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Incest survivor trying to deal w/family as an adult
June 14, 2006
4:22 pm
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milwife
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My father molested me (worst-case scenario, if it matters) for years (aged 8-13), and my mother, when she found out he could be arrested and put in jail, chose to convince me to lie about it -- and then told the whole family I lied. When I was 19 and vulnerable (pregnant, trying to continue college with virtually no financial support), and when she was getting ready to leave my father for another man, she told me that she'd convinced the family I lied. (She told the rest of the family as well, I suppose because she thought they'd turn against my father for his heinous behavior, while ignoring hers).

Well, here I am nineteen years later. She has manipulated me for my entire life, and I'm done with it. I am a successful professional, working toward being a famous one, married to the man of my dreams, and I just don't know how to treat my parents. My father apologized to me years ago; my mother doesn't even feel contrite (and they are still together).

I'm so angry with her -- have tried to let it go, have tried cutting contact, and yet I still feel she owes me an apology at minimum. I also know I'll never get one.

Any suggestions? This seems to be a pretty sharp forum.

June 14, 2006
4:48 pm
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Randomwomen2
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Hey sweetheart.l I was also molested by my father and I was molested by my mother too. I am sorry for all of the pain that your going through. Have you been through any counseling?? And as for your parents thats a really tricky one My father went to prison for his crimes but I still do have contact with my mother. Do you live in the same state as your mother??? Cause if you do its probably just that much more difficult.We are here for you sweetheart. I am glad you found this site

June 14, 2006
4:52 pm
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gayle
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Have you had a opportunity to go to therapy? If not do you consider that an option? The reason I ask is that I have serious anger issues where my mom is concerned and she is in total denial and will never acknowledge what she did. I am working on letting it go without her apology. My therapist says sometimes people mistreat us and will never apologize and it is up to us to work it through and find peace within ourselves. For what this is worth, I hope it helps. (((HUGS)))

June 14, 2006
5:23 pm
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milwife
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I've tried therapy a couple of times -- that was actually hard b/c when I first told, the therapist immediately reported it to the state folks, who came out and swallowed every lie they were told. But later I found some good ones, often worked with them or became friends with them. They've all said I am remarkably undamaged for what happened, or they've just parroted things I had already read about. I suspect there aren't many out there who really know what they're talking about.

Counseling for me -- therapy for me is writing. It's what I do for a living anyway, and the things I hate come out in my words, and I always feel better later. My mother found some of this early on, and I burned everything -- went through a VERY bad time after this until I started writing again, and then I did much better.

My mom lives over a thousand miles away from me now, thank God. I'm a military wife and go where my husband goes.

Randomwomen2 -- both parents? That's pretty terrible. Incest was rampant throughout both sides of my family, but it was all male-female. I guess there are worse things than mom being in total denial of everything.

Family is immensely important to me -- maybe that's odd, but it's true. Much of my writing deals with family history, and I can't imagine being without that anchor. But where do you draw the boundary? I argued back w/ my mother when she came up for my oldest son's graduation recently, and she didn't seem to know what to do with that. It's always all about not being confrontational. My parents raised us to listen, but not speak out. (needless to say, I'm raising my children differently.)

It's just terribly messed up, honestly. I don't think the problem is me at all; I've come through the darkness very well, other than a little problem with overdoing things like work or research (I get obsessive and bury myself in information from time to time, but my husband and son drag me out). But I don't want to cut off contact; my children deserve to know their grandparents in order to have that same family anchor -- a healthier one, in their case, than mine is.

Maybe the family situation is not a terrible problem at all, overall, but it is the one thing that drives me nuts. But then again, I've been described by a lot of people as serene; I question how that can be possible if all this happened when I was a child? I mean, how can I have turned out strong and essentially healthy?

But then again (again), I'm overweight and get cranky when I have to deal with lots of people. And I feel guilty and strange that I am fine, when I've met so many women and girls who have gone through this who are not.

June 14, 2006
5:51 pm
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Mardoll
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Well, I'm very close to my family, and I admit, I'd go nuts if I had to cut my parents out of my life - but that's because my parents are wonderful. The relatives I have that I can't handle I simply don't contact. If they are somewhere I am, I treat them like strangers - customers at the restaurant I used to work for. On the one hand, that manner is very polite, and keeps the social situation stable, and on the other hand I'm not offerring them any part of myself that matters.

But nobody in my family has ever done anything to me that I could theoretically have them imprisoned for, so I'm not sure if that's applicable here...

"my children deserve to know their grandparents in order to have that same family anchor -- a healthier one, in their case, than mine is."

Um... how can you be certain it would be any healthier than yours when the people involved are the same? I mean, I know people who have been molested by grandparents or uncles and aunts because their parents, knowing there was that potential, but not wanting to cut ties, allowed it to happen.

I sincerely hope that you're not planning on leaving your kids alone with these people?

As for survivor guilt - to each their own pains and pleasures. You have come through your difficulties strong. You're not the only one - I have some few other friends who came out of abusive situations with that kind of strength. They have a similar consternation as to how to deal with folks who have been far more victimized by abuse. I would say that if you do anything, be an example of what it looks like to come out of abuse with a sense of strength and responsibility for your life and choices, instead of a victim to circumstance. Let them learn from your example.

June 14, 2006
6:10 pm
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milwife
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No, they are NEVER alone w/ these folks. I've also always been as open as possible with my kids, which IMO is the critical thing. (no, they don't know about this part of my life -- but they understand that people who do this are out there, and they watch out for one another.)

I'm glad to know I'm not alone re: survivor guilt! One does what one can when someone's in pain, but you can't take it away -- and I so wish I could!

June 14, 2006
7:35 pm
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fubar77
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I am not a survivor of incest but my father molested my older sister for years. A bit different from yoursituation as it was my father, but my sister's step-father. Similar situation to yours in the way our mother handled it.

I remember being 11 years old and my father being dragged out of the house in a straight jacket and taken to the mental hospital at the V.A. Very soon after I was told he would not return and that I couldn't ever see him again. Some brilliant doctor at the V.A. told my mother and sister (19 at ths point) that they needed to describe to me in graphic detail what my father had done to my sister. Loads of guilt here...my Dad, my fault. right? That is an issue for another time.

The point is when it was convenient for my mother to get attention she told people what my father had done. Oh poor her she married a pedophile...how hard that must be for her. Nothing about what it was like for my sister.

Later on when other things developed when my sister's husband passed and my mother's reputation was on the line due to the way she acted toward my sister (offered no support) she turned on my sister to protect herself and told everyone my sister had always been a trouble maker and made the whole thing up. That she was perpetual liar and cited that as her biggest and most hurtful. She tried to convince me it was my sister's fault that I never saw my Dad, but what she didn't know is I had spoken to him and to his credit he admitted to having done it. I also have a letter my mother had written him (don't know how I got it) reminding him why he couldn't see me. Because he had confessed to being a child rapist.

Long and short of it is, I have no idea what you are feeling, but I do know the scenario. I stay away from my mother unless absolutely necessary. She is a dangerous person. My sister however, is very forgiving and she deals with our mother. Her way of dealing with it is to say, sometimes the people we love disappoint us, but we still love them and we move on.

I don't know if that helps or if I have just wasted your time, but my personal advice would be similar to what another poster mentioned and that is to find some way for you to be at peace with it. Because people like your mother and my mother simply don't have the facilities or courage to do what is right when it is called for. Sadly more is the pity for them.

You however do have the courage to survive and go on and that is what is important.

I wish you the best and I hope I have helped in some small way. Personally I am proud that you have made a great life in spite of your trials and sometimes I think it is because of such trials that we can be stronger than people who had easier childhoods.

Best Regards,
Stephanie

June 14, 2006
7:47 pm
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milwife
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Wow, fubar77 -- that was remarkable. 3-to-last paragraph: that was perfect. That's exactly how I feel about my mom. I just need to quit feeling contempt and start feeling pity, I guess.

I feel a lot better -- of all the stuff I'd read about incest (and it is voluminous, believe me) I had never come across a mother who did that, and I never understood why. I still don't. Maybe the researchers don't realize how toxic that relationship is -- that this sort of thing is worse than the sexual abuse itself.

I wish you and your sister the best; amazing that she can forgive in that way. Thank you.

J.

June 14, 2006
11:46 pm
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fubar77
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Dear milwife,
I wish I could have been of more help to you. Yes it is phenomonal that a mother can be that way. We think of them as so nurturing and when we come across one who isn't it throws us. It seems to go against nature.

There is something missing in them, ther eis a whole that can't be filled and it is best to just accept it and not waste time trying to get out of them what they can't give.

You will be fine, you have survived the hard part and came out the better for it. If you ever want to talk about any of this or if I can be of any further help feel free to contact me at my personal account. [email protected]

Wierd I was found this place looking for someone to talk to because I was suicidal. I left a post last night and got great response and some nice thoughts from people. Then I saw you post and something made me respond. More than anything anyone wrote to my other post; you posting back to tell me I actually helped you has helped me. So thank you. It is always good to know I ma not as worthless as I sometimes believe I am.

Also I am former military so I like to support the troops and their families. 🙂

Regards and hang in there,
Stephanie

June 14, 2006
11:52 pm
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milwife
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Unbelievable. I just found your other thread and posted there, too. Perhaps it is fate. And the only other thread I posted to, I'm trying to help out another military wife.

j.

June 17, 2006
12:49 pm
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LookingForSupport
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I have no advice here, but I do want you to know your story touched me and I wish you the best of luck. You seem like a very strong woman and i admire you already for that. 🙂

September 1, 2006
4:03 pm
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lovetocrochet
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Hi, new to this forum...

I'm sorry for what you're going through. My father and brother committed overt and covert incest against me... my mother looked the other way then tried to tell me it was just normal fooling around nothing wrong with it, or that I somehow was a willing participant. The truth is, I rarely said no because I was afraid of what would happen if I did. I was never raped physically in the legal sense, but I'm still dealing with being emotionally and spiritually violated.

When I finally told the extended family most everyone sided with them. There are some who do believe. I don't know who though, what I've been able to pick up has been through a third party since I've kept my whereabouts hidden.

I have no contact with my parents and brother, haven't spoken directly to them in years. I told them they are no longer welcome in my life.

My ex supervises when they see our daughter (she lives with him). I'm remarried with another child and they will never see that child, ever, if I can help it. They flushed their grandparents' rights down the toilet.

My brother insists that all this is about is how I'm seeing what happened and has whined about me ruining his reputation because I told and that I owe him an explanation. That there told me he is still very destructive and dangerous and I will not give him the satisfaction of a phone call on his demand. That's how he views beating, molesting and bullying me, then no way.

You are right, your mother will never apologize. I have no problem with calling evil for what it is and it sounds like your mother falls in that category just as much if not more so than your father. Remember she chose to stick by him as an adult with free will.

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