Originally Posted by oceanbaby
A little off topic, but I can I ask why you didn't tell her? I am very curious about this. It's a big discussion dh and I after reading the Gift of Fear. He talks about having the kind of relationship with your child that lets your child feel safe telling you the truth, but we were both still so afraid that our children wouldn't tell us.
I'd been abused before - by my grandfather (brain damaged). It started at about age three, and went on until my brother spent the night the same weekend that we did, and told my mom how weird my grandma acted (sleeping on the floor at the edge of the living room while we slept in
the living room, for example). Mom found out what was going on, and that was the end of it.
We talked about it as a family, but unfortunately, there wasn't as much knowledge about the ramifications of this kind of thing back then. Mom totally understood that we'd been abused and traumatized...what she didn't understand was that my grandmother's constant refrain of "don't tell your mom - she won't let you come over here anymore" and "it's not his fault" had done serious damage to my self-image on the subject. I believed it was my fault, and I was set-up by that to be victimized again. These predators absolutely do
identify kids who have already been victimized, because they know they're already conditioned to keep their mouths shut and blame themselves.
I didn't tell mom about the janitor because grandma had me completely convinced that being sexually abused was something I brought on myself. The janitor, like my grandmother, bought me off with candy...since I accepted the candy, I was accepting what he did - right? How could I, as a self-conscious, pubescent 11/12 year old tell my mom that I was letting a 50+ year old man grope me for candy? (He also used to let me occasionally get the candy without touching me, so I could convince myself that this
time I was going to get past him again.)
My mom and I have a good relationship and we discuss just about everything now...but my self-hatred on this subject was too intense to discuss it rationally.
I finally told mom about it when I was about 23 or 24, when we were having a family discussion about the ramifications of what grandpa and grandma had done to me, my sister and my cousins.
Someone on here mentioned that they've known many girls who've been abused, and someone also said, "who's abusing all my friends?". Almost all of my friends - male and female - growing up were kids who had been sexually abused. I've made friends since who weren't. Almost all of my friends growing up - male and female - were the children of alcoholics. I've made friends since who weren't. If you'd asked me at age 21 what percentage of people were abused, I'd have guessed an awfully high number, as those were the people I was drawn to. I really do believe there's a certain kind of damage to the psyche from this kind of thing that attracts us to others who have been on the receiving end of it.
In addition to that factor...there really don't have to be that
many men (or women) doing this kind of thing to victimize a lot of kids. How many girls did that janitor molest over the years? My grandfather only molested four...he only had access to four of us after the brain damage occurred. The preschool teacher a previous poster mentioned had 29 known
victims. Also, one child will be molested multiple times, by multiple people - while another child is never touched at all. I'm sure my friend, who was raped by her step-father, her brother, an uncle, two cousins and a couple of boyfriends would have trouble believing that there really are men out there who don't do that. But, her perceptions are just as skewed by her experience as the people who still act as though this doesn't happen at all.