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#416328 - 11/15/12 03:11 PM Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late?
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
The other night I disclosed the story of my CSA to my wife. It was not at all how I had wanted to but it happened - we are displaced by Sandy and still sleeping on floors, everything gets misplaced, and while looking for something she found my meds. I'd gone on immediately before the storm and then it hit us do hard I couldn't bear to burden her with anything else right away - but she found them and my lie / concealment had hurt her so I told her of my sudden downward spiral and how it had "reactivated" the old memories. I really was not ready to tell her - had only just told my T last Friday, first disclosure ever, and needed more "cleanup" - and with all the hurricane stress now is the last time I'd have ever chosen to tell her anything else disturbing. But she was very upset by my lie and I needed her to know we still had our trust, so I trusted her, and told her. Told her everything and showed her my posts here - with posting dates predating Sandy and the pill bottle dates. Apologized for the horrible timing and repeated that it was meant for a cslmer period. In any case, when she saw the truth and I told her every last detail she was so supportive - so building - and cried with me and soothed me - understanding - and swore I'd always be the same man she knew. We were up talking til past 3am. Like I said I was not ready to tell her and was more emotional than I'd have liked - but she took it better than I'd dreamed and I am so proud of her, so proud and grateful for my wonderful babe. Married 5 years last week. (And no, I'm not just saying that because she knows this board exists!)

She really thinks I should tell my parents - I am in therapy / meds again and they deserve to know, and why and what's going on in my life. I would honestly like to tell my dad - we have always had a great close relationship, he's always understood me and we hang out together a lot. Mom is a different story - more fragile, emotional, and going through terrible career drama right now.

This morning I tried to test dad.

One of my grandfathers led a mystery life. He was nearly 20 years older than my grandma and it's basically a 20 year gap in which we know nothing of him. He had currency from foreign countries and there is a picture of him in a military uniform slinging guns around in South America. Grandma and my mom think he had a secret second family but was never any evidence. When asked he refused to answer up to his dying day.

Since the family discusses this mystery every now and then - nit often but it is an acceptable and not strange subject to bring up - I asked my dad about it again today.

ME: Dad, what if there were bad things in Papa's past that you could actually learn about? What if you could finally learn?

DAD: Like what bad things?

ME: Like maybe he did have a secret second family. Or if he was a mercenary or killed people for some political uprising in Sourh America. Or, maybe if something bad happened to him. Like if he'd been kidnapped to South America and bad things had happened to him there, like forced into slave labor on some mining project or something, forced to drive warlords around or else he'd have been killed.

DAD: I would want to know. The immediate response would be shock and disappointment but I would want to know.

ME: And how long would that shock and disappointment last? Would you see him the same way again?

DAD: It would go away - it's easier because he's dead. It would be different if he were alive and the response would include embarrassment and humiliation and some deep hurting.

Then he sort of smirked and said "why, have you hired a detective to crack his case?", and I made like a joke that no, I was just wondering, you know, old family story.

It is a fair response to get from a man in his late 60s. But still I was hoping for something different and once more do not know what to do. I feel blessed to have a great and close relationship with my dad, but... "different if they're alive, different if there's a humiliation and embarrassment"....

And forget about my mom. I'd only tell her because if i told dad I would have to tell her too, but I know for 100% she will not take it well.

I feel I have had a basically good life and if now in adulthood my patents saw me as different - humiliated, hurt, dirty, damaged - and also blamed themselves for not being able to prevent / avenge it - that it might really cause more harm than good.

Obviously will go over this with the T too but ultimate decision is mine.

Thanks for any tips people could offer.

Edited by SoccerStar (11/15/12 04:09 PM)
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#416332 - 11/15/12 05:04 PM Re: Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late? [Re: SoccerStar]
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1339

Edited by Suwanee (02/19/16 04:42 PM)
I've got this life
And the will to show
I will always be
Better than before

#416362 - 11/15/12 11:00 PM Re: Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late? [Re: SoccerStar]
cosmos Offline

Registered: 11/12/12
Posts: 191
Loc: Puget Sound
Iím not sure itís that simple? Itís kinda like a sick twisted catch-22. Wasnít everyoneís abuse a secret? Didnít the perp threaten to kill you or worse? Didnít you promise the perp youíd never tell? And now you want to tell your parents? I told my wife like you did but not under such demanding circumstances; and just uttering the words that I was raped to her caused me outrageous amount of pain; see I was the guy how would never tell no matter what, I couldíve been under pain of death I would never ďratĒ anybody out, never, and here I was ratting out my grandfather for fucking me. The catch here is the only way to freedom is to talk to someone about what happened, what your emotions are and were about the abuse and how to integrate your inhuman pain and suffering into your current life without feeling like a victim? Meaning telling other people simply to tell other people might just be your sub-conscious trying to maintain its victim role in your personality. See youíre not the victim anymore! Youíre talking about things that happened to you; sometimes the deeds need to be separated from the feelings; use your mind to analyze the thoughts and actions, use your heart, trust your heart, listen to your heart it will help guide you, youíre here talking like a man about things no person should ever be able to relate to, youíre not a victim anymore youíre a man!

Full disclosure my mom is the only surviving member of my family; she not only condoned my abuse; but over the years made horrible comments to me that I couldnít quite place until recently; so thatís my reality, no one else to tell; my sons why? However one of the first things the wife asked after I told her was, ďyouíre not going to tell anyone else; right?Ē I just laughed; canít let the neighbors know that Iím a ďsissy whoreĒ can we?
Not sure if this helps but itís where Iím at right now.

Good luck!!!

"it has never yet been discovered how to make man unknow his knowledge, or unthink his thoughts"

T. Paine

#416375 - 11/16/12 12:58 AM Re: Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late? [Re: cosmos]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
Thanks for the insights, Suwanee and Cee. I am sorry others also have this dilemma and also slightly surprised; for some reason I just got the idea that once people start telling it becomes "on the table" because you're not supposed to be ashamed anymore. But I'm not ashamed talking about sex stuff (consensual or SA) with my wife & therapist - and it feels wrong, dirty, to put the image inside my parents heads.

I mean - once I say I was molested I'd gave to say what it WAS, because they'd assume everything and envision every nightmare for the little boy they remember. So I'd have to spare them something by basically saying "no no, it wasn't anal, it was oral and hands." And that's no better because then your mom and dad see their little mental image boy forced to blow a dirty old man in a bathroom. Their imagination would be horrible but the truth would just tell them how to have the nightmares. And to what end? The SOL expired ages ago and the guy was like 70 in 1986 anyway.

FWIW, I never told because:

-The memories were disassociated and my 8yo self thought maybe I'd just seen it and not had it happen to me.

-I remembered the physical contact (and have remembered more since my recent breakdown and commencing therapy - lucky me) but did NOT remember either how the guy got me or what happened after. That meant in my mind there was no "trap" and no "secret/threat", which made it not match any of the warnings I'd heard. There would be some story - a lost dog, candy, a magic trick whatever - and then after they'd say you can never ever tell or else X. Without those matching my warnings I was confused.

-I wasn't even sure it was real until I was like 11 and learned what pubic hair was and that it could be gray. Then I was like "well you can't make up something you didnt know existed" - but by that time I was out of that school, seemed to be having a normal life, and had enough to worry about as a pre-teen

But by far, most of all, I never told because there was an extremely famous pedophile incident in my hometown. It messed up a lot of kids. One if the peeps was dating a member of my family - so there was triple-barreled heartbreak and horror over the subject. That family member cried and screamed so horribly I thought she had been stabbed to death and I begged my parents to open the door and let me see her if she was dying, but they wouldn't let me in, the kid brother, so I had to wait confused crying worried sick as I seriously thought she must be dying in there and what could possibly be so bad? And both of my parents were crying too. Mom cornered me and in a frankly borderline violent manner she immobilized me and demanded I tell immediately if those perps had ever gotten me. Shaking me to make me "pay attention!" like i was a bad kid who didnt pay attention. When I truthfully said nothing had happened she did not believe me, became even more hysterical and just about lifted me off the ground by my face and ordered me to tell the truth - I swore I was and when she finally believed me she broke down hysterical crying and I had to comfort and rock her! The ongoing shock and shame lingered in my family - the one who had been dating a perp was just in wretched shape for so long, it was something that Could Not Be Discussed. That CSA was so evil that even when it DIDNT happen to you it would make your whole family cry and scream and ashamed and turn normally nice parents unrecognizable scary and off their rockers. Oh, and these perps did get a friend of mine - did horrible things to him and made porn of him, and his parents were friends with my parents so they'd all sigh and moan over his fate together. And it pretty much did ruin his life.

So, uh, there's that too. And if they asked why I never told, and they heard even a gentler version of that....
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#416387 - 11/16/12 02:53 AM Re: Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late? [Re: SoccerStar]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Dear SoccerStar,

My perspective is a little different in that I think its time for you to take care of YOU, first and formost. The silence has gone on long enough. Telling or not telling, and how much to tell, should be based on whats best for YOU. Not anyone else. You no longer should protect anyone else from the truth of what happened, not at the expense of your own healing.

This may sound hard, but if you decide to tell your parents, it should be because it will be healing for YOU, even if it is hurtful for them. They are the PARENTS. They are the ones who should be doing the accepting, loving, comforting, and protecting. Its should not have been your job to comfort them then, and its not your job now.

Your job is to decide who, if anyone, you need to tell to move yourself forward in recovery. And to decide what, and how much to tell. You are in control of your life now. Don't sacrifice yourself anymore. You deserve to be a whole healthy man. Do what you have to to get there. Thats my opinion.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#416665 - 11/20/12 03:34 AM Re: Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late? [Re: SoccerStar]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2955
First of all, my best wishes go out to you in your recovery effort from Sandy. We rode out the non-stop freight train of wind 60 miles inland from Sandy's land fall, riding out the northern eye wall, and unless someone has been through it, they would be hard-pressed to relate that visceral fear to anything they've lived through before. There's just nothing quite like it. Our roof was totaled but we still have our house and count our blessings.

SoccerStar, telling my mom was a good choice for me. It may not be for you, but all I can do is share my experiences and what I gained from it - which was nothing I ever expected or predicted. Ultimately, I think I did it as a way to liberate myself from the secrecy and shame, but I don't think that reason was clear to me at the time. What I did know was fearing regret if I did NOT tell her. That's because I never told my dad, and realized - too late - that was a mistake. For me. Let me explain some of the dynamics in my situation - if you think you can relate, then perhaps my shared experience can help you. If not, well maybe at least it makes an interesting read.

My father knew about the molester in the neighborhood. Being a doctor, he was one of two or three neighborhood dads who met with this older boy once he was caught (one of the girls had nightmares and told her mom) and after deliberating they decided not to take it to the police. My dad never knew that among the many little girl victims was my baby sister. And he never knew that I was his boy victim - just that we were like big brother/little brother pals (I was 12, he was 15/16). At the time, however, I thought my dad DID know about my sister and me. In fact when my mom asked me to hang out with this boy to help keep him distracted from the girls, I thought I was some sort of sacrificial lamb. The shame kept me from having the relationship I SHOULD have had with my parents. It was hell and I marvel at how I got through it with my sanity (well, some may argue I didn't crazy ). I was just a dirty little kid doing dirty things that no one wanted to know about. I had recurring nightmares EVERYONE was molesting me - even my family. I remained his victim - swallowing my pride and shame and keeping my nightmares to myself - for months - really for years. He reminded me of the promise I made to the adults keep him from the girls (God - how did he know unless they handed me to him with a wink and a nod?), and threatened that if I did not submit to his advances, he'd be forced to molest the girls again and it would be on my conscience. I was so gullible, so stupid. I gave him my body - my life - my future, and for his trouble, I kept his secrets safe for years.

No more.

After my father died I realized the missed opportunities of not telling him. I never gave him the chance to understand who I was. I was too busy hiding to allow him to know me, to be close to me. I never gave him the opportunity to reconcile that bad decision not to prosecute - I never gave him the opportunity to explain it or even apologize for it. And therefore I find it hard to fix blame on him - like me, he was just another deceived soul. The victims of this crime are many. For years I was so busy blaming myself I didn't even know I WAS a victim. And once I realized it wasn't my fault - that I WAS a victim - I didn't know HOW to be a victim - what it meant to be one. And you have to know that if you hope to find the road to recovery (another thing I'm not sure I understand). So my dad was deceived by this guy, too - he never knew his own kids were victims.

The last words my father spoke to me were these: "Eirik, I don't know you as well as I have wanted to - you are a very private person - but I know you love me." And that's all I have. That's what was stolen from me. That's the REAL damage of CSA. I hope that never happens to you, my friend. It's a world of regret.

I never realized a LOT of things until the day I told my mom - a few years after my dad died. She sat across the table from me when I told here that both me and her youngest daughter were molested by the older boy next door, and I literally saw her age in front of me - I mean I just saw the lines in her face seem to deepen. She never knew. She just never knew. And here I swore both my parents did. It was at that moment - a time I asked her the pointed question why she didn't save us from that boy - that I wanted to hold her and comfort her - ironically like I needed all those years ago, like I probably still needed. I guess true love and respect work both ways.

That knowledge changed everything for me. I have a wonderful relationship with her now. Thank God I at least reclaimed THAT. If I never told her, it would have been another lost opportunity, another regret in my life. It was one little thing I took back from the guy who took so much from me and my sister those several years ago.

I suppose what I am saying is that the most damaging thing for me - perhaps even more than the sex itself - was the secrecy. I carried the deepest shame buried by the most elaborate cloak of secrecy I could create. I walked through my entire life a hidden soul wearing a mask that was a lie, afraid to let anyone know me lest they see a glint of my secrets shining out through a crack in my facade. THAT'S what destroys us - not so much the sexual acts, but the fact we don't know as children how to DEAL with those acts except by keeping secrets. In that sense, all recovery means is that we have grown up. We don't have to keep secrets any more. Not telling my parents is exactly what my molester would have wanted - and no doubt still hopes as he sits in his house today. Some day, I intend to let him know the secret is out.

#416713 - 11/20/12 06:53 PM Re: Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late? [Re: SoccerStar]
seikei Offline

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 94
There really is no easy answer when it comes to disclosure. One of my Ts (and yes I had several) said that the way we deal with trauma is by communicating the trauma over and over again until it no longer has the same power over you that it did. Like for instance, if you got to work after an accident, what would you do to make yourself feel better? You communicate the trauma with anyone that will listen. Of course some people have more private dispositions than others but this is usually the case. Using this logic I would say to go ahead to communicate the abuse with your parents as it will aid you in healing even if they react negatively. Again this approach isnt for everyone, so I guess I'll take an economical approach (seeing as its being shoved down my throat right now) if the amount of healing you will gain is greater than the amount of stress you will have to endure in telling them, I say tell them. So in closing, I think you should tell them, but ultimately the decesion is still up to you

#416718 - 11/20/12 09:04 PM Re: Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late? [Re: seikei]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
Thank you again for everyone's continued feedback. Comments sure seem mostly pointed one way - either "tell" or "I wanna tell / wish I had."

I really, really want to tell my father. It would help me. He and I are very close, he was always my protector as a kid. When something bad happened that I COULD talk about, he was my bellowing guardian who solved problems and destroyed bad things. Think Mufasa, with arthritis. He wasn't tactful - anything that hurt his family was worthless scum to be berated, publicly humiliated, threatened, arrested, sued, etc. If I'd told him back then my perp would have been in jail or the grave (sooner, anyway). Dad would comfort me, I'm sure of it; that bullshit with my grandpa's situation in South Am was stupid of me, it was his father-in-law who died age 100, not comparable with his only son. He wouldn't be humiliated of me or for my sake. He'd comfort me, tell me he always meant it, that nothing could change how they saw me, how much they loved me, that I'm not stained and shouldn't be embarrassed and he'd see me the same as always forever. I can envision myself crying in his arms and him saying its okay, that I'm still the same to him. I cry just thinking of doing that. It WOULD help me heal. It's so close but so far.

If I could somehow tell just him... and not my mom, who would start crying and not stop until she died and would re-examine and regret their parenting and my upbringing forever.

It may indeed be that I decide that any healing I get would be worth whatever damage it did her. May reach the point where I do throw that switch and if she can never look at a childhood picture of me again without crying... well... maybe that just comes with parenthood? I could have been paralyzed in a wheelchair and then she'd really have had to cry over pictures of the past.

T says just from the way it comes out when I talk, I ought to consider the likelihood that I'm not emotionally ready. I've only just started to feel good again after my collapse 3 weeks ago that brought this back to life. Can't go in conflicted.
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#416719 - 11/20/12 09:09 PM Re: Should I tell my parents - 20+ years too late? [Re: SoccerStar]
jj78 Offline

Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Midwest
Soccer Star-I am struggling with the same topic here. I won't tell my mom as she would not be able to handle it. She just wouldn't. I've thought of telling my father at some point though. Keep me posted on how things go for you.

#425416 - 02/16/13 12:30 AM xxxxxxxx [Re: SoccerStar]
wearytraveler Offline

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Not on MS anymore

Edited by wearytraveler (01/14/15 04:54 AM)

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