Dear Amy: I was molested (many times) when I was a child by my mother’s father. He told me not to tell anyone because it would “kill grandma,” and so I never did. I was so ashamed.
I am now 32, and in the past year I finally got the guts to come out as a survivor. I also have PTSD, and it’s been hell to deal with.
Since coming out, I’ve shared stories and memes on Facebook about “killing child molesters.” Now my family has alienated me. My mother actually told me I needed to be in a mental hospital. My mother and aunts help my grandfather with everything, and pretend that nothing happened.
Several months ago, my daughter went to stay with my parents for a couple of days. Even though I specifically told them my daughter is not allowed at my grandfather’s house, my mother took her to see him.
After that, I called my mother “a piece of crap,” and I haven’t spoken to her since. I will not allow my daughter to go to their house. They all are acting absolutely arse-backwards and are totally unfair.
In order to get messages to me, instead of just texting me directly, my mom will text my husband. She texts him to see if my daughter is busy or if she is available to Skype. He is sick and tired of being the middleman because of her pettiness.
This is an ordeal. I’ve come to loathe my parents now. They act like I’m the bad guy. My mother refuses to tell my grandpa that she knows he molested me.
Any advice going forward? Is it OK for my husband to tell Mom to stop texting him? Am I wrong to deny my grandfather access to my child?
Did I make a mistake coming out?
Dear Broken: You have signed your letter “Broken,” and you are basically acting out your own “brokenness” now.
The one person you don’t seem to have confronted is your own grandfather — the person who did this to you. Part of your coming out might be to write him a letter, saying exactly what you want to say. As it is, you are assuming other family members will deliver your message for you.
Your choice to share a “kill child molesters” meme on Facebook is something like your mother texting your husband in order to communicate with you. You are all talking with someone other than the person you really want to talk to.
I am urging you to get professional and group-guided help to deal with your childhood trauma. The person who diagnosed your PTSD should guide you toward ongoing help and support.
Yes, your husband should say to your mother, “If you want to talk to your daughter, you should contact her directly.” I agree that your mother should respect your wishes regarding your child’s contact with your grandfather. But calling her “a piece of crap” is not going to engender respect from her, even if this statement is true.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline has a very helpful online chat function: online.rainn.org. Communicating with a counselor will help.
Dear Amy: I’m a young adult woman. My friend and I recently took a trip out of town for a quick weekend getaway. She said we could stay with a male acquaintance she knew through other friends.
When we arrived, she and the guy really hit it off. They ended up sleeping together the first night and I was privy to hearing all their activity while attempting to sleep in the next room.
I chose to get my own hotel room the following night, in order to get a decent night’s sleep.
My friend was upset that I wouldn’t stay at her friend’s place that night. What should I have done?
Dear Displaced: You did exactly as you should have done. According to your account, you did not ask your friend to alter her behavior. You did not pitch a fit and complain about this disruption. You did not ask to join them.
You simply took care of your own needs. Good job.
Dear Amy: Thank you for encouraging “Concerned Daughter” to honestly disclose alcoholism in the family to her teenagers. This disclosure will be an important part of their education, about their family, and also about the potential dangers of alcohol use.
Alcoholic in the Family
Dear Family: Honesty and education can make a huge difference in the life of a young person with alcoholism in the family.
Email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.