my mum won't stop victim blaming me

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Firefly
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Age: 25
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my mum won't stop victim blaming me

Unread post by Firefly »

this one is kind of long so i apologise

I was sexually assaulted (groped) as a teen by my brother frequently over a period of six months. At the time I told my mother and she yelled at me for it.

I repressed the incident for years until I went to uni and started hearing my friends etc talk about sexual relationships. I confided in my mother one night about it because I was feeling lost and dirty and I didn't want to tell my friends. My mum listened and seemed kind about it until a few years later when I talked to her about it again and she had completely forgot I ever told her which really hurt me at the time.

However, she remembers now, and that's worse.

I've finished uni and am currently living back at home, feeling slightly unsafe and very wary around my brother. (I have no idea if he remembers sexually assaulting me or not) But sometimes I will mention to my mum that I don't feel safe doing something, like today when she is going on a trip with my dad. I asked her to let me know if she is staying the night because I won't feel safe being in this house alone with my brother and she started to get all weird about it.

I said I could stay with my friend and she asked me what I would tell my friend, I said I would tell my friend the truth. (It took a lot of time for me to be open with my friends with my trauma and I'm really proud of myself for doing it) My mum immediately got really annoyed at me and said that this thing should stay between families.

She then told me how she wasn't picking a side, and how she wants to act as a mediator until I talk to my brother about this (which I do NOT want to do.)

She tells me she wants to hear my brother's side and thinks that while in my head I feel as if I was sexually assaulted I actually wasn't.

I understand this is hard for her, but I keep begging her to just forget about it because she always makes me feel like shit. I've worked really hard unlearning behaviours my mum taught me and repressing this, and every time she talks to me I feel so much worse.

Do you think there is any way I can get her to stop talking about it (telling her doesn't work) or to even forget about it like she did several times before two years ago.

I really regret telling her because it just makes me feel bad but I can never get her to stop talking/stop telling me it's my fault.
Sam W
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Re: my mum won't stop victim blaming me

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Firefly,

I'm so sorry that your mom is not only blaming you, but is now not respecting your boundaries around not discussing this topic. I can only imagine how stressful that is on top of feeling on edge around your brother (it sounds like you're being really proactive about speaking up or getting out of the house when you feel like you might be unsafe with him, but if you feel like you need to make a plan for finding a new, safer living situation that's something we're happy to help with).

I doubt you can get your mom to forget, so let's focus on how to get her to stop these conversations or, at the very least, get you out of them. Do you have the option of just leaving the conversation? For instance, getting up and saying "mom, I've already asked you not to talk about this with me. I'm going for a walk/to my room/to the library/etc." That's not going to change her mind about anything, but it will get you out of range of her nonsense. It's also a way of physically reinforcing the boundaries you're trying to draw.

I also want to give you this article in case you want to push back on any of her statements: https://captainawkward.com/2014/11/10/6 ... se-a-side/. You don't have to, and goodness knows it's not on you, the person who's hurting (and whose hurt she ignored and then belittled) to try and change her mind. But some of the phrases Captain Awkward suggests may be helpful in shutting down the conversations.
Firefly
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:06 pm
Age: 25
Preferred pronouns: She/Her
Location: Scotland

Re: my mum won't stop victim blaming me

Unread post by Firefly »

Thanks! I'm hoping I can get a job soon so I can save money for a flat until then!

Leaving the conversation is hard, she usually forces herself into my room and stands by the door. I think I maybe need to work on just not letting her in, and also getting shoes on and maybe getting out of there the next time! Leaving to the library is a good idea!

That article is so helpful, thank you. I don't know if they will work, my mum is very delusional about this. She really does believe it was a minor thing and that me and my brother can and should be friends again. But they are helpful to look over and just reaffirm that I'm not overreacting about this! Her reaction really hurts and its nice to understand why !
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7482
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 30
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: my mum won't stop victim blaming me

Unread post by Sam W »

Saving up to move out sounds like an excellent plan! And I'm glad the article was helpful; the "I won't take sides" argument is often framed as the "reasonable" one, so I appreciate Captain Awkward for laying out so clearly why it's nonsense in cases of abuse.

I think working on not letting your mom into your space is a good call, as is being ready to get up and leave if she's just no letting the topic go in conversation. Hopefully, over time it will teach her that approaching this topic with you when you've explicitly said not to won't go the way she wants and she'll stop.
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