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vivian93
For those of you reading this, i was sexually molested as a child by one of my older cousins. Up until a few months ago no one in my family knew about it. I told one of my closest girl cousins, and she took it pretty hard. Turns out she really liked him, he was one of her favorite cousins and now she cant stand to look at him. I feel responsible for her feeling that way and i wish i didnt tell her sometimes. She was pretty close to him, and i tore that apart. This makes me wonder what will happen if and when i tell someone else in my family about it. I dont want to rip my family apart. They mean the world to me, besides my cousin of course.

Recently i went to a family reunion, and he showed up. I was forced to say hi to him, and he actually tried to give me a hug. The nerve. Anyways, when i saw my other cousin look towards him she just got this disgusted look on her face. I want to change that... but idk how. Like i said, she was once so close to him, and now im the one to blame for her hatred towards him.

Someone please help me out with this situation, what should i do?
Moonglow
You need to develop a proper boundary when it comes to people specifically the responsibility part of the boundary. Thereís a difference between what you did and lets say actively trying to hurt someone like sexually molesting them for example. There is a difference. And by simply telling her what happened you are not responsible for her actions or her feelings. Yet you do take responsibility for them and that isnít healthy for you. Itís evident of a dysfunctional boundary. A boundary that is supposed to separate your actions from other peopleís actions. That is supposed to allow you to take responsibility for only what you are in fact responsible for and to not take responsibility for other peopleís actions or feelings. To not attempt to control them which is what taking responsibility for them is. By taking responsibility for her actions and feelings youíre attempting to control her.

For myself I didnít know there was any other way. I used to always the place the blame on myself specifically when people treated me abusively. I figured if I was different then they wouldnít but that just put way too much stress on me made me hate myself and made me scared of them. Iím not responsible for the way people treat me itís their choices and who they are. If I make a mistake Iím responsible for the mistake alone not for someone berating me for it. Thatís how they choose to react.

And for you you arenít really responsible for anything in this situation. You told her something just like lets say ďitís probably going to rain todayĒ. Maybe thatís a little bit of an odd comparison but what you told her didnít demand a certain response is my point. How she reacted was up to her. So what you need to do is learn how to not take responsibility for things you are not responsible for. By developing a separation and learning what you are and what you are not in control of and then just basically respecting people. Donít feel that her choice is wrong donít feel that anguish over it. Respect her choice. Respect her feelings and actions. You say you want to change the way she feels and reacts but you canít. Only she can. You can talk to her if you want and it sounds like she needs someone to talk to but in the end, ideally, you should respect how she comes to feel and how she chooses to react. I hope that makes sense.

Per not wanting to tear your family apart. Then simply think about what it is that you DO desire. Like emotional support. And then if you do tell them tell them for that reason. You can go in it with the intention to tear them apart and if youíre manipulative and lie then you are in that way responsible for it. But if you in it for something like emotional support and donít manipulate or lie then you arenít to blame for whatever results. What results is the choice of the people you talk to. If you ask somebody for help and they say no you arenít responsible for them saying no thatís their choice.

Per the guy evidently he is either not capable of respecting you and you should just completely shut him out or you should be very clear that you donít want anything to do with him. There is no such thing as being forced to say hi. I assure you. It is your choice to say hello or not. So make that choice accordingly to what you desire. Donít hide how you feel about him or what happened. But donít use it to destroy anything or cause chaos either. Just more or less allow it to be a part of you allow it to be out there where you can deal with it and move past it. Allow your feelings to be what they are so that you can confront it, explore it and deal with it.
survivorone
Vivian 93, Hi.
Reading your posting I couldn't help but to think of the young girl you were when this abuse took place......
If that girl came to you now and told you what happened to her, would you say....well we don't want to upset anybody or hurt anyone so we'll keep it to ourselves..........I can only imagine the hurt and disappointment she would feel....
With me, it was about being ready to disclose.......There is great info that can help you decide if you want to disclose and if so......what support you might want and the best way to do it.....also some of the pitfalls others have experienced.....
I don't think there is anything more difficult than what you describe......because of the guilt,I didn't say anything for many years......the guilt almost killed me.........but it's much better now.......meditation helped me to get clear about my feelings and to disengage from taking responsibilty for others feelings......
Anyway I wish you all the best..........
survivorone
Confidential
Vivian, I think what you need to realize is that by coming forward and telling people about the abuse, you felt you needed to expel that pressure you had inside of you. Moreover, I think you need to understand that it is not YOU that drove the rift in your family for having told about the abuse. It is your COUSIN who drove the rift in your family by abusing you! Keeping secrets for others enables abusers to continue abusing others and get away with it. It's a terrible fact.

You did the right thing by talking about it and by being honest. How can you feel guilty for telling the truth? Your parents and closest relatives should be aware of what happened (when you are ready to tell them) so that they can protect others from his predatory behavior. Do not feel guilty for having been taken advantage of and speaking about.

Be strong and do the right thing. This person is dangerous and is likely to cause great pain, confusion, and do much wrong to others over whom he may have power. Thank you for doing the right thing. I know it was not easy for you.
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