I’m so sorry that this happened to you and I’m glad that you wrote in asking for help. You have every right to be angry about what happened because it was wrong and it was not your fault. It doesn’t matter if you are blood related or not, an adult sexually abusing a child (or teen) in any way is both morally wrong and illegal and it’s not too late to tell someone about it. You can start by telling your mom, but if that is too personal or you fear she won’t believe you, you can tell someone else first, such as a teacher or your minister. But you can also call the police or child protective services directly so that they can investigate. I’m not sure what the statute of limitations is for prosecuting a case like this in your state, but even if it’s not prosecuted, turning him in sends a strong message and might prevent him from abusing someone else.
It is your life and your experience so it is ultimately up to you to decide what to do with the information, but I really hope you will consider seeing a professional counselor either way. The symptoms you are describing are most likely related to the abuse and it’s hard to work through it on your own. Having a trained guide can be enormously helpful in the healing process, even if that person is the only one you ever choose to confide in.
You also have every right to refuse to be around him. It does not matter if he goes to church now and reports to be a “changed man.” He violated you and now that you are older you have more choice in staying away from him. You also don’t have to pretend or lie anymore. Speaking the truth can be difficult, but also quite liberating. You can still be a doctor or anything else you want to be. Don’t give up on your dreams!
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts