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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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My two daughters were sexually abused by father when very,

Customer Question

My two daughters were sexually abused by father when very young, but it was not proven in court, so they maintained contact with father (we are divorced). Until puberty they remembered and believed that they had been abused, and resisted visitation with father but had to go. When they were 13-14, they returned from vacation with their father believing he was innocent, and became more hostile and angry towards me. Since they would not discuss it, it took months for me to realize that they didn't believe he had abused them. Over the years I found out, little by little, that not only did they deny he had abused them, they attributed all their disclosures and anger with their father to me making it up and telling/convincing them. They believed because I 'hated' him, I made them feel they had to hate him as well. They believe I ruined their childhoods by depriving them of a loving relationship with their father. My relationship with them has been difficult since their denial and they give preference to their father's side of the family, so I don't see them as much as I wish. They are now in their thirties, married, and starting families, and I am afraid it will continue to impact my relationship with my grandchildren- no matter what I do , theres' always this distance, the elephant in the room that no one can talk about. I feel terrible that they think I would lie and make up everything- they spontaneously disclosed to me and then to therapists- and that the part of their lives that I have treasured memories of they now look at as ruined. I am so hurt by this, but don't see what I can do since they refuse to discuss anything. Will their memories ever surface? Is there anything I can do to help them see the truth? I feel so powerless and frustrated and hurt. I just don't say anything and keep on loving them as I have always done, but I feel there must be something more I can do to help resolve this. Any advice?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello, I believe I may be able to help you with your concern. I am sorry that you are having this issue with your daughters, I can understand how distressing this can possibly be for you. I would like to ask you a few questions to get a better idea of your situation, so that I can better assist you.

1. Have you and your daughters stopped talking about this incident completely since they were teenagers?

2. Have you tried to go to therapy for yourself to help you heal from this? If you live near your daughters, has the option of Family Therapy been suggested?

3. You ask about resolving this issue, how exactly do you want to resolve it? Do you want them to see the truth or do you want them to forget this happened and try to move forward and focus on the relationship now?