Child Abuse by family member

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Posted by Teresa on July 01, 1998 at 13:02:36:

First, thank you for your website. And I thank God for leading me to it.

My sister (who is now dying) physically abused my son many years ago (He was two. She was in her late 20's. She hit him, tried to shove him down a flight of stairs, ran off with him telling him he would never see his parents again and threatened to toss him down a ravine.) I rescued him and was completely overwhelmed by feelings of rage and hate.

I never told anyone else what she had done, believing in my heart that they would not believe me, and that somehow the whole thing was my own fault - if I had been a better parent, a better protector, etc, she would never have been able to get her hands on him.I broke away from my family and haven't seen or spoken to her in years. I thought my anger and sense of betrayal had finally passed.

Now I am being told my son and I must see her before she dies. In fact, she actually called my home and invited herself to stay with us for a few days to a few weeks. When I told her no, she began crying and telling me how cruel I was. My family is horrified with my coldness and now I must put up with their anger for refusing to see - and provide shelter to - a dying family member. (I am not saying she is sorry for what she did - I am saying she simply needs a cheap place to stay.)

I am so confused - am I wrong to not want her in my home? I thought I had found peace and had found a way to forgive her - she was sick, perverted, and twisted, and not quite right in the head or soul. And I thought that I had forgiven myself for not being quicker to save my child from hurt.

But the thought of seeing her again makes me physically ill. Does this mean I never truly forgave her or myself? And how do I find a way to see her again - or do I tell my family the truth?

Please, someone, help me.

At least I know now it's ok to remember what she did and that it's ok to keep my child from harm by not allowing the two of them to see each other again - but how can I now allowing her near him -

I think that first I

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