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 https://mariewilliams53.wordpress.com
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com