I’m sure many of you have seen this article floating around. I’ve even linked to it on the Facebook page, but I wanted to make sure everyone saw it here too.
What We Wish Our Parents Understood About Our Sexual Abuse
In it, many survivors share how their parents reacted to finding out their children had been sexually abused, and how they wish they had done so differently. As I read it a couple of things stood out to me. One was that so many of these kids had no actual grown ups in their lives. Their parents couldn’t deal with what happened, and either ignored it, or forced the children to figure out how to cope with it on their own. To me this just proves that even in situations where it’s not a parent who was sexually abusing a child, their lack of parenting certainly made targets of their kids. They hold some responsibility for raising kids who were vulnerable to being abused, and unable to start healing early because of the lack of support from their parents.
The second thing was that so many of the things your kids need when you find out they’ve been abused are the same things that adult survivors need as well. We need to be believed, we need to feel safe, we need to know that we are worthy of protection, and we need to be heard. All of those things are a big part of healing, no matter how old we are now. If you have a loved one of any age, who is trying to heal from sexual abuse, these are good things to remember, and you should definitely read the whole thing!