don't know what to do...

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2008
don't know what to do...
7
Thu, 02-05-2009 - 3:21pm

Hi there,


I haven't posted here before. Today I found out that my 12 year old daughter has been carrying a secret around with her for nearly a year. We have blended families, and I have a stepson who is about the same age - this would have made them 11 at the time. She said that one night, he woke her up and asked her to 'make love' to him. She said he told he he had always had a crush on her. She didn't know what he was doing, think she was very confused, and that in her words 'they did it'. She says it only happened once, and I am sure she is telling the truth.


I have noticed for some time that she has been down, and have been trying to get something out of her. Today I just waited and waited. She started asking me questions like "mum, I heard about this brother and sister who had sex - what do you think about that?". I finally got it out of her. She is carrying all this shame, and didn't want to tell me because she thought I would be ashamed of her. She said she couldn't carry it any more and she just wanted to be normal. She hasn't told anyone in case they think she is a 'slut'. God, words like that from a 12 year old.


I told her I was very proud of her and that she had nothing to be guilty about. Upon further discussion, I don't think he got in very far. Does this go under 'doctors and nurses' as they were so young? I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet. As far as I know, he may be just as ashamed and confused as her. My partners kids lost their mum a while ago, and they are all still dealing with that too...


She is now smiling, after having unloaded this big secret, but has begged me not to tell anyone we know, especially her stepdad, who she thinks will be ashamed of her too -she loves him to bits. I have explained that she didn't do anything to be ashamed of, but I'm not sure what to do, or what approach I am to use with my stepson. I love them all so much, it's killing me that I didn't pick up what was wrong earlier. We have a lot of children between us, but that is no excuse. I feel like I failed them both.


Do I need to get counselling for them, or will this make things worse? What should I say or do? Really could use some advice..thanks for listening

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2008
Mon, 02-09-2009 - 9:56pm

I don't have any advice to add to the PP. I just wanted to tell you how wonderful I think it is that you were interested enough in your daughter to know that something was bothering her. I didn't have that and I rebelled to try and get my parents attention and they still have NO CLUE! So I am very happy that your little girl has someone she can trust when things go bad and can turn to when she needs help.


You are awesome!


Cynthia You are loved, You are Special, You are WORTH IT!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2008
Mon, 02-09-2009 - 5:26pm
Hi Welcome to the board.
 

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 12:29am

I'm glad the counselor was able to offer some advice. Like Gail though, I offer a word of caution. I would never talk to them together about this. Your daughter esp. might feel horrified, ashamed, or even threatened even with the best intentions. To either of them, it might feel like a confrontation which might lead to "he said, she said" accusations between them.


I wish you the best of luck with this.


Alisa


Alisa

Avatar for opal45
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Thu, 02-05-2009 - 10:15pm
Oh good, I'm glad you found it helpful. Like I said before, I think you're handling things extremely well. However, I do want to
**gentle hugs**

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2008
Thu, 02-05-2009 - 9:40pm

Hi, thanks Gail for that advice. I have called the Kids Helpline and they pretty much said what you did, so you might have missed your calling!


They also said that it was a big step for her to come forward, and not to abuse the trust she has given me by bringing anyone else into it at this stage. She may wish to do more later with it, but right now, I have told her I won't talk to anyone we know about it. She wants it dealt with at this level, so that's what I will do for now. I will talk to my stepson about wrong and right behaviour - the counsellor also said to ask 'why' he felt like doing this - she said that can be very important. She said he needs to understand but not be accused as such or alienated, but he does need to understand that it is a serious issue and maybe to go through consequences (emotional/legal etc) of what can happen were this behaviour to continue.


I will then talk to them together about it, I don't want this to fester anymore than it has done, and I'm fairly confident that bringing it out into the open (just between the two of them) will be a healing process. At least I'm hoping it will!


Thanks for your time, I feel a bit lighter - I just don't know how she kept it to herself for so long, it must have been eating her up. She hasn't told one person! How horrible it must have been.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2000
Thu, 02-05-2009 - 6:29pm

I agree with Gail that a good counselor is in order. Blended families always have problems(it's not like you've dumped everyone in a blender and hit puree...you're still in the coarsely chopped stage). Just tell you husband that you have become aware of some adjustment problems for the kids that they are too embarrassed to talk about and want some professional advice as to how to handle it....then drag him in with you. Tell him in the therapist's office so he is prepared when he goes home. If it's his son, he should talk to him about appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the family. And you need to tell your daughter to say NO if he tries again and let you know.

The counselor will guide you and perhaps sit down with each kid individually. but you and hubby need to deal with this and I'm pretty sure that if you do it right, it will bring a whole new openness to your family. Age 11 is pretty confusing for most kids and will all the strange stories they hear from other kids, who know what "all the way" is.

I'm so glad my kids are now 30 and 33!

gentle hugs...........JennyB

Avatar for opal45
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Thu, 02-05-2009 - 4:12pm

As bad as this must seem to you, your story is actually one of the more hopeful sagas I've heard. You sound like you handled things beautifully! Your daughter obviously loves you very much but what's even more important right now is she knows YOU love HER. That's huge! It's probably so difficult for you to see it but your love, your trust in her and your calm assurances are all worth their weight in gold for her healing.


Don't get me wrong, I'm so sorry your family has to suffer through something like this. No, it's not doctor/nurse stuff, especially since he said he wanted to "make love". I'm out of my league here so I can't really offer any advice. I think the best thing would be to

**gentle hugs**