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Telling my nephew his father abused me?

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Telling my nephew his father abused me?

Postby Roseredpinball » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:24 am

Hello. My nephew's father, that is, my older brother, abused me when I was a child (he is a good 14 or so years older than me and by the time I was four or five he was just entering college if that clarifies anything at all.) Anyway, fortunately my nephew is too young to talk, let alone comprehend something like abuse. But with him growing older and my sister-in-law pregnant with another kid on the way, I'm worried. What will I tell him as he (and my future niece/nephew) gets older? Do I tell him about the abuse? I fear if I tell him it will scare him and he won't feel safe around his father, and/or it will create a rift between them. Plus, I'm afraid that he will feel guilty/ashamed in some way because of having a former abuser as a father. Not to mention, then he would have to keep it a secret and that's not fair to him, either. On the other hand, if I don't tell him, I fear that he will grow up with this huge secret being kept from him and wondering why his aunt seems on-edge and acts aloof around his father. Children are more perceptive than we give them credit for, I should know. He will pick up on the tension between us, I'm sure. Also, I'm not certain even my sister-in-law knows what my brother did. I know my parents, other older brother, a few close friends, and a select few outside those circles know about it. Oh, and my therapist of course. My brother has reformed, at least I think he has. He hasn't hurt me in a long time and he treats me better now, though he still likes to give me (and everyone around him) "helpful" advice about how to live our lives. Things like diet, exercise, school, work, etc. He can also still be a bit of a jerk sometimes but he seems to have turned over a new leaf. He has yet to apologize to me for the abuse but my mother thinks he is sorry, he's just too proud to admit it. So I don't know, can anyone else who has been in the same or a similar situation give me any advice? Or, even if you haven't, any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
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Re: Telling my nephew his father abused me?

Postby Terry E. » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:27 am

I am sorry for what you went through but would strongly advise not telling him until he is old enough to understand. When that is you will have to judge but I am guessing maybe when he has kids himself. I know that may not seem fair to you, but that is a huge thing to lay on a young child. It will diminish his joy in life and may change him in profound ways.

Again I am sorry for you but to take away a child's naive joy in the world may be something you may later regret.
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