Whos worse? The preditor that abuses or the the parent who disregards that it ever happened

I have an enormous hate for my abuser, however I have an even bigger anger towards my own mother. My abuser was her ex husband, and it has been pointed out to me that I seem to hold my mother more accountable for not protecting me than my abuser for actually abusing me. Now I have physically assaulted my abuser years later after he used me for his own pleasure. So maybe that does help take the edge off of his actions towards me a bit. however, still to this day my own mother will not/does not believe that I was physically assulted by this man, and because of this I have never been able to bring myself to tell her the sexual piece or how violent he was about using me. I want to forgive her so badly for not being there to protect me, but the fact that she doesn't believe me in absolutely infuriating..
 

Iowaguy

New Registrant
I am so sorry that your mother doesn't believe you. I was purposefully burned by my uncle with a cigarette and my aunt didn't believe it was on purpose. It caused a family rift with my folks knowing it was on purpose and my aunt believing it was accidental. There is nothing worse, in my opinion, than being abused and then not believed. This is just me, but I hope you are able to tell your mother everything when you feel strong enough. My aunt has since passed, and I regret not having a conversation about what really happened.
 
You are right to be hurt and angry about it all happening to you and not being protected from it by her.

Your mom is probably "coping" with all her own issues around that marriage and probably a lot of other stuff too with denial. Maybe, for her to begin to acknowledge your pain & suffering it would trigger a tsunami of her to have to acknowledge all of her own hurts, faults & failures that she isn't ready to deal with yet? If he was beating her in front of you, I would imagine that she has a lot of stuff she's suffering with too.

I don't know if these thoughts can help take of the pressure off for you;

For her to put herself & you through that and stay for however long... She probably had a pretty low self worth to begin with, or maybe was "attracted" to such a guy because that is all she knew (possible history of abuse) and expected for herself? Once in the toxic abusive marriage, fear and maybe even a bit of the Stockholm syndrome came into play. Certainly sounds like you were both victims. Has she since acknowledged the violence in that marriage to even herself, or is she locked down from even mentioning it?
 

KMCINVA

Staff member
I believe any parent or sibling that allows the child/sibling to abuse, be it sexual or physical abuse, emotional or verbal attacks have issues. As George said the parent/sibling is trying to cope with their own issues and truths by living in denial or fear of realizing they are not the perfect parent/child/sibling or they came from a family with issues, as all families have issues.

The question who do I blame, first the abuser is responsible for their actions. However, complicity by denial from others serves to protect the abuser and empower the abuse to control. Both carry blame and sadly, both are victims o their toxic environment and denials of abuses they lived or witnessed in their lives. Was your ex a victim or your mother a victim (emotional or phsyical or a sense of abandonment in her own life?). Your mother cannot accept the reality of your abuse--why because it would shatter her world and force her to face her own truths. Is she suffering, maybe in silence. It is like when I first uttered the words I was sexually abused I felt relief and then the flood gates opened of flashbacks, fear, denials, trying to rebury what I admitted. Maybe your mother feels if she admits her pain will become too real.

Families dynamics are not what they appear on the surface as I have come to learn. Too many suffer for fear of others knowing the truth of abuse. I am sorry you suffered such and hope you are getting the necessary support and help.

Kevin
 

Photoman

Registrant
My situation is different than yours as I hid my abuse from everyone. In fact, once my sister told my mom that she heard my step-bro 'in the act', (since we all three slept in the same room and it was dark), and my mom asked me point blank, a few days after my sister told her, if anything was happening. I denied for fear of my step-bro retaliating with physical harm and just being embarrassed to say anything.
But one of my first thoughts on your mom not believing you was to describe anything you can about him; birth marks, scars, moles, even his size soft and erect. Describe his actions, breathing, sounds he made all to maybe relate to her what she remembers of him in a sexual situation. If you paint him to a tee, maybe she might just start believing you.
I'm new to all this and I know others here have more experience or education on the subject, but since getting older I have learned it's best to just go right to the point. And of course, this is just my opinion or idea of what I might do in your case. Take it with a grain of salt.
 
You are right to be hurt and angry about it all happening to you and not being protected from it by her.

Your mom is probably "coping" with all her own issues around that marriage and probably a lot of other stuff too with denial. Maybe, for her to begin to acknowledge your pain & suffering it would trigger a tsunami of her to have to acknowledge all of her own hurts, faults & failures that she isn't ready to deal with yet? If he was beating her in front of you, I would imagine that she has a lot of stuff she's suffering with too.

I don't know if these thoughts can help take of the pressure off for you;

For her to put herself & you through that and stay for however long... She probably had a pretty low self worth to begin with, or maybe was "attracted" to such a guy because that is all she knew (possible history of abuse) and expected for herself? Once in the toxic abusive marriage, fear and maybe even a bit of the Stockholm syndrome came into play. Certainly sounds like you were both victims. Has she since acknowledged the violence in that marriage to even herself, or is she locked down from even mentioning it?
She definitely acknowledges the physical abuse that she herself endures, In her case she absolutely cannot deny it. I saw this first hand, and as I grew up and the sexual abuse towards me was over, I became her "defender". Essentially stopping her abuse from our abuser. She's completely willing to openly and VERY FREELY talk about what happened to her. But as I've grown "I've become the villain" in her mind. A liar, not just about physical abuse, but every aspect of life.
 
My situation is different than yours as I hid my abuse from everyone. In fact, once my sister told my mom that she heard my step-bro 'in the act', (since we all three slept in the same room and it was dark), and my mom asked me point blank, a few days after my sister told her, if anything was happening. I denied for fear of my step-bro retaliating with physical harm and just being embarrassed to say anything.
But one of my first thoughts on your mom not believing you was to describe anything you can about him; birth marks, scars, moles, even his size soft and erect. Describe his actions, breathing, sounds he made all to maybe relate to her what she remembers of him in a sexual situation. If you paint him to a tee, maybe she might just start believing you.
I'm new to all this and I know others here have more experience or education on the subject, but since getting older I have learned it's best to just go right to the point. And of course, this is just my opinion or idea of what I might do in your case. Take it with a grain of salt.
 
PHOTOMAN I have had those same thoughts, its kinda my last ditch effort I think. Thank you for your insight. Thank you everyone for lending me your words and support.
 
But as I've grown "I've become the villain" in her mind. A liar, not just about physical abuse, but every aspect of life.
Could some of this be because you are a witness, there is so much of the ugliness you do know, so much of what she might like to forget or pretend away? It might be one thing for her to talk about her own pain and trauma from the spousal violence, but maybe hearing you talk about yours is triggering to her and her own denial about her not protecting you. Her failure as a parent would be a huge thing for her to deal with on top of all her own issues. Maybe she is triggered when you talk about your pain especially if she is worried about you talking about it to others thus shining a light on her parental failures as a mother?
 

TJ jeff

Moderator
Staff member
I hear you Grown hurt child,

In my case it is my dad who does not believe that my mother was as bad to me as she was

For many years I always told myself that he was too busy working to know how things were in that house while I was growing up (in the summertime he often worked over 60 hours a week - in the winter 40) - reality is though... he was around more than enough

Over the years I have tried to bring up the subject with him a few times - always to be shut down - he can't bear to hear the "truth" - he has lied to himself for 50+ years - nothing can crack that

50+ years they were married before she passed this past July - it was never a good marriage - and yet he stayed with her - through all of her narcistic dysfunction - if you ask him why his answer will be... because I loved her - even though they fought like cat's and dog's

Please try to understand that I'm not trying to diminish the hurts your mother did to you in any way - but... perhaps she (like my own dad) is so emotionally invested in the dysfunction that happened during your childhood that any "truth" is seen as an attack
 
Could some of this be because you are a witness, there is so much of the ugliness you do know, so much of what she might like to forget or pretend away? It might be one thing for her to talk about her own pain and trauma from the spousal violence, but maybe hearing you talk about yours is triggering to her and her own denial about her not protecting you. Her failure as a parent would be a huge thing for her to deal with on top of all her own issues. Maybe she is triggered when you talk about your pain especially if she is worried about you talking about it to others thus shining a light on her parental failures as a mother?
Accepting some of these things you've typed is insane difficult but the more I open my mind and my heart, it would seem to me that this would be the case. Almost down to a T, the angry kid in me hates to admit that. But I think you are 100% correct, I think "to look at me, and hear my words" is almost to look into her own deepest darkest fears and failures again.
 

BradWatson

New Registrant
Accepting some of these things you've typed is insane difficult but the more I open my mind and my heart, it would seem to me that this would be the case. Almost down to a T, the angry kid in me hates to admit that. But I think you are 100% correct, I think "to look at me, and hear my words" is almost to look into her own deepest darkest fears and failures again.
I'd have to say they are both "the worst" in their own ways. My mom never denied or said she didn't believe me, so my situation is different. But I feel your pain just reading your post.

I came out about my abuse when I was 21...my mom was supportive at first and we actually went and talked to my abusers family. He blew it off as teenage curiosity ...and pretty much no one ever talked about it again. I was 7 and he was 17 when it started...so definitely not teenage curiosity. No follow up. No conversation. No counseling or therapy. No curiosity or questions. Just "move on, nothing to see here".

My abuser was ...well my abuser... so he's the worst. He caused more pain and confusion in my life than most will ever know - except you guys.

But my mom and dad and family and friends that didn't protect me when I was a seven year old little boy...and didn't acknowledge me/it and the pain it had caused me...and the ignoring of the subject as if it never happened....and never really asked "what happened" and "are you okay"...well...that was also the worst.

But I think you and George are on to something. By admitting that it happened...our parents are admitting that they failed as parents. By admitting that they didn't or couldn't or wouldn't see it and stop it...they are admitting that they failed at the one thing, the most important thing every parent is supposed to do...protect their child from shit like this!

Same pain...but different in their own ways. Both were the worst...in their own ways.

I wish you healing and big love on your journey.

Brad
 

Dan99

Registrant
But I think you and George are on to something. By admitting that it happened...our parents are admitting that they failed as parents. By admitting that they didn't or couldn't or wouldn't see it and stop it...they are admitting that they failed at the one thing, the most important thing every parent is supposed to do...protect their child from shit like this!

Same pain...but different in their own ways. Both were the worst...in their own ways.

I wish you healing and big love on your journey.

Brad

What a succinct way to put it. I think of how long and desperately I wanted to stay in denial about what happened to me, and I think that's about one-tenth of my mother's desire to stay in denial. And that's where she intends to stay.

My T once asked what I thought a good relationship with my mother would look like. So I outlined basically the relationship a friend of mine has with his mother. It's the healthiest one I know.

So then he asked me how I would go about creating that. His point became clear. I would never have that relationship. But it was an important part of coming to grips with what forgiveness would look like.

GHC's original question: who is worse? The perp is worse, in my case. But my mother is harder to forgive.

I can simply say of the perp, good riddance. I don't condone what you did, but I'm not worrying about it any more. Would that be possible if he were still in my life? I don't know for sure, but I doubt it.

So it's much harder to forgive my mother without it still creeping into our ongoing relationship, which is quite limited as it is.

I hate to admit it, but part of me looks forward to her passing. I don't wish her ill, but I'm really tired of pretending that she was anything like a good mother.
 

davids1

Registrant
My situation isa a little different in that when I came out as Gay to my parents, all my mother could ask was where she went wrong and then tell me that God hated me, and I was going to hell. No, you are still my son and I love you no matter what. I got so angry with all this BS that I told her that it was her brother that molested me. She said she knew; it was like a slap in the face, I didn't know what to say. I was so angry at her for knowing and never helping me and my dad for just telling her to calm down and never saying a word to me. I left the room and we never spoke of it again. One more time I buried the pain and guilt. I never liked my mother and still don't even though she and my father are dead. My T had me write a forgiveness letter to her so I wouldn't have to carry all this resentment, hurt and grief around anymore. Especially the grief about not having the mother that I wanted and needed. Did it help? She doesn't take up much space in my head and heart like she used to, so yeah, I guess it did help. So not to be believed is just as bad as for someone to know and not to do anything about it. My sister told me after my dad's funeral that my uncle was a serial abuser and my parents let me spend the night in his bed. It still makes me angry. I feel like I was sacrificed. I know for a fact there were other boys in the family that he tried to molest or did molest. I know this can't and doesn't change how any of us feels about what happened to us, all I can do is share my part in the recovery process and hope it helps someone else along their path. Forgiveness is not easy. But it's worth a try in whatever form you want to try. For my Uncle I put all the shame, guilt, self-hate, self-loathing, distrust and unable to be intimate in relationships, placed them in a box, wrapped them as a present and threw them in a fire. Yeah, it was a way of getting rid of that crap that was his and not mine. Sorry for the rant.
 
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