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#374596 - 11/08/11 01:21 AM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
Sailor John Offline

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 310
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi Incognito,

I kept everything about my CSA bottled up inside for over 40 years until I had no other choice but see my doctor. She wanted me to tell people right from the start but I said no way.

About a month or maybe just a bit longer, I decided I would tell my siblings 1 x 1 except the first time I told 2 at once. I couldn't even tell them directly so I had to send them an E-mail that beat around the bush until I put a couple of links on it dealing with CSA. I decided that if I needed support sometime, they should know what was going on. I then told some more relatives either in person or over the phone if they lived away.

I started with the people I could absolutely trust and am still only telling that group of people, all family or close relatives. They have every single one, been exceptionally supportave. I also learned at least 1/2 probably more of us were either harrassed, molested or abused, howver you want to call abused.

I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.


#374603 - 11/08/11 02:45 AM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
lapchinj Offline

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1481
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing

Edited by lapchinj (03/18/13 10:16 AM)
Stick around, It will get better....🌹🌹🌹

#374616 - 11/08/11 04:21 AM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: EvanCan]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 754
Loc: VA
I don't remember telling anyone before the flashbacks began 35 years later. By then, both of my parents were dead. I don't remember anyone saying or doing anything about What The Perv Did, except that I heard he apparently assaulted an older boy.

#434151 - 05/09/13 08:38 PM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
BuffaloCO Offline

Registered: 07/14/12
Posts: 490
Want to tell my family, don't know how to do it without a thousand questions coming at me. Also, why put that hurt in their life now, especially since I now have a good relationship with them after years of not so good, bad even. Don't want to mess that up, and the whole thing is confusing.
�We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.� - Plato

#434162 - 05/09/13 09:51 PM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
Hi incognito!

Great question. Great question indeed. Terrible that any of us have been burdened with this question. When it happened, we were silenced, as if WE had done something wrong. BULLSHIT. We have done nothing wrong. Nothing then, nothing now. We are free to tell our story to whoever we want.

Your family may have beliefs about this person. True. You telling them would challenge those beliefs. If they react negatively, it's not on you, it's on them. Like another poster said, I feel so relieved after having told my friends and family. However, my relationship has been strained with my sister (living in constant denial) and my mother (what's abuse?).

The truth is, someone chose to do something wrong to each of us. They deserve all of the blame for any of the fallout. But, there is fallout. Just look at all the self medicating behaviors we all have, look at how things are for us, look at how things are for survivors who do tell friends and family. There is a fallout. That is not our fault, either.

When I accepted that things may change in my life, I began to get TRUE healing. I'm still in the midst of it, actually. Like another poster said, that pressure valve has released SO MUCH pressure! It's so freeing!

When telling, consider:
1. Tell safe and healthy people first.
2. You don't have to share every detail of the story... i.e. "I was sexually abused as a child."

The point of telling is to release yourself from guilt and doubt and blame, and all of the shame. Honestly, the identity of the perp is far less important than the consequences of his actions. You are doing this for yourself. Keep the focus on you. You DESERVE to live a life free of the memory and emotional toll this takes on us every single day. As you tell your story, even if people react negatively, you'll start to feel relief. Negative reactions cause a delay in the relief feeling, for sure, but it does come.

When I told, I told coworkers first. Told them every detail (who, how long, etc.) Now, I have a cliff notes version. "I am a survivor of CSA and I've been in therapy for a year." The point isn't who did it, the point is I am taking control over my body and the side-effects that asshole caused me.

You also don't have to tell anyone. That's your right. We're always here if you need answers, support, to vent.

Good luck bro. And remember to be easy on yourself.
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

#434168 - 05/09/13 11:45 PM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
Poorsoft Offline

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 163
Some good advice here, really smile

For myself, I told my mother. At first she believed me or so she said, she even named the people I named before I did, so that was interesting. Then she started to talk about depression and autisim...come out with things like "You know you're cousin has aspergers and depression...and your grandmother was depressed, she even tried to kill herself six times". Oh ok, so I'm now a delusional suicidle depresent with a case of autism? Gee, thanks mother.

My dad? No way, he doesn't do emotion, he doesn't do any of this shit, he would think it weak and pathetic, would probably speak in a mocking sense and tell me to 'get real'.

My brother, well firstly I'm sure he is afflicted also, but my older brother upon hearing would probably tear them apart if he found out, quite protective indeed.

My sister? Well, I think my mother blabbed to her and told her some of the things i told her, but shes been supportive; even offered to pay for a train ticket to come see her for the day to chat.

Funny, I've told a few trusted close friends, but I havent said anything to my own family.

#434171 - 05/10/13 12:38 AM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
kann Offline

Registered: 04/23/13
Posts: 8
Hi all, the only person I told was my therapist, which was 2 weeks ago. I been thinking about telling my brother for the last ten years that I was molested by some kid in the neiberhood when I was 7, and I am now 50. Most people that know me think I'm gay ( never had a girlfriend ) and I am attracted to women. I am not gay but would rather have them think that than to know what happen to me 40 years ago, to ashamed and I don't know if I could look my family in the face after I told them. .... still don't know what to do....

#434173 - 05/10/13 12:55 AM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
kann Offline

Registered: 04/23/13
Posts: 8
sorry didn't mean to vent...

#434190 - 05/10/13 03:58 AM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest
I told my parents recently. I told my mom first, and then about a month later I told my dad. I told them because I was see a therapist, going through recovery, and overall dealing with the fallout of my CSA. I really felt that dissonance between myself and the person my parents thought I was. Often times they questioned my behavior, not knowing the root cause. They couldn't understand why I did certain things, or reacted to environmental stimuli the way I did. Furthermore, they knew I was seeing a T, but didn't know why, and that was creating a rift. Because they didn't know the real reason, they surmised several possibilities which caused them stress. Probably the most important reason I told them, is because I didn't feel worthy of love, and I wanted to know feel their love, despite being scarred by the CSA. I wanted to be close to them. Both my parents are in their 80s and I know their time on earth is limited. I didn't want to regret never telling them. I wanted a close relationship. I wanted them to be proud of me, to have them see me as being successful and a survivor. I just wanted to know that I mattered to someone, and I wanted to matter to the people who have loved me the most during my lifetime.

I did tell them on my terms. I waited until I was strong enough to make the big reveal. I needed to feel like I was strong enough to handle what might possibly be a very disappointing experience. I love them completely, but I didn't feel like their reaction was my responsibility. If they fell apart, it would be their issue and I didn't feel I needed to protect them, and I especially didn't feel I needed to sacrifice myself for their well-being.

It was a very positive experience. My parents responded in the best possible way. They kept composed, even as my mom broke into tears. She wanted to know if I was okay and told me she was proud of me for surviving. My dad was equally wonderful - the most important man in my life also told me he was proud of me for having the strength to come forth and tell my story. I know I am a man in his eyes, and that is wonderful validation.

Their support has been instrumental in the recovery process. They have shown me they loved me, but yet they don't pity me. They're letting me take my recovery at my pace, and they don't pressure me into being something I'm not. They are helping me become the man I'm meant to me. I am very lucky. Not all survivors are able to have the support of loving parents. I am very grateful to have the family I have. Everything would be different without them. thanks DavO

#434205 - 05/10/13 07:51 AM Re: To those of you who did(n't) tell your family... [Re: Incognito]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2694
Loc: durham, north england
Hi incognito.

With me it was actually the other way around. My parents knew I'd had bad experiences at school and these had left me with low self isteme and other issues, as well as reactions which weren't normal.

In retrospect I can see how a 19 year old having a panic attack at someone walking into the bathroom while he has his shirt off is a pretty good indicator, however when my mum quite casually said "oh you were raped" I felt shocked. I'd never thought of my experiences in those terms (especially since the most serious s/xual stuff happened with girls). This was a clarrification, and in that sense helpful.

when I hit the metaphorical wall in 2007 and told my parents I needed to sort out the consequences of what had happened to me as a teenager, I got several reactions, some good some bad.

My dad tended to take it in his stride and be fairly straight forward, indeed he was the first person to propose I tried antidepressants which i did for 18 months, my mum has been different in various ways. She's been supportive over the issue, but equally has occasionally tried to push me in certain directions she! believes will help.

on one occasion for instance she attempted to break my genophobia by discussing a s/xual practical joke her and her work colleagues played on someone, on another occasion she actually suggested finding a prostitute.

on another occasion both my parents signed me up to eharmony (a fiasco), and indeed the hole business of relationships has caused major arguements betwene me and my mum in particular. It's also taken both my parents a while to realize that no, this isn't just something which will "get better", indeed while I've never been told to get over it, I have occasionally had comments like "but your done with that recovery stuff now aren't you" or "well that was last year, you can move on now"

That's generally been the theme of things. my parents have been very supportive about the actual symptomatic elements, giving me space when things are severely wrong, but equally have had a bad habbit of wanting to try and "fix" me in some way shape or form.

Some of these attempts, like my dad's suggestion about antidepressents or a suggestion from my mum that I start a regular routine of going to lectures have been helpful, others have not been, and it's been rather hard when my parents (particularly my mum), have urged something on me, or slyly alluded to something in a highly pointed way, indeed on the relationship question it's sort of an unspoken rule now that it's something we don't discuss.

My brother has been supportive in his own way, though that's mostly just meant spending time at points watching anime, discussing computer games or the like, in effect bieng friends rather than anything more head on.

Generally I will say having my parents know is helpful, particularly when I can for instance simply neglect phoning them or the like and they know it's a coping mechanism, or understand why I lock my bedroom door while getting changed when I'm staying at my parents'.

It's like anything else, it's had good and bad consequences, over all good, but certainly not %100, and I do freely confess after the latest yelling match in which my mum tells me to "find a nice girl" or the occasions when I've snapped unexpectedly then felt amazingly guilty, sometimes I have regretted it, for all the times that when my dad's just relaxed and asked if I were okay, or the occasions when my mum says she has seen my recovery have a positive effect which she's pleased about even if I don't perceive this myself, I've been glad my parents know.

Hope some of this at least is useful. In fairness since the perpetrators involved are not people we see anymore it's not a worry, though on one recent occasion my mum and I did almost run into the head master of the school who pretty much just sat down and ignored everything that was going on under his nose, and that would have been a difficult meeting.


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