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Old 08-02-2011, 12:07 AM   #1
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What to do when others deny your abuse?

I just discovered over the last couple of weeks that I was sexually abused growing up. I also was emotionally and mentally abused, which I have been aware of for some time and witnessed my parents physically abuse each other as well. But last week I began having recurring nightmares about my father raping me. They were so vivid and truly disturbing to me. I began examining why I would be having these dreams. I have no recollection of him ever physically touching me, but there is a particular memory in which he made a really inappropriate comment to me, when i was about 4 or 5 years old.

I've always remembered it, and never told anyone about it until I told my therapist today. I also realized how inappropriate our relationship today is. Unfortunately, my dad hasn't been a consistent presence in my life, at least not actively. My parents divorced when I was 7 and I've seen him less and less as the years have gone by. I am now 22, and when I visit him, he still treats me as if I'm 6 years old. He even crawls into bed with me and tries to cuddle with me. It makes me really uncomfortable, and I never know what to say or how to handle the situation. It's gotten to the point where I no longer want to see him. I feel unsafe with him.

This is a big step for me, because I have always been a fierce defender of my father. We were very close when I was younger, and I was devastated when my parents divorced and I couldn't see him every day. I spent a good amount of years being angry at my mother, and blaming her for everything that went wrong in my parents marriage and why I was such a reclusive, sad child. But as I've gotten older, I've understood why she left, and that she wasn't keeping me from my dad. My dad was keeping me from my dad. He could have made a bigger effort to see me, but he didn't. And I've made excuses up until very recently, as to why he never calls, or why he's so quiet, or why he drinks to much.. etc, etc. Any fault had a reason, and it was acceptable, because he was my dad and he didn't know any better because my mom took us away and married someone else and that meant he no longer had to act like a dad anymore.

But these dreams have really shaken me, and I hope they stop after confronting these feelings today.

I talked to my sister about this earlier, but couldn't bring myself to share my one early experience with her. I feel like she'd either not really believe it, think I'm exaggerating it, or would just be saddened and uncomfortable by hearing it. She agreed that going to see him makes her uncomfortable, for various reasons, including him always trying to sleep with us. She hasn't seen him in over a year, their relationship is more non existent than mine is with him. The only reason it isn't for me is because I make all the effort to see him. The last time I saw him he asked to borrow my car, and I should have said no, but I just don't know how to exercise any sort of authority with him. Its as if I revert back to my child state.

I let him borrow my car- he has no license, it was revoked years ago because of a DWI- he told me he was just going down the street in it. But when he brought it back, it reeked of beer, and he told me he spilled beer on the floor. I asked why he had been drinking and driving and all he could do was shrug. It really disappointed me. Ironically enough, I hadn't heard from him in about a month, and yesterday of all days (the day I woke up from my second dream about him) he asked me to come see him because he's "getting old".

I am devastated to finally realize that my dad is not good for me to be around. I don't like how I feel around him, even though I love him and wish to be happy again in his presence. I don't know what other memories are there to uncover, and I hope I never do. I just want to get my life on track and stop worrying about him and everyone else close to me.

I feel like I should tell my mom about all of this. But I don't know how to bring it up to her either. I told my boyfriend, and he seems to think I invited this behavior by not dismissing it sooner. He thinks that because I grew up, and was aware of what he was doing, I should have stood up to him. He doesn't understand that growing up with that type of relationship is exactly why i didn't stand up to him. It seemed usual after a while, for me to feel uncomfortable,a nd for him to overstep his boundaries. I thought it was all in my head.

I don't want my mom to give me the same reaction, because it really upset me to hear him say that to me.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to approach this sort of situation? How do you tell another family member that your father has been making you really uncomfortable?

 
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
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Re: What to do when others deny your abuse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chelsea88 View Post
I told my therapist today.

This is a big step for me, because I have always been a fierce defender of my father. We were very close when I was younger, and I was devastated when my parents divorced and I couldn't see him every day. I spent a good amount of years being angry at my mother, and blaming her for everything that went wrong in my parents marriage and why I was such a reclusive, sad child.But these dreams have really shaken me, and I hope they stop after confronting these feelings today.

I talked to my sister about this earlier, but couldn't bring myself to share my one early experience with her.

Its as if I revert back to my child state.

I am devastated to finally realize that my dad is not good for me to be around. I don't like how I feel around him, even though I love him and wish to be happy again in his presence. I don't know what other memories are there to uncover, and I hope I never do. I just want to get my life on track and stop worrying about him and everyone else close to me.

I feel like I should tell my mom about all of this. But I don't know how to bring it up to her either. I told my boyfriend, and he seems to think I invited this behavior by not dismissing it sooner.
I don't want my mom to give me the same reaction, because it really upset me to hear him say that to me.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to approach this sort of situation? How do you tell another family member that your father has been making you really uncomfortable?
Hello chelsea88,

It is positive to know that you have told your therapist.

Childhood processing of information can easily become adult processing,depending upon the individual.I,for one,can relate to this.

Your sister may not be in a position to process info that you are,especially if she doesn't have the benefit of a therapist(if this is the case) to help guide her.

With respect to telling your mother, I believe that this will best be accomplished with your sister accompanying you. How much you reveal will be at your discretion,as you know your mother's reaction to disturbing news.

Sorry to say but it appears that your boyfriend is clueless with respect to the potential impact certain situations can have on the psyche.

Please keep us updated,if you are up to it.

Respectfully
Phoenix
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chelsea88 (08-07-2011)
Old 08-07-2011, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: What to do when others deny your abuse?

Thank you for your advice, Pheonix. I haven't spoken to my Mom about this yet, she's been really busy and I want to make sure I have her attention. I'm still not sure how I'm going to say all of this, but I think I'm just going to put it right out there. After all, there's really no way to break that sort of news gently, is there? I mean, it wont soften the blow no matter how I say it, and she may not even believe me.

In the meantime, I still keep having nightmares. I thought they would stop. I've tried to think about good, happy things before bed and its been useful at times, but I still have had a few more nightmares about this. I wish they would end already.

 
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