Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day message, Author Serge Melki (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for abuse victims.  Mothers may have been the non-offending parent in our lives – the parent who provided us some measure of solace, but ultimately failed to rescue us from abuse.  Or they may have been the parent who tormented us.

Either way, our grief on Mother’s Day can be palpable.  No relationship is more important than that with our mothers.  But unresolved emotions may, also, swirl:  confusion, love, anger, rejection, emptiness, resignation, empathy.

Self-recrimination has no place among these.  No child in an abusive situation is equipped to ask why.  Evil is the all-pervasive environment in which such children are raised.

Though entirely innocent of their abuse, children are engineered to blame themselves for it.  That misguided sense of responsibility often extends far into adulthood.

Even when questions are asked in later years, non-offending parents can rarely supply their adult children with satisfactory responses:

  • “I did not know that my child was being molested/beaten/burned/starved/locked in the closet/berated/ignored.”
  • “I was young, and did not know how to cope.”
  • “I was abused and powerless, myself.”
  • “I had no way to support myself and the children, if I left him.”
  • “I blamed my child for the abuse, but I know better now.”
  • “I thought my child would forget.”

Far less so, abusive parents:

  • “The abuse never happened.  It was only a dream.”
  • “The abuse never happened.  The child is sick and perverted to have come up with it.”
  • “I could not help myself.”
  • “The child deserved to be punished.  S/he provoked me.”
  • “The child wanted sex.  You could see it from the way s/he acted.”

The lies parents in dysfunctional families tell themselves, the rationalizations they construct to avoid confronting the abuse, contribute to the scars their children bear.  No adult is as defenseless as a child.  Nothing excuses abuse.

That some of those children can speak eloquently as adults about the abuse to which they were so cruelly subjected is astounding.  That many go on to become better parents than their own parents were is nothing short of miraculous.

With thanks to Marie Williams whose poignant essay “Missing You” inspired this post

Readers are encouraged to visit Marie’s blog Come Fly with Me at




Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

20 responses to “Mother’s Day

  1. A lovely reminder, Mother’s Day isn’t celebrated in every home. My heart also breaks for newborns who already have drug addictions, courtesy of mom. So sad…all children deserve love and kindness.

  2. lynettedavis

    Reblogged this on The Broken Vessel.

  3. Dearest Anna, I take back what I said about it being a coincidence on my post: ‘Missing You’. I see clearly now that it was the Lord at work, some might even call it synchronicity too. That you could have delivered such a beautiful and timely post to encourage and lift those in need of understanding and compassion in such a short time is testament to the Grace of God at work in our lives.

    When I wrote that post, I had no idea what to write. I stared at my blank screen unable to formulate sensible thoughts or ideas. I was just about to abandon it when something prompted me to just start typing and when I finished, I could not believe that I had written that. Then your comment about it being a ‘tribute to Mother’s Day’ blew me away, especially as I had originally entitled the piece ‘Mother’. Oceans separate us, but God does not allow that to interfere with His work in connecting souls to allow them to spread the message that He knows and cares.

    Thank you for the kind mention and I hope you are richly blessed this Mother’s Day, along with mothers everywhere.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. Thank you Anna for your Love and Compassion for those who have been damaged.

    Mothers Day, yes it brings back memories, first of my 7 Children in Heaven and than my three Mothers, some good, some very bad.

    I believe my Mothers had been abused if not physically than emotionally and so they abused not being able to resolve their own internal trauma. I wish I could tell them I forgive them and that I understand, I can only Hope instead that they came to heart repentance before they died even if on their death beds.

    Christian Love Always -Anne.

    • You have such a kind heart, Anne. I think that God reaches out to tortured souls, in ways we cannot know. You may yet be reunited with your mothers in heaven. I am certain you will meet your children there, and be able to spend a joyful eternity with them in God’s holy presence.

      Have a Happy Mother’s Day!

      With love,

      Anna ❤

  5. For me Anna, Mothers Day always brings a measure of guilt. When my mother rejected me and refused to speak with me for nine long years,I’m afraid I didn’t handle that very well.

    I was never close to her after that,even though we made amends to a point. To this day I wish I could change many things about our relationship,yet what caused the division was my acceptance of Christ. I would never change that,regardless the cost.

    Happy Mothers Day Anna.

    • Thank you for having the courage to share this painful memory, Ron. A great many abuse victims experience rejection by family members, often when their abuse is disclosed. That can be enormously difficult to bear.

      Christians are urged, insofar as possible, to be at peace with others (Rom. 12: 18). But relationships are a two-way street. The Gospel, itself, can be divisive.

      I know how precious your faith is to you, and how much of a consolation. One day you will be rewarded, my friend. Regrets will be forgotten, and tears wiped away.

  6. Your offerings, so wise and dignified, never cease to amaze me…thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Great post Anna,
    As I read about childhood disasters, I am thankful for those who reach out with hope.. and you encourage forgiveness, the first step to healing our wounds..
    God Bless you..

  8. Very important post Anna. I really try to be very conscious of this fact.

  9. Very happy Mother’s Day my dear

  10. “Though entirely innocent of their abuse, children are engineered to blame themselves for it. That misguided sense of responsibility often extends far into adulthood”…. Such a true statement…. The worst thing is having to assume responsibilities for other´s faults and abusive behaviour…. Childhood should be mostly carefree, a happy time. And yet…
    Thanks for raising awareness on this important subject, dear Anna… Love & best wishes to you 😉

    • You are always so kind, Aquileana. ❤ Yes, children are naturally egocentric. Child psychologist, Jean Piaget said that a child assumes "other people see, hear, and feel exactly the same as the child does."

      A realization that children cannot survive on their own is at the heart of this sense of responsibility for what goes on around them. The thought that the adults charged with caring for a child might not be willing to do that is overwhelming…easier for children to believe that they, themselves, are somehow at fault.

      As adults, abuse victims often retain that sense of fault. But victims can grow beyond that. In reality, we now have the power to care for ourselves.

      With love,


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