Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this very sad and frustrating situation.
How can I move on from this?
Parents represent in a child's psyche the most important presence and source of safety, protection, love, understanding, compassion and support in life, thus whenever any form of neglect , abuse or violence happens, it becomes truly traumatic and overwhelming for most people undergoing it.
You said this happened when you were nineteen, and you have not received any psychotherapy since then at all to work on healing from such episode, right?
Even though this happened so long ago. Have talked some therapists and they all said that what Dad did was unforgivable and surely did much harm.
Are you done with me?
Psychotherapy, even when it could be about talk therapy, it does not mean it is reduced to a talk about how wrong was something that happened in the past. People could talk about experiences but that would not lead to healing or rehabilitation from deep issues, traumas or abuse or neglect episodes... Sorry could you clarify your question?
If you do not feel comfortable here, no problem, just let me know and I would leave the session-question for another expert to reply. Would you prefer that?
I started chat session, and just began to try to develop a dialogue with you about your question, in order to get some understanding of what happened, its impact and how to better cope wit it, but if you do not feel comfortable here, I understand and hope you get the support you need.
When my Mother talks about how wonderful my Dad was I find it quite difficult to hear. She had just had an affair before this attempted rape and my Dad was beside himself with dealing with it. Do I blame him or her or just try to erase it from my memory?
Both parents are responsible in different ways for what happened, your parent for the violence he inflicted on you, and your mother for neglecting you instead of offering essential protection to avoid anything like that from happening. I believe it could be truly traumatic for anybody in your shoes not to get an empathetic, compassionate, understand and supportive response from your mother once you told her about what happened, it was her responsibility to care for you and her reaction does not show that, which is just very sad and overwhelming.
How long ago did you tell your mother about it?
The morning after it happened.
I am very sorry, then you did your best to protect yourself and get necessary support, but she did react in that shocking way, dismissing the seriousness of the event, right?
Yes, and I really thought she would confront him. She just casually told me that my Dad had mentioned to her that he was thinking about having sex with me.
I would never recommend repression of memories as an effective way of coping, in fact repression means not coping at all, which would only fuel even more painful feelings, undermining your mood, mental health, functioning and relationships. You have been holding it in for so many years and you know how overwhelming it has been for you to live with it without getting real relief from what happened, this is why I stated that real psychotherapy to process the trauma around your father violence and your mother neglect, denial and lack of support is so necessary.
Your expectation and need were absolutely right, fair and necessary, on the other hand your mother's reaction did not show the caring, love and protection you needed and deserved at that time. It's obvious their marital issues and codependency did have a huge impact in the way they raised you, undermining the role they played in your life.
Thank you for not saying something like "get over it already".
You're welcome. I do not see how anybody in your shoes could be and feel fine when you did never get real resolution, support nor even apologies from your parents because of what happened, that is truly sad and overwhelming, you have been grieving all this long for not having the protection and support you needed and deserved from your parents at that core level.
I think it is retraumatizing for your mother not to have truly acknowledged what happened, her serious neglect because of the way she did not deal with it and to continue denying it for all these years. No doubt codependency has been a core issue in your parents' life, and from there any issue could arise.
You have been quite helpful-how do I do the rating "thing" so you get your credit? Also could I print this?
This chat session will remain active, so you could access it any time you want, just copy the link. You can also copy and past the text from the chat window if you prefer that.
If you are now satisfied with session, please feel free to rate it. i will leave then, hoping you could get some resolution from your grief and trauma.
Thank you for your trust.