Gransnet forums

Estrangement

Letter to my children (post talks of sexual abuse)

(19 Posts)
Starblaze Sun 16-Feb-20 19:41:32

My NM and brother after estrangement always said they would find my children one day and "tell them the truth". My eldest child is about to turn 21 which was the accepted time of becoming an adult in my house growing up.

I've wondered a lot what this truth could be. I wondered if part of it could be the sexual abuse. My NM never believed it happened to me but used to like to bring it up to hurt me. What if this is the "truth" and it will be used to explain why I might be crazy and have estranged "wonderful" parents for no reason? My children don't know about this and it is a burden I never ever wanted them to carry. A good friend has recommended telling oldest child but I don't think I can ever do that. What if NM tells this truth for me?

I'm also having heart surgery very soon. It's not a massively invasive procedure and the outlook is good but it got me wondering about my own mortality. As far as I am concerned my NM is dangerous and not to be trusted around my children. Would it be acceptable to write my children a letter stating my side of the story incase the worst happens? If their grandmother and uncle reach out to them in the future should I let my children make their own decisions there or should they be pre-warned and armed against abusive people by letter? Or should I trust that the older who remember will protect the younger?

I don't know when I will be able to come back and see any replies but I will when I can.

HettyMaud Sun 16-Feb-20 19:53:38

Yes write a letter to your children telling them the absolute truth. That way you will have the reassurance that they will know what really happened. Other people have ways of distorting the truth or only listening to what they want to hear. At 21 perhaps your eldest child could hear what you have to say. You could try to pluck up the courage to say it. You should not have to hide what went on. You don't give many details but it sounds as if you have suffered and have not shared your experiences which I can totally understand because we often find it hard to accept that those who were supposed to love us have treated us badly. Do not let other people give their side of the story to your children. Because they are YOUR children not theirs. Good luck with your surgery.

Yennifer Sun 16-Feb-20 20:05:28

Maybe the truth they have to tell your children isn't actually any truth you can guess at all! Maybe it's whatever lies they have told to others to excuse your estrangement. I don't really have much advice but maybe you could leave a letter with someone you trust so they could pass it on if needed. It's hard when you need to protect your children from abusive people and also protect them from knowing your trauma. I'm sure they can handle it if it happens, you are their mum and they will think you are amazing for surviving. It's not the big horrible taboo subject it was years ago. I'm very sorry for everything you have been though and I hope you recover quickly from having surgery x

Missfoodlove Sun 16-Feb-20 20:20:38

I would never trust a narc.
She would take great delight in putting some spin on the abuse.
If you can find the courage tell your children, they may have guessed already and not wanted to upset you.
Good luck.

Hithere Mon 17-Feb-20 00:11:12

Your kids know who you are.
They won't just believe the lies of a person about you, DNA related or not.

OutsideDave Mon 17-Feb-20 01:53:01

Hithere has it right. I’ve never understand the ‘threat’ of ‘we’ll tell them our side when they are older’ you see bandied about by Estranged relatives, as though that means much at all. You sound like a loving, reliable parent and your kids know that. There’s not much likelihood that any suddenly arriving relative, Narc or not, will damage that. Share what you are comfortable, tell them what you did and why (to protect them and yourself) and don’t trouble yourself. Good luck with your surgery!

Madgran77 Mon 17-Feb-20 07:18:08

I agree with Outside Dave.

yggdrasil Mon 17-Feb-20 07:20:51

forgive me. I am not being picky, but I don't understand what NM stands for or narc.

Missfoodlove Mon 17-Feb-20 08:01:04

NM is narcissistic mother 😉

Hetty58 Mon 17-Feb-20 08:17:55

I wasn't sure what NM was either so the post didn't quite make sense until I read the comments.

I had to tell my children (quite early on) that my mother was mentally unwell and my father had PTSD. They were not to worry about the odd things my mother said.

They needed some explanation for the rare and brief contact we had with them. They'd noticed that their friends had good relationships with grannies and granddads. I didn't go into any details of the verbal/emotional abuse I'd suffered, just kept to the 'unwell' explanation.

Greymar Mon 17-Feb-20 08:44:06

Tell them in a calm, loving way. Tell them basic facts. They are more resilient than you think. You will also have the added bonus of rendering NM efforts totally pointless. Also see a therapist and most importante, take care of you.

Smileless2012 Mon 17-Feb-20 09:05:33

That's good advice Hetty telling your children your mother was/is mentally unwell and "not to worry about the odd things my mother said" and/or says.

TwiceAsNice Mon 17-Feb-20 10:50:08

I would write a letter for them to read if it’s too difficult to tell them face to face. I’m very sorry you were sexually abused in your family it leaves a lot of scars for you and is NEVER your fault. I agree it sounds as if you have been a lovely mother to your children ( many abused parents make sure they are the exact opposite parents to their own children) and they will believe you not some awful relative. Do get some specialist counselling for yourself I really believe it will help you ( the counsellor will always believe you) and good luck with your surgery

Starblaze Mon 17-Feb-20 11:40:02

I really appreciate the replies, I have made a mountain out of a molehill I think. I will write the letter for my own peace of mind. Everything else I need to deal with what actually happens if and when it happens. I've had a lot of anxiety lately.

Greymar Mon 17-Feb-20 11:42:55

I have sent PM, Starblaze

Namsnanny Mon 17-Feb-20 14:09:58

starblaze ...dont rebuke yourself. You haven't made a mountain out of a mole hill at all!
You're being vigilant. These people can be trusted to spin everything.
I'm in a similar position just now. Although no s abuse. Emotional is hard enough. How you cope with that too I dont know!
Write a letter. They will be glad of your perspective should they hear lies and spin from elsewhere.
Do hope all goes well for you. ♥️🍀🙂

Starblaze Tue 18-Feb-20 21:44:58

Thank you so much. I had such a wobble and I do feel better. There are some wonderful people here whose opinions I really value. I am home, all safe and sound and ready to sleep for a week but hating the bed rest. See you all soon

Bibbity Tue 18-Feb-20 22:26:53

Have your children ever asked any questions regarding the relatives?

Starlady Thu 20-Feb-20 23:51:23

I'm glad you've sorted this out in your head after talking to posters here, Starblaze. Like Hithere, I don't believe that anything anybody says about a loving mum can turn her kids against her, no matter what the genetic relationship of the other people. They might believe one or two things the other people say, but overall, IMO, you're safe.

Still, I'm glad you're writing your children a letter about NM and your brother. They need to know for their own mental and emotional safety, and, perhaps that of any children they may one day have. Like Hetty, I would just keep it simple, they don't need every gory detail, just enough so that they know there are unstable people and not to be taken too seriously. If NM/brother contact your eldest and she brings any questions/concerns to you, IMO, you should be honest but, again, brief, just answer the specific questions asked. And then change the topic if you can.... JMHO...