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Wedding Woes

Therapy and don't blame yourself

Dear Prudence,
My stepfather physically and sexually abused me from age 11 until I was 14. I escaped to live with my father after confessing to my mother. She refused to believe me and called me a “little slut.” The night before I left, I begged my 12-year-old sister to come with me. She refused to leave our mother. I ended up losing contact with both my mother and sister after I left. After a decade, my sister contacted me out of the blue to rage at me. According to her, as soon as I left, my stepfather turned his attentions on her. This is my fault. I abandoned her. She is still is in contact with our mother and stepfather. I am having nightmares over this. I can’t sleep or eat and can’t tell anyone in my life. Our biological father was not a good man, but I had a roof over my head and food in my mouth. I was able to get into college and get a good job. I don’t know what to do. I am drowning in guilt. How do I do this? What do I do? I feel so helpless.
—Abuse Aftereffects
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Re: Therapy and don't blame yourself

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is so sad. No one protected LW. No one protected her sister. And the mother is just as guilty here. LW needs all of the counseling. So does her sister. 

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    This family needs therapy so they stop blaming the wrong people for what happened to the LW and her sister and hold the stepfather accountable by sending him to jail.

    Good luck with that, as far as any of this happening for anyone in that family besides the LW getting her own therapy, unfortunately. 😢
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    That is heartbreaking. 

  • While the comments her sister made to her are totally unfair and unfounded, I hope the LW will come to see them in context.  They were made by a person who also had a traumatizing childhood.

    Sadly, it is probably easier for the sister to direct her anger at the LW than to direct it at the people who deserve it.  Because although they're her abusers, they're also the people she "knows" and still has a relationship with.  Whereas, the LW (for her own safety) has not been able to be a part of her life.

    The LW also needs to remember that, back then, she wasn't the successful adult she is now.  She was an abused child with no power, few choices, and a mother who turned her back on her.  Thank goodness one of her choices was to go live with her father.

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