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.”