I may be getting too far out

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    there, but I think my mother might have sexually abused my half-bro when he was very young. I am trying to tell myself that there is nothing I can do about this, especially since my bro is an adult and we don't get along. At. All. Anymore. But, when I testified in court last year, even though I had always thought something was weird in my family- more than the apparent- I could tell by the judge and others that this doubt/thought crossed their minds as a possibility. That put a seed of doubt in my mind that I keep trying to push out but keeps coming back. The judge made a point to let me know that she wanted to make sure my son was monitored around my family- particurlaly my mother and had no problem when I said I didn't want difficult child around my bro anymore.

    The memories I have are bad enough and point to "something" out of kelter going on in our house- maybe more than one issue- but I still keep having this feeling that there was something that I knew or saw or heard as a young child that I just can't remember. I know I was sexually molested as a teen by one person and that my bro also tried but did not achieve it. Also, it has always been an extremely dysfunctional family and every therapist I have seen that knows my history has been adamant that my mom MUST have been sexually abused as a kid. She has never confirmed that but has claimed that others have abused her in other ways- my father and me- she has always said I'm just like him, but I know that I have never abused her and don't know that my father did either. And, I just read a list of signs of sexual abuse and my bro showed several of these too- including memory loss. He swears that he can't remember anything before the age of 8yo. I had attributed that to our dad dieing then, but now I'm not so sure. Especially since I see other tell-tale signs he had listed on this list.

    Iin court, this was such a concern that several of us had to get the GAL back on board to convince her that difficult child still has his own issues that need addressing and that the famuily history was not his bbiggest problem. Fortunately, all of us (me, the judge, even the MST guy) except the PO and GAL seemed to be in agreement of that. We felt difficult child does need to be aware of some of these things at some point in the future, but not right now since he does have his own set of issues- but when he does, he needs to learn about it and deal with it in therapy- not a court room and not just me telling him at home.

    Do I just continue to push this out of my mind- I see absolutely nothing that I can do about it. But, of course, it bothers me.

    I may have to delete this post later.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It's quite possible that you are so desperate to ease your anxieties that you are over-analyzing everyone and everything you can think of. I have never been a victim so I have no been there done that suggestions BUT little difficult child was a victim of abuse and I sought out the very best expert in Florida to make sure any damage was appropriately dealt with.

    This #1 expert said, bottom line, "do not make the mistake of delving into the past and reinforcing what happened". She went on to explain that the sexual abuse most victims experience is not severe or painful or for a long period of time. Most abuse is an event or a few events that result in guilt more than painful repercussions. Keep it simple. Listen to the victim when they want to speak BUT do not regurgitate the past. There are trips to the beach or new library books etc. that are more worthy of thought and conversation.

    If what you think may be true is actually true, there is not one single reason to focus on it in 2009. If you were victimized but can't remember what happened, in my humble opinion there is not one single reason to focus on it in 2009 or future years. It's over. The impact it had (if it happened) is over too.

    And, furthermore, in my humble opinion I see absolutely no reason to share with your son events that happened long ago that have no relevance to his life. He is a big kid who is smart and by the time he is discharged he will know more about the subject than he would ever learn living at home. It's a non-issue.

    LOL! Don't you wish I would just go to bed and HUSH? DDD
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh, I agree that difficult child has bigger issues right now. But he has to know that there was abuse and inappropriate boundaries in the family at some point. My bro was getting inappropriate with my son, too, although I wouldn't go so far as to say he sexually abused him- I don't think it had reached that point yet. But things like this usually are not one time incidents in families but get passed from generation to generation and when difficult child grows up and has a child, he certainly needs to have already been made aware to look out for certain things before he takes the child around any extended family members. Everyone in court was in agreement over that.

    I'm a previous sufferer of PTSD and things just aren't over with the flip of a switch for some of us- especially when you have a family that brings up things that happened 30-40 years ago every time they get mad at me. LOL!

    If you can compare it to raising your difficult child- she is grown and on her own now, but can you forget all about it and just pretend that it never happened when you are dealing with her now? Don''t you still need to keep in mind what you know of her when you are weighing the effect on the young difficult child grandson?
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I differ a tad bit with DDD about putting the abuse behind you because I still havent managed to completely do that but it isnt something that I revisit on a daily basis. It does have a lasting impact on who I am though. However, I was pretty much abused on an ongoing basis for years.

    I dont know who it is going to serve to figure out if mommy abused step brother though. That really isnt your fight.

    As far as if you should tell difficult child all your past history...I dont think you should tell him stuff until he is grown. And then I dont think he really needs more than a quick overview. My kids didnt know my complete history until I started therapy and started a group for sex abuse survivors. Jamie knew before then that I had an abortion because a friend of his had one. Cory didnt know about it until about 2 years ago. Slowly over the past couple of years I have told them more and more about how my mom treated me and look how old they are!
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's exactly what I told the court. The GAL wanted difficult child told right away- by those of us in court and I said no way- that's when the mst guy jumped in and said no, as well, and the judge seemed to agree. As you know though- that gal is not that bright on how to handle family and mental health issues. But, someone- maybe even the GAL- did bring up the point that difficult child needed to understand my concern for him before he is grown. 1- so he could protect himself by watching/being aware what bro could do and 2- so he could gradually accept that these people are not the saints he thought they were and then get slammed with a heartache by finding out differently someday.

    As I told the court, if I had any idea that my bro would have started crosiing inappropriate boundaries with my son instead of his attempt with me as a kid being a one-time incident, I never would have involved him in difficult child's life to begin with. It was hard enough to accept that when I started seeing him do that. But, I have already relayed all that to the board before- just bringing it up for the benefit of those who weren't aware and who wonder why I ever let my bro around my son to begin with.

    I do think there is a valid point in there and something on the list to discuss with a therapist when/if one ever gets on board that does family therapy with us. Of course, it isn't the first item on the list, but one that needs to be addressed at some point.

    As far as my mother and bro- yeah- that one I guess I shouold just keep pushing that out of my mind. If it's ever going to be an answered question or dealt with, it would have to be my bro remembering and acknowledging it, not me. Lord knows, my mom would never admit it. She won't even own up to the things that she KNOWS I know she did. She just lies about them- and people believe her.

    Janet- I agree that previous abuse is something you learn to live with and manage- it's never like getting a divorce where it's all forgotten a year later and never effects you again. Particularly when it's family memebers and a a very dysfunctional family. The dysfunction is always something that needs to be addressed so it isn't passed down to another generation, in as much as possible.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    What Janet evidently experienced is different because it was not like the majority experience. Obviously ongoing abuse that includes substantial trauma is different. Little difficult child (18) is the difficult child I am referring to in the post. His biomom, GFGmom, found the subject to be like a magnet..she just kept saying that "he NEEDS to talk about it". That is when I found "the expert" who told us both after spending an hour with difficult child "don't keep talking about it or encouraging him to talk about it". I firmly believe that if he had lived with us at the time, his experiences would have been filed away with memories of falling out of the tree or falling off the bike. They were traumas but they were not life-altering.

    Next year or the year after or the year after that, in my humble opinion, if you feel that there is a need to share with your difficult child it should be short and lighthearted "Hey, by the way, if you're going to be with Grandma and Uncle Zek keep in mind that they both may have some weird ideas and interests." DDD
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think that being aware things were "off" in your home growing up and wondering if it could be this would be hard to just not think about. I would probably think about it periodically. HOpefully my life would be more interesting.

    If the abuse happened, then your bro would be the one to need to deal with it. Anything you could say to your mom or bro would be taken out of context and used against you. Especially if you are right.

    When difficult child is grown (or if the court decides to send him to his uncle for some twisted reason) then you can tell him. In the sort of "work hard because this is a cycle and none of us want you to relive it" way he needs to know. Mostly so he can protect his children and himself from them.

    I don't know if it was this or something else, but chance being the witch she is, you are probably right. I wish healing for your brother, and I wish lots of distance from your family for you!
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Susie! Oh- yeah- if they ever did send difficult child to one of them to live, you bet I'd be telling him right away to wacth for it because I would consider it an emergency!

    DDD: I'm confused- I interpreted your last post to refer to abuse suffered by your difficult child- is that correct? I was not aware of that.

    Or, you might have been referring to my previous abuse that I have possted about. There were several traumas in my childhood- and not the type that shouldn't be talked about. As this was being discussed in court, it became apparent, even to me, that my mom was the common denominator in almost all of them. Let's just say it went like this- I was telling the GAL (from the witness stand) that I was not going to let my son around my bro again and NEVER wanted anything to do with my bro again (unless he had MAJOR therapy which I didn't think would ever happen- and by that point, they were in agreement)- and the judge juumped in and said "ok- what about your mother". And I told her I kept visits supervised and minimal and would continue to do so, the judge nodded in agreement, then typed something in her computer.

    It has to be dealt with because difficult child doesn't understand why we can't have a "normal" family and my mom is continuing to try to access my son and communicate with him without it being monitored and then, just on Sun, she called verbally attacking me. And when she has the audacity to jump down my throat about carp like getting high as an older teen and having friends she didn't like- after she dealt with all of it by using therapy as a threat if I "didn't start acting normal" after the situation with her bro, it flies all over me. She went off about this on Sun and it's 30 years later.

    Maybe the question about my mom and bro is just another piece of the puzzle that I never thought about and need to accept as a big possibility and let that piece fall into place. I had not gone through that issue before in my mind. It's painful, even with the knowledge I already have about this family, and even though I am not shocked.

    What do you expect from a woman who checks her bro out of a psychiatric hospital, never gets the therapy she agrees with the psychiatric hospital to get for her family, lets her known child-molesting mid 30's bro move in with her and her teen daughter, then blames the daughter when he rapes her and has an incestuous relationship for 6 mos? I had to explain to the judge and GAL WHY I chose not to have charges filed against my mom once I was in therapy.

    And all tdocs have said that if the family had gotten past this and really understood what went wrong, they wouldn't still be professing that the problem in the family is me.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your son is well old enough to know appropriate touching. From anyone.

    I worked very hard my whole life to keep what happened between my mom and me separate from the relationship of grandmother and grandchildren. They saw her in a completely different way. I never told them different until after she passed actually.

    Now as far as the seeing the family in a different light, Jamie has had to deal with that himself. Jamie tended to see his upbringing with a pair of rose colored glasses. I dont know why he did this. I guess he was just a very happy kid. I think all the boys were but Jamie was especially happy. My father and step-mom said something maybe a year or so ago to him that kind of shattered his image of his upbringing. I cant even remember what it was. I think it was something about how they had sent us money every xmas so we could buy their toys and if it wasnt for them they wouldnt have had much under the tree. Which is quite true. They were very good to the boys growing up. But it shattered Jamies illusions of us as fairy tale, santa claus parents. And he was crushed and so ticked off at them. LOL. It wasnt that I ever kept this a secret, he just chose not to remember things. He was mad for a good long while. I had to intervene and tell him to hoover it up and quit sulking.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    True, but in our family, a whole lot of verbal manipulation and undermining and painful damage is done before the "touching" part ever takes place. difficult child is nowhere mature to deal with, or even spot, the carp that comes beforehand.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Three of my kids were molested. My now 25 year old daughter who used to abuse drugs was raped at eight. My other two were raped by that monster child we adopted (sorry, hope that doesn't offend anyone--that is how *I* think of him).

    My daughter never told us she was raped at age eight. Well, she didn't tell us until she was fourteen. She was well into drug use and self-hatred by then. Cutting. Bad crowd. Stealing. We were told by many sexual abuse therapists (their specialty) that this is very common for kids who are abused. I wish my oldest had told me. We would have dealt with it in therapy. I feel it's dangerous if they "block it out." It is still there. It will come out in different way. I can't imagine it being filed away as casually as falling off a swing. It was a major trauma and influence in my daughter's life. I think my younger two are doing much better BECAUSE of the early intervention and intensive therapy. But their therapists are still on "watch" in case we see any signs and both know they can talk about the abuse any time. Do we dwell on it? No! But we have professionals ready if needed for both kids.

    I have always told my kids about my past, but maybe it was easier because I was only verbally abused--not hit or sexually abused. Maybe I'm TOO honest with my kids. They know everything about me. It was easier to explain why I was estranged from my mother, why my sister kept calling the police on me :tongue: and why my brother was so mean to me by telling them the truth as *I* knew the truth, including telling them the things I felt I did wrong.

    Anyway, just a bit of a vent on the topic. No harm intended toward anyone. Anytime the words "sexual abuse" and "children" come up, I swing into PTSD as I have to recall that three of my children had this experience--one being raped at a friend's house by an unknown drunken visitor and one being from a child we had adopted at age eleven and loved very much.

    Off the soap box!!!!
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Exactly, MWM! That's a big portion of what my therapist had to help me understand. And, that sommething had to be "Not quite right" with my mom. Her blame toward me and use of the possibility of therapy as a threat instead of a good thing only added to the trauma. Unfortunately, there are still many people out there, including difficult child's gal (which I find appalling) who still think the victim of sexual abuse is "damaged goods" that can never go on and have a good life or be a good partner, parent, etc. It doesn't mean that we can ever forget about it, but as Janet pointed out early, we can learn to manage things and have a real life.

    I now honestly believe that my mom "threatened" therapy if "I didn't start acting normal" in order to make sure I found a way to "act normal" without therapy (which I did by self-medication until I went to therapy as a young adult) because she was very afraid of 1) having her butt get into trouble and 2) her issues being found out by a therapist.

    I will never tell difficult child the details of what happenned to me and would never consider it appropriate, but he needs to understand the basic concept, someday, of dysfunctional families and that there was abuse in this family- in order to protect my grandchildren as well as his own emotional well-being. I KNOW it's only a mtter of time until my mom starts on him- ie "difficult child You are just like your mom" every time he doesn't fill her every emotional need or meet her approval or let her control everything he does in his life- which is impossible.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    klmo, (I am so sorry, I don't know your real name), you are NOT damaged goods. That mindset is why so many kids never tell when they are molested. So many women are molested--one in four--and I'll bet most go on to be wonderful mothers and huge assets to the community with a dash of mucho compassion that other people may not have.

    I HATE THAT MENTALITY!!! It is NOT TRUE. Don't ever feel that way. Well, ok, maybe you will, but THAT is when it's time to see a therapist--to put it all in perspective. It's too bad your mom used a therapist as a boogeyman. But you know better than her. I'm glad you can see her abuse in this area (and others as well). Frnakly, it took me years to "move on" from my abusive childhood. It's amazing how much your childhood affects one's adulthood for so many people!!!!

    If your mom is abusive and potentially willing to harm your children or you (even emotionally) I'd put a big distance between her and you. I have learned, the hard way, that just because she gave you life doesn't mean you owe her yours. My own mom disowned me and disinherited me. Flesh and blood mean nothing. Love is everything--those who love you are you true family, the ones in your heart. (((Hugs)))
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That and fear. It is amazing the manipulation that molesters can use to get the kid where they want them. Let's just say, I can understand a lot more after seeing my bro starting to use those tactics with my son. I understand the boy that was caught with the abductor/molester, last year I think, where many think the teen boy must have wanted that life because he did not run and tell someone. The touching is only a small percent of the actual abuse and harm done. And sometimes the sexual part never comes into the play- just the control part does. That's partly the way my mother was to me and it sounds like yours was that way to you, MWM. At least I had a chance to tell the people in court a lot of this stuff- although it sent me backwards in some ways and was very painful and humiliating for me..

    Anyway, thank you for your kind words and understanding, MWM! I appreciate it very much. Like I mentioned before, the tdocs that I've discussed this with have ALL told me that my mom must have been abused as a child herself in order to become the way she is. And, given that her bro was a molester/down-right rapist, it's obviously was a family problem. Whether or not her bro molested/raped her as a child or someone else did this to both of them, I will probably never know.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Like Janet I suffered years upon years of sexual abuse by mult people. Family mostly.

    My kids didn't know until they were grown. Um well, Travis still doesn't know. And like Janet, they got a brief overview with no details. This was as much to protect my grandkids, as well as to explain their mother a bit more to them once they were old enough to be able to understand it somewhat.

    My mother used to watch my kids when I was in hospital. She was given strict orders that no other family member was to watch them except for my aunt Janet. She dropped the ball one time and let my sister watch them. easy child was molested by my then 12 yr old nephew. She was 2. What she told me was confirmed by physical exam.

    Ok. No therapist would do therapy. It was a one time deal. They told me to wait and see how much it effected her before jumping into therapy afraid the therapy itself would do more harm than good. Once the investigation was over it was never discussed again. (until she was grown) She had no lasted effects and still doesn't. She doesn't even remember it.

    As far as bro is concerned........he has to help himself. But with even just the hint it might be so.........my kid wouldn't see either grandma or uncle without constant adult supervision. Ever.

    But I see no reason for difficult child to know until he is grown, unless he too shows signs of possible abuse. (I don't know if he ever spent time alone with either of them)

    There is good reason why I live so far from my family. This is only one of many.

  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I haven't heard anything at all from my mom for a few days. My guess is that she made at least one phone call and has some carp underway. We'll see.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My mom used to do very odd things too. She continuously wrote to people in my life...sometimes I knew it, sometimes I didnt until much later. She wrote awful things to my dad about me but he just blew her letters off. He knew she was crazy but it still hurt me what she told him. She wrote to the President, Congress, and various agencies telling them I was everything from a spy to planning on killing the President to torturing my kids. She wrote to my employer telling him I was stealing from them and abusing my kids and that I was on welfare in another state. She wrote to the Governor of my state telling him all kinds of lies. She wrote to her attorney, she wrote to her friends. She also wrote to the President about other people too...not just me. Im sure they have a file on her somewhere labled Nutso. I bet they wondered why the letters stopped...lol. When I got her I found carbon copies of all these letters. Once in a blue moon I still find a copy. One day I found a whole file folder of carbon copies and I just sat down and read them and cried my eyes out, I was so hurt and outraged. How on earth could my own mother do that to me? I simply didnt understand. I couldnt understand. I had never done anything to justify it.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    OMG Janet! Are you sure you aren't a whole lot more PTSD than Borderline (BPD)? She was severely mentally ill, obviously. My mother hasn't gotten that bad just yet- I don't think- but she could be well on her way. Truthfully, it might be better if she went that far because then it would be more obvious to others that she is the wacko.

    I'm like you- it's one thing to know in your mind that it's her being wacky, but it still hurts.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    K...we think, the shrinks and tdocs and I, that my borderline stems from my very early childhood. You know how they say that if an infant is severely neglected that they can become autistic? Well if a person is brought up in childhood where the child is completely abused or is invalidated for whatever reason, borderlines can occur. My mother sang this song to me from the time I was an infant.

    Oh she doesnt love her mother any more, any more
    Oh she doesnt love her mother anymore
    and the reason that she doesnt love her mother
    is her mother doesnt love her any more.

    That was the lullabye that she sung to me constantly from infancy on up. From what I was told, I cried every time she sung it and she laughed and thougt it was very funny when I cried.

    One day I would be her best friend and she would do things with me then the next day she would scream and throw things at me. I never knew what to expect. Nothing I said was listened to and my feelings were never heard. I was never good enough. I was the bane of her existence. Everything I did was wrong and I incurred her wrath often. When bad things happened to me it was all my fault.

    You get the picture.
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yeah, I do. I'm very sorry. I'm sure you know (at least in your head) that you, nor any child, deserves or warrants that. I'm very sorry. It's amazing you didn't kill her. As I said before, my mother was pretty rotten too- but she never said she didn't love me. Although I think she is incapable of true love toward me or anyone, she didn't say it and then laugh. Your mother was a very ill person. I'm very glad tthat you are and were able to love other people, especially your kids.

    One of the shows last week (Oprah or somebody) had a dr on explaining that kids who don't receive nurturing as infants actually do have physical damage occur in their brains. I find that so sad. They were saying though, that at least some of it can be undone. They aren't sure how much yet because this discovery and research is recent, relatively.