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How do I tell my 6 yr old that she'll never see her uncle again, and what do i say when she asks why?
April 8, 2010
1:31 pm
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violetkat35
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I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and of sexual assault as an adult. I learned early that even people you love can hurt you and the ones you trust most won't always take your side. So when I had a daughter I vowed to do everything in my power to help her be as safe in this world as possible. Two years ago, my brother came forward and admitted to molesting our nephew, who lived in the same household with him and my parents, in a different state than I live in with my daughter. I am furious, shattered, and facing all my demons all over again, as well as terrified to trust again after spending all my adult life trying to learn how to build the trust shattered by abuse in my childhood. Now i have a 6 year old that wants to talk to her beloved uncle, send him letters, and tell him she loves him and misses him. So far all i could tell her is that he did something very bad and he is in jail. I tell her we will not see him anymore, and she seems to understand but she comes to me a few days later and asks why. She is drawing him a picture full of flowers and hearts that I will add to the pile I haven't mailed because I don't think he deserves them, but I can't break her heart anymore by telling her not to draw them or write to him. My heart breaks every day when I have to fib to her that I mailed her latest letter, and I fell like I am betraying her, but she is too young to know the full truth.

What do I do as a parent? Do I devastate her more with more of the truth, or do I keep lying to her to try to protect her until I think she is old enough to know the full story? I am afraid that when she finds out I kept the truth from her she will feel some of the same betrayal I felt when my family decided not to believe me about my abuser and not to trust me with the truth when my other family member was sent to prison for molesting children.

Am I the only parent that has to struggle with such choices?

April 8, 2010
1:52 pm
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That is a tough one. I don't know the answer. I wish I did. Could you mail her pictures and notes to him telling him that you cannot break your child's heart and are sending them, but that he will not be allowed near her? I think it is OK to say that he did a very bad thing and is in prison. I would keep all information age appropriate.

You have my best wishes for how to solve this.

Bitsy

April 8, 2010
2:05 pm
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atalose
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Violentkat35,

I guess I am confused, you said he admitted the abuse 2 years ago and was in a different state then you, right? Your daughter would have been 4, how does she have such a desire for a continued relationship with your brother who I am guessing is in jail?

Was your brother your abuser in childhood?

This is very difficult and I am so sorry that your history seems to be repeating itself over and over.

I just don’t understand the relationship between your daughter and brother in these last 2 years?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 8, 2010
2:22 pm
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violetkat35
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thank you bitsy. I have thought about sending her letters, but my husband is against allowing any contact at all. Also, since there are other sex offenders in the prison he is now in, I can't help but fear someone might get some creepy sort of gratification from her correspondence.

April 8, 2010
2:29 pm
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violetkat35
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atalose, it is a very complex situation, however, due to the lengthy legal process, he has not been in prison the entire time. Also, my parents and other family members continue to support my brother, as my nephew was placed elsewhere for his own safety, and my parents have allowed my daughter to speak to my brother on the phone, against the wishes of myself and my husband.
I feel like I'm caught in the middle because I am the only family member standing up and saying I want nothing to do with him and want my daughter to have nothing to do with him, because they continue to disregard my wishes and the only thing standing between my daughter and my brother is my husband and myself and prison walls that he seems very able to penetrate by using my parents.

I feel more and more like I am losing my entire family because I am having to put so much distance between them and my family just to keep my family safe.

April 8, 2010
4:28 pm
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atalose
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As complex and chaotic as this all may be, you must put your daughters best interests ahead of everyone else’s including your parents. I’m sure your parents are in denial regarding their son and are trying to keep things as normal as possible but when it comes to pedophilia -----nothing is normal.

The truth is, you may lose your family with all of this, but the safety – emotional and physically well being of your child has to come before all the rest.

I’d stop talking about your brother while your child is around, simply tell her he’s gone away and you don’t know when he’s coming back. He can’t accept mail where he’s at and put her attention on something else like drawing pretty pictures for the children who are in the hospital not feeling well.

The problem here is you need to make a decision and stick by it, stand strong with your boundaries even if that means not allowing your child to be alone with your parents so they can allow her to call and talk to a pedophile.

It really is very simple, you can’t make everyone in this situation happy so you need to make the most important person in this situation happy – your daughter.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 8, 2010
5:41 pm
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Violetkat, I actually have a friend who is somewhat in your situation. She was sexually molested by her brother. She told her mom and has told her stepmother. She has never told her father. She refuses to be in the same room with her brother and has warned everyone in her family that her daughter is not to be around her brother or they will never see her daughter again. She means it and I am sure will stick by it.

Your responsibility to make your family of origin happy ended a long time ago. Your main concern now is keeping your own child safe.

Bitsy

April 8, 2010
6:02 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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I would tell her that he is evil and sick and that your protecting her, telling her the truth now is always best, not in details but just say he is evil and your want to protect her, that is what I would do....

April 8, 2010
6:11 pm
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Barefoot girl is right. Sometimes the truth is the simplest answer.

Bitsy

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