Saturday, September 27, 2014

Can't Stand This 6.23.14

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,  
I'm 12 and my half-sister is 17. We get together on holidays, but our father is in jail for molesting me when I was 4-10. He was caught with his pants off in the bedroom with me and I had to go to court but I didn't remember a lot.

My mom is always being kind and believing me. She has taken me to therapy for the last couple of years.

But she doesn't know that my sister says mean things to me behind her back like, "you're such a little liar" and "you ruined our lives just to get attention" and more. She must also tell things like this to other people in our really small town and I feel like everyone's mad at me.

I don't want to tell my mom because she'll just make it worse and then no one will like me. And I don't want to hurt her feelings because she is depressed anyway.


I Can't Stand This!

Dear I Can't Stand This,

We're so proud of you for being brave enough to write us and knowing that you need help to get through this tragedy in your young life.

It's great that your mom believes you and is trying her best to make sure you reduce the devastation of sexual abuse (Especially from your father): depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-esteem issues, dissociative disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and many other consequences from these sick and evil acts.

It may be that your sister is also a victim and she doesn't understand the damage she is doing by not believing you. She may not be able to accept the truth. However, unfortunately, this truth is something she will have to come to terms with and it's not your job to make her or anyone else believe you.

Your job is to know that God knows the truth, your mom knows the truth, your therapist knows the truth and most importantly ... YOU know the truth and your chances of having a normal and good life are so much better because you are accepting the truth and getting help.

You have a wonderful choice to have a happy and healthy life as an adult. Plus, you'll be able to be a leader when you become a parent and in your other life choices.

You are defining yourself now and no one else gets to do that. Not your sister or anyone else in your town. Never forget this!

No child makes up horrible stories to receive horrible attention. Remember this too.

Almost one third of all child sexual abuse offenders are relatives of the child, usually the brothers, fathers, uncles or cousins. Only about ten percent are strangers and the rest are acquaintances such as friends of the family, babysitters or neighbors.

The agony of what you went through doesn't need to be compounded by someone else who needs help also. Tell your mom so she can gain the tools to help. Tell her in front of your therapist so you may both benefit from professional help in going forward.

Make your life magical! Find your talents, get a great advanced education and help others who have suffered as you have. Stay close to your Heavenly Father and make a good difference in the lives of others. This is your recipe for joy in this life.


Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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