23rd June 2022 at 9:30 pm #145877
Hi I need some advice on a situation I’m finding extremely difficult to cope with. I left my husband after decades of abuse which my daughters were victims of too . Despite their pleas I could never go through with reporting him even though police came many times. My (removed by moderator) daughter suffered with her mental health and tried to commit suicide a few (removed by moderator) ago . She is now better and works herself in (removed by moderator) but certain events in her job have triggered bad memories and she spoke to me and she feels she needs justice on what she went through and us all as a family. She has made an initial call to police saying she wants to report her dad for historic abuse. The problem is I also have a little boy who dotes on his dad as he has never experienced what we went through as he was small when I finally left . He has a good relationship with his dad and his dad looks after him well . My daughters don’t see their dad or speak to him . I feel so torn as I know the right thing to do is to support my daughter as I know how brave she is for taking this first step in speaking to police but I can’t deal with breaking my sons heart and the massive amount of upset this will do after years after . My daughter says (removed by moderator) but I’m torn if I don’t will I be letting her down ?I know I look so weak and pathetic but I really am so confused and anxious with it all. Any advice or thoughts as I feel so alone with this x
23rd June 2022 at 10:01 pm #145879Twisted SisterParticipant
Hi Free petal
You’re not alone here, and welcome, thats a very complex set of emotions to manage for you all, it must be very hard. Its also bound to bring up so much from the past that you thought had been left in the past, but as you say, your daughter is fair enough to want to report her dad for his abuses, and this is now out of your hands, which must be scarey.
I’m glad to hear that you want to support her, but that might be tricky for you to manage is understandable, just maybe let her know this? That you don’t feel strong, but nevertheless support her in her absolute right to have her own justice. This is about him and his abuses upon her. He does not deserve any protections, and it will not harm your son to know the truth about his father. Its a valuable lesson for him to learn that men cannot do this to women, and that his own father has done this to his own children. It is harmful potentially to withhold the truth from him. This is his father and he should know who he is, don’t shield him from it or he will begin to mistrust whether you are truthful with him.
Its a hard one that we all face, feeling guilt for our children over what after all is what someone else has done. We know its not an easy thing to leave, and often don’t realise the harm it has really done to our children, often believing they are not experiencing the abuse.
I am so sorry for all you all went through, and you have all obviously come a long way since then.
You have been brave to speak out here, and I hope you will feel now amongst a supportive community who do understand how this must be for you, and know a lot of what you have all been through.
Your daughter is very brave indeed to face up to this, its more than many of us are able to do. Keep the communications open with her about how difficult it will be for you all, for different reasons, but that she is not responsible for that only for her own well-being going through what is going to be a difficult experience. We all deserve some justice, and very few get it.
I wish you every strength to all face this together as a family.
23rd June 2022 at 10:35 pm #145880
Hi Twisted sister thank you so much for your thoughts . Your words really ring true for me and part of me knows after all this time something should be done but I’m so very scared and completely lost on how I feel with it all. I am worried about how his family will cope as I am still very close with them . They know what he did to us all and looking back they probably wanted me to report him but I felt so guilty for him that I couldn’t which again is crazy I know. I am worried they will think why now after all these years ?. I still have a very unpredictable time with him as he can be ok one minute and horrible the next but I just kind of accept it as I’m not with him. I’m divorced and the contact is because of our son. This is eating me up and I feel overwhelmed with what to do for the best. X
24th June 2022 at 12:41 am #145885Twisted SisterParticipant
I can see why you would be absolutely feeling so scared and anxious. I suppose in one way, if its any consolation, this is completely your daughter’s independent decision, its not been influenced by you and your only part in it is to tell the world you will be supporting your daughter in her quest for justice for herself.
Separately, your priority is to reach out for all that you need to get through this. Without knowing your son’s age, it would be reasonable to alert those around him at the right time that this would be potentially impacting on him in one way or another, such as teachers/health visitors, or other supports he may need?
There are organisations, charities, who can offer support to you.
One of the main things you need is to have very strong boundaries for yourself, as you are feeling so caught up in this, and you may not feel able to support your daughter, its more important you are honest with her about how difficult this must be for her, and that its having adverse affects on you, which you will seek your own help for, but worry about how much you can give because he’s obviously taken so much of you in the years you spent with him. He also sounds like he’s still abusive, and would be to your son, even if its to enlist him as one of his foot soldiers to gather family information, and it may be risky for your son to continue contact with his father during this time? Just things to consider and prepare for.
I can feel how worrying this is for you, but please let go of the worries for others at a time when you yourself have so much to handle. His family have been aware of his abuse, and supported you, and they will need to manage themselves through this. It won’t help you, or them, if you are worrying about them.
Have you got a good relationship with your GP? They could be a good first port of call, to express how huge this is feeling for you, and how many people are going to be affected by it? or even just to get some signposting (hate all the signposting that sends people in circles! but.. they may know of some helpful resources for you).
Also, you are not crazy to feel this way. you really are not, as its part of the abuse trying to force all the responsibiliity for everything onto you, and noone can manage all of that. Of course he wins if you take the guilt doesn’t he, because he’s escaped it. The guilt that absolutely is his, belongs fair and square on him, as none of this would have happened if he hadn’t abused you all! His fault, his blame, his guilt, not yours. I think many can understand why, and will not themselves report abusers to police, or pursue them to court. We may start to see more brave girls like your daughter who suffered starting to stand up against their abusers in court, there is a lot more airing of it now than perhaps when you were suffering it. Recently its been higher profile in the news.
Do keep talking on here, and wherever else you can find support. You may also be able to access victim support as part of this. Do what you can for you, and don’t spread yourself too thinly around others.
This is bound to bring up very strong feelings for you all, take care of each other x
24th June 2022 at 6:58 am #145893
I think as well I am so worried about the whole process with the police . (Detail removed by moderator). It’s just me who atm can’t deal with it. What happens When and if they speak with him . What happens with my son and contact as I’m feeling that even though he has a good relationship with my little boy once everything comes out could they stop contact ? I am petrified of that happening as he sees my son all the time (removed by moderator). I am just a mess with the Constant what ifs ? I feel like the life I am used to is going to fall apart
24th June 2022 at 9:03 am #145902WaterspriteParticipant
Don’t want to read and run – I will PM you later have relevant experiences x also – you can and you will get you and your family through this. Storms pass – remember your bravery to leave x
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