do i have reasonable expectations for my parents’ response to my abuse?

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
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futurefaeking
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do i have reasonable expectations for my parents’ response to my abuse?

Unread post by futurefaeking »

basically, my grandpa groped me, my parents know, and i want them to cut him off so i don’t have to see him anymore (and so he can’t get to my younger sister) but they don’t want to “choose” between me and him.

my therapist suggested we all sit down with her to hash this out, and my partner is ready to shout down my father for “being a coward” as soon as they get the opportunity. i don’t think i’m being unreasonable in asking my parents not to invite my grandpa to things, especially since we only see him like three times a year anyway and i nearly threw up when i thought he was in the house, but my mom keeps talking about how it’s not my place to judge their choices because i’m not a parent. am i overreacting or being unfair? it’s not like it was sexual assault he was just,,, handsy.
Sam W
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Re: do i have reasonable expectations for my parents’ response to my abuse?

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Futurefaeking,

No, you are not being unreasonable or overreacting; someone groped you, you have reason to think he would again, and you think he might do it to your sister as well. Those are all very valid reasons to not want to see him again and to want him to be kept as far away from your family as humanly possible, and I'm sorry your parents aren't taking your feelings seriously. It's extra striking to me that your mom is framing this as you not understanding their choices because you're not a parent; in my mind, one of the main roles of a parent is to keep people they know are harmful away from their kids.

How do you feel about your therapists offer to try and mediate? And, if you can't get your parents to agree to the boundary of not having your grandfather around you, so you want to talk about ways that you can enforce it yourself, like how to get out of the house if he's there?
futurefaeking
not a newbie
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Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:02 pm
Age: 17
Primary language: English
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Sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: USA

Re: do i have reasonable expectations for my parents’ response to my abuse?

Unread post by futurefaeking »

i actually got roped into a conversation about this with my parents shortly after i made this post (i wasn’t really talking to my father and my mom basically shoved us into a room together and made us). basically they apologized for not doing more, and in hindsight it was probably something they should’ve seen coming (he’s done this to adult women before) but they didn’t. i asked them why they wouldn’t cut him off again, and they said that it would be punishing my grandmother with not seeing her grandkids because of something my grandpa did (i never asked them not to let her come over or to not let my sister visit if she wanted to), and that my feelings about my grandfather don’t get to dictate what kind of relationship they have with him. i said that if they weren’t going to stop inviting him i would stop coming home for the holidays (i’m moving out in six months & have a car and a bike if they take my keys and i could go to the public library a couple of blocks from where i live), and they said i didn’t know how i would feel about this in a couple of months. i told them that they needed to tell my sister what happened or i would, and they agreed to that.

they offered to go and talk to my grandpa about it which doesn’t seem like any worthwhile pursuit to me. i can’t see him changing after getting away with stuff like this for 40 years, and i’m not interested in an apology or reconciliation. it’s possible he doesn’t even remember it happening.

basically it felt like it boiled down to “sorry, that sucked, our bad, but we’re not doing anything about it because the world isn’t black and white and you’re a teenager so you don’t see that” which. is shitty. it feels like they’re choosing to defend him rather than make sure that i’m safe in my own house. thanks for telling me i’m not overreacting, sometimes it’s hard for me to tell because of my anxiety. i’m gonna talk to my therapist about it more & she said she’s going to try to prescribe me emergency xanax for if he comes over.
Sam W
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Re: do i have reasonable expectations for my parents’ response to my abuse?

Unread post by Sam W »

Ooof, they are really pulling out some of the greatest hits of "yes what he did was bad but we can't make him face consequences." They're not wrong that you don't get to dictate the relationship they have with him (since none of us can dictate other people's relationships), but his actions should be dictating that for them. And his actions harmed their kid and are putting both their kids in future danger.

I agree that trying to "reconcile" with your grandfather would probably not be productive, especially since they've made it clear whose side of this they're ultimately on, so they probably wouldn't have your back in that interaction. I'd also suggest following up with your sister in a few days to see if they really talked with her about it and, if not, tell her yourself (we can help you brainstorm that conversation if it needs to happen).

I'm glad you're working with your therapist around all this. Have you talked with them about making a plan for what to do if he comes over that gets you out of the house, including dealing with how your parents are likely to react to that? And would it help to also talk about how to get your sister to come with you?
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