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How can I get my mom to help me confront family sexual assault?

Dear Biblitz,

My uncle recently touched me, last Sunday actually. My mother, aunt, uncle and I were in the kitchen (at their house. Yes, my mother expects me, and also strongly encourages me to visit them, even after what has happened). My aunt was looking the other way when my uncle touched my behind...with his foot. And I told him off. Does that sound like something an uncle would normally do to his niece? I don't think so. My mother saw this happening, and when I talked to her about it later, she didn't say a word to me. I feel like my mom is living in a dream world and doesn't want to face reality. In February 2008, about 4 months before the touching initially began, I was diagnosed with mild depression. I have been suffering from occasional heavy mood swings (even more frequently after last Sunday) and I have noticed that I've lost total interest and motivation in doing everything. It is even effecting my school work, which really isn't good. Some days I just don't have the energy or desire to get out of my bed, I just want to lay there forever and not face the world.

I really wish that I could do something about this, but I start to feel guilty when I even consider it. My mother has told me not to tell a soul, which I know is wrong. But I can't stand feeling like this anymore. I know I need to do something, but I'm not even sure where to start. However, there is no solid evidence that this has been going on, the only thing I have is my word. Even though my mother saw what happened, I know that she would never admit it. Her sister's marriage means too much to her. She just treats this issue like it's no big deal at all. I want this to stop before it gets even more serious. I mean, if he isn't shy about doing it when others are around, who knows what he could do.

The only income I have coming in, is $80 a month from my parents, which I really appreciate. However, I have been trying to find a job for about 9 months, with no sucess what-so-ever. I just want to leave all these toxic relationships behind, transfer to another university somewhere else, and start over. But I don't have the money, let alone the support from my parents to do something like that. Also, I feel guilty of the thought of punishing (as well as hurting) my non-guilty relatives for this, such as my grandparents, my other uncle, and my cousins, as well as my father, who have absolutely no idea what is going on. My mother is also good at giving guilt-trips, when I talk of leaving. What should I do? Any advice is appreciated, thank you. I'm sorry that this was so long :( I guess that I'm just really scared and not sure what to do.

Biblitz replies:

The experts on this situation are located at the Rape Crisis Centre. Call them up and make appt. They will listen to your facts supportively and provide you with both an appropriate strategy as well as a list of therapists/counsellors who will also assist.

Of COURSE you're angry as hell at your ditzy mother for not sticking up for you and you'd be well w/i your rights to say so! What's the matter with her, I wonder? Was she his victim at one point? No doubt you're not the first and maybe not the only victim.

Usually the advice is to be very brazen and assertive in your approach with uncle. Say loudly if he tries anything, "Oh, you repulsive old yoicks! What ARE you playing at with these sexual advances? I'm your NIECE, for god's sake - someone you should be protecting from this nonsense! This has been going on now starting with (name the incident, approx. date) and I want you to stop RIGHT NOW! You DO realize I could have you up on charges of sexual assault? You realize that, right? Should I call police right now?" Do this preferably when others are present. If anyone suggests you shut up, say loudly and forcefully, "No doubt you're all ashamed of yourselves for not protecting me from this ludicrous old fart as you certainly should be, but I'm not prepared to keep quiet about it, especially as uncle's lack of boundaries suggests there may others on whom he visits these unwelcome advances, and I, for one, believe they deserve some protection from him, too!"

Put some stick about! Make 'em jump.

Therapist/counsellor may set aside a session for you and your mom together to discuss the incidents and her reaction. It may be that she was similarly victimized by someone and was silenced. It's important to give her an oppty to undertake a more responsible, supportive parental role. She may need help getting there, though. At the very least, it will help dissuade her from blaming you for 'upsetting the family.' Therapist will use her nose to sniff for these sentiments and a sharp stick to snuff 'em out in no uncertain terms.


What happens when second cousins marry?

I am so embarassed, and I hate myself for what I am about to say. I think I am falling in love with my second cousin. He feels the exact same way.. and it is so hard! We both hate ourselves for it.. but we have to be honest with ourselves. Our parents obviously can't know, but He wants to be with me so badly that he is going to move to my country to be with me. The thing is, we both know that we obviously can't be together.. our families would hate us! Our family is very strict and old fashioned.. but my mom knows how him and I feel.. I didn't tell her.. She told me that she never saw me so happy in my life when I first met him (we met this year, 2009). My mom seems okay with it, but when she asked me.. I denied it. I am so embarassed and mad at myself.. but I can't stop thinking about him! i want to be with him soo baddddly.. can somebody please please tell me, is it bad and disgusting for second cousins to be together?

By the way.. I am an adult.. this is not some stupid teenage fling where after 2 weeks i don't like him anymore.. I never felt this way about anybody.. even the guy i wanted to spend my life with can't live up to what I feel about my second cousin.

Biblitz replies:

It would be an unusual hog wallow indeed if the laws of consanguinity sought to prohibit marriage between second cousins. Cousins, no, first cousins, maybe, but second cousins? You could be worrying for nothing.


First Ladies of the Poster

The Gold Collection

By Laura Gold

The problem of incest is as old as mankind, but there always existed a reluctance to tackle the subject openly; yet here we have a novel that not only deals with it but blatantly announces it right in its title. The breaking of many social taboos like this was one of the major trends in public life as the 19th century gave way to the 20th. ... (From First Ladies of the Poster by Laura Gold, an advertising magnate whose comments here are almost criminally misguided, p. 67, just left of the poster attributed only to Anonymous)

Un Air de Famille


A Biblitz favorite on a dysfunctional family in which members subscribe to roles given to them arbitrarily in childhood by bullying parents. Disturbingly accurate.

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