Missing Signs of Sexual Abuse

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This is a very difficult subject to write about, one I didn’t know if I would ever have the courage to write. It is so deeply personal.  

*** Trigger Warning ***

As many of you know, I was sexually molested my both my father and brother separately. Looking back, there were signs that I was being abused, but no one saw them, or if they did, they didn’t say anything. I want to talk about those signs now.

I just found out from my brother that he tried to tell our mother that his babysitters were doing things to him when he was young, but that our mom either couldn’t or wouldn’t take it in and see it. She couldn’t handle it and therefore did nothing about it. Hearing this hurt my heart on many different levels. I feel for my brother and what he must have went through and felt. But then again, I am a tad pissed off! Had my mother listened, put a stop to it and gotten my brother help, is it possible he never would have hurt me? Obviously, I will never have an answer to that but it makes me wonder – how much pain could have been saved?

My neighbor witnessed a clear sign but I guess it wasn’t clear to her, nor clear to my mother. I was about 7 years old and friends with the girl next door. We were in her front yard playing a game of “do what I do”. I don’t remember who came up with the game, but I have a feeling it must have been me. So I would touch somewhere on my body, and she would then do the same on hers. An arm, a leg, a nose – innocent, right? Well, it was until I touched between my legs. Her mother came running out the front door screaming at me, yelling to not teach her daughter such dirty things. Did she ever think for even a second why I did that? Was I just automatically a bad girl or had someone taught me that? She sent me home and and told me I’d better tell my mom what happened. I talked to my mom about it before the neighbor could and I lied of course and said that it wasn’t part of the game, that I just had an itch there and needed to scratch it, and my mom believed me. I don’t know if the neighbor ever talked to my mom about it but there was a huge sign of sexual abuse that slapped both of these two women in the face and neither thought anything weird about it.

I get the neighbor – incest wasn’t talked about back then. But my mom? Did she never consider why I never wanted to be left alone with my brother or father? If my brother when he was younger tried to bring his abuse to her attention and she ignored it, was she just ignoring the signs she was getting from me? She stayed with my dad after all, after I told on him. I guess, especially these days, there is a fine line.  We don’t want to misinterpret signs that aren’t even there. But some signs we need to take seriously. I was overly aware of my  “privates” by the age of 4 – that’s not normally.

My mother was a weak and insecure women, maybe she just didn’t think she could make it on her own, especially with all of us kids. Her parents were verbally and physically abusive, so maybe she just couldn’t allow herself to see that her own children were also being abused. Whatever it was, signs were missed and I got hurt that much longer.

I guess I don’t know what I am trying to say here except that if you see an in-your-face sign, don’t falsely accuse but inquire – ask questions – don’t let it pass you by.

 

(Image taken from Google Images)

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43 thoughts on “Missing Signs of Sexual Abuse

  1. Reading your blog gave me the permission to begin “My Story” on my blog. Thank you! Prior to reading yours I simply wrote poetry, on my blog, based on my abusive family. The signs were obvious with me. I used to beg my adoptive mom not to leave me alone with her bio son. He used to sneak into my bedroom and as he crept out she would see him and not ask any questions….I had bruises all over me and she chose not to notice….

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    1. Wow, such strength it takes to begin to tell your story – I am so very proud of you sweetness! I truly feel that everything comes in its own time and I hope you find healing in being able to open up your soul and let out parts of yourself held so tightly inside. For me, I started finding release and the relief. I am wrapping you in gentle and kind hugs as you begin this journey! ❤

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  2. I am new to your blog, but I am just wondering if your mother had started to figure things out and she believed you, would you be able to forgive her for missing it until then? I am on the other side of this as I found out that my son was abusing my daughter for almost two years. I am dealing with unimaginable guilt as to how I missed it. My daughter is still fairly young and she doesn’t seem to fully understand the gravity of it all yet, but I fear that one day she will hate me for not stopping it sooner. Do you have any words of advice for me? All the emotions from this situation seem completely overwhelming at times, but I feel like I have to be strong for my little girl. I have read so many blogs in which the survivor has utter hatred for her mother. With all my daughter has been through, I desperately want to support her and guide her, but I feel so broken as well.

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    1. I am sorry you are having to go through this. It’s such a tough thing and it’s hard to feel understood.

      I had never blamed my mom for what happened to me and for missing it. I have some semi-angry thoughts now though, now that I know my brother tried to tell her about things that happened to him and she dismissed it. The problem is, I don’t know where the truth actually lies. I am not sure if what my brother has stated is true. I guess now, all these years later, I have to wonder if my mom could have stopped what happened to me. If she truly didn’t know, then I can never be angry with her. But I understand how easy it would be for children to blame the parent for not knowing. I never did that but I know some victims who have.

      Here’s the thing – if you believe and truly support your daughter, I don’t think that she could ever hate you for what happened to her. My anger with my mom is that she didn’t truly support me (notice I am angry and not hateful). She stayed with my father after I told on him and then later in life I became aware of other ways she wasn’t supporting me. For me, I feel like when I spoke up about the incest, I upset her “life” or at least what she had wanted it to be. But I have also recently realized that my mother is in many ways weak, and she also suffered an abusive childhood. It is by understanding that I have come through all this. Perhaps with her childhood, she just couldn’t see what was going on with her own children. Perhaps she just didn’t have the mental capacity to accept it. I can’t really blame her – she got through it and handled it the only way she knew how.

      With your daughter, just be there for her, try to understand her, and give her your full support. I don’t know how old she so it’s hard to give too much advice. It will be hard because you have to be there for and support you son as well, just in different ways. Just make sure your daughter knows it wasn’t her fault and that you are there for her always. That will go a long ways. All my love, support and encouragement for you my dear. I am keeping you in my thoughts and am here if you ever need an understanding friend or even if you just need to vent. 🙂

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      1. Thank you for replying back to me. I have just started blogging about this whole experience and I have read quite a few blogs from survivors. So often it seems that there can be a lot of anger towards the survivor’s mom. I look back now and I can see how I missed things. The guilt tears me up inside. I guess I just expect that one day my daughter will look at me and shake her head in disgust wondering why I didn’t stop it earlier. I wouldn’t blame her. I know that I can’t focus on the past, so I am just trying to do right by my family now. I have learned that it can be a day by day moment by moment battle. I am so encouraged to come across your blog and here your perspective. Thank you for sharing something that is so painful. You are definitely helping me, and I’m sure you are helping others as well.

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      2. I am so sorry it took me a while to get back to this. We just moved to a new state and it has been was a cray life there. for a bit. My heart is so with you. I think we all do the best we can do with what we have inside of us; the rest we just have to work at and hope for the best. I hope you keep writing!

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  3. This must have been very difficult to write — how brave of you to put it out there! Thank you for sharing your story. It’s life changing…for you, and for any child out there who’s being hurt. Blessings.

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  4. Really tough childhood. I was a child protection social worker. After being qualified a year i got the parents from hell. They got a new social worker each year due to their expert emotional abuse. Dad would hint that something was not right about his children living with his parents. But he also refused for them to go elsewhere. Eldest girl was cheerful and talked about how they were fed properly etc at grandma’s. Other was bit quieter then became naughty at school just normal challenging behaviour. This family had support services and then social workers involved for 16yrs.
    In all that time children had talked by themselves to people they knew. Yet. Five years later I talked to a care worker who was involved for years. They like their father had been systematically sexually abused all through. I have read and thought a lot about how we missed it. But saw only the two things I stated above.

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    1. I think there are many reasons that signs are missed, especially when the abused is so good at hiding the pain. It terrible all the way around and I can only imagine the things you have seen in your career. It takes strength to deal with all that. HUGS ot you!

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  5. Sadly I had a lot of female friends, girls I coached and 2 I dated that were abused. Very similar stories. One that I dated the longest of the 2 was abused by her mother’s husband and his whole family. Her mother was very unattractive and my ex had said she had been abused as a kid herself and never got over it, yet she could not see the signs. She was abused for 6 years from 6-12. The stepfather spent a ton of time with her and he supposedly was never with her mom during that time and things that he said to her were disgusting. She stopped it herself as he tried to abuse her little sister and she beat him up and called the police. He admitted it in court and got 2 years on the weekend in a mental facility. Very odd situation.

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      1. I held back a bit as I mentioned my stalking. In light of them digging for stupid writings this is OK. I have hard and spoke to learned parents also. I actually can’t imagine a man or a woman being predators. We are close to age you and I and perhaps I am just different in that I do not look to conquer or tech, rather share and connect. I have not in a good while and I am fine with that but if I saw something I would say something. I just hate a victim being blamed for anything.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Victims being blamed is so sad. And it does happen. I often wonder if my mom blames me because I told and in doing so upset her life.

        What did you mean by that I conquer and tech? I actually see myself as you said – sharing and connecting.

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      3. It was a typo. I was writing a post at the same time and what I sent you got messed up. I did say I have someone here stalking me so I have been keeping posts and comments away from vertain subjects. But in her case her mom not only blamed her but then said her, at the time 6 and later 12, was trying to steal her man. Her mother kept repeating that for a good 15 years after.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this. Huge hugs and thank you for raising awareness. As the mother of 2 girls and there being a history of sexual abuse within my family I have always been so very aware.

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      1. I understand completely. I was married to an addict for many years. My main reason for starting a blog was to tell the story. It took me two years to find the courage to write about the lifestyle. It wasn’t easy, but I felt much better putting it in words, and the outpouring of support and encouragement made it somewhat easier. God bless you. You have began the healing process!

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  7. You might want to research MKUltra programming. I’ve met quite a few who have been through similar experiences at home. These are often found to be in MK/Monarch families.
    Usually the abuse happens at such a young age that the memories are suppressed, but the feelings and emotions are still there, like when you were playing the game with the girl next door.
    Monarch families will play down the emotions in later years and may even lose a bit of their own sanity in the process. There is much bi-polar and dysfunction in these homes.
    If this sounds like what you are feeling you might want to do a little research and it might help you sort a bit of this out. Just knowing where this comes from is part of the process of healing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If you want a more complete rundown from the start, try Cathy O’brien. There are many good documentaries of hers on YouTube.

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  8. It’s hard to think of anyone hurting your child and nothing being done about it. Obvious signs should be seen. I would hope it wasn’t herself being repeated over again. Defective thinking and self preservation are a bad couple. Expressing yourself is definitely helping others. It also shows you are strong person that overcame a bad start.

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  9. I guess sometimes people get caught up in their own life crap- even our parents. There are far too many of us that go through this kind of abuse. The best thing you have done is posted this. It may inspire someone else to speak up xx

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