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My dad molested me as a kid, but my mom chose to stay with him.


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Hi again, thank you for your thoughtful replies to my previous thread. I found them very helpful and so I decided to request for more advice/thoughts. Something quick to add is that in the culture in which I was raised, "family respect" a.k.a. how society sees you, is everything according to the cultural norms.

 

My biological father became abusive to my mom in the middle of her pregnancy with me, as he always wanted a son, not a daughter. Obviously, there was something amiss in his brain but regardless, he made life a living hell for my mom and abused her frequently. She was in a foreign country and had to rely on him, but eventually he hurt her so badly that after one thing led to another, they divorced in court and she moved to the West with me. Years later, she eventually married my stepdad and had 3 kids with him. I was still very clingy to my mom always, and slept with her at night. That's when that horrible man touched me inappropriately in my panties, when I was 12. Another time, he put the tip of his /// in my behind through my panties. Thankfully, I knew none of this was my fault and I remember waking right up and marching to the kitchen to glare at him in anger. Fast forward, he pretended he had confused me with mom. My mom didn't even believe me for a time, but eventually she came around and realized he was lying. However, she stayed with him. Keeping my background in mind, I was essentially brainwashed throughout my life to believe that family respect is everything and that I should never cause any family member embarrassment, even if I was wronged. So I continued to live with them, he never hurt me like that again (though I never liked him after) and I honestly thought I was just fine, until I started having anxiety issues as I grew older. It wasn't until recently that I realized I harbour resentment towards my mom for staying, especially since my stepdad cheats on her frequently and is an awful man overall. I tried to explain my feelings to her, and she said that she basically had no option back then because not only had she already been through absolute hell and cultural scrutiny during the first divorce, but she had 4 kids so things would have been even worse, that we'd have no where to go etc. However, I still feel anger. I know I'm not a mother myself but... I just feel that I would never stay with a man who did something like this to my kid, even if it cost me everything. I would want to protect my child and I would probably immediately lose all love for a man capable of something like that.

 

Now that I'm older, slowly realizing the problematic shortcomings of and dealing with my past, it's just... I understand my mom's been through so much already (lots of PTSD from the first marriage), so should I try to be more understanding/compassionate of her situation at the time with my stepdad? Or am I right to feel the angry way that I do about her having stayed with him?

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It is time for you to leave your family and never never look back. Period. There is so much disfunction it’s not even worth trying to work out with your family.

 

I know what you mean, but really, other than my brother acting out these past few weeks, I haven't had any issues with anyone in my family for years. While I'm fine moving away and moving on from my family members (who all have serious problems with each other), I am interested in keeping my relationship with my mom.

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I know what you mean, but really, other than my brother acting out these past few weeks, I haven't had any issues with anyone in my family for years. While I'm fine moving away and moving on from my family members (who all have serious problems with each other), I am interested in keeping my relationship with my mom.

 

You can do that from afar.

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I should have following my gut on this one.

Your previous post about your brother touched on some other issues within your family.

I wrote a response, second guessing it and then deleted it.

 

You spoke of your anxiety, the fact that you seem to be an over acheiver and some other details.

Though your question was regarding your brother, I was offering that I sensed something else toxic going on in your family and your brothers behavoiur was just a symptom of something larger.

Have you been to therapy? I

I get your family culture is to stay home, but you are an adult and can make the decision to go against the grain. Especially in the case where it's determental to your health and those around you.

There is science behind the health/mind connection and given your health issues and the condition of your family I can't help but wonder how many of the health issues would resolve themselves if you were to remove yourself from living with your family.

 

Nothing will prevent you from having a relationship with your mother, or other family members of your choice. But you get to choose who is beneficial to your life and well

fare and leave the rest to sort themselves out.Even those you can love from a distance.

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Your feelings are valid.

Your mom stayed with a man who was clearly doing wrong, and not just a little wrong, but could have gone to jail for what he did, and should have.

 

I understand too though that your mom is more than likely very mixed up emotionally, she needed therapy then, and she still needs therapy now.

 

But that still is not your problem. You were still hurt, you still were damaged by it. For you to now 'push feelings down', due to feeling guilty over someone else's issues, is not healthy either.

She was a mother first and foremost and should have done the right thing.

 

You're now an adult, it's time for you to talk to a professional counselor and deal with all those emotions you've hidden, for so long.

As for your mom, it's not your job to repair her, or to excuse her lack of getting help for herself. You also can't keep dismissing or looking the other way over her not dealing with things properly.

 

If you get enough therapy and heal (and hopefully she does too), it's possible that it might not sting as badly as it does now and you and your mom can have some kind of relationship.

However, if it's still upsetting you and she still continues to bring toxicity into your life, then it's time to create distance between you and her.

Your healing matters above all else now.

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I wouldn't be surprised if your stepdad molested your brother and your other siblings. Molesters seldom have only one victim.

 

I agree, please see a professional to help you with this. I am seeing a therapist and it is helping me tremendously.

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You can't change the way your mother is, what she thinks, what she doesn't think, her choices and decisions regarding staying with her second husband nor anything. You can certainly remain compassionate, understanding and even pray for her if you prefer.

 

I'm very sorry for your traumatic experiences with your stepdad.

 

You have a right to feel angry the way you do. However, there's nothing you can do to change your mother's mind nor control your mother's life even if you have her best interests at heart. It's her life and her choice.

 

If you're uncomfortable with your mother, you can maintain a respectful, peaceful, kind, well mannered, gracious relationship with her yet at a safe distance. If you want to be close to your mother, you decide how you wish to navigate your relationship with her.

 

Your main goal with your mother is to have a peaceful relationship. A lot of people disagree with other people's choices and decisions. There's nothing you can do about it.

 

Keep the peace, don't fight and always remind yourself to be a peaceful person otherwise tomorrow will get uglier.

 

Take good care of yourself.

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You can do that from afar.

 

Oh I know, but thank you! I am still very much into moving away from the family despite wanting to keep a relationship with my mom.

 

I should have following my gut on this one.

Your previous post about your brother touched on some other issues within your family.

I wrote a response, second guessing it and then deleted it.

 

You spoke of your anxiety, the fact that you seem to be an over acheiver and some other details.

Though your question was regarding your brother, I was offering that I sensed something else toxic going on in your family and your brothers behavoiur was just a symptom of something larger.

Have you been to therapy? I

I get your family culture is to stay home, but you are an adult and can make the decision to go against the grain. Especially in the case where it's determental to your health and those around you.

There is science behind the health/mind connection and given your health issues and the condition of your family I can't help but wonder how many of the health issues would resolve themselves if you were to remove yourself from living with your family.

 

Nothing will prevent you from having a relationship with your mother, or other family members of your choice. But you get to choose who is beneficial to your life and well

fare and leave the rest to sort themselves out.Even those you can love from a distance.

 

Thank you for this. I did start going to counselling but COVID hit hard where I am and the whole thing is still closed for now, except for phone call sessions which I am not into. I'll start at it again whenever they open normally. I honestly didn't even think there was a problem until I started becoming more and more anxious. I went for anxiety help but it turned into an explosion of so many things that I didn't even know ever truly bothered/stayed with me.

 

I'll work hard to move out. Whenever I travel, I feel so happy and light, and a bit ill whenever I drive home. It should have been a clear sign to me long ago to get away, ugh. Thanks again!

 

Your feelings are valid.

Your mom stayed with a man who was clearly doing wrong, and not just a little wrong, but could have gone to jail for what he did, and should have.

 

I understand too though that your mom is more than likely very mixed up emotionally, she needed therapy then, and she still needs therapy now.

 

But that still is not your problem. You were still hurt, you still were damaged by it. For you to now 'push feelings down', due to feeling guilty over someone else's issues, is not healthy either.

She was a mother first and foremost and should have done the right thing.

 

You're now an adult, it's time for you to talk to a professional counselor and deal with all those emotions you've hidden, for so long.

As for your mom, it's not your job to repair her, or to excuse her lack of getting help for herself. You also can't keep dismissing or looking the other way over her not dealing with things properly.

 

If you get enough therapy and heal (and hopefully she does too), it's possible that it might not sting as badly as it does now and you and your mom can have some kind of relationship.

However, if it's still upsetting you and she still continues to bring toxicity into your life, then it's time to create distance between you and her.

Your healing matters above all else now.

 

It feels so validating to hear someone else echo my thoughts. I've spent my whole life not telling anyone anything, just like I was raised not to, so I often find myself questioning if I'm even right to feel how I do. I didn't even know my family isn't normal until much later. Now that enough time has passed, I'm realizing how important it is for me to get out of here. Thank you so much. I really agree.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if your stepdad molested your brother and your other siblings. Molesters seldom have only one victim.

 

I agree, please see a professional to help you with this. I am seeing a therapist and it is helping me tremendously.

 

Sadly, I'm sure you're right. Thanks for sharing that, I'm really glad it's been helping you. I can't wait to resume mine. I haven't yet spoken about this issue, so I'm really wondering if I'm not fully "fine" yet even though I feel I am about this. Like if I'll end up feeling so much lighter after talking this out with the counsellor :)

 

You can't change the way your mother is, what she thinks, what she doesn't think, her choices and decisions regarding staying with her second husband nor anything. You can certainly remain compassionate, understanding and even pray for her if you prefer.

 

I'm very sorry for your traumatic experiences with your stepdad.

 

You have a right to feel angry the way you do. However, there's nothing you can do to change your mother's mind nor control your mother's life even if you have her best interests at heart. It's her life and her choice.

 

If you're uncomfortable with your mother, you can maintain a respectful, peaceful, kind, well mannered, gracious relationship with her yet at a safe distance. If you want to be close to your mother, you decide how you wish to navigate your relationship with her.

 

Your main goal with your mother is to have a peaceful relationship. A lot of people disagree with other people's choices and decisions. There's nothing you can do about it.

 

Keep the peace, don't fight and always remind yourself to be a peaceful person otherwise tomorrow will get uglier.

 

Take good care of yourself.

 

I really struggle with the notion of "there's nothing I can do" when it comes to those I love, so while it'll take me a long time, I'm sure, to fully wrap my mind around that, thank you :) Really great advice. I appreciate it!

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Most people struggle with "there's nothing I can do." I have several friends and relatives who've made poor decisions which they have to pay the price. As much as I would like to "fix" their lives for them, it's true, it's beyond my control. It's THEIR LIFE and they have to live with their consequences.

 

The hardest part is accepting that there's a lot in life which is beyond your control including other people's choices. You can wish them well, pray for them, make their lives easier by being a comfort to them, give them moral support, be an encouragement or help them and that's about it.

 

Pre-COVID-19, whenever there was strife, hardship, struggle or if a person's life was turned upside down for any reason, I'd race to their doorstep with homemade dinner, sides and dessert. This was for the depressed, those who struggled financially, birth, death, emotional hardship, illness, etc. This was for friends, neighbors, relatives and in-laws. Everyone becomes hungry eventually. It's those types of "little" gestures which are tremendously appreciated because I tried to bring relief and comfort in my own way. If I was really pressed for time, I brought take out meals to them but generally everything was home cooked. That was just an example.

 

Another example was helping with yard work. My friend's husband is dying and he can no longer push his lawnmower nor do outdoor chores so my husband does my friend and her husband's yard work both front and back yards several times per month.

 

If I'm taking care of errands, I'll ask my friend if she needs groceries delivered since I'm on the road anyway. My friend is very busy chauffeuring her husband to his hospital appointments so I help her life in my own way. I leave grocery bags on her doorstep, text her while I'm in my car, she receives her groceries and I depart for home.

 

The above examples are what I can control and my way of contributing to other people's lives whenever their lives are overwhelmingly miserable or taxed.

 

There is "something to do" within reason. However, people have their limits, boundaries and reality.

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Focusing on others and trying to fix them is really a form of avoidance in terms of dealing with yourself and your own problem. Thing is that the only person you can ever really help and fix is yourself.

 

You ask if you should be angry at your mother. Again, you are focusing on someone else. Whether you choose to be angry or not, it's about you and you have to figure out whether that benefits you in some way or not at all. Nobody can do that for you because it's personal to you. Your mother cannot ever go back and change what happened. She already explained to you why she made the choices she did. Right or wrong, good or bad - it's easy to judge in hindsight, but when you are neck deep in it, figuring out what's right is not so easy. In her mind, she made what best choices she could given her particular options.

 

Regarding living with family, you keep pointing to culture. However, no culture is completely homogeneous. Meaning that even in countries where unmarried adult kids typically live with their parents, there are also plenty who do not. It sounds to me almost like you are using culture as an excuse not to leave a very toxic environment.

 

Regarding your anxiety, don't just talk to a therapist, but please seek a full on proper psychiatric evaluation for yourself and your own well being. In fact go to at least three different psychiatrist and get evaluated. From everything you've written, it sounds like your family has issues with mental illness, which is genetic. Even as a very young child, you were anxious and sleeping with your mother in the same bed for so many years as a result and that's not normal. Mental illness does manifest itself more and more as you become older, especially so if you are not diagnosed and receiving proper treatment for it. Same goes for your brother's behavior, but again, that's not yours to solve. You need to solve yourself and focus on that.

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As someone who was sexually abused by a family member as a child I can’t tell you enough how valuable therapy is.

 

Thank you again! :)

 

Most people struggle with "there's nothing I can do." I have several friends and relatives who've made poor decisions which they have to pay the price. As much as I would like to "fix" their lives for them, it's true, it's beyond my control. It's THEIR LIFE and they have to live with their consequences.

 

The hardest part is accepting that there's a lot in life which is beyond your control including other people's choices. You can wish them well, pray for them, make their lives easier by being a comfort to them, give them moral support, be an encouragement or help them and that's about it.

 

Pre-COVID-19, whenever there was strife, hardship, struggle or if a person's life was turned upside down for any reason, I'd race to their doorstep with homemade dinner, sides and dessert. This was for the depressed, those who struggled financially, birth, death, emotional hardship, illness, etc. This was for friends, neighbors, relatives and in-laws. Everyone becomes hungry eventually. It's those types of "little" gestures which are tremendously appreciated because I tried to bring relief and comfort in my own way. If I was really pressed for time, I brought take out meals to them but generally everything was home cooked. That was just an example.

 

Another example was helping with yard work. My friend's husband is dying and he can no longer push his lawnmower nor do outdoor chores so my husband does my friend and her husband's yard work both front and back yards several times per month.

 

If I'm taking care of errands, I'll ask my friend if she needs groceries delivered since I'm on the road anyway. My friend is very busy chauffeuring her husband to his hospital appointments so I help her life in my own way. I leave grocery bags on her doorstep, text her while I'm in my car, she receives her groceries and I depart for home.

 

The above examples are what I can control and my way of contributing to other people's lives whenever their lives are overwhelmingly miserable or taxed.

 

There is "something to do" within reason. However, people have their limits, boundaries and reality.

 

Thank you! I found this pretty helpful. Well said, and I'll keep in mind that it's true - I can't save someone. They have to help themselves and want for a change. I appreciate you :)

 

Regarding living with family, you keep pointing to culture. However, no culture is completely homogeneous. Meaning that even in countries where unmarried adult kids typically live with their parents, there are also plenty who do not. It sounds to me almost like you are using culture as an excuse not to leave a very toxic environment.

 

I didn't mention anywhere in this thread about living with my parents. I pointed it out once in the other thread in case anyone wondered why I still do, since it's not common in the West. I've made it clear several times that I'm planning on moving. As I have said, I didn't realize how toxic my environment was until recently. I use my background to explain, rather than as an excuse. In this thread, I pointed out my cultural upbringing to explain why I never reported my stepdad back then. Thanks though!

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Thank you! I found this pretty helpful. Well said, and I'll keep in mind that it's true - I can't save someone. They have to help themselves and want for a change. I appreciate you :)

 

 

 

Thank you. It's true you can't fix other people's lives, save them or be a hero. Believe me, I've tried being a hero for my cousin, sister and neighbor to no avail. All attempts were efforts in futility. I'm realistic nowadays. It's THEIR LIFE, their poor choices and they're the ones who have to live with their mistakes.

 

They can change. However, it's up to them, their will, their capability or lack thereof and their efforts alone. It's out of your realm.

 

If they don't want to change, can't change or lost their will to change, again, it's THEIR LIFE and you have your own life to live. Remain realistic.

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