Saturday, February 26, 2005

Survivors Becoming Parents by: Naomi

As a parent I am constantly doubting myself. Friends and Therapists tell me I am doing a wonderful job but I have no self confidence. I am always afraid that I will abuse my kids without realizing it. My parents are clueless about the emotional abuse they inflicted on me. How do I know I won't say or do something that seems ok, and then years later find out that I was clueless too? Intelectually I realize that I am a very mindful parent but emotionally the ever present feeling that I might hurt my children too haunts me.

When my oldest was born there were times that I could not allow myself to be alone with him. I was afraid I would hurt him. Having complete power over someone so helpless scared me.
The other night I felt so trapped and angry because the noises my child was making in his sleep triggered me. They remind me of noises I heard while I was being abused.

I'm wondering how other survivors cope with parenting issues? What do you do that helps? What do you do when your child triggers you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have any kids yet, but you are talking about my fears. I really can't wait to hear with survivors with kids do.

February 26, 2005 11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an important topic. I don't have the same fear you have. My fear is more for the safety of my children. It's hard for me to leave them with a babysitter, or for me to let my children have any contact with my parents. My brother's and sisters let their kids sleep over at my parents home. I cringe ever time I hear them talk about it. They think I'm crazy for having these worries, because my father hasn't molested any of us in over 10 years.

February 27, 2005 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They think I'm crazy for having these worries, because my father hasn't molested any of us in over 10 years. You mean to say, he molested them too, and they are STILL letting their children sleep over there????
Of course he hasn't molested any of you in ten years---he molests children, not adults!

You're being a good parent here.

I guess that's a good example of the power of denial, eh?

February 27, 2005 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At age 20 I had an abortion because I was terrified I'd be an abusive parent and do to a child what was done to me. (this is still a topic of sadness to me to this day.)
Years later when I had my first child, I realized a depth of love and caring for another human being I never thought I'd ever experience.
In some ways I was a bit overprotective, but don't think that it was in a damaging way. My child has been my greatest gift, a good and loving person on their way to becoming a loving and caring adult.

February 27, 2005 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother's and sister's believe that you should just let it go. That my father is a different man now then what was back then. They say he doesn't have the same pressures on him as he did raising all six of us. The financial burden is gone. They said he didn't know better, since he was also abused as a child.

I'm sure you are familiar with the lines. I disagree with them. One of my sister's is beginning to agree with me, but she still let's my mom and dad babysit.

February 27, 2005 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm sure you are familiar with the lines."

Very much so, and my family would say the same about financial pressures, etc. blah blah blah about his violence.

Right now I'd love to point out to them that, had he done today what he did over 25 years ago, he would be in prison. It's criminal behavior, period. My father tried to murder me, and then it was on my shoulders to help the family carry on as if everything was normal.

No difference in your case---sexually abusing children is a crime, period. Your father is a criminal who got away with a crime, period. It is unfortunate if a rift has come between you and your siblings over it, but your sanity, for yourself, is more important for you, as a parent, and for yourself, than any false notion of family harmony over denial.

You never know, you may end up being of great help to your sister who is beginning to come around, and save your niece or nephews from potential sexual abuse.
Stay firm, and all the best to you.

February 27, 2005 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my families denial makes me furious! My parents and siblings won't speak to me until I agree to stop "slandering" my father. It's so much easier to make me the bad guy then to actually deal with the issue. My parents have never met their grandchildren although I have offered. I don't even know which of my sibs are married, have kids, etc...

February 27, 2005 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also don't know anything about my family anymore. I wouldn't even recognize my nieces or nephews on the street if I bumped into them. It's really sad. I just couldn't stand the abuse and dysfunction in my family. I had to walk away to stay sane.

February 27, 2005 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could have children and create a family of my own. Due to the injuries I endured during my childhood, my uterious is damaged. My doctors have bascially told me I will never be able to carry a child full term.

I know the options. I could adopt, and know I will some day, but right now I'm dealing with this other reality, and am in morning for a dream I once had.

March 02, 2005 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parents Anonymous is a great organization for "adult children" of abuse who want help to avoid repeating the dysfunctional and criminal behavior they experienced as a child. You checkin with a trained facilitator, but some level of confidentiality is upheld except in the case of reported criminal behavior or abuse. The whole emphasis is on self-acceptance and responsibility, a desire to change and ask for help and be with others who are making tough changes.
The abuse can stop in this generation, you can be the one to give you and your kids a peaceful life, with mutual respect, honesty, and love.
Other 12 step groups can be invaluable, as much abuse happens as the result of abusive substances and compulsive behaviors. These groups include AA, Alanon, Overeaters Anonymous, Adults Recovering from Incest Anonymous, and Sex Addicts Anonymous. There is no true shame in having a compulsive disease. The greater shame is in not taking personal responsibility to change.
With the help of others who have found help and change, you can grow and be all that you desire as a parent.
I believe you can change if you want to and take direct positive action to get help!!!

June 22, 2006 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parents Anonymous has its limitations as do all 12-step groups. What do you think of the group called molesters anonymous? It's a real group. They start their meetings saying they are powerless over their need to molest.

June 22, 2006 10:57 PM  

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