and their support. I can't even put into words what a relief it is to know that there are other people out there who know first hand what you are going through, but take time out from their own pain and healing to try and help you through yours. to all of you.
post #48 of 61



OMG. I'm so sorry!! I'm glad your mother was so supportive, though.
post #49 of 61
I'm so sorry you went through that, but I'm also glad you got answers. It makes you feel so much less crazy when you finally put all the pieces together. I want to warn you that, emotionally speaking, you might be in for a rough ride over the next few months (or more). I know when I finally figured out what had happened to me, I sort of fell apart for awhile. I wish I had gotten counseling at the time, so I think it's great that you're planning that already.
post #50 of 61
Big hugs to you. You are incredibly brave for asking about the truth, and also brave for listening to what happened.
post #51 of 61
Wow, you are so brave and awesome for bringing this up with your mom! I'm very sorry you've found out it did happen, but I am 100% positive it's the best thing for your life, because from this day on you get to process it and get on with the healing, which you can't do when you still feel crazy for suspecting it and aren't sure about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I'm so sorry you went through that, but I'm also glad you got answers. It makes you feel so much less crazy when you finally put all the pieces together. I want to warn you that, emotionally speaking, you might be in for a rough ride over the next few months (or more). I know when I finally figured out what had happened to me, I sort of fell apart for awhile. I wish I had gotten counseling at the time, so I think it's great that you're planning that already.
This is very true. I also am so glad you're going to counseling, because this IS a lot to deal with. And I'm not sure if from talking to your mom you got the impression your brother only did this once, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say given your lack of memory and the severity of the things your brother went through and did to others, I'm gonna guess both before you told your parents and after he was moved back into your house, the abuse continued. There is only so much most parents can do to watch kids who live in the same house, and if your play area was by your brother's bedroom, it's almost a done deal that he's gonna still have access to you.

Re: responsibility, if you don't mind me just saying my opinion about this re: your brother at 14... while there is no question that he should not ever have touched you, or the 9 yr old he may have raped, or anyone else... and a part of him must have known that... what we know from psychology is also that a child who's been as abused and neglected and traumatized as your brother was, the whole question of "right" and "wrong" is really messed up. (Messed up is an understatement!). And it's very hard, as a 6 yr old, a 14 yr old, and sometimes even as a 30 yr old, to get past the evil things done to you and try to connect with the good in you to control your behavior. you simply don't see things clearly. And in a crazy way, that is also a survival method, because if you insist on trying to keep track of what's good and bad, and people keep doing not just bad but awful things to you, it would pretty much psychologically destroy you. Awful becomes kinda the norm, and we can't expect a child who's been through all sorts of awful and gotten NO support in processing it to have good judgement, we simply can't.

I am NOT NOT NOT making excuses for people who do horrible things to children or other adults. But the truth is the truth: your brother was most likely abused to the point of being very sick himself, and once again as it always is, it's the ADULTS who failed the children in these situations. Your parents did the best they could KINDA... it was brave of them to move your brother in with his grandma, but to know your brother witnessed his mom's murder and not understand that a child needs help processing a nightmare like that... plus when he started acting out your dad shoulda considered he probably needed more help than your dad's strict upbringing would give him. But that's all water under the bridge now I suppose.

I 100% support you in not giving your brother access to your kids. You say you don't think he'd hurt them... but you also gave many examples of how he's shown really concerning behavior as an adult and the truth is, you simply don't know what he's capable of. Is there a reason your mom would bring your kids over to his house anyway? Is that something you guys do regularly? How old are your kids?
post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Talking to your mom may be more frustrating than therapeutic, if your experience is anything like mine.


When I told my mom of my feelings on this topic, the FIRST words out of her mouth were, "Well you just have to have forgiveness." And we didn't really get beyond that.
Sounds like your mom was on major defensive mode... it doesn't excuse it if she didn't support you, but she's probably in major guilt mode because she has known all these years what happened to you.

I'm sorry you had that awful reaction from her. I hope you've been able to get some peace and understanding from others in your life on this incredibly intense issue.
post #53 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post
Sounds like your mom was on major defensive mode... it doesn't excuse it if she didn't support you, but she's probably in major guilt mode because she has known all these years what happened to you.

I'm sorry you had that awful reaction from her. I hope you've been able to get some peace and understanding from others in your life on this incredibly intense issue.
Thanks. My dh is AMAZING on this issue, and I had a good therapist I went to for a little while, too.

The hardest part is that my mom hardly ever talks to me anymore.
post #54 of 61
Big hugs to all of you who have gone through the nightmare of abuse. I can tell you for sure that repressed memories are very real. I put things aside and dissociated to the point that I live with Dissociative Identity Disorder. One thing I knew for years was that a flash of a memory I had repeatedly disturbed me greatly, made me terribly uncomfortable and feel ashamed and scared. I knew it had something to do with my father. I also knew things were not right between us. Only when he was arrested for violating my niece repeatedly did I start remembering things. It was like Pandora's box had opened. This month is two years since his arrest and the memories, flashbacks and body memories still come. Thankfully he will spend the rest of his life in prison for hurting my niece. I did not press charges, in part because his sentence for hurting her definitely helps me feel that he is paying for what he did to me for at least 14 years. (And most of his charges are Oregon's Measure 11 offenses, so virtually none of his time can be reduced. He's 62 and his earliest possible release is 2051.)

It's been hard to know sometimes if something is a memory or if it's something my brain has concocted out of different scenarios in life (which our brains do all the time, such as in dreams). When a memory scares the crap out of me, or causes a flashback or body memory, I know to believe it. If an alter (DID/MPD, remember) is adamant about a memory, I believe it. Been working on this very issue with a memory this past week and have no doubt about it.

Putting things together and trusting ourselves is so very important. More hugs to all!
post #55 of 61
I hardly know what to say. You are such brave and strong women!

It's absolutely scary to be so close to sexual abuse, totally different from reading about it in the news. Even though I haven't met anyone here in person I know you're real human beings, and I've even "talked" to you.
post #56 of 61
I was sexually abused by my own brother for 7 years. He is nearly 4 years older than me and i was 12 when i stopped it (ironically he stopped the first time i made a major fuss about it - it'd been happening for so long i'd not considered up until then that i could refuse, and it was only fear of getting pregnant, which was becoming and ever-more-pressing possibility, which made me finally speak up for myself).

I have never pressed charges. I did give a full and extensive statement to the police when my brother was seeking conviction of HIS abuser (an adult man, a teacher, who abused my brother for 5 years - his abuse of me continued for 2 years after we moved away from his abuser), but the case came to nothing because my brother has so completely managed to block out what was done to him and what he did to me. He cannot remember, and when he tries he has terrible panic attacks. The police actually read my statement to him to try to get him to begin talking (they were anxious to build a case against this man, who is still a teacher) but that made everything much worse.

To those who talked about sexual experimentation being normal - it absolutely is. Normal children participate in normal sexual-esque experimentation sometimes from an early age. But the SORT of play is more relevant. Using a pillow to simulate a penis is the normal end of experimentation of a child who is familiar with the mechanics of sex. Attempting or achieving anal penetration, or oral-genital stimulation is usually not, because no-one talks about those in the "where babies come from" information sessions the normal but sexually curious child will have been party to. Normal children simulate sex, abused children usually attempt penetration and often achieve it. It was only after my 12-page statement was tearfully signed that the policeman who took it told me that much of what i had said would support my brother's case (if he also made statements) because the sexual play was extreme and abnormal. To me of course my experiences are just my experiences. I will admit that my father's first reaction when i told him was that sex play was somewhat normal between siblings, and i cannot tell you how harmful those words were. It is NOT NORMAL to have to worry about if your brother will use a condom next time or if you will have to make up a fictional boyfriend to explain away the pregnancy.

My mother also skipped straight to "forgive him" and "he's having a tough time, call him and tell him again how you forgive him!". It was difficult and made more so by her terminal illness. She died before i ever had a chance to call her on it, but from discussions with my dad and other family members i realise it is extremely likely she too was sexually abused as a girl, which is probably why she turned a blind eye to how my brother and i were suffering and expected instant forgiveness from me while she vehemently pursued conviction of my brothers abuser. I was the sacrificial lamb. I will never know for sure why, but i think i understand.

All i can do is try my hardest to stop the cycle repeating. I have read Protecting The Gift, it's wonderful. I am honest with my child. I am vigilant. I am loving.

One thing i am really grateful for is that despite some of her failings my mother was a deeply loving, maternal woman. I am positive much of my resilience is borne of my early experiences with her. She raised me to believe in myself. And i do. I am positive i can protect my children, of course no-one can control absolutes, but i know that if something like this DOES happen to my kids, i can show them how to heal. Resilience must back up every feeling of safety.

If you ever want to talk you can PM me.

post #57 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Thanks. My dh is AMAZING on this issue, and I had a good therapist I went to for a little while, too.

The hardest part is that my mom hardly ever talks to me anymore.
I'm SO glad you have an awesome DH, and that your therapist was great too. Can you back to the therapist at all, especially to process your mom's current absence?

Your mom... it is really awful that she hardly talks to you now. WHat I'm about to say is in NO way your fault or responsibility, but if I were gonna guess I'd guess what is going on is that you represent one of her biggest failures as a parent and human (she failed to protect you) and now that she knows you're aware of it and thinking about it, she may be full of shame and who knows what other emotions and she's avoiding you. Really it's the classic "adding insult to injury" - if it wasn't bad enough these horrible things happened to you, now your mom isn't really talking to you? It's just not right, none of it.

But it's really common, sadly, in terms of parental reactions when adult kids start asking questions. Still, it's best to seek the truth I believe, but it may make others start to fall apart. You gotta do what's best for you though.


GoBecGo, the perspective you have on all this is really inspiring. I can't even imagine what it was like, on top of the abuse, to then see your parents actively pursue your brother's abuser and try to protect him, yet pretty much ignore your abuse and not help you process it. I think you sound like you've done a ton of work and a ton of healing and I say good for you! Hopefully wherever your mom is now, she understands that it impacted you awfully and hopefully she gets that she shoulda honored your pain and experience too.
post #58 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post
I'm SO glad you have an awesome DH, and that your therapist was great too. Can you back to the therapist at all, especially to process your mom's current absence?

Your mom... it is really awful that she hardly talks to you now. WHat I'm about to say is in NO way your fault or responsibility, but if I were gonna guess I'd guess what is going on is that you represent one of her biggest failures as a parent and human (she failed to protect you) and now that she knows you're aware of it and thinking about it, she may be full of shame and who knows what other emotions and she's avoiding you. Really it's the classic "adding insult to injury" - if it wasn't bad enough these horrible things happened to you, now your mom isn't really talking to you? It's just not right, none of it.



.
You all are so kind. I hate to sidetrack from the OP's story, but I appreciate your concern.

My therapist works very part-time (because she's trying to retire) and I work full time, so logistically it's a little difficult. But again, my dh is there for me and usually knows all of the right things to say to me on this issue.

From a cousin, I know some things about my mom's childhood, and lets just say it's bad. Considering how she grew up, she did the best she could with raising me. (My therapist told me to get angry at her, but I really can't.)

But I don't even think it's shame she's feeling, really. It's just plain denial, or at least pretend denial. "Go back to La-La-Land where everything's fine and we're the perfect family." Since I can't pretend we're perfect, she doesn't want to talk to me.
post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post
I am NOT NOT NOT making excuses for people who do horrible things to children or other adults. But the truth is the truth: your brother was most likely abused to the point of being very sick himself, and once again as it always is, it's the ADULTS who failed the children in these situations. Your parents did the best they could KINDA... it was brave of them to move your brother in with his grandma, but to know your brother witnessed his mom's murder and not understand that a child needs help processing a nightmare like that... plus when he started acting out your dad shoulda considered he probably needed more help than your dad's strict upbringing would give him. But that's all water under the bridge now I suppose.
This is very "old school", though. Therapy/counselling is for crazy people, not for people who have had a rough time or seen/experienced things that most people haven't. That viewpoint's not terribly uncommon in my age group (I'm 41), and it's hugely widespread in my mom's. I don't know how old the OP's parents are, but if they're at all close to my parents in age, they did way better than average. As far as I can tell, from talking to friends who have been through it, simply disbelieving a kid about something traumatic was the most common response, followed closely by some variant of beating the crap out of the perpetrator, and calling it "done".

OP: I'm so glad you talked to your mom, and got confirmation. I only just clicked on this thread, and went right from your OP to your update. There was no doubt in my mind that you'd been abused, and almost certainly sexually, just from your OP.

post #60 of 61

I too remember acting out sexually as a child in ways that do not make sense to me. I never thought much of it other than being ashamed and thinking I was just born a bad person until just recently when I remembered being molested by my older brother at age 7. Now a lot of the things that I have experienced growing up make sense to me (many of them are very similar to what you have described in your own life). I was also physically abused by my stepfather but have blocked most of the memories of him from my childhood. I remember being terrified of him and suspect that he may have sexually abused me as well but cannot remember. I am not a professional so I cannot say for sure, but I thought it might help to know that I experienced very similar emotions growing up, and was abused. It is very possible that you may have blocked out things that you couldn't handle at such a young age. I have found that yoga and meditation are really helpful in dealing with suppressed emotions. It is always good to know you aren't alone so thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Personal Growth
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Personal Growth › I think I was sexually abused as a child- (I Was- Updated- #47)