Step Daughter Admitted Sexual Abuse

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Texasfilly79, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Texasfilly79

    Texasfilly79 Guest

    Hi Guys,

    My step daughter finally admitted that she was sexually molested when she was younger. I knew that something sexually happened when she was still living with her mom, because of her signs. (always wearing a bra, even to bed, doesn't like being touched above the knee, when we do talk about sex she freaks COMPLETELY out saying it will never happen, terrified of the OBGYN , her personal hygiene was atrocious, never would change her dirty underwear and got to the point that I would make her give me her dirty and I give her a fresh pair while she was in the shower, will not talk about her body and would never use a tampon up until two months ago and she is 15, and found a paper in her desk drawer that stated she was touched and kissed when she didn't want too).

    Today, it finally happened. She told me as we were leaving for a friends house this afternoon, that she ran out of tampons last night and needed some. I asked her what she was using, and she said toilet paper. I of course was angry that her personal hygiene was not where it should have been and like I have said a million times, something happened to her sexually while she was on the street.

    She finally told me that her mother's brother in law made her touch him. I asked her how, she said, once they were wresteling and she kicked him in the "no touch zone". He told her that she had to rub it to make it feel better. (which she did) The 2nd time was the same weekend and they were in the hot tub together. He had her pull her swimsuit down, he pulled his down, and he then had her rub his genital. She became uncomfortable and pulled her swimsuit up then her aunt interrupted them.

    I am the only one that she has ever said this to. I was very supportive to her and told her I believed everything. Not one word of negativity came out, but she did say some things that make me wonder.

    When I asked about the forced kiss, or forced touching, she said no that never happened (but a paper says it did happen - could this be with a boyfriend that she was uncomfortable with??)

    I asked her how old she was, she said 9, 10 , or 11 but couldn't remember exactly when. Only it was during the summer and her father no longer lived at the house, and it was before she was acting out against her mom.

    I asked her about going to the police and she said scared too. She didn't want people she loved angry with her (which I can understand, normal response) but also said the she didn't want to turn her back on her uncle because she did love him and won't turn her back on people. This last response totally confused me but she did agree about going to the police.

    She isn't known to make lies like this. Lie to me after being caught so she wouldn't be grounded yes, but there was no consequence associated with the tampon issue.

    Do you think because of the whole hygiene issue she made something up to get me off her back or is all the response that I am questioning a normal response?

    I am going to the school counselor tomorrow morning and her dad already knows, but if anyone has any experience, it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. I'm sorry I don't have any experience with this at all.

    It sounds like you did and said the right things. You have to be very supportive of her during this time even if you feel that some things don't add up. Seeing the guidance counsellor is probably a great next step and maybe a family doctor for a referral to a counsellor that specializes in this type of abuse.

    I hope someone here has some better advise for you. I just wanted to give you a response and a big hug. The people here are amazing and incredibly supportive. They have helped me immensely in the short time I have been on this board and I'm sure they will help you too.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    i believe her. her reactions are very much on the mark. I was 16 when my uncle hurt me, and it took me years to admit it to myself, and it took seeing him look at my daughter and it came flooding back. I simply pretend he doesn't exist and am too busy when he comes to visit my parents. just too busy to visit - have to be out of town. If i tell my parents it will be a bfd and as they never believed anything i said about my bro, and still don't even years after he admitted much of it, i have no reason to trust they would believe me. i didn't spend as much time n the bad hygeine stage, and years later did things that were unethical (wrote term papers for other kids, nothing sexual) to pay for therapy because i didn't want to explain to my mom why i was seeing a therapist and ins was paying for it.

    for years I never wanted to turn my back on bro or uncle, because i was raised that no matter what, you never ever ever turn your back on a relative, esp a sibling. I didn't tell about the neighbor because his parents knew he hurt his older sister (mentally delayed) and just told her she couldn't go to the upstairs where his room was or the basement where the guy's 'mancave' was if her brothers were home. So there was really no one to tell. i did make the one boy leave me alone a few yrs later when he tried again - i fought like a girl. All teeth and nails and high pitched shrieks into his ear and at the point i put sharp thumb nails - mine have always been hard like spikes not like fingernails - almost on his eyeballs, he gave up and begged me to let him go. if he had continued i would have blinded him for life and that would have been intersting to explain, esp where i had bruises. again, I told no one. other kids saw, but no one told the real reason. you just didn't in the seventies in our neighborhood/church. i wasn't the only girl attacked and he wasn't the only guy who preyed, i was just the one who fought the hardest - a gfgbro who would have beat me to death taught me to fight hard and dirty.

    get help for her. Call an incest hotline and ask for the name of a therapist in your area who will understand the issues. it may take months for her to open up to the therapist, and that is okay. Just keep trying. she doesn't want to tell or 'turn her back' because of all the headgames he has played and because she doesn't want to hurt anyone and because she is dead sure that she wont' be believed. she is not his only victim - it is very very rare for a man who would do that to have just one victim.

    i wish I had been believed. I wish my mom believed me now. I can tell she doesn't, although she claims to. she wants exact dates and times nad a play by play. When i have given her that in regard to things my brother has done, she flat out didn't believe what i said and did believe him when he claimed to be with a friend or somewhere else even when the friend flat out said he lied and wasn't with him. But bro was believed and i wasn't, and it has really damaged our relationship. she now says it isn't that she doesn't believe me, but ....... and the but is that 'you were always oversensitive and read too much into things and it was never as bad as you said it was so you can't really be believed'. and those words are not unspoken, they just are not spoken around a therapist or doctor or anyone but me.

    PLEASE don't say things like that. just believe that she is telling you all she can. she isn't out to get somethng from this, esp as she doesn't want to press charges. it is a very common reaction. what she says happened are often the early steps of abuse, and if she was around him more than he would have progressed to more. she needs to feel believed and to get help. it will damage your relationshp long term if she feels you don't believe her.

    PLeAse talk to someone about incest and sexual abuse and why/how people reveal it later. It is awesome that she trusts you enough to tell you about it even now. it took me over 25 years to talk about much of this with my mom. Not being believed hurt just as much as the abuse itself. T here was nothing at all I could gain from talking about it with my mom, absolutely nothing, so talking really was going out on a limb. and in a lot of ways it got sawed off on me, and that is hard to fix. Please, just believe and get help for her.

    Please, don't assume she is lying. esp as this is totally not the pattern of her lyiing. everyone lies, but ths wasn't to get out of something. it was a private place/time where no one could overhear and then make it come back to bite her. it is a huge step to trusting you, take that step and believe her, even though it is hard and no one wants to think it happened.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ditto Susie... and more.
    This may only be the tip of the iceberg - there may be more incidents and/or more people involved.
    But, please. Believe her.
    And yes - get help with specific experience in incest. This is not a typical rape crisis line type of problem.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with the others.

    also, you tend to block out memories of sexual abuse to the p oint where sometimes you are angry and rebellious and hate yourself, but don't remember or understand why. Then maybe you give birth or something triggers the memories and it all comes flooding back. She may not even remember all of it, which is why she is vague.

    I'm not sure I'd tell the school though. I'd probably want to find a private counselor that deals with sexually abused kids.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Not sure how to say this without sounding accusatory, because that's not my intention. It's more a process YOU need to go through. You said you were suspecting all along, and now for some reason you think she's lying. My only concern would be is if you had continually asked her if she had been abused. If you did, and she repeatedly told you no, and now is saying yes, then yeah, difficult to know the truth. However, if you kept you suspicions to yourself and she told you all this of her own volition, then I would believe her 100%. Anyway, YOU still need to process this and a certain amount of denial or "wish I was wrong" is to be expected. Please don't let any of that cloud your judgement and your helping her. That's YOUR process to work through.

    Yes, much of it may not make sense. Chronology could be off. This isn't the kind of stuff one tries to remember. Ppl try to block this type of stuff out, so the memories can definitely get muddled. The details may not be clear. Yeah, they may not all be there. This is the first she's spoken of it. She may only be telling you about the tip of the iceberg. She's got to feel she can trust you before she's going to give up all her deepest darkest secrets to you.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You hate yourself big time, and it comes out in all sorts of unhealthy ways. You also block out a lot of other stuff. A co=worker of that uncle's tried to kidnap me as a child, drove up as I was walking home, said my dad was hurt, the whole bit. I don't think my uncle knew because he is the one who taught us to never ever believe that and that the family would never, no matter what, send a stranger to come get us, esp in an emergency. I blocked it all out and it came flooding back to me about 2 yrs after I had Wiz. I described the person to my mom, and she asked a few family members if they knew anyone way back who looked like that, and my uncle diid. the therapist I worked with helped me figure out that I didn't tell anyone, and only called my gma to see if my dad was okay but said nothing else, because i hated myself and figured i deserved it.

    that is why I blocked it out, at least in part, and it is how twisted your thoughts are when you have been hurt this way.
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    The fact that he admitted it to you is a good thing. She needs to talk about this with a therapist. Does she currently see one?
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree with the others and will add that a huge shameful problem many of us have is that it might not have hurt. There are confusing feelings when there is a physical feeling that is kind of pleasant and then guilt for feeling that even when you did not choose to have the experience and said no. Some people dont even say no as children, they dont realize they can or it happens before they even realize or they may even "want it" in terms of attention and the nice feelings....NONE of that matters. A child can NOT consent to anything sexual.

    So just be supportive and let the sorting out of details and "truth" be on the shoulders of the therapist, police (if she chooses that) and herself.

    Bless your heart for being there for her. It is complex and her story may change just because she is confused or worried, not to be a PITA or because she is lying.
  10. idohope

    idohope Member

    Just wanted to agree with what MWM said. Not sure that you should tell the school guidance counselor. They may not be trained for this situation and she may see you telling that individual as a violation. I suggest working with a private therapist and keeping the school out of this for now.

    Giving you both hugs along this journey.
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You did well. Now, in my humble opinion, it is time for you to find professional guidance and not "wing it". Even with the best of intentions you could do or say something that would prevent her from moving forward in a healthy way. Although very limited abuse was involved with one of my girls as a small child I know I had a really hard time keeping my mouth shut. I wanted to talk to a relative or a friend just to ease the burden that I had assumed. I'm very glad that I "manned" up and kept my mouth shut. I found a Pediatrician who specialized in sexual abuse and my child and I drove two hours each way for the appointment.
    I got that referral only by speaking directly to our Pediatrician so I didn't have to be concerned about office staff chatting.

    There are also National sexual abuse hotlines and often even centers for abused children that can be used for resources. I suggest that you behave normally and with caring so she doesn't feel cornered or fearful that her admission is going to ruin her life as she knows it. Saying prayers that you can find the right method for you both. DDD
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    When we found out my Onyxx had been molested, too, it was horrible. All the puzzle pieces that didn't fit anywhere else, fit together suddenly. And husband and I beat ourselves up for not figuring it out sooner. Especially with him being accused so many times! I still feel twinges of guilt - but - I never went through that - how would I know?!

    Onyxx has been known to lie about other things - but this - well, for one, the story is still the same (we had one period of time when she said it never happened, but that was quickly wiped out). It's by no means complete, and she has HUGE gaps in her memory from about ages 11 to almost 14. Because you see, to block out the awful stuff, she had to block out anything leading to the awful stuff.

    Your SD really, really, really needs therapy - the earlier she can get this out and dealt with, the better things will be down the road. And I think so far you have done great, but now - now her Dad needs to step up, too. (I hate the whole stepmom thing, we have all the responsibilities but none of the rights, Know what I mean??)
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I agree with the others that your stepdaughter needs to see a specialist who deals with sexual abuse issues...

    I also just wanted to add that if her hygiene is bad enough that she's not changing her underwear - maybe you don't want her using tampons and should stick with pads instead (less chance of an infection or Tourette's Syndrome).
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't trust school personnel to keep thinks private. I prefer to work outside the realm of the school on important and "touchy" issues like this one. The child could be marked as...not sure what, but I wouldn't want the school knowing this unless the child wanted it very badly.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I agree with MWM - this is NOT a school issue... at least, not unless school personnel are involved, and even then, you wouldn't start at the school.
  16. Texasfilly79

    Texasfilly79 Guest

    I do agree that she needs professional counseling and we are in the process of starting. The behavior and issues with Bio Mom we have been able to work through and she has done a complete 180.

    Reason I am doubting the story just a bit is the paper that she claimed she was kissed and touched when she didn't want to be (but when I asked she said she didn't remember) and her defense mechanisims with the bras to bed, complete freakout when I mention going to the obgyn, and her reactions to the thought of sex (she seems borderline scared/terrified)

    I know the abuse is there, but I think that there is more to this story or there is another story that I am not being told.

    I did get school involved only because her school counselor knows her history with her biomom, her transition here to living with her dad, cutting last year, etc and can help point me in the right direction. With the abuse happening 6 years ago, I didn't even know if this will even be investigated by the police.

    Legally, the teacher CAN NOT tell anyone anything that happens in private session, unless its to the parent and only in circumstances that the childs life is in danger, or to CPS. The counselor even has the legal obiligation to call CPS about the sex abuse but since I (as the step parent) went to her, she is letting me get the ball rolling and is only there for backup.

    On one hand I feel glad I know about the abuse, but the other part of me tells me I should feel guilty for being happy I know about the abuse.

    I just feel UGGHHH!!!

    And forewarning now, I'll probably be venting during the process of the CPS investigaion on the board. To protect difficult child's privacy, I've not told any of my friends about this and mentioning one word to husband about it makes him want to shut down. So please forgive me.
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    TF - I can understand your doubts but let me give you another perspective... And it's going to be a little graphic.

    If a child were fondled or raped, and knew that going to an OB-GYN would result in someone poking around "down there" - the same area - do you think they'd want anyone touching? Knowing that it is uncomfortable/hurts? It took FOREVER to get Onyxx to submit to an OB exam. Literally 3 years. And this is part of the reason (not all) why her abuser is walking free.

    You could be singing my song, hon.

    And it's highly likely you don't know the whole story. You probably do not want to - the details will stick in your head. It's not fun. This is why she HAS to have counseling. Writing things down is a way of getting them out of her head. Might be true, might not. And not remembering is a defense mechanism.

    This is something the professionals should work on...