Is it Possible to have a Relationship With Your
Dysfunctional Family After Incest
If you have been molested by your father, there are many problems you may face. Not only do you have the trauma of child molestation to deal with, you have the issue of being betrayed by someone who is supposed to love and protect you at all costs. Once this information becomes known to other family members, it more than likely has caused a great rift between you and them.
Should You Mend The Relationship with Your Father
Even after molestation some choose to have a semblance of a relationship with their father, however it is very rare that trust will be regained. A true relationship will not be possible as anger and other emotions will surface.
You will never be sure that he is truly sorry for what he has done, nor can you be sure that his feelings are now pure. Even if you do not think about these things on a concious level, your unconcious will be filling you with doubts.
There may be days when all is going well and you think you are over the worst of it, only to have more memories bombard your mind. You will have these memories, for months, years or even indefinitely, without working on recover, they more than likely will never disappear. As you try to spend time with your father, you have a constant reminder of what he has done.
You will at times feel rage towards your father. It is a love, hate relationship, if there is one at all. One where you will be at times questioning whether you are doing the right thing by having anything to do with him. Other times you'll be wishing with all your heart that you could have had a healthy, loving relationship whilst you were a child.
If your father lied about the abuse, you will find it hard to forgive him. You may never want to. Choosing instead to have nothing to do with him.
A Relationship With Your Mother
We get many questions, asking if it is possible to have a relationship with your mother after sexual abuse by a father or stepfather. There are some incest victims who have had to deal with a mother who not only didn't protect them, but excused the father, or joined in the lie the father told to protest his innocence.
One example is a mother who not only joined in the lie, but continually blamed the daughter accusing her of lying. Later when the abuse could be denied no longer, she excused him by saying "but he was drunk wasn't he?" This is many times also the response of a mother protecting a step father/partner.
It is hard to understand a mother who does not stand by her child, the child she is supposed to protect. Self preservation does however step up and take over in many cases, pushing the child aside. Unfortunately this is not a rare occurance.
You may have hostile feelings towards your mother, feeling that a relationship will never be possible. If a situation as mentioned above has been your ordeal or one similar, you are far better off without this relationship. The choice though is yours and only you can make it. You may feel you would be better off forging the barrier between you. Only you know what is right for you.
The bond that families have can be strong regardless of what they have been through, particularly with parents. Realise though that a normal healthy relationship will very rarely be possible as you will be mentally forever questioning yourself and them.
Whilst you may be able to forgive her for not protecting you if she was unaware of the incest, if after finding out she did not stand by you, you will always feel resentment. You may also wonder if your mother did know about the abuse, turning a blind eye. You may have anger and resentment for what your parents put you through, and they may have resentment because you dared speak out.
Some who have been molested, would rather just have their parents and family in their life regardless.
Relationship With Guilty Sibling
If incest was committed by a sibling than a semblance of a relationship would be the same as that of a father who is the abuser.
If Abuser was Your Mother
If your abuser was your mother than you would react the same way as you would if it was a father who abused you.
What about a Relationship With Other Family Members
Having a relationship within a dysfunctional family at the best of times is a difficult situation. Dealing with a relationship which consists of incest is, more times than not, an explosion waiting to go off.
Whether a relationship works depends on many things. For instance, did your family cut you off, having nothing to do with you for bringing the incest or molestation out into the open? Did they blame you for speaking out? Did they view you as a liar or possibly accuse you of having ulterior motives for speaking out?
These are not the actions of a loving family, they are the actions of a selfish family. A self serving one, one who is willing to hang an innocent person out to dry for the sake of their own comfort and relationships. Unfortunately, this is the reaction of many families involved with incest.
If you have over time, already worked hard to mend the rift between you, all will more than likely not be as you had hoped. It will not be all smooth sailing, you will have come across problems.
How Strong Is The Mend
How strong the mend is, is difficult to say, however it will be tested as time goes on. If you were cut off once, they will have no problems cutting you off again, if they don't like what you do or say.
You will be the outsider, even though it may not appear to be so. They will stick together even though they may have issues with each other, but may be quick to severe contact with you, if you upset them.
If this is the case, you are better off without them. They are not the loving and supporting family you had hoped they had become. It may even be that you never really felt comfortable, or truly felt like you fitted in even after the rift was mended. You are wise to rely on those that love you and not worry about others.
Your happiness and your marriage mate/partner if you have one, as well as your children (if you have them) should be your main concern.
The Decision Is Yours
If your molester denied your accusation, and other family members supported him, it could take months, years or never for a reconciliation, or it may never be possible. Of course they could all show deep sorrow, and ask for your forgiveness, for the way they treated you.
No two situations are the same, however tread very carefully. Take things slowly, don't rush into a close relationship, you may find all is not as it seems.
There are many emotions that you will be feeling throughout your life, however with help and progress with your recovery, it will get easier. Whether you have or don't have a relationship with anyone involved in your childhood abuse, is up to you in the end.
You need to weigh up the pros and cons, and whatever feels good and right to you, do. Otherwise you can choose to rather try and achieve happiness with the help of the people who truly love you.