Family Secret - Revealing Abuse From Inside

Among the hardest pieces of news a family can hear is from within. To learn that a close relative you have understood all your life, a member of your family, has mistreated another, is devastating. I know because I 've been on both sides of that coin, both announcing it to my own relatives and recieving the news. For the PTSD sufferer it's among the most courageous but most difficult steps towards recovery. By unveiling the secret, breaking the quiet and putting your experiences and your soul out in the open for those you love to question and understand, you're healing. The decision to tell family members that you have PTSD - and possibly more significantly, what - why does child abuse happen - the injury which caused it was - is one that many sufferers agonize around.
Imagine if they dont believe me? I'll create a rift in the family. I am upsetting the apple cart. So theres no point causing all this heartbreak its in the past, -- these are only the beginnings of various trains of thought a sufferer will probably go through when debating whether to tell or not. It's hard enough when the perpetrator is not an associate of the family, a friend, maybe, in the case of sexual abuse. However, if the abuser and the victim share the same family, it becomes a great deal more cluttered. Once the naming and shaming of the abuser is out there, and everyone understands what you as a survivor of abuse have been through, theres no going back.
So, imagine if youre the family member whos just been sat in a front room, having made a pot of tea, simply to have the get-together blasted into smithereens by granddaughter, your daughter, son, neice or nephew? Theyve not slept for weeks (PTSD plus the do-I, dont-I debate), and now theyre quietly sitting with the teacup still shaking on its saucer, anxiously anticipating your answer.
Engage your brain before you speak. Your emotions are high, you dont know what to believe, and the image of the man before you and the man who mistreated them has been shattered like glass on concrete. Blurting out I dont believe you potentially activate an emotional flashback, will ostricize the sufferer, cause them to question themselves and their memories and make you the target of frustration, anger and hurt. Perhaps you cant reconcile the picture of the accused with the accusation, but that does not mean it didnt happen. So, think before you do and speak nt undermine the guts it took for the sufferer to tell you.
Please, don't go and start a fight with the accused. It helps nobody, least of all the sufferer. Going over there and having it outside will result in the abuser denying everything, retaliating, perhaps assaulting yourself or the first victim. The sufferer has lost it if there is evidence that could be used in legal proceedings should they follow.
Remember that outing an they will be exhausted, and an abuser is a very courageous choice for the sufferer. A match of 20 questions is not suitable right now! To have been trusted enough to learn that they developed PTSD because of it and have suffered from abuse puts you in a privileged place. Remember that, and attempt to refrain from asking about each detail of the maltreatment, the duration, if anyone else was involved, or the dreaded "why didnt you tell us sooner? Some of the responses wont be clear to the sufferer (hint: particularly the last one), and some of them hurt too much to talk about. Where you learn the facts of the trauma and the impact on the sufferers life since the time will come. Now is nt it.
Enough of the don'ts. What should you do? Listening is significant; taking time to hear the sufferer is the greatest gift you'll be able to give them and being there. Possibly the relief of having someone in the family understand will lead to an outpouring of despair and emotion. Be there for them, and let them know that you're available to speak with, if and when they want. Offer support and give them the safe space they havent had to vent how they feel. On the flipside, the individual with PTSD might completely freak out and not need to say another word. Listening is still important in the quiet. Make the man you love feel safe and supported and free to discuss, or not speak, not, or request help.
Do things that are normal with this man. Them having PTSD will not define them nor should it define your future relationship with them. Take them outside, encourage them to meet-ups (without the abuser present) and value them for who they're. As with bunches of mental illnesses, occasionally socializing seems tough, but even if you get discounted or rejected, continue while also letting them know it is okay for them not to join inviting them. Patience and empathy is the name of the game.
Additionally, look after yourself. Chances are the news has come as a jolt, and you are now struggling with conflicting emotions regarding the abuser, particularly if you knew them and are close to them. It truly is understandable to be confused and upset, so take a little time to process the information. Frequently it is helpful to speak to someone you know, such as counsellor or a friend, about your feelings. Getting an external view from someone who doesnt understand the PTSD sufferer or the abuser can not be useless. It is easy to feel like anything you say or do will be wrong, but frankly, you know the folks involved and how to talk to them. Trust instinct and that knowledge.
I am only able to speak from personal experience, but hopefully theres a nugget or two of advice in this section to assist you to learn about the abuse that can happen within.