A: I’m so sorry that you have been through all of this, but I am proud of you for admitting and acknowledging that you were abused. That is the first step to getting better. However, due to the severity and complexity of the abuse, I would really suggest that you see a mental health professional for ongoing counseling. Find someone who specializes in sexual abuse and trauma. The issues you are listing here are too serious to just be addressed in an advice column, and you have been hurting too long.
It’s hard to say whether or not the vibe you are getting about your husband is because he and your sister have done something inappropriate or just that her behavior coupled with his knowledge of how she has treated you makes him uncomfortable. This could help explain why he left the room and why he might act strangely when she is around. It’s hard to be around people who have harmed someone you love, but it is also difficult to know how to handle it when the person isn’t going away (family). Because of this and your trust issues with your husband, in addition to individual or group counseling to help you heal from your abuse, I would suggest that you and your husband get involved in couple’s therapy as well. It provides a safe format to address your concerns with him, but it could also help him learn how to better support you and what you’ve been through.
It sounds like you still spend time, at least occasionally, with members of your family who have harmed you. That’s fine and lots of people do that, but it can sometimes be helpful to take a break from contact while you are working through things and healing. Furthermore, I have worked with some clients who have made the very difficult decision to never associate with family members who have abused them. In the end, you need to do what is right for you. But please don’t believe any of the negative things your father, sisters and rapist have said to you for one minute longer. It is time to reclaim your power and reclaim your life.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts