Should I Tell My Mom About Cousin Abusing Me?

Published: December 17, 2012
Dear Should I Tell My Mom About Cousin Abusing Me?,

Hello, I'm an 18 year black female wondering if I should tell my parents about what my older cousin did to me when I was only five years old and he was twelve. This has long been buried and left in the past but lately it's been creeping back into my life and I can't seem to get it off my mind. He touched me inappropriately and use to have me do the same to him. I have tried excusing his actions by saying things like "Oh, maybe he was just young and curious about my parts and his parts." I think about the situation and think things like I'm making a big thing out of nothing. I see kids who were molested and say my situation wasn't that bad and I should let it go. But I just can't. I don't even like to say that I was molested, because I kinda don't truly feel like I was. My older brother knows about and so does his older sister since I yelled it out in tears when he told me we were going to "do it again." They never told and they probably don't even remember since it was so long ago. Just me. I don't know, it's so old and dead and gone. Should I tell my parents? ~Thanks

Dear Should I Tell My Mom About Cousin Abusing Me?,

If you think telling your parents would bring you some sense of relief with this situation, then FX does support your telling them. It can feel very difficult carrying these types of issues inside and dealing with them all alone. So perhaps you would feel comforted having support from your parents and having an outlet rather than keeping this to yourself.

FX would also recommend you consider speaking to a therapist about this incident. It sounds like it is troubling you (which is completely understandable) and it might be helpful for you to have a safe, private place to discuss your thoughts and feelings connected to what happened with your cousin – to have someone who can listen to you with understanding and without judgment and who can offer support and guidance on how to deal with what you went through.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

You can also contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), 24 hours, 7days a week for help and information. You can search for a local counseling center on their website or use their online hotline.