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Childhood Attending family gatherings


Policy Enforcement
Thread starter #1
There are family gatherings that are happening. I can't go. My sister's there. She abused me as a child. She was 7-12 years old. I was 4-8 or 9 years old. I'm too scared. What should I do?
Have you reached out to a therapist yet?

To answer your question more directly: family gatherings with someone who hurt you is hard as hell, there’s no doubt about that. But you’re allowed to not go. You’re allowed to do your own thing. You’re allowed to say why, though I would really think through possibilities and consequences before doing so. Family dynamics in the best of times are the difficult. Add abuse, it’s damn near impossible. I would strongly encourage you to contact a therapist and have some joint sessions with your sister.

I understand your anger towards her, but I wonder if the anger would better serve being directed at the relative who began the whole thing. Will they be at these gatherings? What is the relationship with them? Also, I know you’re hurt, you’re pain is very valid, but I also wonder if you can find some compassion for the 7 year old your sister was.

Friday already asked this but I didn’t see you answer. You say you want justice, what does that look like for you?
My answers are valid. My sister doesn't deserve to be forgiven.
I never said they weren’t. I am not going to push you to forgive your sister. Forgiveness is a really tricky and not always necessary concept.

All I mean is to consider the brain of a 7 year old who was being abused. There’s no doubt what happened was wrong, she hurt you. No denying that. I am just saying when children are young, acting that abuse out on others is very, very common. Not right, but it’s a way for their brains to process what is happening. If she were 12 and you were 4 it would be much more clear cut of her having enough cognitive ability and self control to not follow through on urges. But 7 year olds haven’t even really begun to develop that part of the brain yet. That’s all I’m asking for you to take into consideration. That doesn’t make your hurt any less. Just an understanding of the big picture that it’s more the adult that hurt her that hurt you by proxy. If that makes sense.
If you truly feel she is a danger to her children, you have every right to make a report. I don’t know what the outcome would be but it’s likely what will happen is an investigation will open. She’ll be interviewed and hopefully reveals the original prick and then law enforcement will go after them. For her, more than likely she will get court ordered to attend counseling. Now if in the investigation they discover she has assaulted others as an adult than that would change.
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