Too Much to Process

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It’s been a couple of months since I have posted. I was doing pretty well up until a couple of weeks ago when the Brett Kavanaugh scandal surfaced. I have previously posted on here about my grandfather molesting my mother and her two sisters and physically abusing his sons. Well, a couple of my female cousins have revealed in the past couple of weeks that three of my uncles (sons of my maternal grandfather) molested/raped them and one of their extended family members. I can’t even process this. Did my grandfather teach them this behavior? Did he molest them, too? Why were my sister and I spared? So many thoughts keep racing through my mind. I want to be there to support them, but their stories are triggers for me as well. I’m also scared that more stories are going to come out as time passes. It’s like everything that I thought I knew about my family is one big lie.

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  1. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi rosebud,
    I’m so sorry about what your family has been through. How you’re feeling is valid and very understandable. Assault has been on the news quite a lot recently, and a lot of people have been feeling triggered and emotionally exhausted. I think setting some boundaries could help. Maybe you could say something like, “I’m here to support you, but please know that this is a triggering subject for me, so please ask me if you can confide in me before doing so and be considerate of my answer.” Of course, this is your decision and it depends on how your family reacts to emotional boundaries, if you feel ready to let them know you’re willing to support them, etc. I also agree with what others have said about taking care of yourself. That is extremely important, especially if you’re planning to support other people. If you need anything, please feel free to write back. Thank you for updating us, and we’re in your corner.

  2. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hi Rosebud
    I am so sorry to hear about the things has been going through. I understand it not easy but it’s a great thing you are supporting them at a difficult time. Make sure take some time for yourself and if its triggering takes some time off. Just know we are here for you and if you need more support we are here for you.

  3. Zoe

    Hi, rosebud.

    I’m so sorry to hear about the things your family has been going through. I know that can’t be easy, to learn about all of the abuse so many of your family members have experienced. I think it’s great that you want to be a support to them during this time, and you should do so to the best of your ability, but be sure to take care of yourself as well. If it’s triggering for you, it’s okay to take a step back and take some time for yourself to process these things, or at least have self-care techniques or support systems in place for you, to help you through this time.

    I know the public/political climate has been pretty triggering in general lately, so I’m sorry that has affected you too. Just know that you’re not alone, we’re here to support you, in whatever ways you need. Please don’t hesitate to reach out again, or let us know if there’s anything in particular we can do to further help you during this time.


  4. kelly Day Captain

    Hi, rosebud. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all of this. Sexual abuse, or abuse of any kind, within the family can create a vicious cycle. If they don’t get help, victims of abuse can end up abusing others. That’s why I think it’s really important to take care of ones’ self and mental health, especially if you’re in a family where abuse is present. It’s great that you want to support them, but make sure to take care of yourself. You can’t help anyone else if you can’t help yourself. All the stuff in the news has been a big trigger for a lot of people, but I think it’s also sparked this conversation that a lot of people need to have. I believe we can only heal once we start talking about and addressing these things that people have kept in the dark for so long. But that doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in a position where you don’t feel safe. Take care of yourself first. These stories probably need to come out, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the one to hold them. There are a lot of resources out there if you need them just let us know. Or maybe you can point people in your family to them if you feel like their stories are too triggering for you. We’re here for you if you need anything.

  5. Gamato04

    Thank you for this update. I’m so sorry this happened to your family and that this was a trigger. It is important to support your family but it is also important to look out for yourself. If you need to take more time to heal and can’t listen to more stories that is perfectly okay. I hope you know that we are always here for you, during this tough period as well as any other ones. Someone is always here to listen to you.

  6. Jess Volunteer

    Thank you for updating us on your story. As others have said, these things in the media really can trigger survivors, and I’m sorry that this has triggered you. I’m also sorry to hear that more of your family was involved than you originally thought. That had to be incredibly hard to hear. Please don’t blame yourself for being “spared.” What happened wasn’t your fault and it wasn’t their fault either.
    Please remember to take care of yourself. While it is important to support your family, it is more than normal to need to ask not to hear the details. If they need other resources, please direct them here or We are always here to listen, if they need someone. We also have lots of resources under our “Find Help” tab. Remember to do what is right by you first. Your mental health should be your main priority.
    Thank you again for trusting us with your story. We are always here to listen and we believe you. Please continue updating us, if you want. We would love to hear your journey through healing.

  7. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear rosebud,
    Thank you for coming back and trusting us with more of your story. While it is all hard to hear and to process about members of your family, please remember to take time to care for yourself. It is okay to say, I believe you and I am here for you, but I can’t hear the details right now. Give them some resources of places (like here) that they can share their stories. You don’t have to be the one who holds them to be there for them. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself because you can’t work on anything else until then.
    Sending you love and strength,

  8. SAF Volunteer

    Hi Rosebud,
    Thanks for sharing with us. Hearing about things like this in the media can be very triggering in some cases. You shouldn’t feel guilty about “being spared”. Nothing that happened to them was their faults, but it wasn’t yours either. Sometimes, you have to focus on your path to healing before you’re able to help others.
    Stay Strong,

  9. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    I am so sorry that you are going through this right now. If discussing it with them is a trigger for you, you are able to support them in other ways as well. Sometimes just being with someone who knows the trauma that you went through makes you feel not so alone, without having to talk about that trauma at all. You can also help them by connecting them to resources where they can share their stories with others and get more support (like us here! 🙂 ) We have tons of resources on the site you can look through and give them as well if you think it may help them. Stay strong <3

  10. Kailey2298 Volunteer

    Hi rose bud,
    I’m so sorry you and your family are going through this right now. I know that what is happening right now is triggering and very hard for other people to understand. But it’s importnat to remember you are not alone even though you may feel like you are. Have you spoke to anyone about how your feeling? Sometimes gettin it out helps us feel better. You are so brave and We are always here for you to listen no mater what. If we can help in any way please let us know!

  11. alexcostello Volunteer

    Hi Rosebud,
    First of all I wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your story with us and for being so honest about how you;re feelings and your thoughts. It is incredibly brave of you and we are proud of you, so you should be as well.

    I also wanted to say that I am so sorry to read that your family has a deep history of sexual trauma and abuse and hope that there have been positive pockets of support despite all of this and that there have been sources of comfort for you.

    All of the coverage surrounding Brett Kavanaugh has been incredibly intense and has understandably been quite triggering. The scary thing about it also is that it feels quite disempowering. I have felt over the last few days that it doesn’t matter how loud we scream about the injustices that happen to us, it doesn’t feel like people are listening. But I want you to know that people are listening, we are here whenever you need us and we must take our try our best to keep moving forward even when it feels like we don’t have a lot of hope. I want you to know that you can always reach out to us whenever you need to vent, or if you need someone to talk to or anything at all really. The good things, the bad things and the confusing things! Absolutely anything.

    I know the messages can’t quite take the pain and the confusion away but I want you to know that we are here for you and that it is ok to take time to look after yourself. If there is potential for something to be triggering for you or may at all compromise how you’re feeling then it is ok to distance yourself from it, even if that means maybe not being as present as you would like to be for someone. Please don’t feel like that is a bad choice to make.

    Do you have a good support system in place at the moment to give you a hand in sifting through all of your thoughts about what has happened?
    Sending love and light to you,

  12. jamie.lynn Volunteer

    Hi there! I am sorry to hear that your family has such a strong history of trauma and abuse. I know that this can be really hard to hear and there are so many emotions that come along with all of this. I know it can be even more difficult, when you were not one that was abused, but many others were. We hold a lot of guilt and grief when someone close to us is suffering. The best that you can do is be there for them when you can, but remember to take care of you too! You can’t be there to listen for someone else, if you are not okay yourself. Self care is real and it’s important. Please let us know if we can help you or your family.


  13. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I am so sorry your family is dealing with this. I know how hard and triggering this must be. Is there anything more we can do to support you? Let us know-we are here for you.


  14. Solongago Volunteer

    I am sorry. When there isn’t a political motive involved, usually, victims are telling the truth, at least how they perceived it to be. Because it is embarrassing, and there isn’t any gain for someone who did not have this stuff happen to them to say that it has. So, the best thing to do is to try to listen non-judgementally to your cousins, as hard as that is, and maybe talk to someone neutral like a therapist or a pastor about how you feel about it.

    Your feelings are your feelings. If you can’t believe it happened, or if you have doubts, then you can’t believe it or have doubts about it. It is far better to admit that (to yourself), and once you accept that is how you feel about it, you can move forward, and maybe come to a place of acceptance, or maybe you will continue to have your doubts.

    Incest is such a hideous thing because it severs families, and leaves victims all over the place, with people closest to them who cannot or will not support them.

    If my perp was the boy down the street, and I wanted to confront him for closure, I wouldn’t know or care if he has tried to commit suicide in the past, or if he might never talk to our family again, etc. But when the perp is your brother, then there are all these considerations. My siblings are his sibling too. So, I might not want to have anything to do with him, but every family function will include him, because my siblings are not necessarily going to shun him. Thank God, this is not what I want. I have two brothers that would be on that list and I would just not go to any family gatherings. So I would be the punished one.

    I can’t talk about it with my folks because my folks are their folks too. And they love them. And it hurts my folks to have to think about this stuff. And if I bring it up, than I am the bad one (for bringing it up).

    No, most folks do not make up tales about incest because incest condemns the family that you own, that you were raised in, that shares your genes in most cases. So, at least for me, there is an element of shame to admit the incest.

    This has been a tough couple of weeks for survivors on both sides of the debate — those that believe her completely, and those who believe otherwise. The answer is not to be frustrated with folks that believe differently than you do. We are not the enemy. I think it would be helpful to honestly look at both sides, at the opposite of what you currently think, if you believe her, than think how would it be different if the man was totally innocent. How would that change your thoughts. If you don’t believe her, than think how would it be if it went down just like she said. The hope is to understand not her or him, but to understand how other survivors are thinking right now, and how the general public is thinking, in hopes that we can stop the ever growing chasm between the sides in our country.