Wedding Etiquette Forum
Options

Serious problem

Noodle's sister came into town for Thanksgiving from Florida and stayed with us.  Friday night we were all hanging out at the apartment playing drinking games and watching TV with another friend of ours when the guys went outside to have a smoke.  His sister started talking to me about family stuff and growing up whatnot (she has a rocky relationship with her parents) and during the convo, she told me that she was molested by a member at the church her parents went to when she was younger.  She said she'd never told anybody that before (I think it was a mixture of the drinks and her being stressed out lately).  I didn't ask for details or anything because, needless to say, I was shocked.  And she changed the subject afterwards.  She's not the type to make stuff up so there's no reason for me to doubt what she said.

I'm not sure what to do.  I really, REALLY want to talk with her about this because I think she needs to go talk to a professional about this.  She's had issues with prescription drug abuse and drinking in the past, and although she's gotten better now I can't help but think this is the core issue and that she could get set off again during a time of high stress or something.  Also, if the church is still active and the person who did it is still there, who knows how many other kids they've done that too?  But I'm afraid that bringing it up again might agitate her, or make her upset.  I don't talk to her a whole bunch because of the distance, but I still love her like a sister.  I've kept secrets that his sisters have told me before (including his younger one, who asked me to go with her for moral support for an abortion when she was 19 and begged me not to tell anybody, which I didn't).  And that didn't sit right with me because I don't like keeping things from Noodle, especially things concerning his family.  But this is a huge deal - I don't feel right keeping something like this from Noodle AT ALL.  I don't know what I should do.

image

If I wanted to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I'd put shoes on the cat. image

Re: Serious problem

  • Options
    I think I would try to talk to her about it again, express the concern you did here about whether the guy is still involved in the church and her getting counseling.  Feel her out and see how she responds.  Maybe she'll be willing to talk about it more now that she's let it out that one time.  If not, then I think you need to back off it.  All you can do is encourage her to seek help but I would tread lightly on telling Noodle, that could really backfire if she trusts you not to tell and then you do.
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Options

    Assuming Noodle's sister is an adult and that she told you this in confidence, I don't think you should tell Noodle or any other family members.  What you can do is try to talk about it with her again and recommend she gets into counseling.  Let her know you're there for her.  She needs to make her own decision on who she wants to tell about this.  I'm sorry about what happened to your FSIL and also that you've been put in this position.  

  • Options
    I've known a number of folks over the years that have been sexually abused as kids. Sadly, it's more common than you think.

    If I were in your situation, I'd call her and tell her that you'd really like for her to talk to someone about it. And confirm that she doesn't want Noodle to know.

    And then I'd probably leave it. Everyone deals with this stuff in their own way, and there's not a whole lot IMO that you can do except be there for her if she needs more support.
  • Options
    Wow, that's huge. Ok, first off I would say that you should absolutely talk to the sister again. She brought it up once, so it's possible that she's wanted to tell someone this for a while. Chances are now that she's said it out loud she's going to be particularly vulnerable on the issue so tread lightly.

    I agree with you that if the person responsible is still in the church/active/or even just ALIVE Noodle's sister could be protecting other kids by coming forward. But, I will also caution that it is an extraordinarily difficult thing for the victim to go public, so try to understand if she refuses to do so.
  • Options

    His sister is 30 so she's definately an adult.  I know she doesn't want Noodle or anybody in her family knowing, which is why I haven't said anything to him yet.  And I don't want to break her trust, especially on such a delicate issue.  Their family is so secretive about some things, and my family is so everybody-knows-everybody-else's-business that it's kind of wierd for me in this position.

    image

    If I wanted to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I'd put shoes on the cat. image

  • Options
    If you bring it up again, do it in a way where it's easy for her to avoid talking about it if she chooses.  Frankly, she's an adult (I assume) and this is something she will deal with in whatever way she sees fit.  Now I definitely don't see any harm in reminding her that you're there for her and if she ever needs to talk she can call you. 

    I see your point about other people that could have been victimized as well, but again, you can't force her to come forward.  Especially after this much time. 
  • Options
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_serious-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:bde6e6be-912a-451a-a231-6d8c6dd8fb19Post:6b6388a3-76cf-4049-b300-ad7beb1dd2c9">Re: Serious problem</a>:
    [QUOTE]If you bring it up again, do it in a way where it's easy for her to avoid talking about it if she chooses.  
    Posted by JK10910[/QUOTE]

    This. It's clear that she needs to talk, but make sure it's on her terms--if it's not, her natural reaction will be to just bottle it all up again.
  • Options
    You could try talking with the sister again but to what end?  What do you hope to achieve?  Some people admit to being molested but are over it.  Maybe she needs therapy in other areas of her life but not necessarily this one. 

    I can tell you that I personally wouldn't want you to bring it up again.  If I wanted to talk more about it to you, I'd reach out to you to have that conversation, but that is just me and my circumstances.
    Bi-oh-rama
    Now with more wedded bliss.


    I don't get married often, but when I do, I do it in Las Vegas.

    image

    "Lvharpy could be your AE." - direy25
    "smokeybailey is the one shining beacon of light in this steaming turd of a thread." - daffodil_jill
    "The almighty smokeybailey has spoken." - some bitch on the Las Vegas board

  • Options
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_serious-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:bde6e6be-912a-451a-a231-6d8c6dd8fb19Post:9890e01d-5160-45b0-b1ec-25d07c7e80a7">Re: Serious problem</a>:
    [QUOTE] I know she doesn't want Noodle or anybody in her family knowing, which is why I haven't said anything to him yet.  And I don't want to break her trust, especially on such a delicate issue.  Their family is so secretive about some things, and my family is so everybody-knows-everybody-else's-business that it's kind of wierd for me in this position.
    Posted by NuggetBrain[/QUOTE]

    You said "yet".  I really don't think you should tell Noodle.  There is no reason for you to tell him, especially since you know that she doesn't want him to know.  What possible good could come of you telling him her secret that's not yours to tell?  Other than to free your own conscience.  You acknowledge that your families are very different, and you should respect that his family is different from yours.  That doesn't mean it's bad or they're messed up, it just is what it is and you shouldn't use this instance as a time to try to open them  up. 
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Options
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_serious-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:bde6e6be-912a-451a-a231-6d8c6dd8fb19Post:b07e6515-5f75-4a21-84ca-74c04487525e">Serious problem</a>:
    [QUOTE]I've kept secrets that his sisters have told me before (including his younger one, who asked me to go with her for moral support for an abortion when she was 19 and begged me not to tell anybody, which I didn't).  Posted by NuggetBrain[/QUOTE]

    Until now, that is. <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif" border="0" alt="Tongue out" title="Tongue out" /> Tell her you are there for her if she wants to talk, but don't say anything to Noodle.
  • Options
    I know from first hand experience that telling someone is the first step in the healing process. If she was able to tell you then she should be able to tell a counselor or therapist. It's very importatnat that she gets help. The PTSD that can arrive  can be dibilitating and dangerous. If she doesn't want help there is nothing you can do, but I would encourage her to get it. Even if that means going with her the first time.

    I'm sorry and good luck!
  • Options

    I agree you can let her know that you are there for her if she needs to talk about it again, but I wouldn't tell noodle.  I had an ex boyfriend who was molested when he was young.  He said he didn't want to tell anyone in his family because he didn't want them to feel like they were bad parents and let him down.  I did encourage him to go to counseling.  We ended up breaking up a little while after that, but he did go to counseling.  I don't know what came of it. 

  • Options
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_serious-problem?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:bde6e6be-912a-451a-a231-6d8c6dd8fb19Post:61ed453e-f1d8-4aa7-8724-6fc86701dec6">Re: Serious problem</a>:
    [QUOTE]You could try talking with the sister again but to what end?  What do you hope to achieve?  Some people admit to being molested but are over it.  Maybe she needs therapy in other areas of her life but not necessarily this one. Posted by smokeybailey[/QUOTE]

    Often when someone is molested when they're young they develop self-destructive behaviors as adults. Nugget said this woman has had substance abuse issues- this could very much be the root of it. If this is truly the first time she's ever said it out loud then she hasn't been honest with any counselors she may have seen before and any emotional  problems may not have been appropriately dealt with.
  • Options
    I definately think that this is part of the reason she had substance abuse problems.  I also think it's probably part of the reason she has such a spotty relationship with her parents - they made their kids go to this church, apparently none of them wanted to go.  I think she might kind of blame them for it happening because they made her go to this particular church.

    As far as telling Noodle, I'm not planning on doing that.  Like I said, I'm very loathe to break his sister's trust in me, especially if she feels I'm one of the people she can talk to about this issue.  I'm just having a hard time with the idea that I know something so important about someone he loves very much, and I'm keeping it from him.  I know his family is different than mine, and I'm not expecting them to suddenly open up to group hugs.  I was just trying to explain the dynamic and why it's hard for me to do this. 
    image

    If I wanted to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I'd put shoes on the cat. image

  • Options

    If I were you, I would say something to her like "Noodle'sSister, I'm really glad that we have the kind of relationship where we're able to talk like we did last week.  It means a lot to me that you trust me with that, and I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you, and I'm here for you any time."  And then I'd back off the topic, until/unless she brings it up again.  I would never, ever betray her confidence to Noodle.  Boys are funny about being protective of his sister, and I'm pretty sure it would cause issues for you and FSIL, you and Noodle (why did FSIL tell you and not him or another family member), FSIL and Noodle, Noodle and whomever at church, etc.  I really don't see ANY good that would come of it - except you not bearing the burden of being the only one who knows.  And for that part - you'll have to make do with telling us.

    DIY & Planning | Married 

    Married: 2010
    Mom to J: 2011
    Mom to H: 2014

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    Dresses may be easier to take in than let out, but guest lists are not. -- kate51485
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards