What should I do when there is abuse in my family?

Sep 5, 2022

 

QUESTION

Dear Robina Courtin

 

I need some personal advice.

 

I feel sure that my brother’s kid is being sexually abused by the grandfather – he’s done it to others.

 

He is retired now and still with my mother and she is in total denial. I cut contact with him as much as I can. But I feel like I should do something. My relationship with my brother is difficult too. 

 

I don’t know how to deal with all this. I wish I would not have to witness any of these things and maybe cut entirely contact with most of my family. And yet I also feel like I should do something.

 

If you would have any advice, please, I’m listening. 

 

Kind regards,

A

 

ANSWER

Dearest A,

 

It’s a very difficult situation, I can only imagine. And the tragedy is it is so so common!

 

Yes, it makes total sense that one solution for you is to cut contact. You need to protect yourself, your own mind. 

 

But you say you should do something. That’s the problem, knowing what would work.

 

So often, bringing it to public knowledge, at least within the family and especially when your mother is in denial, it can only cause more problems and solve nothing.

 

So be very clear about it.

 

What do you think you can do? And what result would you like from it? 

 

Is your brother open to discussion do you think? Because he is the one, if you do decide to do something, you should talk to.

 

Love to you,

 Robina

 

QUESTION

Hello Robina,

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Yes it is a very sad situation. How common it is, it’s true. 

 

All I’ve done is write to my brother to not leave his kid alone with him, and he replied defensively. 

 

I often wish to not have had this family at all as it brings me more sadness and trouble than anything else.

 

So no, I don’t have the answers.

 

I also have the feeling that involving the judicial system might not be the answer, and yet, if I knew how to stop the sexual abuse, I would. So I pray most of the time.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

A

 

ANSWER

Good to hear your thoughts, dearest A.

 

You are doing your very best to deal with this very difficult situation. That’s all you can do. You have warned your brother; now it’s up to him.

 

We know that life is full of suffering such as this, everywhere we turn. All we can do is live our lives as well as possible, protect ourselves and our loved ones, and, I think, remain optimistic and try to help others as much as we can — and, as you say, pray.

 

We can’t do more, can we?

 

Much love and much courage to you!

Robina

 

More Q & A

How to help my deceased partner and start my Buddhist path

QUESTION Dear Venerable, I hope this email finds you well and that you don’t mind me emailing you. I attended the talk you did yesterday on Zoom about grief. Thank you for this, it gave me clarity around what I have been experiencing. My partner passed away recently....

How to decide what’s best?

QUESTION Dear Venerable Robina, I had the pleasure of watching several of your teachings and have, of course, been watching your discussions and Q&As on YouTube. My family have been listening to you and your straightforward manner has put them at ease that I’m not...

Help your father be peaceful, that’s all that matters in his old age

QUESTION Dear Venerable Robina, Hoping this finds you well. I’m having a hard time dealing with something. My mother passed recently. We’ve just discovered that she gambled away all the family money in bad investments. My father is old and refuses to acknowledge this....

We don’t know who anyone is, so don’t judge

  QUESTION Dear Venerable,   I hope that you are well.   I know that sometimes my mind has a tendency to kind of lean toward being distrustful, so I'm working on that.   There has been a couple of times in the last year or so when I have heard a...

Share this article