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My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Open Discussions About Sexual Abuse and Incest.

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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby siofra » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:08 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply, What can I say? I dont see myself as a hopeless case.I am happily married, well educated and have two beautuful children. My life is good at present but the trauma from the past is stuck in my body and comes out. They do say that sibling abuse can occur because of lack of supervision and if your mother in law left her kids unsupervised she was part of the problem. I cant comment on what you went through because this has not been my experience. I am not here to fight anyones cause, I can just relate to your sister in law. people who have sufffered sexual abuse feel guilt, shame, disgusting they have been forced to carry out acts unwillingly. Part of the healing process is to learn to put all of this at the abusers door as it is not the victims fault. I dont really know anyone who has got over sexual abuse without any help, maybe it is too painful for them to go there and we dont know what goes on behind closed doors and what face people display to the outside world. I feel that you are trying to say that the victim has a choice to just get on with it and over it. I'm afraid its not as simple as that and If it was I would long have done it. If you suffer from flashbacks it occurs uncontrolably in your sleep. Memories can be brought on by smells, noises an action that someone carries out this is all involuntary and they say its in your old brain as it remembers everything that has happened to you. Sexual abuse is complicated and even if your husband was young it still has caused a lot of harm, hurt and pain on someone else. I feel that you are being very hard on your sister in law and that she is being a drama queen. I cant get angry with you because I feel you really dont understand the depts of the situation. No one wants to be miserable in there live, most people would love a fairy tale but unfortunately life is not that way. I think you are judging your sister inlaw as an adult and forgeting she was a child when this happened and hadnt got the words to understand what was going on. As an adult we can choose to walk away from situations but as a child we have no choice. Sibling sexual abuse is very hard because you see your abuser on a daily basis always in fear wheither this will happen again. As an adult you can walk away get the law involved and never see the person again. I am just saying that something awful happened to her when she was young, she is going through a process which will hopefully set her free. As i said this is something your husband created and it is up to him to deal with it there are consequences to everything in live. I do understand when you have children things get more complicated but you wont silence her she is hurting so deeply.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Ophellia » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:35 am

siofra, I understand what you are saying about the flashbacks etc. I get them all the time when it comes to what happened to me. The choice is whether or not you let those feelings control your life.
I also never said that I wanted to silence my sister-in-law, if fact I wanted my husband to apologise to her long before she had an emotional outburst because she felt he was being hypocritical. He was afraid to do so because he knew what he'd done was wrong. The difference I find is the fact that our family is Christian. My husband laid this issue at the Lord's feet and he feels as though he shouldn't have to feel the guilt anymore. I've told him that he still needs to let his sister know that he has repented and is truly sorry for what he's done and without apologising and letting her know where he sits with the Lord she can not see him as anything else but a monster from her childhood.
The issue now is that his sister will not even give him the chance to speak with her (even with a mediator), he also feels as though he can not go back to our church because at least 3 church elders we haven't spoken to (we spoke to a different one last year) knows about this, they haven't even attempted to approach him on this issue and so also have no idea where he is in his relationship with God on this issue. As far as we have heard they have even suggested monitoring him as if he was a peodophile and a risk to other children in the church. Before you say that he is a peodophile or a risk to other children, one needs to look at a pattern of behaviour.
1. It stopped shortly after he turned 16,
2. He has two daughters who have never been violated (one 11 the other 3) I know because I have asked and know what signs and symptoms to look out for, both have said no-one has touched them nor have they been asked to touch anyone else, nor have they exhibited any of the signs or symptoms.
3. He is truly remorseful,
4. Told me the truth (admittedly a long time after we met but it isn't something anyone would want to admit to),
5. Confessed all to our church pastor
6. And laid it all down at the Lord's feet.
7. Wants to make amends for what he did to his sister.
I ask you one thing should such a person risk having his name raked through the mud, possibly face court, be monitored when ever he is near kids including his own and even risk having has family torn apart because he chose to do the wrong thing as a kid? Doesn't he also deserve to have a family and move on with his life? She may get retribution and then be able to move on (except flashbacks, I know, but we all have them), but if it goes as far as court he will never have a life when this will leave him alone, every where he goes he will have to disclose that he 'was' a child sex offender.
As I have said before she has an opportunity for an apology, you do too but by the sounds of it your brother is not remorseful, my husband will never get that apology and nor would he ask for one as he has put it behind him.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby aureli » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:34 am

probably because I am not christian, I find it a bit easy to say to have confessed to God and doesn't need to feel guilt anymore... Just my opinion I suppose. And I believe that even if it happened 'just' once to one child, people have a right to know.
As to apologize, if his sister doesn't want to see him which I can understand so well, there are other ways such as writing her a letter and go from there. Again that is just my opinion.
Also, we don't choose to let the flashbacks and memories take control of our lives, it takes time, understanding and support to get better.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby siofra » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:14 pm

Opheillia, if you are happy with the way your husband has processed things that is fine. The women isnt slandering your husband, she is not saying un truths its her truth which she is entitled to. It really isnt about your husbands regrets, horrible acts were carried out on this women. We all punish are children for using language, mis behaving etc. So if somenone else did this to one of your children would you be happy or would you fight for justice? Your husband is not the victim in this situation your sister in law is. I am afraid the person who put you and your family in the situation is your husband and any anger you have should be directed at him. She didnt put your husband under the watchfull eye he did with choices he made when he was young and in your teenage years you know the difference between right and wrong. Would you like not to have the freedom of intimate relationship? Every time you are intimate with your husband you see your abuser or think of your abuser? Its not right. I think in this situation you are caught up on age and not the crime. If your husband is reformed then you have nothing to be worried about and he can prove this. It doesnt matter if you can learn to deal with these things the facts are you shouldnt have to deal with these things. If you carried out an act that made you upset then fine but when its taken out of your control that is a different story. When your husband told you the truth you made a choice to stay and support him that women had no choice. I suppose this is another hurdle for you to overcome. When you were a victim of domestic violence which is awful and I would never under estimate the impact of this you had the freedom and support to follow the law of the land and protect yourself and your sister in law has the same right. In relation to her mother in law she sounds like a very nice supportive women who can understand her pain and suffering, isnt that wonderful. We have to remember that anyone who have commited a crime is someones son, brother, father, sister or brother they are not aliens.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Ophellia » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:46 am

We have to remember that anyone who have commited a crime is someones son, brother, father, sister or brother they are not aliens.


I think that this is the point! The problem we seem to be having, and my parents-in-law see this too is that my sister-in-law's mother-in-law seems to have a vendetta against my husband. If my husband was a horrible person now they would not tolerate him living under their roof at the moment, they would ask him to leave and they would insist I left him with the children as well. However, they recognise that what he did back then was wrong and a terrible thing to have done especially to their own daughter. The thing is that they are able to see his remorse and that he wants to make amends, he was just too afraid and ashamed to bring it up previously. We also feel that the mother-in-law is taking a controlling role, she has always been dominating, when it came to the wedding she took over completely, now she is always there when my parents in-law want to spend time with their daughter and their grand children. Not respecting the fact that they have a right to speak to their daughter without being supervised, they're not the perpetrators. We also believe it's a vendetta because we have not heard anything about what they plan on doing in relation to her cousin who also abused her, he hasn't been confronted!

They do say that sibling abuse can occur because of lack of supervision and if your mother in law left her kids unsupervised she was part of the problem.
I'd like to ask one question in light of this statement: do you sit and watch your children all night? Or do you actually watch some TV or read or do the dishes etc and then go to bed and sleep. I know I do all those things when my kids go to bed, they also share the same room (admittedly they're both girls, but girls can also abuse their younger siblings either sex). You can't watch your kids 24/7 and from the time my sister-in-law was a baby until she was in year 11 her mother was a stay at home mum! I don't think it was lack of supervision at apropriate times, but opportunistic disobedience on my husband's part, much like a child will steal from the cookie jar if the opportunity arises (not that it is the same thing).

Aureli, thanks for the suggestion:
there are other ways such as writing her a letter and go from there.
I will suggest this to my husband, at least then she can get some idea of how he feels and where he is at. I do still think they need to see each other face to face, she can not truly see his remorse in a letter. I am fully aware that the ball is in her court when it comes to forgiveness and she needs to get to the point where she can forgive him and move on, this is the only true way she can gain healing. Without forgiving those who sin against you the wound will never truly heal. There will always be a scar, but the pain will eventually become a dull ache, and possibly even go away but there will always be a reminder.
Thanks again for all your responses.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby siofra » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Best of luck to you. There is someone for everyone, we can make any situation right in our own mind. No wonder your sister in law wants nothing to do with you all, run for the hills I say. With you all out of her life maybe she can heal as they say if it is cancerous cut it off. For your information I am always with my children and they are always in ear shot of me so no they are not left alone thank you very much. Children need there parents when they are young and especially through their teenage years as they need a lot of guidance. Sorry your sister is stirring the apple cart and upsetting your lifes, poor you. Your religious beliefs are your own personal views which should not be forced upon anyone else, isnt it great you and your husband are looking after the after life. The Catholic church has done as much cover up and as regard to the offenders they see them being sinners and suffering from an illness. You have no right to to tell anyone how to heal or move on with their lives. It seems to me that you dont care one bit for your sister in law and have no empathy for her all you are interested in is silencing her so your life runs smooth wouldnt that me lovely.

-- Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:29 pm --

By the way this is a survivors website, what are you doing on it? Survivors dont need to be reading this.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Ophellia » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:49 am

By the way this is a survivors website, what are you doing on it? Survivors dont need to be reading this.


siofra, this site is not a survivors website, it is for everyone and to remind you the thread was started by a girl whose fiance had abused his sister and she wanted some advice on what she should do! The replies began with support for her and I wanted some advice on the same situation that had gone further than her problem.

Your religious beliefs are your own personal views which should not be forced upon anyone else, isnt it great you and your husband are looking after the after life. The Catholic church has done as much cover up and as regard to the offenders they see them being sinners and suffering from an illness.


Yes my religious beliefs are my own, and I wasn't forcing them on anyone else, I was just stating that we believe in a God who forgives. My sister-in-law also believes in the same God and is a member of the same church we attend and as part of that set of beliefs we all understand that if a God who created us can forgive us for sinning against him (worse than you could possibly sin against another human being) then it is also our duty to follow his lead and forgive others who have sinned against us. God knows that by forgiving those who have hurt us we can also begin to move on and grow as human beings, without forgiveness we become cold and bitter towards others and the world. I also acknowledge to wrongs of the Catholic Church and many others (not one church is innocent of trying to protect themselves). I am not a Catholic but am a Bible believing protestant christian. I don't believe that sex offenders or child sex offenders who are part of any organisation and are especially still offending should be moved on or protected in anyway, this just allows those people to keep offending, they need to be addressed appropriately by the organisation (most likely removed from office and monitored to make sure the offences do not occur again) they should not, however, be removed from the church unless they are not obviously repentant, as church is a place for sinners. Jesus came to heal the sick not to spend time with the well, you don't visit a doctor when you are healthy, you see them when you are sick or have a medical concern! And no the Catholic Church, nor any other church believes such people are suffereing from an illness, yes they are sinners just as everyone else is. It is atheistic, humanistic scientists, doctors, psycologists etc that believe these things are illnesses of the brain that need to be cured. The church believes these things need to be overcome by making correct choices, they are things that need to be accounted for and repented of. If it was an illness or a genetic flaw, you have nothing to be sorry for, it wasn't your fault, you can take a drug and maybe you'll be fixed. The church teaches that you are inherently evil, the flesh only tends towards evil all the days of your life, the only way to be truly good is through continual growth, prayer and support from God, you can't do it alone and you'll never attain Christ's perfection until this corruptable flesh is made uncorruptable at the second coming of Christ. Humanists teach that you are inherently good or at worst a blank slate, now which one makes more sense in the world we live in?? That we're all good and want to do good towards others or that we are evil and are selfish so want to do what we want to do with no regard to others?? I know what makes sense to me!!
The issue for both my case and the original poster is that both men have admitted their guilt, they're both model citizens and in my case he wants to make amends with his sister. When I first married my husband I had told her that I wanted to be the big sister she never had, unfortunately she didn't feel as though she could tell me about when he'd done nor how it was affecting her. I believe that it most likely was and is the reason she struggles with her weight, why she got pregnant and 18 and out of wedlock as she had a low self-esteem and so didn't know how to or couldn't say no, and why she hid the pregnancy until she was 20 weeks pregnant, she couldn't trust her family. She now has the opportunity to begin healing and begin a new fresh relationship with her family where she can trust again. I'm just worried that her mother-in-law will continue to drive a wedge between my sister-in-law and her biological family.
siofra, I hope that one day you can forgive your brother whether he deserves it or not, the forgiveness you choose to give to another is not for them, he may not even want it, it's for you and your family. If he continues to be hostile towards you after you've told him you've forgiven him then you need to say that he's chosen not to be a part of your or your family's life, you don't need someone like that in your life. You sound like you still have a lot to deal with on this issue and are lashing out at me because you can't understand how I could love someone who did such a thing. If my husband wasn't sorry and was hostile towards his sister I most likely would give him an ultimatum, I couldn't spend my life with someone who wasn't sorry for his actions, that would be one of a few deal breakers (just because he did this 13 years ago doesn't make it a deal breaker, he deserves to be happy too).
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby siofra » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:49 pm

To be honest I dont really feel you understand the depths of sexual abuse and I feel that you are trying to simplify the impact of this. We are all mad up of a mind, body and soul. Their are so many levels to an individual. You may sort things out in your soul and you may sort things out in your mind but the body remembers all the trauma it has been put through.

You cant impose your views on to other people, maybe she has forgiven him, maybe she has forgiven her family but she chooses or feels they are unhealthy for her to be around. Everyone is entitled to make choices. As I said before if you are ok with your husbands explanations thats fine but why do you feel you need her to forgive him? I feel it is very arrogant of you to try and save her. She is on her own journey.

It really doesnt matter if she had a baby out of wedlock, if she is over weight, if the family wants to make ammends. Before you reply that I am or have done all of the above you are wrong I just dont judge people this way. Trust is very important and it sounds like her whole family has let her down when she really needed them, it was broken in a very deep way. Maybe there is just no coming back from that, if she needs her space all I am saying is that she entitled to be repected and given her space and not pushed along.

She is and I am not unique as abuse victims to have the same feelings and hurts. Maybe you should educate yourself more on the topic. I responded initially to your message as I thought I might enlighten you as how sexual abuse impacts someone. But you seem to think you can just press a magic button and it will disappear that in some way you are a weak individual if you cant. It really doesnt matter if it never happens again this has seriously effected another human being and I feel that this needs to be awknowledged.

Abusers also need alot of help and counseling to figure out why they have done what they have done and to process it. I really dont care if you choose to stay with your husband or not, I dont have to live with him, I will never know him I have nothing against him. I am simply tryin to explain how bad his actions have been and yes he may see the errors of his ways but he has seriously traumatised another human being who happens to be his sister which in no way can you make little of it.He cant yet again demand something else from her as he has already demanded enough from her. If this was someone outside his family do you think she would ever speak to him again? Do you think he would not have been brought to court? It might be his sister but she has the same entitlments. The only difference is that there is egos involved and shame may be brought on the family name. Have we not as a human race evolved from this, stopped brushing things under the carpet and hiding behind religion.

Your quote:

siofra, I hope that one day you can forgive your brother whether he deserves it or not, the forgiveness you choose to give to another is not for them, he may not even want it, it's for you and your family. If he continues to be hostile towards you after you've told him you've forgiven him then you need to say that he's chosen not to be a part of your or your family's life, you don't need someone like that in your life.

I may have forgiven him, I dont have to tell him. Do I want him part of my life or my families life? Absolutely no way. Why? Because I will never forget what he is capable of, even if he has changed. I have a duty of care to protect my children and with the knowledge I have I couldnt have him or the people who have supported him near my children as I dont see them as healthy individuals to normalise these actions. If you have ever heard the saying if you have crossed the line once it is easier to do a second time. My kids are very special and deserve my protection, so no he will never get near me, my husband or my kids. This has nothing to do with anger, religion, unforgiveness it is my duty as a parent not to play russion roullette. It is not irrational I am well in my rights as I will never minimise this. I have felt the hurt, impact, dispair and illness which it has causes and I would not wish that on anyone else.

As your sister in law is not communicating with you, can you not use the insight others are offering and just except what it is. She is entitled to everything she is feeling, she is not unique.

Can you get through it? Yes
Does it take time? Yes
Have you to go on your own journey without pressure? Yes
Is she weak for feeling this way? No
She is a strong individual not a hopeless case who needs saving. Yes
She may never want a relationship with any of you. Is that wrong? No as she is well justified

Your quote:
You sound like you still have a lot to deal with on this issue and are lashing out at me

I am sorry if you feel I am lashing out at you, but you cant simplfy what has happened. It is not like falling down and scraping your knee and you heal in a few days. You seem to think that your sister in law is being a drama queen and is choosing to be in such deep pain, she would not be in pain if your husband hadn't done what he has done. He may be sorry but im afraid it is too little to late. My own personal healing has been very successful, I have not laid down and let it take over my life. I have been extremely successful in life in general. I just have a hugh understanding on what it takes to be healthy and let me tell you it is no easy task. Are you weak if it takes you longer absolutely not as I said before it has to be the right time for you and its your own personal journey which can not be forced.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby siofra » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:07 pm

The single most crucial component of child sexual assault is keeping the victim silent and ensuring the secrecy. All offenders need secrecy to assault children. Children who have experienced sexual assault often keep that secret for decades keeping the guilt and shame that offenders should feel. The single most significant thing that we can do to prevent sexual assault of children is to directly tackle this secrecy with children and young people and expose the tactic that enables offenders to offend.

If we break down the secrecy, including the taboo of informing children of the danger, then we provide children with knowledge and the most powerful weapon of all - the ability to TELL.

Incest is seen as an overall symptom of family maladjustment and it proposes that all members of the family are responsible for causing it to occur even though apparently uninvolved, in particular, the mother.

A family in which incest is occurring is seen to be dysfunctional as it does not conform to socially approved goals or values and normal family hierarchies based on age and sex have been destroyed. In a dysfunctional family incest is utilized to reduce tension and maintain balance within the family while ensuring that the family's pathology is kept a secret.

In this view the mother is seen to have failed fundamentally. her nurturing role as mother and protector of her child. She does this by absenting herself either emotionally or physically from her children by working outside of the home, pursuing outside interests and activities, or through illness, hospitalization, escaping into depression

Child sexual abuse, sexual assault of adults and of peer aged victims is a crime




Sibling sexual abuse.

Power
The abuser usually won the trust, and then violated that trust in order to commit the abuse.
Misuse of power and authority by the abusing sibling
Abuse is often Non-Concentual
Sibling sexual abuse usually accompanies emotional and physical abuse.
The survivor tends to feel powerless, ashamed, and betrayed

Serious nature
Sibling Sexual Abuse is often “Hands-On Abuse”
Sibling incest is of at least equal seriousness as Father–daughter incest
Sibling abuse often includes the most serious and intrusive acts.
The abuser is more likely to have penetrated the victim
The abuse is more likely to go underreported and ignored


Secrecy
The abuser held the survivor in terror and silence.

Extended duration
The abuser often commits more acts of abuse over a longer period of time.
The survivor was more readily available for a longer period of time to the abusing sibling.
Offenders normally have little to no consequences because they are protected by family secrecy.

Family
Provide poor supervision and little structure
Tend to have had a history of domestic violence and physical abuse
Secrets - Discourage open communication


Impact of disclosure (parents or sibling response)

Deny the allegations of abuse
Acknowledge the abuse, but blame and/or punish the victim
Acknowledge the abuse, but fail to protect the victim and stop the abuse
When abuse is disclosed, divide into teams, (victim versus offender) which compete for power resources, and support
Family relationships are sometimes disrupted or severed
In the end, problematic families can leave the survivor feeling unprotected, helpless, rejected, and further blamed.

Minimization
Family and Society tend to ignore or minimize the sibling sexual abuse

Impact of sibling sexual abuse
Consequences of sibling abuse as equally serious as father–daughter abuse.
With instances of depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, suicidal feelings, compulsive spending, suicidal feelings and disruptive and troublesome flashbacks (etc).

THE ADULT EXPERIENCE

If the childhood abuse was overwhelming and the child had to "split" to survive, the only way the adult will ever know about her childhood abuse is through flashbacks.

What is a flashback?:

A flashback is a
momentary, split-second recollection
of the abuse.
Sometimes this split second awareness is visual:

SEEING something mentally that seems like a dream but feels SO real.
At other times it is auditory:

HEARING something that was originally heard during the abuse.
Often it is kinesthetic:

FEELING something that was originally felt during the abuse.

A flashback is "triggered" by ordinary events in adult life.
The most common trigger comes when an adult is having sex
and her partner moves in a way which reminds her of the abuser's movements.
But these triggers are very unique to each person,
and they can be either one-of-a-kind events (like a scene from a movie)
or very frequent occurrences (like walking past a certain kind of tree).

"Triggers" cannot be avoided.
They are too commonplace.
We can ignore the SIGNIFICANCE of the trigger for a while
(by saying they "mean nothing"),
but they will continue to haunt us
until we face the memories that prompted them.

The terrorized child will not be ignored for long.
Once she notices she has grown into a powerful enough person to begin to protect herself,
that little girl will keep telling the grownup over and over about her memories
- until she finally gets the safety and protection she has needed for so long

Not as simple as forgiveness
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Anasui » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:07 am

I can tell you that your husband, from what you stated, does feel remorse. I think it mayy have been just that... Teenage hormones.

I do remember talking to my therapist about the possibility of me one day having kids of my own and that I was scared that I might end up abusing them. And my psychologist told me that with the statistics being higher with abused victims becoming the predator mostly happen when the victim didn't go searching for help. As in, they never went to talk to a psychologist/therapist about their abuse.

You ARE getting help. You ARE trying to over come what happened to you. You do not have to worry about you possibly hurting your own child. Because you are getting the help you need, and you understand the pain abuse brings, you won't lay a hand on your child.

And your husband sounds like he understands what he did to his sister was wrong and that he does feel shame and guilt for it. And he is searching for help. I honestly don't believe you have much to worry. So long as you both continue to see a professional.
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