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Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hurt and sad, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. Hurt and sad

    Hurt and sad New Member

    Hi
    I am a new member. I've been searching for a place that is safe and can possible give me some guidance.

    My story is lengthy but I'll try to tell as much as I can so maybe someone has some advice. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Exposing myself to strangers seeking guidance.

    I have 5 daughters from my first marriage. I ended up meeting someone and I was in a toxic relationship for 12 years and didn't know how to excape out of fear. I was physically, mentally and verbal abuse. He was a sick man but I ended up finding out he was sicker than what I thought. He was the type of person that could making you believe anything. I was very unhappy with him and my kids hated him but I feared if I left he would hurt or kill one or all of us. I dealt with some much abuse and I thought by me taking the abuse I was protecting my kids from it. He was never physically abusive to them but he was mentally and verbally abusive.
    This is going to get a little personal and I hope I don't offend anyone but I'm trying to set the scene of my life at that time to help you get a clear picture.
    After I moved in with him a few months later my older daughters came to me and said he tried to touch one of them. I immediately went to him and flipped out. He explained that he had fell asleep next to my daughter and thought it was me laying next to him. This may sound strange but this is something he did to me all the time when he was sleeping. At the time it made total sense to me and I believed him that it was a misunderstanding and I explained that to my daughter (my first big mistake) I never disbelieved her but what he said made absolute sense at the time. Right there I let my daughter down and I can never fix that. Years went past and I prayed every day he would find somebody else because I knew leaving him was not a safe option for me or my girls. He beat me on almost a daily basis although no one had a clue because I put up a good front. Finally after about 10 years in 2007 he started going to Florida because his dad was ill and I encouraged him to go just to get him away from us. God answered my prayers and in 2008 he found someone in Florida and broke it off with me in 2009. Before the break up me and my girls lived in the house which was in a different state then him. For those 2 years life was good for my girls and I. He only came back around once every month or two and only stayed the weekend because he had a job in Florida. When he broke it off it was the greatest day of my life.
    I ended up meeting a wonderful man and got married. Life seemed perfect compared to the horror the girls and I lived in.
    Fast forward to 2014. I get a strange phone call from him asking me what's going on with my middle daughter. I had no idea what he was talking about. He was very unclear about her message to him and couldn't believe I didn't know what was going on. I raced home from work still on the phone with him trying to put the pieces together. Just as I got to my house something he said all of the sudden clicked and I asked him if he did something to my daughter. His answer "I'm not going to answer that". I hung up the phone and opened the door and I could see in my daughters face something was very wrong. She wouldn't tell me anything and I was begging her to please tell me so I could help her. Finally she told me he had molested her from age 6-11. At that point I felt as if I left my body. How did I not see this. There were no signs at all. I asked her why she contacted him and she said she had another nightmare, which I never knew she was having and just woke up and her first reaction was to text him and tell him it's about time you pay for what you did to me as a child. We both just sat and cried. I was worse than my daughter. I couldn't control the emotion and felt physically ill. As things calmed a bit I told her whatever you want to do I'll stand by you 100% but I wanted her to be aware whatever she chose to do it wasn't going to be easy. She wanted to prosecute. I said ok then that's what we'll do. We sat awhile and tried consoling each other. Sadly she was doing more of the consoling because I was a wreck. It's shouldn't have been like that. I kept thinking your the mother get a grip. After awhile if us talking my daughter who was 18 came downstairs and heard our conversation and said to my 21 year old welcome to my world! I cannot describe the feeling inside me. I just wanted to kill myself. All this going on and I had NO clue. I was so focused on what I thought was protecting them and deal with abuse and never knew 2 of my 5 daughters were being molested at the same time by this animal and neither one knew it was happening to the other! So we went to law enforcement and began the process of having him put in jail. We were successful. We went before the grand jury and got an indictment. Within 4 months of the investigation he was arrested. The detectives went to Florida just to see if he would confess. I knew he would because he told me he would and I knew he meant it. Over the 4 months he called me daily. The detectives want me to keep phone contact to see where his head was at. When they went to Florida they asked him if he would go to station to talk. He willingly did and confessed everything. He told the detectives whatever those girls said us true. He was extradited back to the state and in July 2015 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with no chance of parole and when he does get out he is considered a tier 3 sex offender and will be on strict parole for the rest of his life. My daughters were the most amazing women I have ever met. Their strength and courage was incredible! They would say to me all the time (because I couldn't look at them without bursting into tears and I would ask them how are you handling this so well) mommy we have known about this for years we've adjust and learned to live through it. This is all new to you that's why it's so hard for you. Again I'm the mother! I should be the strength but I raised these two beautiful women that were stronger than I could ever be. My relationship with my 3 younger daughters is and has always been wonderful. We are very close and all this brought us closer. My problem is my 2 older daughters hate me. They blame me for everything and more and more distance themselves from me. My 5 daughters are close. My older ones find ways to exclude me from everything. To them I am worthless. I am the mother who let her children be sexually abused. I don't know how to fix it. It breaks my heart and I feel they purposely do things to hurt me as a payback. My oldest daughter had a baby last year. My first grandchild. I feel she keeps the baby from me to punish me although she says different. My second oldest daughter feels if I would of done something when he attempted to touch her her sisters would not have been abused. The fact of that matter is they were already being abused when he tried to make a sexual advance on her. I am a good person. I love my daughters more than life itself. Yes I made poor decisions but at the time I had know idea what was really happening and I thought I was protecting them. I've gone above and beyond to try to make amends. They say nothing's wrong but I can see different. My daughters that endured the abuse and I are closer than ever since we went through the whole ordeal. I don't know what to do. My heart is breaking. I want my older daughters in my life and my precious granddaughter. I want my granddaughter to know me. I feel depressed and sad. I cry whenever I'm alone. I ask God for guidance. I'm afraid if I don't keep in contact with them I will never hear from them again and the thought of that makes me just want to die. I am not saying I want to kill myself or that I'm suicdal. I just think that it wouldn't matter to them if I'm dead or alive. Sometimes I wish God would just take me to take away my pain. It hurts that bad. I don't know what to do! Is it even possible to repair my relationship with my older daughters? Do I just need to let it go? How do you just let your children go? I just keep trying and trying. Every time I see them and leave I cry all the way home. They don't need to punish me. I punish myself every day for failing as a mother. I should of know. I've played the tape over and over again go back through the girls growing up and there was not one signal or red flag that would have made me think my kids were being sexually abused. I'll never forgive myself and I feel the hurt my daughters make me feel that I deserve it. Who would want a pathetic mother like me that couldn't protect her babies because I was too focused on staying alive and what I thought was protecting them.
    I'm so sorry I blabbed so long. I apologize. I just really need support and help. What do I do?
    (Please excuse my typos)
    Thank you for listening.
     
  2. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    1. You sound like a wonderful mom! You did the right things WHEN you found out about this. And it is quite normal for "normal" people to not even consider that bad things are going on. We don't do those things ourselves, so would not even think anyone else would do these things. Like with myself, I read in the news about some nut doing something horrible and I just don't understand it! (As I'm not like that.)

    2. I don't blame your daughters for being mad at anyone remotely involved with this. They will calm down with time (time heals all wounds).

    3. You need a bit of help! Psychologists are very smart people and can help you to either deal with your daughters not having anything to do with you (for now) and/or can help you communicate with them in the right way so some healing can occur. This is a complex situation and a psychologist is better equipped to help you find some way to get your daughters back (if possible).

    To find a psychologist, look in the phone directory for psychologists. Or ask your primary care doctor for a "referral". Or call your local county mental health department.

    Your health insurance may limit who you can see. But there are also free or sliding fee options. Sadly in some areas there is a long waiting time to see a psychologist. Hopefully you will be able to see someone somewhat soon.

    Take care.
     
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so very sorry that your family is enduring this. I know you did the best you could at the time with the information and skills that you had to work with. No mom who cares as much as you clearly do would EVER allow her children to be abused knowingly if she could stop it. Sometimes things are just beyond our control, as much as that is hard to admit.

    You cannot change your daughter's feelings, but you can be patient with her. I think that YOU need help to get through this. This is incredibly traumatic from a mother's perspective, not just from a daughter's or sisters. And I think you need to get some real help. Both for the situation your daughters' endure and for what YOU endured for all of those years PLEASE get help before you get into another relationship. I have a relative who I adore who has gone from one relationship to another (more than 9 marriages, most abusive on one level or another) until she got some real help and figures out WHY she kept choosing men who harmed her, why she didn't choose men who would treat her with respect.

    There are places you can get help, for free or for very low cost. There are domestic violence associations in most counties in the US that offer counseling, group and individual. I have used these and they are VERY good. Most 4 year colleges have psychology departments that offer counseling services at free or low cost. There is a group called RAINN that can help you find local organizations that will provide counseling and help for sexual violence support of all kinds. Their website is https://centers.rainn.org/ They are supposed to be an excellent organization.

    The BEST way to help your daughters, at this point, is to help yourself. It is a cliche, but you really cannot save your daughter until you save yourself. Just like on an airplane when you have to put the oxygen on yourself before your child, you have to heal yourself first before you can even begin to address whatever is going on with your daughter in a healthy way. You just have to let her work her way through her feelings in her own way.

    If she is willing to go to therapy, and you are willing, going to sessions with her might be helpful. But joint sessions should NOT be how therapy starts for either of you, as you both need to work though quite a lot before this would be helpful.

    You need to work on forgiving yourself. You did the best you could. You made mistakes, you didn't have all the information and didn't know all that was going on, but you did the very best you could at the time. If you could have done better, you would have. Learning how to forgive yourself is important. It is also incredibly difficult.

    (((((hugs)))))
     
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hurt and sad: I lived a lot of your story in relation to my own mother, who died 3 years ago.

    I was angry at my mother too. For the last 20 years of her life we reconciled. She was angry at me, too, because she felt abandoned by me, as I had felt by her. When I became a mother is when I reached out to he again. I wanted to have a family. But I became a mother when I was older.
    I do not believe they hate you. I believe they are angry and they have reason to be. They may even be angry at themselves, hold themselves responsible for not having stopped it. And turning their anger on to you. That is often what kids do. They take responsibility and blame themselves. Then when they get older this ambivalence begins to come out. In this case, this was a family tragedy.

    There could not, not be very strong feelings, that overflowed. Right now, they are being directed at you. That does not mean you deserve this judgement. But it seems that they are dealing with their own sense of grief, trauma and regret by making you culpable, in their own minds.

    This may not be the right thing, or the most healthy thing to do, but it is very human. You are their mother. And it is up to you to stay strong, and to take care of yourself. Not look to them to take care of you. I may be wrong but that is what I think.

    By staying here on this board and posting, about your own story, and others' you will learn to put yourself at the center of your life, you will learn to give yourself the respect, self-care and love you deserve and have always deserved.

    Life does not come wrapped up like a present with a bow. It can be cruel and vicious, as well as sweet. And we are not equipped sometimes to deal with life as it comes. Or we do not know, like you did not know, the nature of the evil with which you were living. This is more common than we acknowledge. Believe me, you are not the only one. Remember. You are human. Not more. Not less.

    I believe that your daughters will come around, but on their time and terms, not yours. The forgiveness you seek is in you. Not from them.

    I know how very hard it is because as my mother was dying, I lamented any distance I had put between us. I had not known how much I loved her. Consciously, I had not known. And as she died, the pain and grief that I had voluntarily distanced myself for years, engulfed me.

    That is why I know that your daughters love you. Deeply love you. It is themselves who they doubt. I think they are trying to work out their own sense of having erred. You have been a good mother to them, as good. Nobody is a perfect mother. Motherhood will teach them that.

    The reality is that you cannot do one thing to make them or help them change, until they learn what it is to be human, and what life is.

    But that does not mean you cannot help yourself, learn to forgive and embrace your own humanity. You are human. Can you not forgive yourself, for having done the best you could, under horrible circumstances?

    You did not disbelieve your daughters when they came to you. What happened is that you could not conceive of the evil that THIS MAN was doing, which he concealed from you, and lied about.
    The issue here is boundaries. I cannot conceive of a situation where a man would fall asleep near a child, but it happens all of the time. It happened to me, in fact. I guess that is why I have trouble believing it.

    I am trying myself to learn how to locate power within myself and to fortify that part of me that cannot be convinced to not believe I see what I see or hear what I hear-I am finding that it is I who undermine my own knowing and acting. I want to change this.

    I admire you (for your courage and your devotion as a mother) and I admire your daughters:
    You will find peace when you know in your heart your own worth and live from that. On that day we will not be so affected by how others define us from their own hurt and pain or even, their cruelty. When you stop judging yourself as the mother who let her children be sexually abused.

    Right now, your daughters need to do what they need to do. It is between them and G-d if they are believers. They are responsible and accountable for their choices. And only they can some day change them.

    Your kids are grown. Let them be, that is what I say. You take care of you. Your job now is to understand that you are worth it.

    Posting will help. I hope you stay with us. Welcome. We are glad, so glad, you are here.
    The answer is yes and yes. The power to move this along between you is not in you. This will be her decision, not yours.

    Letting go, is for right now, to focus on you, on finding ways to nourish yourself, forgive yourself, believe in yourself, sustain yourself. If you are a believer--every religious tradition of which I am aware offers this--a way back to belief.
    I cannot do this. I could not and I cannot. But you can take a time out, can't you?

    Part of your role as a mother, is as a model. You cannot allow yourself to be either punished, disrespected or dishonored, by your children. None of us can or should. It is not good for us, or for them. Consider this a time out.

    Let your daughters learn from life, so that they can change. Use this as a learning opportunity to change, too. This can be viewed as a good thing.
    I agreed with Praecepta, but I would not look for a therapist in the yellow pages. I think a referral from a doctor might be better. Or a health center or clinic.

    Tomorrow I have an appointment at a community health center that is religiously oriented, but not of my own religion. I am excited to see what their approach will be, so that I can learn something new.

    That is where our tragedies and our sufferings have brought us: to the need to reach out and to accept a new way to see things. It is not your fault. You are not alone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am sorry this happened. Molestation is horrible. Our family experienced it and we didn't know either. Once we found out, the foster teen who had done it for three years was sent away. I felt very guilty. Still do. But my kids blessedly never blamed me.However I still blame me. But I have great relationships with them...they did intensive therapy as did hubby and I and we stuck together. I did have a child we adopted at six take off at about 25 or 30 (dont remember exact age). I will explain a bit later. I understand the pain of losing your two daughters, at least for now. Not fun.

    Really, you can't control your daughters. They went through a lot and need their time to absorb it all.

    But you can and should get professional help for yourself to learn coping skills during this difficult time. You need to stop hating yourself and to give the older girls the space they need. I adopted a child who left our family because of anger at something. I am not sure what. It did coincide with meeting his now wife and she clearly wanted him to herself. We could all see her pulling him away and He let her do it. He didn't explain and he never came back. And all pleadings to ask what was wrong were answered vaguely until we lost touch. His wish.

    I have two legal grandchildren live never met...but it is what it is. I too have other kids and two other grandkids...life goes on unless we stop it...you matter. Get help. Live. Nurture your blessings. There is hope but enjoy every !moment of your life even as you wait. It is up to your daughters to soften their hearts. Give them time but still live!!! I learned to be grateful for my wonderful husband and amazing other kids and grands and I can honestly say, in spite of s huge loss, life is good and so peaceful.

    I hope your daughters forgive you and come back . The future is s great unknown for us all. You have a loving relationship with three daughters. That is a blessing. Nurture that relationship. See what happens. Don't we all wish we had a crystal ball?

    Hugs and love to you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  6. Hurt and sad

    Hurt and sad New Member

    Wow! Thank you everyone for your advise and suggestions. I've thought about going to a counselor but it takes 3 months to even get an appointment and its discouraging to have to wait so long. I do agree with you all. I need help and I need to learn coping skills. Until I read all your comments I guess I never realized I needed help for me. I was trying to go to counseling just to talk to someone and seek advice. It never crossed my mind that I need to forgive myself. I carry that burden and I almost feel like I deserve it. I know through writing you don't really know me but I am a good person. I wasn't raised by my mother and I always wanted to be a mom and I imagined having just a wonderful life with them. I have so much love in my heart and a lot of pain too. Something else that all of your responses made me realize. The comment about being in an airplane and giving yourself oxygen before you give it to someone else is an incredible statement and really made me think WOW what a great way to look at things. You are all right! I need to fix myself before I can even think of repairing other things in my life. I cannot thank you all enough. Your words really clicked a light on for me. Tomorrow I am going to look for support groups in my area. Maybe I could get involved with something like that while waiting for a psychologist appointment.

    Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. This is such an amazing place. I'm glad I found you all!
     
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Most Domestic Violence groups have help that is MUCH more immediate than 3 months. You generally start with an intake appointment and then a group therapy placement. After group you move to individual therapy as it is needed. For some situations it is different, of course.

    The website I posted, for RAINN, opens to a page that will connect you to help in YOUR area, and it is supposed to be one of the most extensive sources of help for survivors of abuse that exists. It is also supposed to be one of the most reputable groups around, so it isn't a group that is fly by night or just out there for what it can get for itself, it is truly there to help those who need it.

    I don't know your employer, but many employers have what is called an EAP, or Employee Assistance Program. THis is a program that has an 800 number that you call and they give you a referral to a professional who can see you in a fairly short amount of time. Most of these programs pay for the first 2-4 sessions and cover professionals like lawyers, psychologists, etc... It is NOT something that employers track the reason that you use the service for, or the number of times you use the service. THe service is totally confidential for employees, and is part of your Human Resource package. It is at least worth looking at your employee handbook to see if you have one of these. They can be very handy and often employees don't even know they have them because they are not really talked about. But when used, they cut down on absenteeism and increase performance, so most corporations have them.

    I am glad that it makes sense to get some help for yourself. It really makes a difference when you help yourself. I know there have been times when I had to get some help for things. I didn't think my kids even knew I was having problems, but getting help for myself truly made a huge difference for each of them, even though my problems had nothing to do with anything any of my children did or had ever done.

    We truly are glad you are here, and we hope you continue to be a part of our community.
     
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  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you susiestar. I was able to locate/and potentially get in touch with the organization in my own area, and will do so.
     
  9. Hurt and sad

    Hurt and sad New Member

    susiestar,
    Thank you again! I did look up the website and found one in my area
     
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad it was helpful to both of you!