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Major family problem- ANY bit of advice will help me
February 22, 2006
1:06 am
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ryny143
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Hi everyone~I have a kind of long, but important issue that I am completely lost on. Here goes.....

I am a 24 year old girl with a pretty big family (mom's side). I have lived with my mother for my whole life, bc her & my father got divorced when I was 4....anyway, about 2 1/2 years ago something happened that has ruined the only family we have. My cousin & I (she is 4 years younger that me) were always very close, best friends. We had met a couple of young guys one night, and about 2 weeks later, went to a party they had invited us to. She was only 17, and VERY sheltered by the family, so she lied to her parents about where we were going (not the 1st time); I guess she liked hanging out w/me bc she could do what she wanted to do. Long story short, she got drunk. When we were close to leaving, I went to use the bathroom, and when I came back (10 min later) she was no where to be found. Shortly, she turned up, saying she had "hooked up" with some guy, and had sex w him (she was a virgin). That night, she seemed fine, other than drunk and a little regretful.

The next night, her mother (my aunt)called me, asking me where the party was, who was there, etc.....I was caught off guard, scared, nervous, and said that I didnt know (1/2 true). It turns out, my cousin said she was raped by the guy (and drugged)- which was NOTHING I had ever heard from her~I had to hear it from a cop that asked me for info. Well, etc., etc., etc., 2 1/2 years later, still NO one in my family except my grandfather has spoken, had any contact with my mom & I. I wrote letters in the beginning, which were a little defensive, and got no results. A few weeks ago, I called my aunt & left a VERY sincere, non-defensive message, but no results.

This is all the family we have, and most of all, I feel bad that my actions left my single mom with no family. What should I do now? ANY suggestions before too much MORE time passes? I am afraid somethihng will happen to someone, and the regret will be unbearable. I am completely lost at this point, and I really dont understand why this is happening.

February 22, 2006
1:48 am
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free2choose
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OK, so you are saying that you and your mom were basically disowned because you took your cousin to a party where she was raped and they blame you??? WOW...I mean, is that the whole story, or is there more to it then that, because that sounds Really harsh!

All I can tell you is what I have learned in my journey, which is this...Look at the situation...Do you have a part in the problem? You were the oldest at 21 taking a young girl (17 is still a minor) out to a party where there will be drugs and alcohol and boys is not always a smart choice. However, we've all done it, I went out at 15 with my older 18 y/o cousin to get drunk. At 21 you still are somewhat of a kid yourself. Anyways, my point is, get reall clear on your part (if you feel you have one)(I AM NOT SAYING TAKE BLAME FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S RAPE. Blame for that lies solely with the perpetrator of the crime!!!)But just see if you can recognize behavior that may have been irresponsible or risk taking. Admit it, acknowledge it, in letters, in person, however. Make ammends for your part. Tell your family where you went wrong, ask then to understand your age at the time, that you did not intend on wnyone getting hurt. Ask for forgiveness, for compassion, understanding. Then you just have to give them the choice as to wether or not they can accept it. Your part and your ammends is all that matters. Hopefully it will be enough for them, if not, well you did all you can, because you can not make people change.

As for your mom, well it is up to her to clear away her own stuff with her relatives. For your mom to be shunned when she did nothing wrong...at 21 you were an adult and far out of her ability to control, so for them to disown her is just not fair, however itis her buisiness to let them know that.

Hope this helps.

Good luck,
Erica

February 22, 2006
11:25 pm
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readyforachange
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I agree with free...your family is trying to blame you for something that wasn't your fault.

Did you force her to go to this party? Did you make her drink? Did you encourage her to "hook up" with someone? From your side of the story, you simply "lost" her at the party, and found out later that she had had sex with a stranger.

My guess is that she was breaking free of parents who smothered her, got too wild too soon, and regretted her actions. Her mother may have suspected something when she came home drunk and disheveled, and she spilled her guts telling mom that you dragged her to this party, and there was lots of drinking, and she didn't know what was happening.

If the police investigated and didn't find that you had contributed to the problem, why does your family blame you? My guess is because it is easier than believeing that their "angel" could be capable of such a thing.

I would put my side of the story into words, apologize for anything you truly feel was your responsibility, and let go of this chapter of your life. It will be hard, but there are some people who you can never make amends with . They aren't capable of it. They are the ones who lose by breaking family ties over something like this...not that it is trivial, but to blame you for it is not acceptable.

Also, have you talked to this cousin and let her know how much her lies have hurt you and the whole family? Maybe she needs to step up and face facts....or come clean with her mother.

Keep us posted.

February 23, 2006
12:11 am
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ryny143
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Wow thanks guys! It's nice to hear that I'm really not such a horrible person!!! The story I gave REALLY was the whole story, leaving out minor details. No I didnt force or even persuade her to go anywhere or do anything. I have attempted to talk to my cousin, BUT I really think that the reason no one is responding or trying to communicate is because no one WANTS to know the truth, and that is frustrating!!! I think my cousin is scared for the truth to come out, and like you said, everyone would like to keep their view of her as an innocent angel. I guess I'll give it one more shot, and see what happens. This whole situation makes me so ANGRY!!! Yikes!!! Thanks again!

Oh, one more thing~any opinions on who I should reach out to?? Just my aunt & cousin, or should I try the others as well? I'm not sure if it matters, but who knows.....?

February 23, 2006
3:21 am
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free2choose
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anyone who is not talking toyou that you want back in your life is who you should talk to, in my opinion.

good luck and best wishes.

it makes sense about them wanting to believe the rape and place blame on you cause it is convenient. it's called denial!!

my question is, why are you and your mom more expendable than the cousin? why believe her and not you?

free

February 23, 2006
8:06 pm
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readyforachange
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I agree....reach out to anyone who has cut you off; but be prepared that they may not be ready to hear you. Sometimes when you are the one who pulls the covers off the elephant in the living room, everyone blames you for redecorating the house!

February 23, 2006
9:14 pm
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ryny143
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Thanks again! My mom is one of eight children, and the youngest, my aunt, has always been favored & babied, as was my cousin (her daughter) from the day she was born. It is not fair that they'd believe her over me, but I have accepted that. My mom used to always say, "If anything ever happens while you guys are together, your going to be blamed".....I guess I should have been more aware of that truth, and more careful. We'll see what ends up in this crazy situation.

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