Do you tell parents about past sexual abuse?

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Do you tell parents about past sexual abuse?

Miss Nessa Miss Nessa
I was looking on amazon today, looking for something new to add to my kindle. I ended up in self help/ sexual abuse section.

I found this AMAZING book called Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them
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I'm only a few pages into the book and I'm already tearing up. The books starts off by talking about opening up and talking to someone. It talks about how if you don't, how it can ruin your life.

I started thinking to myself....

I haven't told everyone in my real life knows about it (my boyfriend and therapist knows). I still have NOT told my parents. The abuse came from my birth father.

I don't know why I didn't tell her about it, even know at 22 the thought of telling her scares me, but I feel its something that needs to be done, so that I feel better. But I worry about her, I worry she will blame herself.

I have decided that I want to tell her. My thing is, I don't know how to tell her. I was thinking of writing her a letter spilling out everything. I was also thinking should I call and tell her. I personally think maybe writing her would be best.

So, my question to you guys is, do I tell her? I've come this far, should I just leave it alone? My mother has NO contact with my birth father, so it isn't like he's around. I don't know what to do, but I would like to have figured out something.


I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong area.
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Tell her
3
Don't tell her
Send her a letter
Call her on the phone
11
Other
6
Total votes: 20 (17 voters)
Poll is closed
03/17/2012
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caligaliber caligaliber
I recently did this myself, and feel for your situation. Its not good all the way around, but I can say that she definitely needs to talk to you, but writing a letter can also help you to get out everything you need to get out. That way when you're on the phone with her, you don't forget a detail you wanted to tell her. If your mom is anything like my mom, she tried to say that she should have known, somehow. I had to keep reminding her that there was no way of knowing (in my case, I had to take great efforts to make sure she didnt know for various reasons then) without having given her some signs. The only advice I have for your mother trying to feel bad for not knowing is to just remind her she couldn't have known.

As for how to go about having the conversation, thats really up to you. When I have something bad I want to say I tend to just blurt it, but that doesnt work for everyone. Just make sure both of you have plenty of time to have the conversation without interruptions.
03/18/2012
Interesante Interesante
I think that you should tell her, especially if you feel you need to. It would help you resolve the problem a bit more in your mind, I would think.
03/18/2012
Woman China Woman China
Oh wow! This is a fantastic post and could be helpful in so many ways to so many people. Another reason why I want to kick the Chinese government and bop them on the head for censoring so many things on the internet.

To echo Caligaliber, there are a lot of good suggestions presented. But be aware, that it is possible your mother could go into denial and say you are lying. I hate to be the negative other shoe here, but it could go the other way too.

All I have to say is when you are explaining a past abuse to someone in the present who doesn't know, the situation can go either way.

If you do end up telling her, I would suggest over the phone, if you tell her and she goes the I should have known route, the look on her face will break you and tear you for not telling her before. And if it goes the other way, you are not there you can just reduce the volume on your phone or hang up.

Remember; give her time to digest it. She might take a while and say nothing. You've had time to process what you want to say to her, how you want to say it... you will be prepared. But she doesn't.
03/18/2012
jmex83 jmex83
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Nessa
I was looking on amazon today, looking for something new to add to my kindle. I ended up in self help/ sexual abuse section.

I found this AMAZING book called Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, ...
I personally would tell my parents if something happened.....I know my mother in law has dealt with these issues and refuses to tell her parents, even after 40 some years.
03/18/2012
ViVix ViVix
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Nessa
I was looking on amazon today, looking for something new to add to my kindle. I ended up in self help/ sexual abuse section.

I found this AMAZING book called Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, ...
First, you must look at how you expect her to react. Then, you have to decide how you will feel if she reacts in the opposite way. Then, make your decision.
03/18/2012
AmberM AmberM
I would tell my mom if something like that happened, but, I would call her on the phone or see her in person. Really though, it all depends on your mother, as the person above me said.
03/18/2012
indiglo indiglo
I think, rather than depending on your mother, it more depends on YOU. (And it's easy to say what you would do in the situation, but is much harder to navigate when you are actually in it - like parenting, I suppose.)

Have you healed? Is it something that still affects your daily life? What would your objective be in telling her?

My perspective on this is that if you've healed, and moved on, then just keep moving on. It certainly isn't a defining moment in our lives, nor is it the most important/interesting thing that's happened to us in our lives. It doesn't define us, and it isn't vital for anyone to have that information in order to know us completely. The only reason I'd see to tell her is if you feel you actually need to.

You're certainly under no obligation to do anything, so just do what feels healing to you. There's no law that parents must be privy to everything that happens in the lives of their children, especially once you're an adult. There's not really a right or a wrong answer here, because every situation is individual, and should be viewed and handled as such.
03/18/2012
tinadice tinadice
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Nessa
I was looking on amazon today, looking for something new to add to my kindle. I ended up in self help/ sexual abuse section.

I found this AMAZING book called Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, ...
call on the phone and tell her
03/18/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Nessa
I was looking on amazon today, looking for something new to add to my kindle. I ended up in self help/ sexual abuse section.

I found this AMAZING book called Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, ...
Only you know the answer to this. If you haven't told her, you may have a good reason. If you feel it wouldn't help you in any way, you don't have to tell her. Really. Listen to your heart and do what works for you.

The next time you sit down with her and things are quiet and good, test the waters and you'll know if it will be helpful to you to tell her or not. The only reason you'd really need to tell her is if she is still in a relationship with him. She may eventually need to know, to protect other girls from him.

It wasn't her fault. She needs to know this, IF you decide to tell her. Think about what works for you, though.

I've never told my mother I was abused. (It wasn't a family member, but my best friend's father.) I tried to, once. She went into a monologue about an uncle of hers who made her feel "uncomfortable" and we never got back to my issue. But, that's her, everything is about her I realized it doesn't matter if she knows or not. I doubt it would make much of an impression on her, and I know she'd tell people, despite my asking her not to. Just so she could be the center of a drama. *sigh*

Only you know your own mom well enough to know if it's the right thing to do, and when it's the right time. If ever.

Good luck, honey.

03/18/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
I think, rather than depending on your mother, it more depends on YOU. (And it's easy to say what you would do in the situation, but is much harder to navigate when you are actually in it - like parenting, I suppose.)

Have you healed? Is ...
indiglo, you said;
My perspective on this is that if you've healed, and moved on, then just keep moving on. It certainly isn't a defining moment in our lives, nor is it the most important/interesting thing that's happened to us in our lives. It doesn't define us, and it isn't vital for anyone to have that information in order to know us completely. The only reason I'd see to tell her is if you feel you actually need to.

You're certainly under no obligation to do anything


SO so true! I agree 100% Although these things are horrible, when we start to heal, we realize that the person who hurt us has no right to define us, nor to make themselves the most important person in our lives. And, that the events were far from the most important things that have happened to us. I feel it's SO important to deal with it as best we can (professional therapy is always a good way, as long as the therapist also wants to focus on other things than the abuse!) and move on.

But, Miss Nessa needs to decide if she wants to share this, and as you said, figure out if it will help her in any way. It was her trauma, and what she decides is up to her.

But, I agree 100% with what you said.

But, I also think that when the book says "Tell someone" they mean in a health context. Not just anyone. Nessa has shared this with her boyfriend and thankfully her therapist. IMO, at this point, (as she seems conflicted about telling her mom right now) that may be enough at the moment. But, only Nessa will know for sure. It's not an easy decision, I know that. But, I don't think Nessa is under any obligation to tell her mom, if she feels conflict about doing this.
03/18/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Nessa
I was looking on amazon today, looking for something new to add to my kindle. I ended up in self help/ sexual abuse section.

I found this AMAZING book called Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse--A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, ...
If you are currently seeing a therapist you might consider asking him/her for advice on how to broach the subject with your Mother. That's the person I'd turn to if I had such a weighted concern just because a therapist knows you and the background of the situation. Plus if things go horribly wrong he/she can help you pick up the pieces!
03/18/2012
Total posts: 12
Unique posters: 11