“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Feb 20, 2014
DEAR AMY: In 1960, when I was 9, I was sexually abused by a family friend over a period of months.

While he was on a trip with my dad and two older brothers, I finally told my mother. Her immediate response was, "How could you!"

My mother contacted another family friend who was a part-time deputy. It was decided that the best way to handle the situation was to have the police waiting for the man when he returned from the fishing trip and run out of town.

He was not prosecuted because my parents told me they didn't want people to "think badly of me."

My parents would never discuss the incident with me and basically treated me like scorched earth the rest of their lives.

In later years, after going through therapy on my own as an adult, I know that my parents failed me miserably. I have a wonderful supportive husband, terrific adult children and a good life.

My parents are both dead, but with the exception of one younger sister, the rest of my siblings don't seem to understand what a horrible experience my childhood and young adult life were because of the sexual abuse and my parents' treatment.

My brother had family movies put on a DVD, including films that had my abuser on them, and asked me if I wanted a copy. He can't understand why I got upset. I'm tired of their trivialization of the incident.

How can I make them understand that their attitude just continues the pain and shame I've worked so hard to overcome?! Should I just end contact with them?-- Sad

DEAR SAD: Decades after the fact, you should assume that some of your siblings will simply never catch on that you had a distinctly different -- and much more painful -- childhood than they had.

Stop trying to convince them. Instead, you could pity them their lack of insight. You could try to forgive them for their cluelessness and astounding tactlessness. You should continue to protect yourself through whatever personal boundaries you need to maintain. And then, as a final act of healing over the monstrous behavior that stole your childhood, you could accept your siblings as the flawed people they are (after all, they were raised by your parents).

The proof of your own triumph over this violation is in your success as an adult engaged in healthy and happy relationships. You win!

DEAR AMY: I have a crush on a guy, but he has a girlfriend. They've been going out for a few months now. He and I are friends.

Recently he told me that the reason he has been distant toward me is because he's been having an urge around me. He says I make him forget he has a girlfriend, and that he's afraid to be alone with me.

Little does he know that I have a crush on him too.

He says he wants to hang out with me more but on the lowdown since he has a girl, but I don't want to be a side chick.

Should I tell him how I feel? What would you do if you were in my situation?-- Unhappy

DEAR UNHAPPY: I can't imagine being in your situation; I may be one of those people who put out a distinct "please don't mess with me" vibe.

This guy is obviously testing the waters to see if you are interested in him, but, honestly, I think his proposition to you is pretty insulting. Your answer to him should be, "I don't want to be anyone's side chick, but let me know if you are ever available and I'll think about it."

DEAR AMY: "Just Plain Sad" talked about how nice her husband was to everyone, and how mean he was to her at home.

I suspect this man is having an affair. My husband tried to justify his adultery by being so mean to me, turning our home into an unpleasant place he then needed to "escape." Once his secret was unmasked, he actually started treating me better, although now he is my ex-husband.-- No Longer Sad

DEAR SAD: I agree that this is a definite possibility.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Feb 20, 2014
1 amy gave the correct answer. They are also a flawed product of their parents.

2 like, OMG! Maybe you can get Becky to pass him a note is study hall?

3 Or she could just me a miserable wench, a debbie downer, a stick in the mud, a party pooper.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#3 Feb 20, 2014
LW2... part of the advice I disagree with is that the LW should think about it if he becomes available. WHy? He's just admitted to being a cheater. Who'd want to be with an open cheater? Funny, I jsut recently went through the same, adult version of this. <shudder>

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#4 Feb 20, 2014
It's been 54 years! If they haven't gotten it by now, they never will. I can understand not wanting videos of your abuser, but come on, after 54 years it's time to let it go

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#5 Feb 20, 2014
I would never cheat on you! I think your too smoking hot, and you have a brain too!
Stina2 wrote:
LW2... part of the advice I disagree with is that the LW should think about it if he becomes available. WHy? He's just admitted to being a cheater. Who'd want to be with an open cheater? Funny, I jsut recently went through the same, adult version of this. <shudder>

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#6 Feb 20, 2014
LW1: I doubt you are going to change anyone’s views this late in life.

LW2: What makes you think even if you two started dating that he won’t have an urge with another girl and want to fool around with her on the low down?

LW3: OR maybe he’s just mean to his wife for whatever reason.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Feb 20, 2014
err, down low.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#8 Feb 20, 2014
She has let it go, she has moved on. She is fine until someone in her family dredges it up again. I think her reaction is totally ordinary.
edogxxx wrote:
It's been 54 years! If they haven't gotten it by now, they never will. I can understand not wanting videos of your abuser, but come on, after 54 years it's time to let it go

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#9 Feb 20, 2014
L1 I was not abused so my opinion may be skewed.

I find it noteworthy that LW doesn't say whether the abuser is dead. These days it is easy enough to go on the internet and find out that sort of thing. I would think that would provide some closure for her. On the other hand if he turns up on a sex offender list, she will have even more emotional and moral justification for her anger at her parents because they allowed him to be available to do that again.

The other point is that regardless of the therapy she has undergone and the supportive spouse, LW has allowed this to define a large segment of her life. I don't think the therapy was effective in that respect. It appears that she cooperated in her parents silence if her sibs are still not aware of what happened.

I fault her parents for the scorched earth approach to LW, but the culture was very different in the early 60's and as the girl she would have come in for a wider amount of blame, and been tagged with a bad reputation at a time when that meant a great deal.

L2 If he is willing to cheat on her, he will be willing to cheat on you. Be glad you found out about his character when it is just in the crush stage.

L3 Maybe he wasn't having an affair. Maybe you weren't a b*tch. Maybe he was just an at-home ass*ole. Some people are. See what happens in his other relationships.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#10 Feb 20, 2014
1: Yes, no one who hasn't had this kind of experience themselves can really begin to understand. Your siblings won't until someone messes with one of them or perhaps with one of their kids. That said, and I sort of hate to bring this up, but have you considered that your parents were victims of their times? Perhaps they would have reacted differently today. Years ago, rape victims were victimized again when they went to court to testify. They were often "put on trial" themselves and made to look like they were to blame for their own rapes. I'm fairly certain that victims like yourself went through something similar. It was not unusual years ago to blame the victim. Perhaps that's what your parents were trying to protect you from. I would hope that at the very least they cut off all contact with your abuser. I for one, do not believe a victim of sexual abuse ever "gets over it." It's there in the back of your mind all the time. It does affect how you view things. I certainly understand your feelings regarding the video that included your abuser. Its like being smacked right in the face or worse to have your sibling expect you to want such a thing. That he even kept photos/videos of this man knowing what he did to you is a like a punch to your stomach. Yes, it's as bad or worse than a physical punch. It is a betrayal to someone toward whom he should feel loyalty. A loving sibling would not want to have anything to do with someone who sexually abused you. His action was like an open declaration that he has no loyalty toward you. Perhaps this can be laid at your parents' feet. I can understand their not prosecuting the man in order to protect you from what might happen to you in a court appearance, but they should have stuck by you and taught your siblings to do the same. I'd limit contact with these unfeeling siblings.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#11 Feb 20, 2014
L1: Family sometimes don't get it b/c they don't want to burst whatever bubble they have going for them that makes them feel better about themselves, their life and their world.(shrug) So, you accept that they just can't handle it and it sucks to be the stronger person and it doesn't really feel like you "win". Then you realize, that can sum up a lot of stuff that happens in life so you move on.

L2: How old are you?

L3: Could be. Could be a lot of things.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#12 Feb 20, 2014
LW1: What Amy said. <gollum>

LW2: Tell him you have an urge around him too but that you're not willing to be the other woman. If he won't stop seeing this other girl, then you know this is not the droid you're looking for.

LW3: Why can't this guy just be an azzhole? No excuses, no reasons, just a azz.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#13 Feb 20, 2014
What letter are you reading???

What is this large segment? I only read that she has a problem with her siblings telling her to "Get over it" And they did know about it. from the letter....
My parents are both dead, but with the exception of one younger sister, the rest of my siblings don't seem to understand what a horrible experience my childhood and young adult life were because of the sexual abuse and my parents' treatment.

He can't understand why I got upset. I'm tired of their trivialization of the incident.

And how can you make her culpable to her parents silence? She was only 9!
PEllen wrote:
The other point is that regardless of the therapy she has undergone and the supportive spouse, LW has allowed this to define a large segment of her life. I don't think the therapy was effective in that respect. It appears that she cooperated in her parents silence if her sibs are still not aware of what happened.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#14 Feb 20, 2014
PEllen wrote:
L1 I was not abused so my opinion may be skewed.
I find it noteworthy that LW doesn't say whether the abuser is dead. These days it is easy enough to go on the internet and find out that sort of thing. I would think that would provide some closure for her. On the other hand if he turns up on a sex offender list, she will have even more emotional and moral justification for her anger at her parents because they allowed him to be available to do that again.
The other point is that regardless of the therapy she has undergone and the supportive spouse, LW has allowed this to define a large segment of her life. I don't think the therapy was effective in that respect. It appears that she cooperated in her parents silence if her sibs are still not aware of what happened.
I fault her parents for the scorched earth approach to LW, but the culture was very different in the early 60's and as the girl she would have come in for a wider amount of blame, and been tagged with a bad reputation at a time when that meant a great deal.
My abuser is dead. It does NOT bring closure except that I know I will no longer be subject to his behavior. I met a man at my sister's second wedding 15 years ago. He said he knew my uncle and had many fine memories of him. He went on and on about what a great guy he was. I felt like busting his bubble of happy memories by telling him the guy he admired so much was a pedophile who had molested me when I was a tiny kid and continued the verbal sexual innuendo and harassment well into my teens. I had learned to be alert enough to not let him get physically close to me but he did find opportunities to make the harassing remarks. It never ended until he finally died. So that kind of closure, yes. But no complete mental/emotional closure. I do not allow it to take over my life and most of the time, I don't even think about it. But things will bring it to mind, like this lw or the time my husband was insisting we should allow his nephew to visit even though he'd molested my girls when they were little. My husband had forgiven him for the first one because "he'd just been a kid (at 13) and he had years of therapy." My husband never believed the nephew had molested our younger daughter when the nephew was past the age of 18 and she was about 7 or 8 simply because she got upset when he was questioning her and she ended up denying it had happened. So for him, it never happened. I finally got through to him that it was disrespectful to me and the girls to allow this nephew in our home. I had to threaten to leave him in order for him to see I was serious and the problem was that bad. He hadn't realized because I HAD NOT allowed my situation to dominate my life. I doubt the lw has done that either. But it really hurts when the people who should be close to you and be loyal to you seem to think that you should be ok having reminders of their abusers pushed in their faces and be treated as though what happened was nothing and they should "get over it." I'm not saying people need to "walk on eggshells," I'm saying they should at least understand why an abuse victim would get upset about the kind of behavior displayed by these siblings. These siblings,of all people, should be understanding and sympathetic to her situations. As for the time period, it's about the same time period of my own experience which started in the mid-50s. My siblings are all older than me and they certainly have responded in a much better way over the years. I never had this kind of reaction from them. They were informed in the late 60s after my dad's death.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#15 Feb 20, 2014
It's off topic--but Wayne and Tamara's answer to Kerry for this week
might interest LW1.

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