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Author Topic: Some silly Mom issues?
Kobalt
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Hi. I've been browsing this site for a long time and for the last few weeks reading through posts and articles here have been a staple. Still, I never thought I'd register here and ask a question. I just... really need some honest advice because I think I've got myself in some trouble. [Frown]

Umm, so this all started when I was younger. I had a Mother who was physically, verbally and emotionally abusive. She's still my Mother but she's changed. Sometimes she'll still blow up and hit me etc. but it's not like it used to be.

Anyway, one of the things she'd do is guilt me into taking off my clothes and then looking at my vagina, saying she's 'checking' me. She didn't do anything sexual, just poked and looked, but I would always make it clear that I was uncomfortable. She would get angry at me and say that her friends' kids would let their mothers see them naked etc.

What brought this up is that the other day (I am 16 now) she implied that she planned to look at my vagina and see if I'm still a virgin since she knows I have a hymen and 'she's seen it'. Well that's pretty revealing in itself because that's not how hymens work and I know that you can't tell like that whether someone is sexually active. I brushed it off then but then today I worked up the courage to say that that was not normal and it passed my boundaries. Then I guess I made the mistake of bringing up the past? I don't think it was a mistake but my family does. I mentioned that when I was younger I felt uncomfortable with her guilting me into taking off my clothes and stuff over and over and I said that passing someone's limits like that is sexual abuse. She said 'okay' and hung up and then called back in hysterics, demanding to talk to my Dad and apparently she wants to get the police involved in this. I just wanted to talk it over with her and my counselor. Anyway, now my Dad says I'm bringing in unnecessary drama and my Mom is pissed and neither will talk to me. It's just... I feel alone and like I've done something terrible. Typing this I feel terrible, like i'm a bad kid. I just feel... controlled by my Mom. I feel uncomfortable and I don't want these things to continue to affect me. I want to talk about it, but my family is convinced I am wrong. Please help? I feel stupid asking this...

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September
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Welcome to Scarleteen, Kobalt!

I am sorry to hear about the things you've gone through! It sounds like you have a pretty good understanding of what happened, and that you are not to blame for any of what your mother did.

You are right: your mother's behavior was intrusive and disrespectful of your boundaries. I am glad to hear that you felt strong enough to stand up to her.

My suggestion would be that you talk about this with your counselor, if you have not already done so. Maybe you can also find out if your counselor things it would be at all useful for them to mediate a conversation between you and your mother. Whether that's a good idea would depend on the specifics of your history, and your counselor would be a much better judge of that than I.

I am not sure what your mother is hoping to acomplish by threatening to call the police - after all, she is the one who overstepped bounds and engaged in abusive behavior. So, I would suggest you try and distance yourself from that, as well as the drama in general, and focus on yourself and taking care of yourself in this.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Patricia H
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Hey Kobalt,

Welcome to Scarleteen. First of all, I want to offer you my sincerest condolences for what you went through and are still going through right now. Please understand that none of this is silly, stupid, or in any way trivial; I'm glad you understand this to be a serious violation of privacy and your self, and I'm glad you found us here, as you are never alone when you are here with us.

Have you thought about potentially seeking out help from authorities and/or trusted adults you know of? From the looks of it, this could end up being much bigger and more difficult than you can handle on your own, and it's good to have a support system you can fall back on in case things get worse.

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

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Kobalt
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September
Thank you so much. Right now I am outside, alone in the dark and afraid to face my father (my parents are divorced and I am currently at his house). He seems to think that Mothers can't sexually abuse their children. He is usually supportive of me and it hurt when he made a face at me, accusing me of causing unnecessary drama and saying 'Your own Mother?!' like I am doing something terrible to her. I feel sad that because I stood up to her I can't be inside or comfortable. I'm afraid to face my family. Still, I do feel a bit better being away from the situation.

Re: the police I think she wants to get them involved so I will feel silly? I'm not sure what's going through her head but at this time in my life I canNOT deal with a police case or any of that and I'm sure she knows that.

It's just that all my life she says 'if someone touches you tell me' and things like that, so it seems she's appalled that I would tell her about herself.


Patricia H
Thank you so so much as well. [Smile] Alone is what I feel the most right now. I've never had too many friends and family is so important, but now i just feel like an outcast. My father won't stop shooting me disgusted looks.
I tried to call my counsellor but no answer. I have an appointment scheduled with her on the 31st but that was before all of this. It's just a short one because last week I had my first anxiety attack and I pushed to see her. She is very supportive but so so difficult to get a hold of. I will keep trying, I just hope she isn't against me on this too. I don't know who else to turn to or what to do until I get her.

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Kobalt
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Sorry, one more thing- do you think it would be appropriate to show all this to my Dad so that he doesn't think I'm crazy for thinking this is sexual abuse? Or should I just hold out until I get on to the counselor. I really need someone to turn to right now, I feel lost and alone and overwhelmed.

I am only afraid that they'll ban me from this site or the internet as a punishment. They might do that anyway actually. [Frown]

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Heather
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Kobalt, I think that's certainly something you could do.

But in case you don't want to risk them knowing about -- or further watching your conversations -- here, let me go grab you a link or two from other places that give information about abuse like this so you have sharing those as options instead, if you prefer.

I'll be back with them shortly.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Here you go (they might be generally helpful for you, too, especially since it sounds like you could really use some validation right now, and some knowing you aren't alone in surviving or living with this kind of abuse):
• http://mdsa-online.org/mother-daughter-sexual-abuse/
• http://www.butterflyclosures.com/what-is-mdsa/

Just for yourself in this, this piece may also be helpful: http://www.pandys.org/articles/continuingrelationshipswithabusivefamily.html

[ 07-17-2013, 08:44 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kobalt
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Thanks Heather. After reading through the first two (and starting the 3rd, personal one) I feel a bit better, especially the last one. I feel a bit less alone. I'm not really reassured by the first two saying that many people aren't believed even by mental health professionals, but I guess reality is reality.

Still, I don't know, just reading them also makes me doubt myself more? I don't know why, maybe because there is so little of this reported. Don't really know how to feel.

I'm also torn between loving my family and seeing my mother's blatant attempts at controlling me and my dad's flakiness. Right now it's near midnight and I'm sure he's out drinking. I just don't know where. -sigh- There have just been so many issues I've convinced myself as 'normal' that I don't know what to believe. All I can think is that when After I go to and leave university I can be independent, but lately my Mother's been telling me I'm not capable of living on my own. Especially concerning that I had my first panic attack the other day- she says that if that happens again no one else will know how to deal with it. I really feel that there is SO much going on I want to call my counsellor but it's near impossible to get onto her and so much of the things I do are dependent on Mom (for eg. she has the counselor's personal no.) and it's always such a push to get her to do anything she doesn't feel like doing.

I'm sorry, this is a lot, and I'm venting. I'm just so so overwhelmed by all this and thinking of everything as not just 'made up' or 'in my head'. I feel like I need some sort of help but I don't know where to get it on my own. I'm just absolutely useless. Or I feel that way.

Ugh. I'm sorry. I just feel really overwhelmed and unsure right now. Should I keep thinking about this or try to focus on something else?

[ 07-17-2013, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: Kobalt ]

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Heather
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Kobalt:

I'm out for the day, and off tomorrow, but I wanted to make sure you saw that someone saw this.

You don't need to be sorry: I'm glad you found somewhere you feel safe to talk and ask for help with this.

I'm sure a volunteer will pick this up with you shortly, but if you'd like for me to come back on Friday with some possible options for you to get some immediate support and counseling -- or even alternate places to stay for a while, if you need or want -- I'd be happy to take care of that first thing Friday morning for you.

If that is something you'd like me to do, if you can use the "contact us" link below to email your zip code (given this is about abuse in your home, I'd not want you to post it on the boards for your own safety), I'll have what I need to get on that straightaway.

I understand how hard and also deeply emotionally confusing all of this is. I hope you can keep hanging in there right now, so you, or we, can help get you started finding what you need to get and be safe, in every way.

[ 07-17-2013, 11:50 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kachina
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Hi Kobalt,

I'm so sorry your dad is acting like YOU did something to your mother, I know it can be hard when people turn things around like that. It can make you feel like you are going crazy, so please know you aren't. It was good for you to come here and talk this stuff out, especially since you can't reach your counselor yet.

Don't doubt yourself. No matter what you do it doesn't mean you don't love your family. You can leave home and love your family at the same time. Sometimes abuse makes us see love in a strange way, and forget that love should be healthy, and not cause us damage.

Based on what you are saying here, I think you already are thinking being more independent might be beneficial to you. Even with panic attacks, it is possible, and plenty of people can deal with friends/roommates/partners with them. Please tell your counselor the whole truth or if they don't help you can even tell the police Especially if your mother calls it on herself - she is an adult, you don't need to lie to protect her, and it doesn't mean anything is your fault or that you don't love your family just as much if you tell the truth. And if you send Heather your zip code I know she can find lots of help for you. You're won't have to go through this alone.

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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Robin Lee
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hi Kobalt,

I wanted to check in to see how things are going, and how you are doing, today.

You've brought up a lot of important things here. Is there anything specific it would be helpful for you to talk about with us?

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Robin

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Molias
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Kobalt, I had two thoughts related to what you've said above.

I get panic attacks sometimes; I think the first one I had when was I was around thirteen years old and they continued, from time to time, after I went off to college on my own. I didn't even know what they were until after I'd graduated. Putting a name to what had happened was really helpful, to be sure, and helped me understand those previous events a little better, but I was able to get through college just fine even with occasional scary panic attacks. And when I was around other people during those times, it was ok and no one made a big deal about it (or I just tried to find somewhere private). My point is that having panic attacks from time to time doesn't mean you won't be able to handle being on your own at college - it's likely that being away from your family will make things easier in a lot of ways.

With regards to your counselor, if you know her name can you look up her office number and explain to her (or her voicemail/receptionist) that you need to get in touch with her about some serious family issues and you'd like her to contact you in a way that doesn't go through your mom, either on a cell if you have one, by email, or maybe even leaving a voicemail with her personal number on a trusted friend's line? It could be that there's a way to see her and access help without having to go through your mom.

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Kobalt
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Hi. Sorry for taking so long to reply. I've been trying all day to get onto the counselor with no success. [Frown] Kind of stuck on what to do.

Dad is still avoiding me and the matter on a whole. Last night he came home around 1-2 in the morning and went to sleep. I reallly would appreciate any support since I'm not getting it and I'm feeling guiltier and more alone everyday. It feels like normal life isn't going to continue, and I don't know how long I can bottle all this up and pretend it will.

I'll send my location but I don't know if you can help. -sigh- I really just want to talk this out and resolve it without being attacked or feeling much worse. I really just want this resolved, and to figure out what's really going on.

Molias thanks for the information. I really cannot get onto her though. I've called a couple of times today and given it a few hours between and nothing. Previously it's taken over a week to get onto her. But thank you for sharing your experience I do appreciate it.

I don't think bypassing my Mother is possible as I would need someone to take me there and my Father would no doubt call my Mom.

[ 07-18-2013, 02:02 PM: Message edited by: Kobalt ]

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Robin Lee
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Hi Kobalt,

i'm so sorry to hear you feel so isolated, and so guilted for telling your truth. Even though it doesn't feel like it right now, you really do have the right to tell your truth, and this resistance and avoidance from your parents is about them, not about what you did or didn't do.

you've mentioned your Dad and your Mom a lot. Do you have other family members? if so, is there anyone you feel comfortable reaching out to?

What about friends, either your own age, or adults? Is there anyone around you you think you can get some support from? Even if you don't feel comfortable telling someone right now what's going on, I'm wondering if there's someone you can spend time with so you feel less alone.

I'm wondering these things because you're absolutely right: It's not possible for you, for anyone, to bottle this sort of thing up indefinitely and still feel okay.

When you say you want to figure out what is really going on, what do you mean?

--------------------
Robin

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Kobalt
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I have other family members but I'm not very close to them relationship wise. We haven't talked in a while. Recently I've started being homeschooled so there really is no adult besides my counsellor I can reach out to at all. I think I really am stuck.

I have some friends that I can call. I think I will. I hope that maybe spending time with them will help. Unfortunately they can't come over now because I'm home alone and my parents are both pretty far away.

I mean I want to figure out if this is abuse or me just blowing things out of proportion because I'm an anxious wreck, and how much of it really is abuse. I want someone to see how much of this is me and how much really is them, I guess. I just don't want to antagonise my parents and not know. I don't want to be the bad one.

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Robin Lee
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Sounds like at least talking to your friends on the phone might help you feel a little less alone.

You know, regardless of whether you call it abuse, or whether you don't, this is you clearly stating what you do and don't want, how you do and don't feel, and your wants and feelings, from the sounds of things, aren't being respected. That's pretty big.

looking at your previous posts, it looks like you were pretty deeply moved and affected by the articles heather linked you to about abuse. it sounded, to me, like you really identified with a lot of what they had to say. Would you like to talk through any of that?

Saying how you feel and what you want is not you being bad. I think it's you being really strong and decisive and knowing what you want. Those aren't bad things.

It sounds like life, especially with the recent change to home-schooling,, has been pretty isolating in general. It's not surprising to me, based on that alone, that you feel anxious.

if you're afraid that you're making this up, or something, or that your anxiety is responsible for what you're feeling, i'd say again that it seems pretty clear that you know what you want.

it's also pretty clear to me that a mother getting upset because her teenaged daughter isn't showing her her vulva really isn't acting in a caring, respectful way towards her daughter.

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Robin

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Kobalt
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I talked to my friends a bit, which was surprisingly nice. Thanks.

Well that's how it usually goes. I always have to bend to my Mom's wishes or it's a big fight and I always end up being the bad guy. She always makes herself the victim and at this point I really don't know who is. I just feel more and more like crap on a daily basis and I hate being stuck at home like this for so long. I thought the homeschool thing was going to be successful but right now it just feels like another attempt for me to be left alone all the time. My parents never help like they said they would, they just leave me alone at home all day with the assignments the school gives me and no help and get pissed at me when nothing gets done. I can't do this all alone but I have to because no one will help me. I know I'm smart and I'm so behind on home school but in the end I guess this was my choice and there's no one to blame but me.

I don't know, I guess. I don't want to be an abused kid though. I don't think anyone wants to be an abused kid or see themselves that way.

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Kobalt
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I think that getting another cousellor might be good because this is all too much to handle and still do well on my IGCSEs coming up and my current one is too impossible to get ahold of.
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Robin Lee
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you know...I wouldn't say there's no one to blame but you. I'm not sure how home-schooling works where you live, but in many places I'm familiar with, the parents do have a pretty substantial portion of the responsibility to make sure that home-schooling is successful for their kid, whether they do the tutoring and supervision themselves or find a tutor or share the work with a group of home-schooling parents.

it's not on you to do everything on your own without help. That's really not what learning is about.

parenting also isn't about your mom making herself out to be the victim all the time. That's not what a caring, responsible parent does.

I know this is all really tough, and i'm really just trying to help you get some perspective here, where this isn't all on you, because it's not. in fact, I'd say that very little of what you're talking about here is all on you, or should even be the majority on you.

I very much hear you on not feeling good about identifying as an abused kid. you get to call yourself whatever you need to call yourself to feel okay with this.

yes, I agree it's not really serving you very well to have a counselor you can't get in touch with in an emergency.

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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I also wanted to let you know, Kobalt, that I'm finishing up my work day shortly so if you don't hear back from me for a while, that is why.

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Robin

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Kobalt
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OK.

Honestly there isn't much homeschooling here. I'm doing the work through an online course but for the most part they only provide the assignments and some resources. I just find it hard to manage everything so unexpectedly. I think that maybe this problem might be too much to talk about online which I why I really would like a counsellor. I just don't know who would be good. I don't want to end up in a situation where it's my parents and the counsellor against me. I've been in way too many parents vs. me situations already and if I have another person against me I might just explode.

My parents don't do anything when it comes to the homeschooling but pay for it. Still that is something.

Thanks.

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Kobalt
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I just blew up on my Dad. I didn't know what to do. He came home and said he bought Subway and I was in bad mood and just nodded and then he said "Taylia at least have the courtesy to answer me." and then I said he wasn't supportive and he got mad and said "If you have a problem just tell me about it." and I said last time I had a problem he wasn't supportive then he said I am "just causing drama."

I get blamed for being in a bad mood and not sharing my problems but when I share them I am causing drama.
I don't know what to do anymore.
Why am I such a failure? Why is everything I do such a failure in their eyes?

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skiesofgreen
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Kobalt, I'm so sorry the talk with your dad went that way. I'm not a volunteer here but I just wanted to let you know that someone saw your posts and that, from where I'm sitting, you are most definitely not a failure. Speaking your mind, telling the truth, having a bad day, none of that is being a failure. I'm so sorry if that's the way your parents have been making you feel.

And in case you need to hear it, none of what you've been saying here sounds trivial or like you're "just causing drama". It sounds like you've been dealing with some serious issues in your home and you're seeking to address them (which, by the way, is an incredibly strong step and you are an incredibly strong person for doing that). It also sounds like your family hasn't been supportive of your efforts to address this. I'm sorry that's the case, but also know that none of that is your fault.

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Robin Lee
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I'm seconding and thirding and fourthing everything SkiesOfGreen just said!

you're also not to blame for your parents' reactions or actions. I hear you taking a lot of responsibility for things that aren't your fault, and I also hear them not taking responsibility for much of anything. No one, least of all a young person who is someone's child, has to take 100% responsibility for something they didn't do, or for something that involves more than just them.

how are you doing right now?

You mentioned that you weren't able to go visit with your friends because of transportation. Is there any way that you could go see someone, to get out of the house for a while?

--------------------
Robin

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Heather
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Kobalt: I've sent you an email this morning with a local resource to get started with.

In the event they can't help you themselves or refer you to the services you need, just let us know and we'll have another go at finding you something else.

FYI, though it's been said already, I figured more backup can't hurt: breaking enforced silences around abuse in a family is something where the person breaking them? Pretty much always gets painted as the bad guy even if -- and probably all the more, sadly -- that person has been the person victimized.

For many families with abuse, especially sexual abuse, silence and denial feels easier and more comfortable for those doing the abusing and other family members. But, of course, feels terrible for the person who has been or is being abused.

When you break that silence, they don't get to play pretend that everything was or is fine, anymore. Of course, you never got to pretend that like they did, so, for you, it's relief. For them, they suddenly have to face truths they just don't want to, including the truth of perpetrating or enabling abuse.

But how this is going? You're not alone in this, if that helps. It is, sadly, a dynamic nearly every person who has been or is being abused in a family, especially sexually, who speaks up is often familiar with. [Frown]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Kobalt
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Sorry for not coming on for so long. I didn't really want to face this, or the guilt of having brought this all up. I have an appointment with my psych on the 31st and until then the only way I can live 'comfortably' is to pretend all is well. I know how my mother can get when she's accused of anything.

Thanks for all the help.

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Robin Lee
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Hi Kobalt,

No apologies necessary. Sometimes we just have to do what we know will get us through.

Good luck with your psych appointment.

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Robin

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