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When To Share My Experience With My Own Daughter?


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Hi all,

I am new to this group. I was gang-raped at age 14, and now am the mother of a 12 year old girl. I am struggling with when it is appropriate to share my experience with her...I want to protect her, and raise her awareness without scaring her to death and making her afraid of all boys/men. thoughts? Thanks!

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Wow, that's a really good question. I wish I had an answer. I often wonder if it will ever be a good idea to tell my son. He's only 15 months old now, but I feel like I want him to know to also be aware. I don't want anyone taking advantage of him and I sure wouldn't want him growing up hurting women. Good luck, and I'm sorry for what you've been through. :hug:

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Im A mummy of 3. two daughters, my eldest girl is 8. I sat her down and had an age appropriate talk with her. Letting her know there was a bad man when I was her age who thought it was OK to touch me on my privates. I said to her he said things to me that made me believe that my mummy would call me a lier if I ever told her, he made me believe that everyone would hate me if I told...so I never did.

I let her know that it is not ok for anyone to touch here there. Even Mummy and Daddy, and let her know I would always protect her and believe her if there was anything she wanted to share with me. I didnt go into gruesome detail, I dont think thats appropriate, nor do I want to pass on my own fears to her, as that is not the right thing to do. I am raising my girls to be strong and to know I will always be there to listen, I will always protect them as much as I can, and I will never turn away from them.

I told her that people who hurt you rely on silence, they rely on secrets, and to never let secrets happen between her and I. Also to let her know to trust in her tummy, if she gets a yucky feeling in her tummy about someone, dont stay alone with that person. I told her my mummy ignored that yucky feeling in her tummy, and so did I.

And that the bad man that would want to touch her will make it into silly little games when he got you alone. Just making her aware and not ignoring it is a gooid thing to do. My Mother never did this, and neither did her Mother...and on and on it goes...talking with her like this, or in any way that is comfortable for you both is a strong protection for prevention.

I fully believe it IS a good idea to share with your children. Secrets and silence divide us, stop it by talking. Our children have the capacity to help heal us with their powerful love. It is not our duty to pass on fear and ignorance, it is our duty to let our children be educated and know about things like this, so if they ever experience or witness this kind of degradation...they will know to come to you, and they will know the steps they need to take. I refuse to send my kids out into a world for which they will not be prepared to be able to deal with properly, I dont want them vulnerable. I want to know when they l leave my home they have love and full support from me at all times...and I will always believe them

Hope I help you in some way

Cols :flowers:

Edited by Cols
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I don't know about that- my mother told me about her abuses when I was growing up. The sexual abuse she told me about when I was a teenager. She did it because her house was full of secrets and unspoken things, so she went to the other extreme and didn't hide much of anything. It horrified me and scarred me badly- it was a terrible thing she did, telling me all those things. I felt like I came from evil people, like I had evil lineage and tainted blood, so to speak. Of course my own CSA didn't help my attitudes any. And she didn't tell me in an age-appropriate manner really, not all loving like Cols portrays. She had PTSD herself and wasn't in therapy, didn't realize what she was doing.

I don't have any intention of telling my children about my CSA, or about my blood relatives and how awful/evil some of them are, and all of that old history. The sexual abuse doesn't go on any more (that I know of) and we're not in contact with them, haven't been for many many years. I say let the dead stay dead, let their evil deeds die with them. They don't know anything more about my blood relatives than names & a few bits of trivia, and that's how I'm going to keep it.

I would talk in generalities about healthy touch & supporting/listening to them & all of that, but no differently than any parent should I think- nothing added because I was a survivor of CSA- Oh hell no, that's not their burden to bear. I say let them be innocent. That's my JOB is to protect them from things like that. I'll tell them about my experiences & my blood relatives when they are adults and can fully handle it - MAYBE.

So there's more than one way to handle it, different opinions anyways.

Edited by AnnieWarbucks
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Personally I would choose not to share your experience with her. I would although, teach her to be very careful and cautious with where she goes and who she is with. Frightening her with your past may not be right at her age especially. I didn't share my past until my daughter was 19.

Katherine :luck:

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Not being a mother, but a victim of CSA, I would share with my children. I would for two reasons. (1) I would want to educate them in the manner that these things do happen and they need to be careful and (2) if anything ever were to happen I would want them to feel like they could come to me and I would understand and be able to relate to their pain.

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My 13 yr old knows because she walked in while I was here, and got a good look at the screen before I could minimize the window. She asked me if something like that happened to me, so I told her yes, but not all the details. I wouldn't have chosen to tell her at all, just let her know that she has the right to tell someone "no" or "stop" if they are trying to get sexual with her. I told her if they don't listen it's rape, and it's a crime, even if she said "yes" to begin with. She understands that she is in control of her body, and that it should be respected. She knows, also, that there are some people who steal that control away, and it's not her fault, ever. I'm confident that if she ever is in a situation where she ends up being raped that she will tell me, because I've been there, and I understand how it can make a person feel. My 15 yr old has suspicions, she was looking long and hard at an invoice for a book I ordered from amazon.com, but I'm not ready to tell my kids. The ones who know or suspect found out on there own through my recent activities, i.e., AS and the book, not because I willingly told them.

I choose to let them know that they have a choice, and that they don't have to decide "it's going to happen even if I do say no." They need to say no or stop. They may be one of the lucky ones where those words actually make a difference in what happens to them, and if it doesn't, they at least know they told the person they didn't want it, even if they don't physically fight back.

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I have recently went through this with my daughter. Part of the reason it came about is I don't like secrets. I hated growing up in my house with secrets. My daughter asked me some very specific questions that called for some very specific answers. She is only 10 and wise beyond her years. Sometimes I fear she knows too much for her age. I have had many discussions about this with friends. Thus far they support what I have done. I've talked about it with my T at length. She believes my answers are age appropriate and match her maturity level. I answer all my daughter's questions as best I can. She usually always has more questions prepared. When it comes to asking about my abuse, that came about because she read a book. It was an autobiography about a Chinese girl. She was abused by her parents who eventually left her at an orphanage. My daughter first started by asking about child abuse in general and why do people do that. Then she asked if I had ever experienced that. I said yes. She said by who. I said by Grandma's husbands. She wanted to know why. I told her because their brains were sick and diseased.

A few days ago answers got more specific. Way more specific than I may have wanted or ever expected. She knows Grandma's 2nd husband beat me and 3rd husband raped me. Yes, it hurts her to know this, but it has also explained some things for her. She understands now why mommy sometimes has bad days, she understands now why mommy doesn't like to go home to visit family, she understands now why she never gets to go to Grandma's house, and she now knows to never be around grandma's husband. She wants to know why grandma's husbands did those things. She wants to know why grandma doesn't believe me, there's more she wants to know and I honestly don't have the answers for those things, and that is what I tell her. She has maybe stuck a little closer to me lately, given me a few more hugs than usual, and just in general more solicitous of my needs. She also said, "Well, I would never let that happen to me. I would fight back." And I told her thats good. I'm glad she would fight back because I never did. I was too desensitized to danger to understand what I was facing until it was too late. I'm glad to say my children have lived charmed lives. They have not had to face major adversities. I think this will help them to stay safe because they will know a lot quicker the situation they are in is not a good one.

I have not talked to my son about any of this. He is 8. I don't know that I will tell him. If he were to ask questions, I would answer them, but I don't see bringing it up specifically.

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Not sharing this with your kids in my opinion is a mistake. Silence is not the answer to me. My Grandmother did it, my mother did it...and because of this they allowed evil to enter through silence, fear and fear of rejection. I wont go into detail with my children, that irresponsible. It can be done in a healthy manner, you dont need to give a detailed description. But as a parent I want to arm them all with knowledge and understanding of what is right and wrong.

If through my non actions my children were preyed upon by someone, I would truley never forgive myself. I dont want them to be vulnerable or become victims like my grandmother, my mother and I did. All because we couldnt communicate to each other. We let fear control us. We let our abusers twisted lies control us. Never again.

As for keeping children innocent...to me this is not a question of shattering innocence, its about giving them information to make as many right choices as they can. I will raise a son who is strong and will never hurt woman, and will know to stand up and defend someone weaker if he is ever in that situation. I dont want them afraid to speak up. I dont want them to be a part of a pack mentality.

After I told my children, they did such an amzing thing. They hugged me, and whispered to me how amazing they thought I was. They gave me extra cuddle and extra kisses throughout the weeks after. And I needed that. We all needed it. It gave me a very bright moment of hope from abuse. It told me I have broken the cycle. It told me my children are amazing creatures, even more amazing than I thought. Something my grandmother and mother never did for each other which is so very sad.

Another good thing to come out of it was this. My children did ask me questions, which at first was difficult for me. But it made me talk about it. It forced me to stop the secrets. I hate them with a passion. And it made me proud that I have raised such bloody awesome kids who have the fortitude to want to know and to not turn away...and who show me more each day how much they love me. So that is why I will never regret sharing with them.

Cols :flowers:

Edited by Cols
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Welcome to AS. :)

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Guest SaraElizabeth

Hi, and welcome to AS.

That's a really tough question, and I don't have the experience to answer I'm sorry! I'm not a mother, but when they're old enough to understand I would want to tell my children so they're aware that these things happen to normal people. But it's easy to say that I would do certain things, when I know they must be very difficult.

But wanted to welcome you, and say that Im a member of the Newbie Support Team, so if you have any questions or problems then feel free to send me a message and I'll do my best to help you out.

I hope you find the answers you're looking for.

Take good care,

Sara x

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