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If you tell the truth about sexual abuse is it poor boundaries?

Old 01-14-2012, 07:13 AM
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If you tell the truth about sexual abuse is it poor boundaries?

If you tell a young female relative about sexual abusers in order to protect her and let her know she is in danger from relatives she has been spending time around, does that constitute poor personal boundaries?

I let my niece know it wasn't a good idea to be alone with my father and brother because they sexually abused me (and others) and never expressed any regret or saw their actions as wrong.

My only wish was to protect her from harm.

My sister is furious and says I should just let the past be the past and forget about it, that the fact that I remember the abuse is a sign I am not mentally well. She says I should just act like it all never happened.

I didn't tell my niece just to be making conversation - in fact it was very very hard for me to break the family rules of "don't tell" and I did it knowing my family of origin would condemn me for it. I did it only to protect her.

Is my sister right? Did I show poor personal boundaries by telling the truth to warn others I saw as being in harm's way?

The good news about all of this, besides the fact that my niece is protected now, is that my abusers and sister no longer are pestering me to visit and be part of the family. They are rejecting me for the sin of having told the truth, and I'm actually really happy about that. I feel free. I feel a huge weight is off my shoulders now.

Thank you all for letting me post about this. It's so strange. I'm 50 and yet with this particular issue I feel like I'm 4 years old and scared and uncertain.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ACOAHappyNow View Post
My sister is furious and says I should just let the past be the past and forget about it, that the fact that I remember the abuse is a sign I am not mentally well. She says I should just act like it all never happened.
This is backwards -- you're doing the right thing. Acting as if the past never happened is a great recipe for a lifetime of unresolved grief, anger, fear, you name it.

T
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:11 AM
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Thank you! I wasn't sure if my sister raised a good valid point about boundaries or not. I know that people who grew up being abused do tend to have a problem with personal boundaries so I wasn't sure if she had a point or not.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:35 AM
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As a fellow abused child I hail your decision

You did the right thing when no one else would, is your sister a victim also, if not maybe one rationalize her position as in her mind it never happened. What I don't undertsand is why she would think her daughter is not in danger.

I am so proud of you for standing up to them, you may have saved a young lady from years of pain, you are a hero in my book.

Please stand strong, I wish I had outed my cousin years ago, I have no idea how many people have been hurt by him.

If you need someone to talk to I will be here,

Best of luck to you.

Bill
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ACOAHappyNow View Post
... If you tell a young female relative about sexual abusers in order to protect her and let her know she is in danger from relatives she has been spending time around, does that constitute poor personal boundaries? ...
No. I think what you did is very kind and loving. Not to mention that protecting the young ones in a family is a requirement of being an adult.

Originally Posted by ACOAHappyNow View Post
... Is my sister right? Did I show poor personal boundaries by telling the truth to warn others I saw as being in harm's way? ...
Nope. I think you did the right thing.

Originally Posted by ACOAHappyNow View Post
... I'm 50 and yet with this particular issue I feel like I'm 4 years old and scared and uncertain. ...
That's the way I feel when I have to deal with my own biological family. For me it's just those old feelings I had as a child coming back up and getting in the way.

Originally Posted by ACOAHappyNow View Post
... They are rejecting me for the sin of having told the truth, and I'm actually really happy about that. I feel free. I feel a huge weight is off my shoulders now. ...
Well then I think that is the answer to your original question

I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to share that here on this forum. That's what we are here for.

Mike
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:42 AM
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Is my sister right? Did I show poor personal boundaries by telling the truth to warn others I saw as being in harm's way?

Personal boundaries are all about keeping ourselves in a good place. You admit that telling her about your personal experiences and warning her to use caution has made you feel much better, along with the fact that those in your family who want to just push this whole thing under the rug are now having to face the fact that you aren't willing to do that anymore. I'm so glad to know that you feel so much better after getting all that out. THAT is what personal boundaries are for. Good on ya!
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ACOAHappyNow View Post
My sister is furious and says I should just let the past be the past and forget about it, that the fact that I remember the abuse is a sign I am not mentally well. She says I should just act like it all never happened.
And she knows this how? She's trained to know you are not mentally well? Sounds like she and the rest of the family are the ones not well. She's full of it. Good for you for talking and so what if your family doesn't want you around. I applaud you.
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:08 PM
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Good for you! To do any less would be wrong. Juast agreeing with the rest. Trust yourself.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:19 PM
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I just wanted to let you know that i hope I have the courage to do the same in a similar situation when the time comes.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:19 PM
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I believe you absolutely did the right thing.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:27 PM
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There's something 'wrong' with someone who remembers sexual abuse????

She's the one living in Crazy.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ACOAHappyNow View Post
If you tell a young female relative about sexual abusers she has been spending time around, does that constitute poor personal boundaries?
In this situation- no.

As a grandfather I sense a change about kids being careful around all men. Most men are trustworthy. I think strangers should be treated with extreme caution.

For me its about blame and shame... I don't feel any sense of shame about what other people do. I take care of my own patch. When they were small I did toilet grandchildren. But I would not do that unless there were other adults around, my wife in particular.

-Da.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
As a grandfather I sense a change about kids being careful around all men. Most men are trustworthy. I think strangers should be treated with extreme caution.
Ya -- the mothers go overboard in that respect. When I go to the ice rink, I try to dress in as non-threatening attire as possible, say a noncommittal "how ya doin'?" to the adults, and STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM THE KIDS as I can. A Y-chromosome is guilty until proven innocent these days.

But in terms of this thread, ACOAHappyNow is right on target -- it's not just right, it's essential to tell a possible victim that there are predators in the family. How anyone could tell her to "forget the past" and let them keep prowling, is beyond comprehension.

T
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:33 PM
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You absolutely did the right thing. Most abusers are people close to the abused, like a parent, sibling, aunt/uncle, etc. Your relatives are the ones who aren't right when it comes to how to handle this. But that's often how it works anywhere. The whistleblower is the one who gets all the flack, while those who are guilty of covering it up get out of jail free.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:31 AM
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No, it is not poor boundaries. You did the right thing.

Your sister is still in big time denial.

Kudos to you for warning your niece about the abusers!
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:39 AM
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Good for you!! You did the right thing... no question about it!
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:45 PM
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You did the right thing. Never mind your sister and her denial.

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Originally Posted by ACOAHappyNow View Post
If you tell a young female relative about sexual abusers in order to protect her and let her know she is in danger from relatives she has been spending time around, does that constitute poor personal boundaries?

I let my niece know it wasn't a good idea to be alone with my father and brother because they sexually abused me (and others) and never expressed any regret or saw their actions as wrong.

My only wish was to protect her from harm.

My sister is furious and says I should just let the past be the past and forget about it, that the fact that I remember the abuse is a sign I am not mentally well. She says I should just act like it all never happened.

I didn't tell my niece just to be making conversation - in fact it was very very hard for me to break the family rules of "don't tell" and I did it knowing my family of origin would condemn me for it. I did it only to protect her.

Is my sister right? Did I show poor personal boundaries by telling the truth to warn others I saw as being in harm's way?

The good news about all of this, besides the fact that my niece is protected now, is that my abusers and sister no longer are pestering me to visit and be part of the family. They are rejecting me for the sin of having told the truth, and I'm actually really happy about that. I feel free. I feel a huge weight is off my shoulders now.

Thank you all for letting me post about this. It's so strange. I'm 50 and yet with this particular issue I feel like I'm 4 years old and scared and uncertain.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:15 PM
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i was abused as child by my grandfather and my mum (who knew he was like this) did nothing to protect us, because of the exact situation you described.

silence is how people like this continue to prey on unsuspecting and innocent victims, and continue to do so even though they speak out to those who should be protecting them. good for you for having the courage to protect your niece when your sister was obviously not able to. you broke the cycle here and you should not keep quiet any longer. the guilt if somehting happened while you had the opportunity to prevent it would be huge.

and as you found out later, the release of being part of this secret society your family had created has freed you from all of its toxic silence. i cant say anything more than YOU DID SOMETHING MANY WOULDNT HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO. I thank you for protecting the innocent instead of the abuser.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:30 PM
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you know i feel sorry for all the men in this world who are not abusers but genuinaly love kids. they feel on edge the whole time. but i do feel that there is a point that it goes overboard. my ex husband refusers to have his kids friends stay over in fear of this. he refused to bath or take a shower with his kids when they were babies in fear that they might say they were abused. our kids are teenagers now and the no friend stay over still stands, even though he has a live in gf. i do have male friends who do not even worry about this, they just live their life with their kids like any other family would. i think its a real sign of the times that people have to live like this. im all for protecting our kids, and talking about appropriate touching, and if something happens, tell tell tell until someone listens (these are all things i have spoken to my kids about on numerous occasions since they were 3), but for innocent men to have to justify their every move, thought, and involvement with kids....far out. so not the direction to be going. (i also talk to my kids about lying about people touching them. that this is not a game, and that lives could get completely ruined by them being vindictive, and how that is so not on)...im all for education, not fear.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:59 PM
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While I realize that some people are unjustly accused of abuse, this corner of the forum is not about that. We are adult children of alcoholics and are relating our life experiences.

Just last weekend my brother asked me why I never told him our dad was beating me and inappropriately touching me, till I was 18. He said he would have done anything to make it stop. I didn't have an answer for him or myself other than I thought everyone knew and was as afraid of him as I was.

Children and young people are not always able to tell tell tell. That is why we tell now.
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