HPF Heroes – Tonya


Hi my name is Tonya, and I am a very proud mum of a very brave young man who was sexually assaulted by someone he trusted. This story isn’t about my son, but is about me and how it feels being a parent of a child that has been violated by someone.

Anyway, the day Tristan told me I was just about ready to leave to go to my brother’s wedding. Everyone was waiting for me in the car and Tristan was late. I was waiting for him to turn up to come to the wedding with us. I stopped in the hallway to straighten myself up a bit and my phone rang, it was Tristan. I answered and sternly I said to him where the hell are you! We are waiting for you! I was a bit mad. There was silence on the other end of the phone and a scared voice said to me MUM @#$%^ sexually assaulted me. I remember a horrible feeling I got all over. I didn’t know what to say, I can’t quite remember exactly what I said to him, but I was so thankful he had the courage to tell me. Luckily he was with his youth group leader at the time. After a short conversation with Tristan I walked out to the car. I was thinking how am I going to get through this wedding today. I can’t tell anyone, I don’t want to ruin the day for the rest of the family. I said Tristan wasn’t feeling very well so he wasn’t able to attend.

The drive to the wedding was a blur. So many thoughts going through my mind. Perhaps if I just forget about it, it might go away and I won’t have to think about it. I can understand now why some people might do that, just sweep it under the rug and not mention it again. That time it looked like the easiest option to me, then I don’t have to deal with it. I just won’t tell anyone and it will go away. So when I hear about people who brush things like this under the rug, I can kind of understand why they do that. That thought didn’t last very long however. The next thing I felt was how much of a useless parent I was, letting this happen to my kid. This is something I still feel from time to time. We as parents are supposed to protect our children and I had failed big time in that department. I also felt very very ashamed of myself and that I would look really bad to other people and be judged by others regarding my parenting skills. The big thing I am dealing with now is anger and hate.

I actually want to kill this person. I even made a plan on how I was going to do it then turn myself in to the police afterwards. But I have to keep reminding myself my son has already been hurt enough by this person and to have his mum put away would hurt him more. I could write forever about my feelings and thoughts , I have never talked to another parent about what they are thinking so someone might get a bit of peace knowing that some other parent feels the same as them.

I am very lucky to have a great bunch of kids, I am proud of them all! Tristan is my hero. He stood up to his abuser in court and I am so proud of him. In my eyes he won that case, he stood up for himself, he could have self-destructed but he didn’t, though I think it came close a few times. He is a strong man now and I can take credit for some of that, not once did I ever doubt him. I have always said to my kids “ shit happens to us sometimes, and has ruined a bit of your life but it is up to you if you let it ruin tomorrow or the rest of your life.”

I really think Tristan has taken this idea on-board. He has a lot of healing to do and seeing Rhett and having him help him get started with that healing process also helps me as a mum deal with my issues. I still feel all those emotions sometimes in one day. I still want to kill this man I will never forgive him for what he has taken from my family. I look at Tristan’s baby photos and kid photos and I cry because that man took my little boy from me, but I now have a strong man in my life that I am so proud of. I am thankful for that. Thank-you Rhett and your family for your help, the the last few years it’s been amazing knowing that there has been someone to talk to when needed. Please, if there are any parents out there that need to talk about your feelings please contact Rhett and get my details from him. I feel the mums and dads get a bit forgotten in this at times, we need to stay strong for our kids and always believe them it is so important that our kids feel they are safe to tell you things.

We can’t protect them all the time but we can make sure they know that we are always there when they need us even when they have done wrong. Advice to anyone who harms a kid look out for the mother!!!!! They will be worse to deal with than the police… believe me on that one…

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