Dilemma, to tell or not?

When you’ve suffered abuse in your life.

A question you often ask yourself is. Do I tell other family members or not?

Well tonight I was asked outright to email my cousin and inform her what had happened and how it affected my relationship with my family. 

I am now in my 50’s and have struggled with what happened when I was a kid all my life. I don’t want to lie to my cousin but will what I have to say have any impact on her life?

Will she better of for knowing? I doubt it.

Will she feel differently toward me? Knowing I suffered penetrative sex aged 6 to 9. This really worries me. I know its silly but I still blame myself.

If I tell her, will that in turn mean others find out about what happened? I could not handle that.

How can I destroy her memories of other family members? I don’t think I can, or that I’d want to.


I know anyone who reads this will probably think, come on just tell her and get on with life. If I do where does it stop? Will I be asked to go to the police about it? How could I prove anything that happened over 40yr ago? 

These days thanks to my religion, Buddhism, and a very special friend. I am beginning to get to the point that I no longer of myself as a bastard. Something I’ve done all my life. I am struggling with low self esteem, depression and a personality disorder. My concern being will others learning the truth about the past end up making my health worse? 

As a younger man I believed by the time I’d reached my 50’s all of this would sorted. At least in my head. However I was wrong and the more contact I have with extended family the more complicated these things become. It scares me now how bad an effect I could have on the rest of my family. I don’t want to cause anyone that amount of pain. I’ve suffered it on my own for so long that it doesn’t matter any more. I even think I don’t matter any more. 


So my Dilemma is, do I tell my cousin or not? 

Any opinions welcome please I need help.




6 thoughts on “Dilemma, to tell or not?

  1. Roy,
    I am sorry you are faced with this decision, and I would like to say that I support whatever decision you make. You ARE important. You count. You are validated in your hurts and my thoughts are with you.


  2. Not knowing the context of why you were asked to email your cousin and tell her, or the myriad of other factors that would influence your decision one way or the other, perhaps all that can be suggested is that you do what is/feels right to you. Those of us who speak out about our abuse probably have as many different reasons for doing so as there are of us, so what is right for someone else is not necessarily right for you. One important factor, however, should be the safety of others – are there any children in danger of being abused if you remain silent?
    It was the clear & present danger to others that finalised my decision to take action (after 30 years), and as a result, both the immediate and extended families on both sides became aware of what had happened to me (my father was the abuser). The end result has been that my father committed suicide rather than face trial, none of his family speak to me or anyone who has supported me, and friends that I once thought I could count on have suddenly disappeared from my life. However, when all is said and done, I am a much better and happier person for speaking out because I am no longer hiding my pain and all the associated baggage that goes with that. The relationships I have now with family and friends are all built on solid, truthful, foundations.
    I no longer treat myself badly, as I did for many many years, and I share my experiences in the hope that it might help just one other person know they are not alone in the difficult process of healing.
    I had tears in my eyes when I first read your post, because it brought back so many memories of all the times I wanted to say something but just couldn’t, and then when I didn’t want to talk about ‘it’ but had to – I send you best wishes and hope you are able to find a course of action that is the best fit for you.


    1. I don’t know you Kelly but I just wanted to give you a ((((((BIG GENUINE HUG))))) your reply here brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. I admire your courage and bravery in doing what was right in a tremendously difficult situation. I hope you won’t mind if I follow you xxx


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