My teenager was raped last year

Louise - posted on 08/30/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 17 year old daughter was raped last April, we had the court case this March and the guy was found not guilty (long story). She's been through counselling and seems to be doing just fine although who knows what is going on in her mind. We have always had a good relationship, not always easy as she's been a pain since hitting the 13 year old mark. She's into school and does good, wants to go to university etc.



After the initial problems and fall out over the rape which included her sleeping with some guy literally 2 weeks after despite being a virgin before, having to sleep with her every night, her depression and anxiety all that seems to have calmed down. I have always fully supported her during this period and made sure we communicate and that she knows I am here to talk to her whenever she needs me. The problem I am having now is her lying about anything and everything, stupid little infuriating lies which just leads to a huge dissapointing feeling on my part. She has always been this way from hitting the teenage years but now I feel it more acutely somewhat selfishly because I have bent over backwards and sacrificed a whole lot to make sure she feels loved the last year. We still talk alot and have a good relationship in the background of this but what the heck do I have to do or say to make her understand this lying is wrong? She will say she is sorry and that she doesn't know why she does it but then carry on. Her dad and I split up when she was 2 year old and she has maintained contact with him throughout, she has a supportive stepdad since 4 year old and a 9 year old sister who she loves very much. She steals money from my purse. I'm getting to the stage where I am stopping getting angry about it because there isn't any point and I find myself looking forward to when she moves out which is really making me feel bad. I am a loving mum, albeit not perfect but I'm in a vicious circle of being angry at her alot of the time, shouting at her then feeling bad because of what happened to her. Throughout all this period I've noticed there's a distinct lack of support for parents of rape victims, I have had no one to talk to about my feelings over what happened to her or how it affected me or the rest of her family. I don't mean this to sound selfish because I will and have always emotionally supported her and made sure she has got the help she needed to see her through this period in her life.

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Louise - posted on 08/31/2012

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Thanks Megan for your words, it does help cos I can't really discuss it with friends I know since most of them don't have kids themselves.



We're in a no man's land at the moment. I don't want her thinking I've forgotten and don't think about the rape but I don't want to bring it up often because on a day to day basis she seems ok. Every now and again I ask if she thinks she should continue with counselling but she says she is ok and I don't want to push it. It took me a few months after it happened to persuade her I couldn't be the answer to all her problems and perhaps she needed someone more experienced to help. Actually we were very blessed in the help she received, she got a support worker at first and back then she did talk about doing the same later in life, talking to other victims but now it's never mentioned. She is at that point in her life doing her last year at school before going to university and she does alot of drama/singing shows so her confidence in that hasn't dipped but I feel it runs deeper. Hard age because obviously she thinks she knows best. Like I said we have a good relationship mainly, we both agreed early in her teens that a mum and daughter should never be best friends "that would be so uncool" but I still feel nevertheless she relies heavily on me above her friends for support and chat and I don't always have all the answers which I have conveyed to her.



As far as counselling goes for me I know what you say is correct but it feels very selfish asking for help for myself when she is the one that has gone through it and to be honest in the UK it's not something that is freely available without the usual 6 month waiting list. My problem I feel is that my dad drowned 6 months before this happened so I am feeling acutely the fragility of life and how quick stuff can go wrong and change. No matter how much I try and be sensible about it all and rational I can't help the worries and fear creeping in.



Thanks for replying and it does make a difference.

Megan - posted on 08/31/2012

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Wow. First off let me say what a strong woman you are and have been. I can't even imagine dealing with something like this, especially with a child where you feel so helpless.

I advocate counceling...even if you think she is doing okay I would continue it. Teenagers go through so many emotions already, trying to find themselves and figure out the world. Her experience will just compound the situation. Lying is a very common issue with kids/teenagers as well as the selfishness so don't feel alone. She probably won't understand the sacrifices you've made for her now, but eventually she will. You just have to hang in there...motherhood is sometimes a thankless job, but in the end it will all be worth it.

Have you looked into getting her involved with a rape center? Helping and talking to other rape survivors may help her transfer from a victim to a survivor herself. It may help her to heal and recognize her own feelings and actions. Figure out the how and why.

You're right, there isn't much help out there for the families of rape victims/survivors. Have you considered staring one yourself? Counceling for yourself as well? So much of your time has been spent on making sure she was okay that you've ignored your own feelings and wellbeing. Now that the hard part is over (trial) and a bit of time has passed you are going to be flooded with emotions and thoughts that you (at the time) were too busy to focus on or deal with. I don't think you sound selfish at all. I think you are recognizing that you too were hurt and affected by this and need a little help working through it.

I'm sorry I couldn't offer more advice or a solution. Just keep in mind you're a strong woman and mother. You've helped your daughter through an awful time, you've come this far, made it past the hump with nothing but open road ahead.

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