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I don't know how old is your daughter, but I am 19. My best friend was raped two and a half years ago. I knew about her rape incident almost 5 months after it happened and I was the first person she told. We used to live together with my friend in a boarding school, and I still had to pull the words out of her mouth. I also had to convince her to go and see an adult about this almost 7 months after the incident.
Why am I saying this? Nobody noticed that my friend was raped. She was developing PTSD and having panic attacks all this time and nobody knew what is going on. We were a bunch of teenagers living literally in bunks next to each other and telling our darkest things to one another and still.. nobody knew.
it is not your fault, sir. We can never truly know what resides inside another human being even if it was our own flesh and blood. I was so happy when I read that you're supporting her during her time at the psych unit. Support is all she needs now. and she also needs professional help even after she exits the unit. There needs to be time when her doctor should tell you that she is okay and good to go.
I'm really sorry this happened to you and her. Rape is something that changes people's lives. My friend now is studying at her dream school, she has sexual\romantic encounters like any other girl in our age. She is dealing with the PTSD way better now, and barely gets symptoms. Bear in mind that this is two years and a half later.
My advice in short: Let her take her time. Keep on being the awesome\amazing dad you are. Keep doing what you're doing now. With enough time, she will become better. She will change after this, for sure. But my friend turned into a powerful woman who doesn't take anyone's shit. I hope your girl gets the courage to put that bastard behind the bars some day because that is the only place he deserves to be right now.
You are a great dad. you're not the person to blame. now it's the time for you and your daughter to love yourselves and one another. Only love can save you two <3
The worst part of my mom finding out I was molested was the fact that she thought (and probably still thinks) it was in someway her fault. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Just continue to love and support your daughter. Please do not ask her over and over again for forgiveness. It is not your fault; it is not her fault. Don’t make her feel guilty for your guilt as well. Trust me. Thank you for being there for her.
1. You are doing the right thing and you’re doing an amazing job.
2. Don’t ask her questions about the rape; doing so can force her to replay the event over in her head more than she already is. Asking her about the assault can also cause her to question if you believe her. If she wants to discuss what happened, let her lead the conversation.
3. Ask staff at the hospital for resources. There are groups that can support you and your daughter.
4. It’s okay to break down and acknowledge that you are not okay right now. Someone hurt your baby and you have every right to feel terrible. However, do NOT blame yourself for what has happened. The only person who could have prevented the assault was the rapist himself.
I wish you and your daughter well; you two will get through this. She has an amazing dad.
You did the right thing. Inpatient care is scary and a little traumatic in itself but ultimately you can't get better if you're not alive and they will keep her alive.
You didn’t fail her.
I can’t begin to understand the situation you’re in so my only advice is - keep being there for her. You’re doing a wonderful job.
I just want to say OP, that while this is tough and a horrible thing to experience, her anger is good. My sister was put in a mental hospital for a few months because she attempted suicide 3 times. In that time, she told our parents that she hated them for trapping her there, etc. The doctors told us that even though it hurt, her anger was a positive sign. That her emotions had not shut down and that was expressing herself, something suicidal people often don't do. It's venting frustration. It's relieving some of the stress. It's getting it off her chest.
You're in for a rough ride, and I'm so sorry for that. But be strong and just love her. You two can pull through this. My sister has been healthy and happy for 7 years now. She loves to paint, it calms her down in a much for healthy way than suicide or anger ever did.
My heart goes out to you. Be strong. You saved her life, now be the rock she needs.
This breaks my heart.. being a victim myself..
My advice is just to be there for her as best you can, listen when she needs to talk but don't force her to talk, give her a calm and loving environment & make sure to check on her every so often. Right now she needs you, emotionally and physically. Being in the hospital before myself, it was the worst feeling ever to not have someone in my corner during that time. Make her feel safe and protected as best you can but just make sure you don't go overboard since i understand emotions are high and you might not know when is too much? She's probably very scared so make sure to be reassuring and nurturing as well. Ask her about what she wants and try and give her choices for things, make her feel in control. That's really important right now, she feels out of control of everything & unsteady most likely. And overall just be there and be attentive. She needs you, and it sounds just from this post that you're a great dad and you really care. Hopefully she's able to heal over time & i wish you nothing but the best. ♡
(Edit: forgot to add a sentence)
I was in a similar situation. My parents never waivered in their support. I got through it. I wouldn't have if it wasn't for them.
Show up to visit her while she's there. Get her in therapy. Listen to her. Make sure she knows it was not her fault.
I was sexually abused when I was younger and I was suicidal for many years. You did the best thing for her. She will absolutely get through this and so will you. I've had to take someone I love to the ER before because they were trying to kill themselves. Your mind and heart have been traumatized by this and you need to care for yourself right now, while your daughter is being cared for by professionals. The best thing you can do for your daughter right now is EXACTLY what you're doing: educate yourself, get some help for you as well, and be ready to back her up no matter what because this will be a long process for her.
On a side note: if she approaches you to talk about what happened (and let HER approach you), no matter how hard it is, no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much you want to rip everyone's face off with your teeth, listen to her calmly. Don't say anything, unless she asks you a direct question. Ask permission to hug her, tell her nothing was her fault, and ask if she wants you to do anything for her.
Nobody ever said that to me and that's the only thing I ever wanted.
You've done the right thing - professional medical care is very much needed right now. People can be very, very good at hiding trauma sometimes. I'd recommend you also find a counselor to help you as you help your daughter come back from this.
Keeping her for 7-10 days is actually a good sign. Too many places will bring people in and push them back out before they're ready. Be her advocate while she's in care. Speak to those caring for her to find out what you can do. You sound like a loving father and I'm glad you'll be there for her.
As someone who has been in those places several times: please bring her books and slippers. If the place allows it, bring her her toiletries. The books and slippers are KEY though. I would go out and get a really nice pair of slippers too.
Be there. Care. Get her help. You know, the things you’re already doing. Also...
* When my dad found out I was being abused by a relative, he told me we weren’t going to do anything about it because no one would believe me. The abuse continued for three more years (on top of the ~6 already gone by at that point) and culminated in the relative raping me. To this day, I have to endure being in this person’s presence at every major family event and holiday.
* When my mom found out I was cutting myself, and frequently badly enough that I should’ve received medical attention, she threatened me to try and get me to quit because “if your father founds out he’ll use it to get custody of you.” Instead of quitting, I got creative with my cutting locations and opted for quantity over depth. It wasn’t abnormal for me to cut myself 100+ times in a single session for over two years.
These are examples of parents failing their daughter. You have not. Guilt is normal, and you’ll have to work through that, but trust me - you’ve done nothing wrong.
25F here. I attempted suicide at 18. You did not fail her. Believe me, we're good at hiding things.
What I can tell you is that healthy people don't try to kill themselves. Your daughter is sick and needs medical care, so you were spot on getting her to the hospital right away. This is going to be a long journey for both of you, but healing and peace is possible.
I encourage you to seek therapy on your own. Something that was difficult for my support group and I to wrestle with was how angry and hurt they were with what I had done. Seven years later and I am still confronting the reality that I hurt my friends and family deeply when I tried to take myself from them. *Now is not the time to address any confusion or hurt you have about what she did with your daughter.* But those feelings, if you have them, are valid and are worth working through and a therapist can help *you* as you help your daughter.
My last bit of insight is that mental illnesses lie. For me, it's Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. These illnesses make me believe things that are not true - that I'm worthless, that something terrible is going to happen, that no one loves me, that the world would be better off without me. Those thoughts are the ones that went through my head before I tried to kill myself and those thoughts had no relation to reality at all. My parents and I had and have a great relationship. I knew and know they love me dearly, but my illnesses *lied to me.* So please, do not take her actions to mean that you have failed her or have not loved her enough or been there enough. If she expresses to you clearly that you have hurt her some way (which I doubt, based on your representations), then obviously take that into account then. But please do not read that into her actions, because I'd be willing to bet my last dollar that her thoughts in the moments leading up to you finding her had no relation to reality at all.
I wish you both peace and healing.