Quote Originally Posted by defect View Post
A copy and paste - My quick version is a history of major depression and anxiety since childhood, episodes of cutting, a messy decade of excessive drug abuse and eventual meth addiction that ended 5 years, 8 months and 18 days ago. I have had sleep issues since I was a child and was diagnosed with narcolepsy last year. I was also molested by a much older cousin from when I was 3, until about 6 years old.

I am an only child, and my parents split up when I was 9. Not everyone in my extended family, cousins, aunts, uncles, knows about my cousin molesting me. The ones that do cannot understand why I don't "just get over it" so that I can be a part of the family. Last year, his (the cousin) mom who is my mother's sister, told me that she and my uncle have never spoken to this cousin about this since I told them it was happening all those years ago. I also got the sense that she wasn't sure that anything had even happened. I'm told his life has been no cup of tea either.

Anyway, there is supposed to be a huge family reunion next summer, and truthfully, I would like to go. I have a better appreciation for family in general, and accept that people are not perfect. However, the thought of my cousin being there makes me physically ill. And he would be. Again, my mom and her sisters are all ooo's and aah's with their whiny disappointed sentiments on how I will be letting everyone down. Makes me want to shake them a little.

What I want your opinions on, is should I just suck it up and go? My family has not been understanding or supportive since this happened in the first place, so that's not going to change any time soon, but I wonder if that is the icing on the cake that makes the thought of going even more nauseating. There are going to be so many other family members there that are not a part of the secrecy and bull, and I don't think it's fair that I should deny myself of reconnecting with other parts of my family.

I don't know. I have always absolutely refused the situations where I might be subjected to him, but at the same time I am missing out on relationships with everyone else. Other than me, the rest of my family thinks I am always ridiculous by not going to family stuff or being involved with them, so I am not sure if I am just too sensitive or stubborn or what. I've never asked what other survivors thought about it, but I am asking now.

I should also point out that I have forgiven my cousin for what he did, he was only a child too, he's 9 years older than me, and we both had seriously irresponsible parents. That, however, does not mean I want to be anywhere near him. Mind you, he probably feels the same.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have, and please be as brutally honest as possible.
Uggh ... I don't envy you and this situation. From what I have read this happens a lot where there is a molester in a family. By that I mean that other family members want you to put it behind you for the sake of the family. However, chances are that this person has done this since he did it to you, and it just hasn't been discovered yet ... or the person hasn't come forward. Eventually, another victim will step forward. (not always, but most of the time)

Abusers have kind of control over their victims which last a long time so I can understand how uncomfortable it makes you to attend this reunion. If your family won't take your word for it (mine didn't either) you either have to go along to get along as best you can (but always on your guard when you are around the abuser - this is what I have done) or break off relations with the family and move on.

The third alternative is if another victim comes forward and you are united and confront the abuser right in front of his/her family members forcing them to either accept this has happened and do something about it or to try and bury it by discounting both stories. I wish I had confronted my brother but he ended up in a mental hospital and eventually committed suicide.