My sister A and I accused my father of sexual abuse in the 1990s. My mom and my other 2 siblings (B, C) argued and bullied A and me for years to take back our accusations. My father said “I don’t remember” and took a passive role and soon after developed dementia. I remained in touch with my parents and siblings and shut them down when they tried to speak of the past by saying “I am done arguing, I refuse to keep dredging up the past to talk about it.” My dad died in 2005.

In 2013, my mom made it her goal again to get my sister and me to ‘take back our accusations to preserve my father’s honor and to end her suffering’ stating “her daughters had ruined her life and my dad’s life with our accusations”. To appease my mom and get B and C off my back I said ‘I am sorry for everything I said, I wish I would never have said it”. I had to do that continuously for 3 years and then they accepted it as an apology and I was “forgiven”. I deliberately tricked them because although I was truly regretful I had brought forth accusations because all it did was cause pain and family demise, I still stand by my accusations and lead them to believe I now believed nothing happened. this left A as the true scapegoat and at the time of my mom’s death this year, B and C were viciously attacking of A. They contacted A via email and said on my mom’s death bed she needed an apology to die in peace. A said “tell mom my memories could very well be wrong and I am sorry for all the pain I caused her and our family and I respectfully ask that none of you ever contact me again.”

I feel horrible and guilty for leaving my sister to take the brunt of the pain here. She now no longer wants a relationship with me, rightly so. I would not go back and change what I said because it did bring me peace for those final years of my mom’s life. I encouraged A to say the same thing to get them all off her back but she remained in integrity and would not join me. Now my mom is dead. B still refuses to communicate with me. C and I are in touch and he said his son will be inviting me to his wedding in Sept 2021. and he is renting a house and wonders if I want to stay there with him and B. A is not invited.

I want to go to see my family but I think I first clear up my lie to C. I have a false relationship with him. I used to excuse my lie because it was for the purpose of making mom feel more peaceful her last years of her life. How do I bring this up with C? It is not like we are in touch much. A text here and there to figure out the details of my mom’s estate, etc. We had a family to family Zoom call at the holidays. How do I now go back and bring this up again? We live on opposite sides of the country so it is not like I can talk to him face to face. I don’t have courage to talk on the phone. but an email is pathetic too. Oh the lies have got me in a deep hole. Not sure how to make amends. any help would be appreciated.

C: I tell C the full truth
T: C will condemn me and tell me once again that I am pathetic
F: misunderstood
A: buffer. hate myself more than I already do. stop being in touch with C as I could not face him or my family ever again
R: Have no family ties

C: Tell C the truth
T: C will understand me and forgive me
F: self-respecting

C: Tell C the truth
T: C will never be open to explore the possibility of abuse in our family and will rage at me
F: Anger
A: I will lose the feeling of peace I have found around my relationship with C
R: cut off again from family