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.
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?