It’s absolutely amazing how many people think that incest could never happen in their family. Yet, for every one who says that, there’s one who can tell them otherwise. But the reality is none of us, mothers included, could handle or accept the idea that their husband, the men they married and committed themselves to for life, could actually sexually abuse the child whom they together created. The thought is so odious, so even if they suspect, they close their minds to the possibility. Avoidance is easier than acceptance.
I’m not sure if my own mother ever suspected anything. Could she have been that dumb, given my father hardly ever had sex with her over all the years he was abusing me … 11 years. She knew he wasn’t having affairs. He was only ever at work in a factory or at home, watching TV in the evenings and encouraging her to go take a nap so he could have his way with me. I mean, really, does it make any sense she never suspected what was going on? But here’s the thing: even if she did, she too was one of his victims: she was scared to death of him. Since the early days of her pregnancy, he’d been abusive. At one point, as she told me years later, he kicked her repeatedly in her swollen belly while she lay in pain on the floor of their bedroom just because she had refused to kiss his little finger when he commanded her to. Megalomaniac! Yes, he was all about power and he powered over both of us so he could live with his own shortcomings and insecurities. It was his way of controlling his own life which somewhere along the way had gone out of control. At least that’s how I see it today.
Still, as a mother myself, I cannot quite grasp how a mother could let such a thing go on if she knew. I love my husband very much. We have a great relationship and two wonderful daughters. But I told him the other day as we discussed this very thing, that if I ever saw him touching them in any way, he’d be toast. Of course, he never has, and never would, and he deplores what he knows of my past. It is he who encourages me, along with my girls, to speak out now. He hopes, as I do, by my doing so, I can encourage some other mother who suspects something is going on between her child and her spouse to confront him and rescue that child before she ends up like me: holding in her dirty secret, wearing her shame and guilt like armour and blaming herself for something that wasn’t her fault … ever!
I mentioned in my last post how doing this has put me in touch with some amazing women, victim/survivors who are taking all the negatives in their lives and turning it into a positive for themselves and others by speaking out and coming out from under. One of these ladies is Patricia A. McKnight of Survivor’s Justice. I came across Patricia a couple of days back after reading her hard hitting poem, “Where is God to attack this Devil?” Patricia spares no-one’s sensitivities in her poem. She tells it like it was and it’s brutally honest. She shocks but it’s all good. It’s necessary, and those who have commented applaud her as I do. I then followed up on her, researched her and found her videos on YouTube. She too cannot get over the fact that her mother knew what was happening and did nothing to help her. I understand her pain and now, her mission, to help save other children by getting them to speak up. There must be someone who can help if their own mothers can’t, for whatever reason.
Patricia has a radio show, runs various websites and is behind the very important site, Dreamcatchers for Abused Children. I hope you’ll check it out and tell others about it too.
If you have time, and care, watch one of Patricia’s videos which I have posted below. Listen to her message. She’s also written a book that has received 5-star ratings. She has “come out from under”. You can too.