Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I have been reading your articles over the months and wanted to ask you a question. I was abused as a child. I didn't tell my mother until recently and she got angry. We haven't talked about it since, and I feel so sad. How do I bring it up again?

Hello Writer,

First of all, I want to tell you that I am proud of you for gathering the strength to tell your mother about what happened to you when you were younger! I can only imagine how much courage it took to do this. I am sad, however, to hear about your mother's reaction. Rest assured that her response is not unique, as many parents disbelieve their children when they tell of the sexual abuse they endured. Although you cannot control or dictate her reaction/ response, you can take control of how you embark on your journey of emotional healing. Research has shown that a parent’s negative reaction to the disclosure of sexual abuse can derail the healing process. That is why I want to encourage you to focus solely on YOU at this at this time. Find support groups in your area comprised of others who understand what you are going through. Moreover, find a therapist who specializes in issues related to sexual abuse to help you along the way. It’s really important that you surround yourself with a circle of people you are sensitive and supportive of your range of emotions. To answer your question…broach the discussion again with your mother when you feel strong enough to do so knowing that she may or may not be supportive, and when you begin to find it healing to speak openly about your abuse.


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