Question/advice of a serious nature


#1

I'm not sure why now, but wanted to get some advice about something that happened awhile ago regarding my now, 17 year old daughter. She was between 6 & 8 years old at the time of the two incidents.
Only a few family members know about this on both sides of the family.
My husband has been battling a persistent brain tumor for the past 9 years, and one day in 2001, after going to pittsburgh with my 3 kids for him to receive radiation therapy, the kids were talking amongst themselves about the scariest thing that ever happened to them. I have two boys and one girl and she's the youngest.
They each told some story about the scariest thing they had happen to them and my daughter divulged her story in which it was about a fondling incident with her grandfather; my father-in-law. I won't go into the details, but this occurred on at least two occasions, the first time was before my husband's health diagnosis when they came to visit us from another state. The second time was when they (her grandparents) came to stay with them to take care of them while my husband went for surgery for the second time.
My husband was told the story first by my son, when this was first told by her to her two older brothers. Then, my husband told me about it and I believed my daughter but my husband had his doubts, but was willing to take her to a psychologist to determine the truthfulness of what she claimed. He also asked advice of his sister and brother, both were disturbed of course and his brother gave him the advice of waiting to see if she developed any problems. We did contact, (my husband) a psychologist and he said that it would be something that if it was determined to be true, would have to be reported to the police. We didn't have her go to the psychologist, I don't really know why, but I feel guilt about this for my daughter's sake. She seems well adjusted, and I've talked to her about this a few years ago, she just said it was just stupid, the way she said it made it seem like she figured a way to put it into some kind of perspective. I still don't know what to do, I could tell you it's scary to think what would happen to him, he's 80 and his wife was diagnosed a year ago with alzheimer's. It would be devastating and destroy them I think, but what about my daughter? maybe it's doing something to her that's unseen? Then my husband has problems from his health that involve complications from his brain tumor that have left him with short term memory problems, vision.....and a whole lot of other things. He couldn't handle this and don't know how I'd keep it from him either. I'm probably a wimp and should just be strong about this whole thing, and either confront him or take my daughter to a psychologist .Thinking about confronting him about it privately and I just feel the anger welling up inside of me. Have any of you had any kind of experiences with this type of thing? and if you can give me any kind of feedback based on this post, I just don't know what to do.

Debbie


#2

I would talk to a Catholic therapist about this.

You need a professionals help on this one.


#3

The only thing I would say is that regardless of your FIL's problems or age, he has molested his own granddaughter. Who else over the years has he molested? Because surely he didn't stop with your daughter. He should have been reported all those years ago. Regardless of the possible fall out. I know it's not easy to destroy a family, but he made that choice when he molested your daughter.

To have your child-level trust and love betrayed in that way is very destructive to future relationships, and also self-esteem. Yes, I'd offer to take her to a psychologist or Christian counselor that specializes in sexual abuse.


#4

Yeah, I thought of that too, maybe he's done this before. I'll look into a catholic/christian therapist.
deb


#5

In Texas you are required by law to report abuse. I don't know what laws govern where you live.....

Should this become a bigger problem for your daughter in the future, she may well wonder why you did not do more for her either at the time, or at a time like right now.

Protecting an abuser is never right. However, you do need to protect your daughter and that must be your first concern.

In the least, you and your daughter have a lot of talking to do to sort all of this out. She will definitely form some opinions about herself (in fact no doubt that she already has) based on this tragic experience. These feelings are probably buried quite deep, she herself may not have easy access to them. Do you know how extensive the abuse was?

You certainly don't want her to shove this aside, and you never know how the affects of this might break her down, lead to bad choices, or even worse harm that you cannot foresee but may result as she matures in her relationship with men. We live in a sexual cesspool of a culture, you must counter what she will see and hear in her young adult years with truth and healing.

Your best bet is a well-seasoned Catholic counselor. Don't protect the abuser or focus on your husband due to his illness. Your daughter must come first. She must have very powerful, negative feelings of her sick grandfather about all of this which should be aired in a secure place. You and your husband need help as well... its a very sad situation all the way around. Please do not avoid doing what you should have done ten years ago.

Could any other granddaughters or female relatives in your extended family have been abused? Do not be afraid to take on this battle, do not let fear of what others think dictate what you must do.

Please make an appointment for you and your husband to see a counselor as soon as possible. Be prepared for some resistance from your husband, will you go forward without his support?


#6

If it was me, I would ask my daughter if she would want to talk to a professional about her situation and I would emphasis I would support her in whatever decision she wanted to make about seeking out therapy and any further action on the advice of the therapist. I would not leave my children though, alone with the grandfather, ever again, but nor would I project that I had already tried and convicted him either. I would always, always stand by my child though and always stress that she would be able to come to me for support now or in the future if she ever decides she needs the help that only a professional could provide.


#7

I was molested by a family "friend" over the course of a couple of years when I was 5-7. I didn't tell anyone until I was 16 (my parents). They didn't believe me and sent me to talk to my grandmother's minister, with the statement that if she believed me, then they would. They never told me whether she believed me or not. That pretty much destroyed my relationship with my parents. I speak to them, but we are not close.

My husband, who I told this to a long time ago, chooses to ignore the facts. He is the kind of person who says that women who are raped usually ask for it.

Anyway, I have gotten over the molestation. I've made sure that all of my children know that anyone touching them, friend, stranger, relative, whatever is wrong and never their fault. I can honestly say I would destroy anyone who violated one of my children.

Now then, the point of all this is to please, please support your daughter and believe her. Even if you feel that it wouldn't be prudent to bring charges against your fil, your daughter's feelings still should be validated by taking her to psychiatrist.

The worst part of it all is truly the fact that it feels as though my family has chosen a molestor over me.


#8

I definitely don't want to choose my fil over her and I do believe her. I also have the thought that I should ask her if she would be willing to go to a therapist, I'd even go with her if she would want that. I don't know though if I could convince her to go if she didn't want to though.
From what I know, there are only two incidents, but I must tell you, the 3rd time my husband had to have surgery, I allowed them to watch my kids again. I know that sounds horrendous, and I feel horrendous just writing it down. Also at the time I was a nervous wreck trying to deal with finding somebody else to take care of them. I talked to my son who was 16 at the time and told him to keep a close eye on his grandfather, it was a lot I asked of him, so there you go another guilt thing for me. I told him if he thought anything funny might go on to let me know immediately and I'd fly home. When I returned, they both told me nothing happened. I thought then that perhaps since my sons were older at that time, he wouldn't do anything and also we were in a different house at the time and the kids bedrooms are close to each other; the master bedroom is across the house.


#9

I would talk to a priest about the situation but definitely talk to your daughter too. Find out how she feels. What she remembers. How is her relationships with boys? I was molested as a child. Started drinking in 7th grade. Drugs in 8th grades. And then boys. I just wanted to forget. You need to make sure that she is really okay. I hid my drinking and drugs. Pretty easy since my parents weren't paying attention and I was an A student in honors classes. Make sure that she knows that you love her and that you choose her over the molester. I always felt my family chose my molester over me. I will pray for your daughter.


#10

Does your daughter remember telling this story? I'm a little confused about how young she was when she mentioned this story to her brothers. What are your daughter's wishes about it? Is she confused right now about whether or not she was telling the truth? How much of a threat would you consider her grandfather to be to other potential children?


#11

Yes I think she remembers it and she was about 8 years old when she told her brothers what they termed " the scariest thing that ever happened to you story"
I have brought it up to with her several times after the first time we heard about it over the next few years, but didn't want to talk too much about it in case she was bothered by either the incident, or me talking about it to her.
I could be wrong too but think it happened just those two times. I don't have insurance either or money, very broke. I can't work because my husband needs a full time caretaker. My daughter has health insurance through the state of Texas.


#12

Your daughter needs to be in counseling. I know because I was also molested. I don't know too much about legal things where you live, but if youre FIL is a danger to others, and isn't publically known as such, you have a duty to report him. My uncle is already on a list, so I didn't for personal reasons choose to take legal action. I don't regret that, because everyone already knows, he molested someone else, as well as me. I urge you to confront this man, and if necessary do so with the police involved. Statutes may apply for prosecution, but the list of offenders isn't so limited, I think.


#13

Oh I didn't answer the rest of your question TwoAngels,
I don't know if she's confused by it or what her wishes are regarding this incident. I don't really even know why I'm bringing it up now after all these years. And about the grandfather being a threat to any young kids now? Probably not, he doesn't have any access to young children any more, except if his son adopts the children of his new wife who is trying to get custody of them after her mother caring for them for several years. But don't think they'd allow him to watch them because of there age now and hopefully he (his son) has doubts about the incident himself.
Debbie


#14

[quote="twoangels, post:10, topic:223293"]
Does your daughter remember telling this story? I'm a little confused about how young she was when she mentioned this story to her brothers. What are your daughter's wishes about it? Is she confused right now about whether or not she was telling the truth? How much of a threat would you consider her grandfather to be to other potential children?

[/quote]

How would she know this? This old man could have been molesting children his whole life. Molesters are not known to be forthcoming about what they are doing to children. It's possible that his own children and wife have been covering up for him and protecting their own interests. I just know from reading I've done that if a man is molesting a female relative it's quite likely that he has molested others and will in the future, if not stopped.


#15

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:14, topic:223293"]
How would she know this? This old man could have been molesting children his whole life. Molesters are not known to be forthcoming about what they are doing to children. It's possible that his own children and wife have been covering up for him and protecting their own interests. I just know from reading I've done that if a man is molesting a female relative it's quite likely that he has molested others and will in the future, if not stopped.

[/quote]

For the record, many molesters aren't gender specific. Years after molesting me, during which time I repressed and denied memories, my uncle molested a girl.


#16

The mother and the father have an moral obligation toward the daughter. They must make an appointment with a psychologist and if a crime were committed let the law act on it. Why should a parent sacrifice a child for the benefit of a wrongdoer if that is the case?


#17

[quote="traillius, post:15, topic:223293"]
For the record, many molesters aren't gender specific. Years after molesting me, during which time I repressed and denied memories, my uncle molested a girl.

[/quote]

yes, I know that and I should have made that clear. With molesters it is usually more related to the AGE of the child and not the gender, unless they are homosexual. If homosexual, the molester will obviously target only children of the same gender.


#18

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:14, topic:223293"]
How would she know this? This old man could have been molesting children his whole life. Molesters are not known to be forthcoming about what they are doing to children. It's possible that his own children and wife have been covering up for him and protecting their own interests. I just know from reading I've done that if a man is molesting a female relative it's quite likely that he has molested others and will in the future, if not stopped.

[/quote]

By his health, his current access to children, etc. And I asked how much of a current threat she considered him.


#19

If he's molested any children, he's still a current threat. Pedophiles are not known to change, even after serving prison time. Doesn't matter his state of health unless he's on life support in an ICU.


#20

[quote="debgab, post:13, topic:223293"]
Oh I didn't answer the rest of your question TwoAngels,
I don't know if she's confused by it or what her wishes are regarding this incident. I don't really even know why I'm bringing it up now after all these years. And about the grandfather being a threat to any young kids now? Probably not, he doesn't have any access to young children any more, except if his son adopts the children of his new wife who is trying to get custody of them after her mother caring for them for several years. But don't think they'd allow him to watch them because of there age now and hopefully he (his son) has doubts about the incident himself.
Debbie

[/quote]

I would talk to your daughter about your feelings toward this, your ideas about her seeking counciling and find out her feelings about reporting it. I'd make sure that she understands your feelings of guilt. That may mean a lot to her, and allow the next step to be a step your helping her to take rather than forcing upon her. I would though put more pressure on her to step up with her (if she's resistant) if her grandfather is well and able enough to gain access to other victims. But its important to see how confident she is in her own memory of it. Granted it sounds like her memory of it at that age might be more accurate. I just know that my someone once got me to accuse my Dad of molesting me when I was 4 and it wasn't true. I still have a couple of relatives who think I might have a repressed memory and I'd be very upset if they took it within their authority to try to criminalize my Dad. That said, having also been molested (when I was a little older and by someone else), I don't think that seeing the other person suffer has any effects on the healing process. However, taking the steps yourself, feeling supported in those steps and loved I do believe can be part of the healing process.

So ultimately I'd say if he's not an immediate threat, be patient with her and encourage her to take action with you. If he is an immediate threat, than you need to be a bit more persistant to protect any potential future victims.


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