Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Abused by stepdad

Published:Tuesday | November 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Dear Counsellor,

When I was in third form, my stepfather sexually molested me. My own father did not support me, but my stepfather was kind and helpful. He would attend PTA meetings and support my extra-curricular activities. He has no children although he is in his forties. He would often pick me up after school. However, things changed when I entered third form and he sexually abused me. He said I should not report it to my mother. I know my mother loved him. In addition, he earns more than my mother and she depends on him financially. However, when he did it a second time, I knew it was time to act. I wondered whether my mother would believe me. She believed me and acted quickly. She reported him to the police and he is now behind bars. He also had sexual relations with my younger sister. I now hate my stepfather because of his deviant behaviour and sometimes I have

flashbacks. Sometimes I can be irritable and frustrated. My mother is very understanding and we sometimes cry together. Is something wrong with me why sometimes I feel so hurt?

A: You have had a most dreadful, gruesome and horrible experience in your young age

at the hands of someone you and your mother trusted. He had betrayed that trust. He should have been protecting you instead of abusing your innocence. He has committed an awful crime. It seems that you are suffering from deep emotional, mental and psychological scars. After your stepfather did such good work in your early years it is a shame that he wasted his good deeds. Perhaps he was a snake in grass and a pervert who was just waiting for the right time to abuse you and your sister. He was just doing good to gain your trust and to get you and your mother let down your guards and he kicked the door down and abused you and your sister.

good mother

It is good that your mother is reassuring, believed you and acted quickly. It is good that you have your mother to share your true and deep feelings with and are you able to cry together. Your mother is affirming and doing a good job. However, you, your sister and mother need to attend counselling sessions with a professional. You did not mention how your sister is dealing with her tragic early sexual experience, but she needs your help and professional counselling.

Your mother's tears could be because she feels guilty for not being more alert and perceptive about what her partner was up to. Perhaps she is feeling bad because she invested so many years in the relationship. She also needs professional advice to overcome a most despicable betrayal.

It is understandable, even normal and natural that you hate your stepfather because of how he robbed you of your innocence. However, you should try and not allow your hatred to affect you.

It is a popular belief that time heals, but often it does not work like that. Time might help one to forget the details but not necessarily to deal with the distress. It is therapy that will help you endure and hopefully overcome the pain.

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