Posted by: Jillybean | 2005/12/14

Very concerned!! Pls help!!

Hey everyone,
This is very confusing but here goes...
I found out that my cousin accused my uncle of molesting her when she was very young. Now none of us know if it really happened. How do you know when somebody is telling the truth? When we all were young (we are the same age) we used to stay over at my grandparents house, my 2 uncles were still living in their parents house. I don't remember that anything happened, but then again I was very young. The reason I might think her accusations are true is because she has lost all respect for herself, when we were teenagers she had slept with most of the boys in the town. She has a huge issue with sexuality. The reason I don't think it's true is because there was 3 of us, small girls staying there couple of days a week and one of us living there permanently, not her. She won't talk to me about it, and she would never considder going for therapy. I'm really concerned about her, because no matter how long ago it happened she has to get help for it.
Any advice?

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Our expert says:
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These can be extremely complex situations. She may well have been molested, and she may not have been molested. Memories are remarkably unreliable, and also remarkably easily influenced by what we have come to expect. Reading some dangerously misleading books about abuse, some of them best-sellers, can induce people to remember abuses that never occured or which are even impossible ; recollections of such experiences can be entirely true, entrely false, or a mixture of truth and fantasy, hard to decipher.
She does sound as though she needs psychotherapy, preferably from a psychologist who is competent but not with a fanatical interest in matters of previous abuse, as they too often find what they're looking for, whether or not it was ever actually there.

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Our users say:
Posted by: figured it out | 2005/12/14

CS couldn't have said it better.

A neutral psychotherapist is a must!

Reply to figured it out
Posted by: shooter | 2005/12/14

jillybean, this is a difficult one, if you believe her then she needs to follow the correct procedures of law to put your uncle away. But if the accusations are false then it will destroy the whole family if she goes to the cops & lays false charges. she needs to get the issues out at a therapist (offer to go with her to give support). does or has anyone in your family suffer fron "delusions"? cos she might have some other underlying condition?

this one will not be easy to work thru, but hang in there & try to be objective. GOOD LUCK

Reply to shooter
Posted by: Liza | 2005/12/14

She needs to go for counselling whether she was molested or not. And just because you can't remember it ever happening to you, doesn't mean that it couldn't have happened to her. Perhaps this uncle was scared that you'd be too assertive and go and tell someone? Try and remember what your personalities were like at that age. Who was the group leader?

My uncle chose a poor victim in my sister, who wasn't believed either - because I never spoke up. And everybody also assumed that if he had one victim, he must have another. I just simply felt too ashamed about it and thought that if I never admitted to it, it would go away. For a while it did, until I suddenly thought about it just as I hit puberty. From then on, Its frequently haunts me - even with therapy. I still remember the smell, exactly what he did to me and how he did it. Everything. Just now, instead of the guilt and disgust I felt pity. Pity for him, for being molested too. Pity for my sister who was never believed. And pity for my younger self for feeling so guilty for something that wasn't my fault.

Reply to Liza

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