Karen answers Mom of Two Girls

Comment by Mom of Two Girls on November 16, 2008 5:20 pm

Karen,

I was abused by my father and ran away from home twice at 12 and 15. I told the police and they believed my father over me. I was raped and no one believed me. I never spoke of it again. I am now 26 and a mother of two girls, 2 and 3. My husband is a wonderful father but I never trust him alone with our daughters. My husband never shows any signs for me to be this way. When my husband plays with the girls and they get to giggling I come in and ruin the fun. I know it’s innocent play but I panic. Why do I go there? Was it because of being abused myself? Is it too late to start therapy and file suit against my father? Should I let the past stay buried? My anxiety has increased. I am afraid to tell my husband about these fears against him. I stopped seeing my father five years ago. I believe you can help. Your book brought me strength to do something. What?

Mom of Two Girls

Dear Mom of two girls,

I’m sorry to hear you were also abused. I can understand why you ran away. I would’ve run away, too, if it hadn’t been for switching into an alternate personality. Running away may not of been the answer at twelve and fifteen years of age, but it was all you knew and you coped with your hurt in this way. Please don’t be so hard on yourself.

I tried myself to share with teachers and some in authority, only not to be heard.  After awhile I stopped talking and withdrew for fear of being abused more or maybe even killed. Living in fear, feeling alone, having been abused, with no one believing you, will wear on you throughout your life. Please seek help, even before sharing all this with your husband. I’m not a therapist and can’t give advice, but in my opinion, it would be best to get some help on how to approach this issue with him.

Having two young girls who are able to be little girls, a girl you may not have experienced yourself could cause feelings of insecurity. I, too, had many worries when my daughter was young. When my daughter was about four years old these fears of the possibility of her father might abuse her, on top of my growing anxiety and depression forced me into seeking professional help with a qualified therapist.

Your husband sounds like a wonderful man who loves his daughters very much.  It may be hard for you to understand this kind of love after being hurt yourself. There are signs to watch for. I believe you know them.

I believe you have already taken the most important first steps.  You feel the pain and miss the innocence that was stolen from you.  Your daughters are very young.  Please seek help before your feelings and miscontrued thoughts affect your marriage.  It would be far worse if you started accusing your husband because of memories of your past.  I started to heal when I was allowed to share in the safety of my therapist’s office.

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and know that you can heal by experiencing life through your daughter’ eyes. Helping yourself will help your daughters grow up more self confident and secure.

Karen

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