Join Date: May 2012
| | Don't know what to do, would love your advice
Please read my story below in red. I am now faced with another problem within my family - my brother is very upset with me due to a family gathering over a year ago when there was someone who was invited that I did not want to see (not my abuser), but nevertheless, I went with my DH and my kids.
I am now being accused of ruining the gathering by not being myself there. I tried very hard to be myself - I socialised and smiled, had a drink or two and danced. Since the gathering, my brother has not contacted me and when he's seen me, has been very cold towards me.
My mum and my brother's kids are pressuring me to phone my brother and apologise and go over to his house and talk things over.
Frankly, from what I've been through, I cannot face another confrontation - my emotions are shot and I feel I can't cope. I feel I'm being victimised. My brother's kids don't know about my past.
I haven't told my DH about them pressuring me. I feel I should phone my brother, but I don't know how to begin (he's acting very offended, but has not spoken to me about how he's feeling). He's avoiding the issue.
Please don't flame me and I'm not looking for sympathy, I just feel it's another hurdle that I can't cope with.
Thanks for reading if you've got this far.
Below is my story. A lot has since happened - I've confronted my abuser with the help of my family and to no surprise, he denied it, but it was very clear that he was shocked that I brought it out after so many years. Since the confrontation, me and my family have not seen the abuser until last Friday when I had to attend a funeral with my mum and he was there with his partner. My DH couldn't attend and honestly, we thought he wouldn't be there and if he was there, he would keep a low profile, but unfortunately he didn't. My mum and I left straight after the service and he and his partner followed us to the car and as we were getting into the car, he started verbally abusing us. I was in shock and quickly took off in the car.
Mum and I were understandably very angry and upset and when my DH came home I told him what happened.
That night, I made the decision to finally ring the police and discuss what happened in my childhood. I felt that since the confrontation, I should have taken it further and reported it, but for the sake of my family, just let it slide. The police were very supportive and said to me that a serious crime had been committed against me by being molested and even though it's historical, it doesn't take away the seriousness of it all. I had a long chat with the Sexual Crimes Squad and they are now compiling a report and will let me know when I and my DH can come into their office to make an official statement. They will then, after all the paperwork has been done, go and see him and take him in for questioning. This may take a few weeks before they see him. My DH and I haven't told my family that what we are doing. I am not after any compensation, I just want justice done to him.
I guess just writing this, I am after some opinions if anyone has gone through the same thing.
Thanks for reading.
"This is long, sorry...
I am in desperate need of help and advice. I am now 43 years old. My problem is that I was molested by my mother's youngest brother when I was 7 years old and this continued until I was 10 when he met someone, married and moved out of our house. He then started molesting me again when I was about 16 after his marriage ended and this went on for a couple of years and sadly, I let it happen because I was again threatened by him. This is the reason why I learned to keep it a deep and dark secret throughout my life.
It all started when my dad was killed in a car accident in 1972 when my dad, mum, brother and I emigrated from overseas and were only 12 months in Australia. My mum, being only 28 years old at the time, sponsored her youngest brother from overseas to come and live with us. He was 25 at the time.
When he arrived, in a matter of months, he started molesting me and threatened me if I told anyone, that my family would not like me and blame me, so at the age of only 7 and and only just lost my dad, I learned now to keep a terrible secret.
I am now 43 years old, married to a wonderful man and have two beautiful children (a girl who is 10 years and a boy 13 years old). I have told absolutely nobody about what has happened, I guess due to the feeling of immense shame and guilt.
This man who is now nearly 60, is in regular contact with my whole family, he attends our family functions and now has a partner and a young son who is 12 years old.
About two years ago, my daughter who was 8 at the time, was with us at a restaurant at a family gathering and this man looked at my daughter and then looked at me with a knowing smirk and since then, all the hidden and repressed memories, shame and guilt, have come back with vigor and are now tormenting me day and night. I now am feeling outrage what he has done to me and I can't bear to be near him, let alone see him at family gatherings. He acts with no remorse and always looks me in the eye because he knows that I won't tell anyone what happened many years ago.
I have also now been able to do a self analysis of myself and everything about my personality makes sense. I have always been shy and easy going, but quiet and now realise that what he has done to me has also affected my personality. I shy away from social gatherings at work, it's like I have panic attacks. I also have for many years begun biting my fingernails and started picking skin around my nails, and after doing research over the internet, found out that this is post-traumatic stress.
I have since spoken to a counsellor once on the phone and was advised that I should now tell my family (I have only one brother whom I am relatively close to), but I don't want to upset my family or hurt my mother in any way. I know that this would be a bombshell for my family as this man (I can't even call him my uncle), is regarded in the highest esteem. I would also like to tell my husband but don't want to hurt our happy marriage either. But, I do now want to confront this man and expose him for what he is as I don't know whether he has abused other children over the years.
Please help as I don't know what to do, but I also know that I can't keep this secret in my heart forever as it is now affecting me to the point that I can't sleep and I am quite depressed - some days are good, some days are bad and it feels that I am constantly living a lie.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter."