My father has been accused of raping a child. How do I support my parents without losing my own sanity?

I (M35) have just found out that my father has been accused of raping a child that I know. He will go on trial later this year.

He has always been an excellent father to me, I love him and I can’t believe he would do this, but I also can’t believe that the child would lie about this since going to court will be massively traumatic for them too.

I don’t live near them (and Coronavirus has shut down travel in my country) so from a distance I’m trying to support my mother, who is so distraught I’m worried she will have a heart attack or something. I’m also trying to support my father, because if he is innocent then I cannot fathom how gruelling this is for him. And if he’s guilty then our justice system and everyone else on the planet will take care of punishing him.

But I feel like I’m going a bit batshit myself, because I simply have no idea if I should feel sorry for him or be disgusted by him, and I flipflop between feeling incredibly sad and feeling burning rage.

It’s extra cutting because I would like to have a child myself, but I’m gay and my long-term partner isn’t interested in kids, so I was already feeling down about that but was on the way to accepting it. Now I feel like my whole family is destroyed.

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I send my mother messages daily and she says they keep her going, but some days I just feel so sick about the whole thing that I want to cut myself away from it completely – like when someone dumps you and you cut all ties and block them so that you can get over them and move on.

How can I support my parents through this ordeal without it destroying my own mental health?

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  1. I am a former prosecutor. I prosecuted many child molesters. I also got suckered at least once. I nearly ruined a man’s life over a false accusation. We never went to trial but I still feel terribly guilty for having him arrested.

    The vast majority of children do not lie about being molested. In some cases the kid is being molested but knows that they will get in trouble if they tell on mommy’s boyfriend so they reveal a little bit and when they are pressed to name the perp they just name someone else. Sometimes kids just lie for bat shit crazy kid reasons because they don’t understand the consequences.

    My point is that having faith in both your father and the justice system is not contradictory. It is perfectly reasonable to hope for the best and mentally prepare for the worst.

  2. I have been in a situation where one of my ex-girlfriend’s family members turned out to have committed sex crimes against children and grown women (and was guilty). He had also been a good father to her.

    My observation was that this entire thing is going to pass through multiple “stages”. Your mother’s relationship with your father will be tested, as will yours, and you will probably experience alternating periods of being aligned and badly misaligned with various factions of people involved, as well as periods of peace and turmoil within yourself.

    Stoic philosophy has much to say on this issue. You are in the type of situation where “thinking ahead” is impossible, for the future is riddled with moral questions and complex legal processes that will do nothing but create anxiety in yourself should you put your mind there. In stoicism, one looks only to the present moment and present problems, focusing your mind on the tasks that currently fall within your control and not casting your mind further. Practically speaking, this means choosing your next action and your next thought, but little more. Keeping your mind on the immediate, practical and controllable will minimise your anxiety and permit you to be a rock in a time when everything you’ve come to know as stable is changing.

  3. I suggest seeing a therapist to help you through what’s bound to be a very difficult time. It makes sense that you would be going back and forth between a range of feelings and not know which to go with. Anyone would if they were in your shoes.

    It might help if you can take a step back out of the emotional storm for a few minutes and reassure yourself that these wildly fluctuating feelings are to be expected. All of your emotions about your father, your mother, the child, the situation, your partner and yourself are all valid. Of course it’s confusing. And painful, and frustrating, and practically unbearable. But you will get through this. Your life is sure to be different from now on but it will be survivable.

    Along with the multitude of reactions to this news it’s also ok for you to love your father but hate what he may have done. Humans are complex enough creatures to have the capability of feeling more than one emotion at a time. Like the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, our psyches deal with inner incongrueties, contrary opinions and conflicts all the time. So it’s perfectly acceptable to find things about him that you cherish and others you despise. And there’s no reason they can’t change later.

    But again, a therapist would be the best resource to turn to for help. Best of luck.

  4. My father had similar charges brought against him that turned out to be false. He said one of the things that got him through it was that I never asked if he did it or not and just knew that he wouldn’t have.

    I’d recommend doing the same as much as possible. If it turns out he did do it, the situation won’t be any worse by you acting this way.

  5. This is a horrendous situation my input is from a different perspective. I sat on a jury where a man was accused of raping a child some time ago. I looked at the accused and he appeared to be a decent hardworking man, he had a lovely wife and daughter that supported him throughout the trial. We found him guilty on all counts. There is mo doubt in my mind that his family felt he was truely innocent and the verdict must have been shocking and devastating for them. I will never forget the yelps of disbelief they made upon the hearing of the word guilty. They lost their dad/ husband in a moment. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, you have a long emotional road ahead of you. Will you ever really know the truth despite the verdict? This is something you need professional support with, I suggest a therapist. Someone who is there for you and just you. I’m sorry this has happened and I wish you the best.

  6. Innocent until proven guilty. As hard as it probably is take it is and try to support him and get yourself in therapy you’ll probably need professional help to deal with your emotions. If in the end he’s guilty you can proceed from there and if he’s otherwise innocent then you’ve stood by him.

  7. So,I have some experience with this, not quite exactly your situation but same subject matter.

    For reference I am now 31 and this all started when I was 26

    In 2015 my step father was arrested for child pornography charges (2 counts of possession & 1 count of accessing) and let me tell you, that absolutely rocked us as a family, I think anyone would be honestly. At the start of it all he maintained all innocence saying “it must have come in with something I downloaded, I would never do anything like this” so with that we all rallied around him for support through it. After some time though the investigation wasn’t closed, I mean if this was truly an accident it should have been over and done with. As most people would our bullshit detectors started firing on all cylinders and his “innocence” couldn’t be explained any longer, he finally broke and told us he infact did download those images and that he has a problem. So once again like a family we rallied around him for support and just wanted him to get the help he needed, after all he was the only father figure my sister and I knew, we loved him and just wanted him to get better.

    I wish it all ended there. Enter October 2016, my sister gets a phone call from the opp and is asked to come in for questioning, no details about what it’s about, just come in we need to talk. In she goes and the bomb get dropped, from January 2015 to October 2016 they have been going through evidence from my step dads computer that contained over 3 million images of sexual abuse against children and within that they found that he had hidden cameras in my sisters room and our upstairs bathroom and had been filming her since she was about 11 years old. The questioning she answered needed to confirm what colour her room was and what stuff she could identify as being hers.

    After that the gloves came off, we were done. He was kicked out of the house, rearrested with new charges and went to live with his parents. All that we could do at this point as a family is start to rebuild with us three. All of this ended in December 2017 when he was finally sentenced to 7 years in prison.

    So where does that leave my mental health? Now it’s in a good place, but it was a struggle to get it there, I felt lots of anger, shame, guilt, more anger, anxiety and depression, and even to this day I still feel those feelings and that’s ok. If you can, reach out to supports now rather than later, they will help you develop the tools you need, lean on your partner, absolutely be there for your mom, she’s going to need you, but don’t feel like you need to be her therapist, you have enough stuff to sort through. I wish you all the best going forward with this, and if you want to chat we can !

  8. My brother, who I was very close to, turned out to sexually abused my sister when we were young. I totally get what your going through, it’s incredibly confusing.

    I went the direct route and asked him if he did it. He claimed he doesn’t remember and was super dodgy. For me it was a no brainer and I cut him out of my life from that point on. I can’t even look at him anymore without feeling so angry. Our parents don’t know why were not talking and he told them some lie about me being angry he didn’t buy me a birthday present.

    I know he did it and I want nothing to do with him, no matter how great our relationship was before this all came out. Saying that, you do you. If you want to stay and support both your parents do that, but I think it is within your right to have a one on one convo with your dad and see what he says.

    Edit: do sorry didn’t even see when I was replying it’s r/askmen. I’m a women. I was quite invested in answering since I had a similar experience. Can delete if this offends anyone.

  9. Talk to your father. This is a huge issue and you can not leave it untalked about.
    Tell him that you will support him if he is wrongly accused and ask for his side to the whole situation. This will hopefully clear your mind a bit.

  10. My sister went to prison for statutory rape. She had sex with her 14 year old student…. so I know a bit about what you’re going through.

    First, I’m sorry. When things like this happen it’s the entire family that suffers.

    Second, don’t let your dad or mother suck you into the world of drama they are now entering in. I saw this when I was a therapist. Families would literally look ridiculous defending their family member who was obviously guilty. Don’t let your rationality diminish. It’s okay to acknowledge what’s happening and feel bad he’s going to prison. He’s your dad. It’s sad. But it’s also okay to feel a sense of justice for the child and family affected.

    I had such complicated feelings I’m still sorting them out 7 years after her release. I went on to be successful and she did not… 🙁

  11. In situations where I am forced to choose between possibilities, I seek to find the truth above all. We look for what truly happened, whatever that may be. An innocent party *should* be happy to hear you say this, since, to them, this means you’re looking to prove them innocent. A guilty or lying party will be upset by this, but they may hide it to uphold the lie. If there comes a point where you can no longer be helpful in finding out the truth, then unfortunately there isn’t much more you can do without choosing sides prematurely. I wish you luck. I can’t imagine being in your shoes.

    Edit: wrong word was italicized

  12. Innocent until proven guilty is for courtrooms. Some things never get proven. Sometimes someone ends up walking free when they are guilty or getting falsely imprisoned. You are family, you will have to come to terms with the accusation partially separate from what the court says.

    Talk to your dad. Listen to the details of the accusations. Think back to any other times something similar may have happened without you noticing.

    If you are not cutting your father out of your life, you should consider the types of rehabilitation that is done for pedophiles and violent rapists. Talk to your parents about it. The options are not black and white, disown him or support his innocence. You can believe he is a rapist, want him to be punished, and be active in trying to help him. It might be hard or unpleasant, but there is something more that can be done than just waiting for your dad to rot in prison or get exonerated.

    Maybe it turns out that your dad is not the person you thought he was, that he was living a horrific double life. But maybe if he was a good dad, you can also try to make sure he becomes one of those members of society that doesn’t brutalize children. Who knows: maybe if he hears about a way to fix this stuff, he may be more willing to fess up and get to work on it, so some child doesn’t have to spend as much time on the stand.

  13. My whole life, i was told my grandpa was a good man, he was a good father….he was a racist, alcoholic pedophile who abused his own kids.

    When i found out it was a for sure thing, all i wanted to do was kill him. He was no family of mine, he was a rodent ripe for extermination.

    He went to jail and died and the world moved on…. but the victims, my mother and aunts, didn’t. They were and are scarred for life over the actions of someone they thought they knew.

    Innocent until proven guilty, that’s all you can say.

  14. I see that a few have spoken to the heart of the issue so I won’t touch on it, but is travel absolutely restricted right now? I had a family emergency recently and I absolutely needed to go home so I did, despite travel warnings. It made a huge difference both for me and my family. I know there is risk involved, but if you can I would strongly encourage you to be home with your mother right now.

  15. I got thrown into a similar hard spot a few years ago when I was told I had to come over urgently, was sat down and was very calmly told by my dad that he had been accused of rape and he didn’t want me to find out from someone else, or from the news.

    I really couldn’t believe it was happening – my dad was imperfect in a lot of ways, but tried to be a good father and a good member of the community, he’s really very unassuming and conservative – or that my parents seemed to be taking this so….calmly?

    This is really an impossible situation to be in: support your family and potentially support someone that’s has sexually abused another, or remain aloof to protect yourself but feel like you’re abandoning your parents.

    My dad was in a sense helpful – he swore he didn’t do it, but he said he comprehended how that was not going to be enough to convince me and that even the accusation would likely change my opinion on him (and to be honest, it did).

    They got a lawyer, I was around when I could stand to be around, but was pretty miserable generally. I found I could not be a rock for my mum pretty quickly, because I just couldn’t stand hearing her worry about what was going to happen: it was just far too much for me. Her best friend ended up being her go to person for reassurance

    My father was not convicted, and it’s almost like we can pretend that it never happened – but it’s still something I have to live with: did my dad actually do it and just manage to get away with it?

    I had relatives that completely abandoned my family, and that’s still ongoing. Despite uneasiness over everything that’s happened, if they wanted to reconnect I’d refuse because of how they treated my dad, which perhaps is dumb because they’re only doing what I feared I would end up doing.

    All I can say is don’t be hard on yourself: there is no right answer, and that you can’t decide on how to feel about it is fine – i still can’t decide. Find someone that you can debrief with: I went with a psychologist, becuase I just couldn’t be that open with any friends I had, and I didn’t want to burden my partner.

    Also, I’m very very very very sorry for you and your mum and your wider family. Things will change now no matter what the outcome is, and it’s not going to be a nice change.

  16. i would honestly wait untill you have ALL the facts from both sides. at the moment both sides are pointing fingers and not listening to each other right now. just keep emailing your mother and keep her spirits up. its all you can do.

  17. Dude, all I can suggest is that you seek professional help to help you and your family through this trying time. It might sound like a waste of time and money but it can save you having to try and deal with bottled up trauma later.

  18. When I was thirteen, my cousin who was 39 at the time raped and molested me repeatedly. I’m not sure what it’s like to be on the other side of this, but I would suggest keeping up with your mother as she is not the person in question here, and the grief of this whole ordeal will probably bring her under mentally. I don’t know your mother personally, and I don’t want to scare you, but in my family being suicidal runs in our blood so you should just make sure she’s not having those thoughts and reiterate you’re there for her if she is. As for you’re father, I would keep your distance. It is unlikely that a child would lie about being molested- in my experience, if they do, it’s because they have been molested before. But again, its very unlikely and uncommon. Don’t accuse him of anything until you have the full facts because that can destroy your relationship with him if it turns out he did nothing. But don’t act like nothing is wrong. You dont want to have that image associated with yourself.

  19. It’s shocking how many people streight away jump to the father is innocent and the child must be lying/being coached into this.

    I sure hope none of you have kids, or if you do you don’t put them in unnecessary danger with your faith in the kindness of humanity as it seems you wouldnt support or shield them appropietly should the worst of the worst happen.

  20. I went through something somewhat similar, and it changed the relationship with my father forever. My parents are divorced, and my father was dating and living with a woman and her teenage daughter (the daughter was my age at the time). I live with my mom in another country and saw my father 1-2x a year, usually when I’d visit him during summer breaks.

    After having dated his girlfriend for 5ish years my dad and her break up, and his (now) ex-girlfriend says its because my dad molested her daughter on various occasions. My dad was the one who told me this, and he swore that he never touched her inappropriately and that his ex’s daughter has some mental health issues (she was in therapy for may years). No legal action was undertaken, but his ex-girlfriend did call and message all of my father’s friends and business associates in order to harass him.

    I was heartbroken when I heard the allegations. My entire image of him changed instantly, and I started to doubt every interaction we’ve ever had to determine if he was ever inappropriate with me. The times when I was little and couldn’t sleep and he came to cuddle with me in my bed, when he would play fight with me and tickle me all over my body, when him and I would share a changing room a the public pool when I was a kid etc.

    I want to believe that he is innocent, but a small part of me doubts it. I don’t know how to process this or to move on honestly. I don’t trust him anymore, and I don’t think I ever will. He is now again dating another woman with a 10 year old daughter, and I don’t even care to know anything about them because of it.

    I don’t really have advice for you, other than to make sure that you’re also taking time to process the effect on yourself.

  21. I might get downvoted to hell, but this is my honest take on it. Family is family, bloodline is bloodline. If he’s been a good father, a good family man, you have to be by his side.
    At this time, be by his side, because nobody else will.
    As for the accusation, maybe in due time you’ll know the truth, would be better if you get it from him, and the rage you’re feeling would become a thousand time stronger, yet the love for the father won’t go, and it’s okay.
    Humans carry with themselves angels and demons, hidden deep inside. I’m not going to defend anyone because crimes, rather, sins like these don’t deserve that. Law and justice would take its due course.
    In the meantime, be there for a father as a son should, unconditionally. Hate the man who sinned. And use this pain to do a thousand good deeds to hopefully balance out what he’s done.
    God bless.

  22. Shit man… that has to be one of the most hard situations you can be put in life…

    I found very decent advice already in the comments, so the only thing that comes to mind is the movie The Hunt (2012). It explores what someone in your fathers position (who in the movie’s case we know is not guilty) might go through.

    Based on that… be prepared for the worst if you decide to belive him until proven wrong, at least if your friends and acquaintances know of the case.

    Good luck brother, I hope your father is truly the man that you thought he was your whole life.

  23. You keep doing what you are doing with your mother. Keep assuring her that there is no way he did this.

    Once this goes to trial, keep an open mind. Allow the evidence given to go wherever it takes you. Allow yourself to be wrong if he, in fact, did this.

  24. This will probably get buried but- Recently I read a book called “A Serial Killers Daughter” by Kerri Rawson. I would strongly recommend that for you. She was around your age when her father was convicted of being the serial killer “BTK”, and she spoke a lot about her struggles to reconcile the father she knew with the horrible murderer she’d heard about as a child.

  25. I think a huge point of context is whether your father could have any relationship or interaction with the child’s parents. Assholes weaponize their kids all the time. Not just in this way either.

    Without knowing what kind of people the parents are or what their relationship is with your Dad, there’s no way for me to say that the child wouldn’t lie. Because plenty of kids would if their parents asked them to, and a few nasty parents do.

    As others have said I think a stoic response is definitely correct. You cannot be sure of your future, so act however you can to better the present. IMO, this includes treating your father as innocent until he is tried.

  26. Nobody is perfect, and he has not been proven guilty nor admitted guilt. You owe him, as a child he did his best raising you. Imagine if he is actually innocent and you disowned him, you won’t be able to forgive yourself. Now if he is guilty, at least you just did your best when he shat his pants just like you did when you were small.

    Now first and foremost you must support your mother. You can learn more from her. She must have known a couple things or two.

  27. I am reminded of the 2012 Danish film The Hunt. The main character is falsely accused and everyone, even his closest friends, immediately assumes he is guilty and ostracize and attack him. It’s scary to think how quickly people are to side with the accuser, even without prior evidence.

    I’m not saying for sure that the accusation against your dad is false, but it is important to be patient, and look at the evidence before jumping to any conclusions.

  28. Hi. I have nothing much of value to add besides there is a very good movie about this situation.

    It’s insightful, well made and might help you to recognize social stigma, possible future problems and other obstacles.

    I obviously don’t know if your father is guilty or not. But it wouldn’t be reasonable to treat him as guilty right now. There is a reason most justice systems work with a not guilty till proven dogma. And there are claims made by children which aren’t viable.

    Look our current impression of social justice values children above everything, which is good and reasonable in my opinion. But obviously there will be unfairness in this regards. I dunno.

    Try to stay sane. Talk to your father about this. Listen to your gut feeling. Talk to your mother, e-hug her, try to stay open and be ready to have one of the most awfully experience in your lifetime.

    Good luck.

  29. I have a friend that was a fireman arrested for soliciting sex from a minor. The “14 year old minor” was an undercover police agent. I remember being so angry at him and shell shocked that he would even do this that I stopped talking to him.

    When I moved to the other side of the country about six months later I wrote him a letter and put it in the mail. He had been released at this point and awaiting trial. I basically told him how everything had made me feel and that I had forgiven him but in no way supported his actions. I told him that I wished him the best and that I hoped that he would learn from the experience and not let it make him hate or harden him. I left my contact info if he ever wanted to talk.

    We eventually started talking again and after a couple years they decided to give him public service with stipulations of no internet usage, jobs close to minors, etc. He had never had criminal acts previously and none of his confiscated devices had child porn or other acts. He essentially just made an incredibly wrong and stupid decision. The reality is that the fire department had a horrible culture of toxic masculinity and the older firemen would make the newer guys perform sexual acts on each other and on them and they would watch porn together. Friend also had a porn addiction. He has a lot of issues, that doesn’t make what he did okay. But you can support someone you love without supporting what they have done.

    I often wonder how parents and spouses cope with finding out their loved one is a serial killer. It’s nauseating to imagine, but I think the way they survive is to forgive them, and support them, without supporting their crimes. This is empathy and it’s not easy to carry, but it’s the mature thing to do. Hating them, being angry, etc for long periods of time is allowing them to make you one of their victims. You have to set yourself free from that. It’s not easy or fast but it is liberating.

    I will say that one thing I will never accept is a man or woman that goes anywhere near children and young adolescents. Even someone regularly watching lolicon bordering between “teen” and younger children will set me off. I can’t stand anyone exploiting or manipulating young people who are still growing and developing because it screws then up for the rest of their life.

    I have a friend that was adopted with her twin and younger sister. Their mother sold them to men for drugs as early as she can remember at 2 years old. Actual rape. She has memories waking up with cum and pubic hair in her mouth at age five after sleeping on the couch. She has memories of foster parents giving her dog food to eat in front of their friends and telling them “Watch this. She’s so hungry she will eat anything.” She even has memories that she has tried to bury if her adoptive father coming in and massaging her breasts to wake her up in the mornings. She remembers telling her adoptive mom and her adoptive mom telling her she was wrong and must have mistook what happened.

    She is so resilient and has handled everything through therapy. What would have broken other people she has carried and overcome. But she often struggles with wondering if the reason she is gay is because she was raped by men as a child. Things like that. Her younger sister is a diagnosed psychopath and her twin isn’t gay but is violently aggressive with bipolar disorder. My friend has adhd and bipolar. She’s the only one in the family who is normal and living a nontoxic life. The other siblings mooch and manipulate their adoptive parents and this is very common with foster kids/teens (my parents fostered for 4 years at various organizations). They kicked her out when she was 16 after finding out she was gay.

    She has been on and off homeless to save money and get a place. Put herself through high school. Moved across be country and slept under her car and used planet fitness for shower access until she saved money and could get a place to live. Worked part time in law enforcement and wanted to go all the way but couldn’t because of issues with financial aid. So she moved to Costa Rica to teach English abroad and figure out what she wants to do. She found a nice girlfriend down there and is going great.

    My point with all of that is people are resilient but how dare anyone mess with young adolescents and children. Especially those with something like adhd or another neurodevelopent disorder that puts them even further behind than their peers. I can almost accept a serial killer over a child predator because even some serial killers had a standard that “I never touch children.” Even hardened criminals in prison will kill an inmate known for messing with kids. It’s just this thing that will make you go “Jesus dude/dudette, you are on a whole other level.” But this is if someone is guilty.

    You have to decide whether you think they are. Sometimes the legal system can’t even donthis because many guilty walk free and many innocent are given life or a death sentence. That’s why you can’t overanalyze this. You can spend time self searching for your own truth based on what your father says and what the alleged victim says. Your gut instinct will help. But know that you can never know for certain. Don’t just write off the victim because your dad was a good man but don’t burn him at the stake immediately. Accept that this isn’t your fault and set yourself free. Take the responsibility of the entire legal system and justice system off of your shoulders and recognize that this isn’t for you to decide. Trust that whatever happens this is your father’s cross to bear and he will have to take it in stead. Learn to love your father while also holding him accountable for his actions and darkness.

  30. Your dad will be punished regardless of guilt and the worst part is he’ll be treated like he’s guilty even if he ain’t and i don’t mean found not guilty i’m talking actually innocent your dad’s life is effectively over.

    Now as for supporting just be there for them in any way you can.

  31. I think there’s already a lot of great advice posted here. I don’t know if this will provide any ounce of insight to the situation, but have you asked yourself whether your dad is the type of person who could be capable of raping a child? Based off your many past experiences with him and what you know of his habits, behaviors, and personality, is it a complete stretch to consider he would do such a thing? What is your first instinctual response? What do you intuit about his tendencies on a deeper level? It is true you will not know for sure once the trial has concluded, but maybe just looking within right now might offer a viewpoint to on hold on to until the truth becomes totally clear.

  32. This is an incredibly shitty situation to be in and I feel for you. Things are gonna be all sorts of sideways for a long time.

    First things is to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Humans are social creatures and you need to be talking to someone, sooner than later. It doesn’t have to be a professional but I would strongly encourage it. I wouldn’t wait until the trial to get help either as it is gonna be a whole other emotional roller coaster. Taking care of yourself will better help you be there for those who need you.

    The questions you are going through and emotions you are feeling are normal. There are going to be challenges ahead that may seem insurmountable, DON’T give up. things will get better. Your relationships will likely very different from how they are now regardless of the way things pan out over the coming months but it will get better.

  33. it’s okay to feel both disgusted & sad as well as love and hatred for him. you’re allowed to feel everything. multiple feelings at once. and you don’t have to come to any permanent conclusion about it. some things are layered and complex and they remain that way. be sure to really take care of your feelings and sense of well being during this time — before you try to care for anyone else.

  34. No matter whether he did it or not, he’s still your father. Let the justice department deal with judging him and just be his son. None of this is in your hands or your mothers. Keep being there for her and try to focus on getting her mind off of what’s going on. You should start seeing a therapist and talk your mom into it as well. IF she isn’t comfortable going out of the house, there are many options online. As far as the child/partner part of the situation, this is something you could talk to a therapist about as well. It’s something you are going to have to decide if you are willing to give on, For most, children is a deal breaker.

  35. I’m just going to say that it’s ok to love your father. It’s not your fault these things happened and there’s nothing you could’ve done to stop it. There are a lot of people who’ve done bad things who were loved by their families. There are literal serial killers who’ve had families and lived normal lives up until being discovered. It doesn’t change the experience you had, it just shows there a see more sides to a man than one could imagine. Just take a step back, support your mother when possible and just let things take their course.

  36. So… uh… for once my personal experience may directly help someone on reddit.

    My dad was accused of molesting my older half-sister when I was in my mid teens, and it allegedly happened ~10 years before the accusations came out. It was probably the hardest thing I had to go through in my life. I didn’t know what happened all those years earlier and I was in the middle between two sides of my nuclear family. It was a he-said and I’ll never know what the full truth of the matter is.

    Something I’ll suggest right away is that you start therapy. You’re lucky that you’re older when this occurred so you’re probably better equipped to deal with it, but this is a major trauma and the sooner you talk through it with a therapist, the better. It’s not a sign of weakness – especially when it’s something of this magnitude.

    It sounds like you have a good relationship with your mother. Don’t try to fix things – you really can’t. Just call her or spend time with her when you can. That’s about all you can do, and it’s not the bare minimum. There’s really nothing else you can provide that will make things better.

    The last thing is for you to decide how to deal with your father. At the very least, you need to wait until the evidence comes out during the trial to judge for yourself. All you can do is hope for closure from that and decide from there whether or not you want to keep a relationship with him.

    I guess the overarching message is to not think you can somehow “fix” anything in this situation. This is not trivial and there’s not a solution to any of this. All you can really do is the things I mentioned above. I wish the best for you.

  37. In my opinion, you should support him as a father, and keep the things seperate until anything is proven etc.

    And in your situation, I would probably always love him as a father, if he was a great father to you, but still condemn his actions, if they are true. A truly sad situation, but I hope you will get through this

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