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- Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:18 pm
I was 20 years old when I became pregnant, got married and had my first son. I was 22 when I got divorced and became a single mom. My ex is a male chauvinist in the extreme, is verbally abusive and a control freak.
I met my husband shortly after separating from my ex – he is the complete opposite of my ex in every way. My son was 2 when we met, 4 when we married, so my son was essentially raised by my husband. Dh was/is an excellent role model while son was home, but when visiting his bio dad, he was taught “what a woman's place was”.
Dh and I got pregnant immediately after marriage and had a second son. We hoped to add a little girl to the family, but I suffered 9 miscarriages before doctors discouraged us from further attempts. My boys were 12 and 7 years old when Dh and I decided to foster-to-adopt, and our daughter was placed with us when she was 2 years old.
When my oldest would visit bd (bio dad) he would come home defiant and almost violent. Dh and I always expected a 3-4 day “reprogramming period”. At about 9 years old, we started noticing him threatening his brother with horrible violent actions, such as brandishing a pencil and saying “if you don't shut up I'll stick this in your eye”. We put him in therapy for quite a while, and he appeared to improve. It came out that he was being horribly bullied in school and was then bullying his brother. We moved to get him away from the bullies, and everything seemed to calm in the home. This was when we decided to open our home to foster children, and not long after our daughter was placed with us.
We still had some hard times with our oldest, but it never was very bad, and we kind of blew it off as normal teenage angst. Looking back, I am ashamed to say that I gave him a lot of leeway and explained away a lot of his behavior because of how different our home was from his bd's home. I now look back and see how often my son played me, he could make me feel guilty in a heartbeat without my ever noticing it. But, my 2 other children did notice, and I had no idea until they were grown and felt comfortable talking about it.
My daughter took a while to “warm up” to us, and after a few months everything seemed great. She started pre-k at 4 years old, and my boys were 14 and 9, when I went back to work. I entrusted my oldest to watch the others for a couple of hours after school. Our daughter began to act out at school, constantly in trouble, and she withdrew from us at home. We attributed this to me going back to work, and dealt with it the best ways we could. It took years, but around 8 years old, we had a breakthrough and have since had a wonderful relationship with her.
**** graphic language, sexual abuse discussed****
It wasn't until a year ago that the truth came out. My daughter was 17 when she told us that when she was little, her brother who is ten years older, began taking her into the bathroom and forcing her to “do things no brother should ever do”. She was not comfortable discussing the details with us, but would only tell us in vague terms the when and where's that things happened. We immediately scheduled an appointment with a therapist, hoping she could be more comfortable discussing the details with them.
The therapist was obligated to report the assault to CPS, who verified that she was now safe at home, and then CPS reported it to the police. They then did a forensic interview with her, where it came out that for almost 5 years, our son forced our daughter to perform oral sex on him, and he attempted to anally rape her.
****end graphic language****
I then called him and told him that his sister had told us what he did. For maybe 2 minutes he played dumb, but then he broke down and admitted to everything. For about a week he was remorseful, but he then started trying to excuse his behavior as a result of being bullied. He began to try and use the guilt tactics of his youth, playing on the broken home, and how his bio dad treated his stepmom. When I didn't breakdown and immediately forgive him, he said that I neglected him and then brought another child into the home, taking away from my time with him. When I told him that none of that excused what he had done, he honestly couldn't believe I wouldn't let him off the hook. He kept saying that it was 10 years ago, and that we were blowing it way out of proportion.
When CPS called him and did a phone interview, he told them that we had neglected him, and we were poor and he never got the clothes the other kids got. I'm not making this up, he seriously thought this explained away his actions. I called him after I was told what he said, and when he started telling me it was all mine and his stepdad’s fault, I hung up on him. I realized that he was not truly remorseful, and that he wanted everyone to basically forget and forgive. We have not spoken since.
It took almost a year for the case to be assigned to an investigator, and by then he thought nothing would come of it. Then, when an investigator called him for an interview, he still didn't accept the seriousness, and confessed. He gave the investigator his sob story about being bullied and how he wished he was an only child. The investigator played along, got all of the horrible details on a videoed confession and then let him go home. A week later, the DA filed aggravated sexual assault against a child charges, and gave us a court date. The case was filed in the juvenile courts because he was under 18 when it occurred. But because she was under 5, and he was over 14, they are petitioning for it to be committed to adult courts.
Last month, we went to his first court date, where he was handcuffed and taken to the county jail. I was shocked. After a year, and nothing really happening, suddenly I realized that my son may actually go to prison. The bail was set at $50,000 and he had to come up with 30%. He spent a week in jail before his wife (oh, did I forget to mention he got married right after speaking with the investigator? He really thought he was clear) and bio dad could come up with the cash.
I alternate between anger at what he did, and guilt that I am his mother and am not protecting him. My second son has since come forward and told about how physically abusive the oldest was when we weren't around. His ex-wife has told of how abusive he was to her. My daughter finally feels safe, and she knows that we will do anything to protect her. My husband says that our son is now seeing that his actions have consequences.
I agree with everyone, he has always been able to talk his way out of trouble, and he has always been selfish, even narcissistic. Logically, I know that he needs to learn that he can't get away with abusive behavior. I am 100%, completely on my daughter's side, I will do anything to protect her. But, he is still my son….I still love him, and wish that I could be by his side as well as my daughter's.
Everyone else has decided that they want nothing more to do with him. And I cry myself to sleep, quietly, so no one knows that this is tearing me apart. There are moments when I wish I didn't know any of it, when I wish I could go back before it all came out. Then I am ashamed – my daughter deserves to see her abuser punished. But, dear Lord, how I wish I could protect them both, could be beside them both. Part of me screams that he was just a child, while the other part bleeds for the torment and torture my baby girl went through.
We have another court date in 2 days. I alternate between dreading his face looking at me with hate, and looking forward to just laying eyes on him again…. I'm not sure that I can survive all of it. But, I will survive, because my daughter did, and she still has to relive it each time a court date comes up. I must be strong for her. I failed her as a child, I will not fail her now….
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- Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:44 pm
I want to welcome you to isurvive and am equally glad that you found us. Your pain is palpable and my heart goes out to you.
I feel all kinds of proud that you are digging deep and somehow finding the strength to get through every day, even though you may understandably crumble in the quiet of night. Here with you, listening and sending support when you want to share some more. Please take gentle care of you.
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- Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am
I'm so sorry that this happened. You are doing the right thing by both of your children. Your daughter deserves to feel protected by you and by the legal system -to see justice served. Your son deserves to receive justice as well.
We can still love our children, even when they do bad things. It is not necessarily loving to protect them from natural consequences of bad decisions. He surely knew what he did was wrong then, and his lack of remorse now is telling.
Take comfort in knowing that you are helping to dismantle a cycle of abuse.
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- Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:18 pm
Along those lines, we had court today. Son sat on one side of the courtroom, husband, daughter, and I sat on the other side. It was horrible - the one time our eyes met, his face got red and he quickly looked away. My stomach was in knots and my head hurt from trying not to cry. My daughter sat between h and I, trying to act like she wasn't fazed, but her leg kept bouncing up and down and her hands were shaking. The DA expects it to be a year or more before the case is resolved. The prospect of so much more of thus is terrifying.
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- Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am
This must be heart-breaking. You raised both children to be good people, and one victimized the other in a way that will have lasting consequences for both of them. Good parents do not protect their kids from reasonable consequences for bad behavior. I think the best you can do is to make sure his punishment is appropriate to the charges, and to support your daughter. The harder issue is: what will you do with him when his sentence is over?
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- Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2021 3:37 am
Thank you for sharing your story and staying strong for your daughter. We need to be strong for our victims so that they can heal. I completely understand how you feel torn and wish to support your son. It's hard to see our loved ones as abusers and narcissistic as you describe. We want to believe that they are good people, and it's hard to accept the horrible actions that they have done. My father abused my brother, and I'm still trying to open my eyes to the reality of who my real father is. He is a narcissistic abuser who doesn't show remorse and instead victimizes himself while my brother's pain goes invalidated. It's so hard to understand and yet we know in our hearts that wrong is wrong, and justice must be served. We can love our family at a distance and hope that they find healing within their own hearts.
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