I think it's easier for me to see where people are coming from with this - what also seemed to me - extreme reluctance to guide your children through uncomfortable situations.
My mom was a classic hippy from the 1960s. We had all the freedom we wanted and more. And my dad was the kindest of men. Absolutely no infringement of personal boundaries in our household.
Until I was about 11. Then I was so completely out of control that my life sort of fell apart. I had the judgment of a child and the body of a young woman. True to the pattern of my upbringing, there was no one whom I entrusted to oversee my choices or veto my bad decisions. Sure, I loved my parents and continued to be close to them, but I had long since been accustomed to having the ultimate say in exactly what I did. In that way, they were not 'parents' in the classic sense of the word. The dangerous and reckless behaviors of youth looked pretty appealing to me, and I was easy prey for people who didn't care one whit about what was damaging to me.
So that's the other end of that extreme.
On a completely separate note, I can easily understand the horror of a young child being compelled to submit to physical affection against their will. In that case, the emotional injury has a lot to do with the fact that both child and parent KNOW that the action is soley in the interest of the parent. They both recognize that the parent is sacrificing the child's sense of trust and safety in order to appease his/her own pathological sexual or emotional need.
Very injurious indeed.
But that's very different than caring for your son's needs, Kristi. You're not molesting your son. You're helping him to feel clean and responsible. You're caring for his skin and his health and the integrity of the home that he and you and the rest of the family lives in. Believe me, he knows the difference.
The story about your mom pretending to cuddle so she could trick you into getting the lesion picked off your neck made a big impression on me. I'm absolutely unflagging in maintaining my daughter's trust, and I completely understand why this was so distressful for you.
I think it's scary for kids when they experience anger and resistence, especially when it's directed at their parents. Their little childish emotions just aren't mature enough to gauge when and what responses are appropriate to the situation - when they help, and when they HURT. That's your job, mom. When kiddo starts to react as though you changing his diaper is some sort of real trauma, that's when you help him to redefine the situation. That's when you emphasize that this is an appropriate time for TRUST. You help him to see and respond to situations in ways which are helpful rather than hurtful for him.
I hope that makes sense. I can see better where you're coming from now, and I'm hopeful that I can better show you what it is that I'm trying to convey.