relinquishment woes

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by change, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. change

    change New Member

    For those of you whom know anyone who has dealt with this...I need some help. I'm feeling relieved that it actually happened and that charges were dropped against our family, etc. however, I have constant feelings of guilt, a hole in my heart, and general feelings of being abnormal. On the outside, if you saw me, I'm a person that many people THINK am always upbeat and seem to "have it all". In reality, it's far from true. I'd give anything to have a normal kind of happiness that I see so many other people around me experiencing day to day. I want to escape my life but of course I can't. I'm truly grateful for what I do have that others don't, however it seems to have come at a great price. I don't know how to get it out of my mind sometimes and quiet the sad thoughts. People who trult bother to take a long look at me have noticed my sadness. It disturbs me because I've tried top create a facade for so long and thought I was doing a good job of hiding it. My daughter is a broken person. I'd give anything for her to get over her sadness and self-destruction even more. It only contributes to mine.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did you give up your rights to your other child? If so, I feel for you. I have been through it. I strongly recommend therapy while you grieve what may have been for your family. It takes at least two years. (((Hugs)))
  3. change

    change New Member

    Yes. We had to. He sexually assaulted (violently) our daughter. It's been almost a year since it happened and he was arrested and out of our house immediately but it was no small feat. We've been socially isolated, judged, etc. Now that's it's officially over (legally) we feel some relief but the real healing is just beginning and I don't really see any light at the end of the tunnel sometimes for my daughter. I'm very worried about her future. She is 13 and has gone from being an identified "gifted and talented" student to being in Special Education. over the course of 3 years. She is also behaving very "clueless" and spacey. She basically has regressed in maturity and has shut-down in all aspects of her life. It's awful. She had so much potential before and was on scholarship at various fine arts academies. Now she might very likely lose her spot at the only one she's in now. She just seems to have lost all drive for anything. It's not the same for my husband and I. We've thrown ourselves into our work and into her and have dealt with the grief that way. Our careers have not suffered at all. I guess we are simply opposite personalities to her. Amazingly, we have not shut-down at all. (It doen't mean I haven't shut-down on the inside though in private.) I manage, but barely. I provide myself with a lot of distractors.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Oh Change! This makes me cry with you. Your daughter lost her sense of security. She doesn't feel safe. Even though her brother is gone, the world is full of hidden dangers for her. She may say she now feels safe but when something that horrible happens, you relive it over and over. Like someone in a horrid car accident, even though they know the changes of that happening again is very rare, they are still skittish in being in a vehicle.

    Are you still living at the location where this happened? Too many daily memories for her?

    I also understand that while you know deep in your heart that you have done the right thing with your son following this event, he is still a part of you. You can know that he is where he needs to be and yet mourn that loss also.

    Do all of you, daughter, husband and yourself, get individual and group therapy?
    You are helping so much in removing the danger from your daughter's life. It will still take many years for her to trust again and to truly feel safe.

    I am glad you have this board to write to. It is so hard to put on the happy face to the public yet be crying so hard inside. You need to let it out somewhere and this is a good place.

    Is your daughter ready for self defense classes? How about karate - something to give her power to know how to watch for dangers and that she can do the right steps to protect herself.

    She is at a hard age where kids really do get the meanest. Is she in 7th or 8th grade? I have found that 7th & 8th graders can get very mean and those who are not mean just get into harmless mischief. As individuals, they are awesome kids but get them in a group and watch out! It is like they are trying to impress each other. It is hard enough going through that as a easy child - it is when difficult children really do start noticing the challenges they have and others may not.

    I will pray for your entire family.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Adrianne asks some very good questions about your living situation. Is it at all possible to move away from your home but stay in her schooling area? Or, do you think it might help to move her entirely away from the daily input of reminders?

    I hope that you will both work in therapy on moving on from this period in your lives. I'm wondering if she doesn't have a lot of guilt about the breakup of the family that she isn't comfortable talking to you about. Of course it's not her fault, but I'm sure she feels badly that it happened to her, and makes a connection from what happened to her to what the end result is.

    Somehow both she and you need to feel ok about moving on to tomorrow. Yesterday did happen and it was awful. I don't know that two years is enough to get past it, because it is always there in the past. Hope is in tomorrow. You need to find a way to leave regret in the past.

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{Big Hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    It took several years of therapy and intense "love" to pull my daughter through. She, luckily, is a lot like you and I and is able to maintain on the outside. Most people don't know the daily "he**" she lived inside of herself. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately you daughter's pain is visible. You can see when she is hurting. People like me, you, and my daughter keep it inside and suffer in silence. I think that often as victims of sexual abuse they feel so much guilt and shame. The victim should be encouraged to recognize the abuse for what it was---abuse. They should be able to speak about what happened to them without judgment or shame. There is some good literature and information put out by Darkness to Light. See if there is an organization in your area.

    It takes time. But you will recover as a family. You will never be what you could have been, but you will be the family you can be now.
  7. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I dont have any firsthand experience with this so I cant give any advice. I just wanted to send you some support and {{{BIG HUGS}}}. I can only imagine how painful this is for all of you. My heart goes out to you all.

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God bless.
  8. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    gentle hugs and prayers, just remember to breathe and be kind to yourself. A change may be good for D and all of you.
  9. change

    change New Member

    Thank you everyone. I had a hard day today. Really...a hard weekend. Relinquishment was Weds. but it's just hitting me now. I ran the Race For The Cure Saturday morning and ran the hell out of it. It's a 5k and I usually get no less than 5th place (usually 3rd) in a fun run in my age group. I don't know the results but I still had energy at the end of this one with so much adrenaline surging through me as I though about everything. I usually run with an ipod but not this time so my mind was really busy.

    I LOVE what you wrote "everywoman" about the kind of family, etc. I'm going to keep that in mind from now on. I've heard it before but not so eloquently put.

    Adrianne, you made me feel comforted. You really did. All of you do. Yes, we still live in the same home where IT happened. Unfortunately, I too am haunted by "the area" at times. It's upstairs and I avoid going up there sometimes. Other times (like today) I get up there and purge things. It's cathartic. My husband is the only one who seems unaffected at all by the actual rooms or his items. I've tried to part with most of his things. I only hid some photos and a few precious things he made me. Daughter kept some letters (therapist advised her to do this because they said he loved her etc.) My husband is changing careers drastically (artist to mechanical engineer). He's a junior. I think when he's finished with school, we may move away. He has a very probable job prospect with a major oil and gas company he's interned with for the past 3 summers. He already has been asked back for next summer. We live in the oil and gas capital city but this particular company has places worldwide and if you want to career climb you have to be open to "moving around". Because of what's happened, I'm probably open to moving around now. (I wasn't before.) We're in family therapy. No one is in individual therapy. She is in a kind of group therapy for at-risk kids at school. They don't know what happened to her, of course. She's in 8th grade.'s been rough for her in middle school...all 3 years. She simply has too much emotional baggage and kids don't quit asking about what happened to her brother even tough she's moved schools 3 times (each year).
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Change, we did move. Part of that was because of memories and part was because we felt that when this sick child grew up, maybe he'd try to look us up. We have an unlisted phone number. Getting into therapy with the kids was really helpful. We found somebody who specialized in kids who'd been sexually abused. It got better through the years. It is now six years later and our family is bad to "normal" (whatever that is). It is normal, in the context of a child who was assaulted, for her to be distracted and moody. For some reasons, these kids tend to think they caused their attack, and that is one of the things therapy is so good at. I do recommend finding somebody who understands sexual assault victims. You may also want to find a place that deals with Domestic Abuse. Usually they have group therapy so people can heal together...and they have groups for kids...and often they don't care if there was abuse from just a sibling. Abuse is abuse. I worked at a center for domestic abuse and they were great at helping both the adults and kids move on. (((Hugs and prayers to both of you)))
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Healing is going to take a long time in your situation. I'm hopeful that with therapy, you can both move forward. You must always move forward....the sad traumatic times will come back to haunt you. And you will grieve.

    Yet, there is a time to move forward; to allow yourself to smile - a genuine smile. Your daughter will learn the same.

    Sending out healing thoughts to you & yours.
  12. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Change -

    I think I know how you feel. I've been living day to day for the last few months pretending everything is just fine. I go on about my day at work and no one knows all the turmoil inside my head. Sometimes I wonder how no one can notice that I am so down, but then if I allowed myself to show it, I just might crumble.

    I can't even imagine the feelings of relinquishing custody. You know it's the absolute right thing to do in your situation, but you're still going to grieve.

    There is hope for your daughter. Her age is tough enough but with everything added to her plate, it's no wonder. You're doing everything you can, it just takes time. I agree with the others that moving might be a very good thing, for her and for you. I'm a big believer in fresh starts.

    Sending prayers to you and your family.

  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I have no experience with this, but want to send many, many hugs to you and your daughter.
  14. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I'm sorry you all are going through this. I think the suggestion to get therapy to help you deal with it is a very good idea, this is soo much more then you should ever expect to handle on your own. Prayers are being sent that you can find peace in the relinquishment, I know you know you had no choice, but I pray you find peace within yourself. And of course I pray that your daughter can start to feel safe and continues to heal.
  15. change

    change New Member


    You have me pegged exactly. You definitely share the same kind of "inside turmoil" I do, etc. Prayers for you too.