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Sexually abused...why did my mother expose me??
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Sexually abused...why did my mother expose me??

Hi There,

I am 27 mother of one child in a very loving relationship and for the first time in my life I am experiencing being treated properly with love and respect.  I was sexually abused by my mums dad my grandfather from the age of 10 up until 14, I went to live with my grandparents as my mum and step dad were abusive towards eachother on a regular basis and It was starting to effect me as a child growing up, I could no longer stand living in domestic violence and having both an abusive mother and step-father.

My mother agreed for me to go and live with my grandparents, and thats then where the sexual abuse by my grandfather began.  I had the strength to speak out after years of going through the abuse, and to my horror when I spoke out my mum told me that my grandfather had sexually abused her over 20 years previous when she was the similar age.

I still to this day have a lot of anger and hurt built up inside me for my mother, as I cannot believe that she sent me to live with my grandfather knowing that he has abused her as a child, It is something that I find very very difficult to come to terms with, (if I ever will).

My relationship with my mother since me speaking out about the abuse has never been the same, she constantly makes me feel guilty about everything in my life that I do, she is very very critical of everything, she puts me down, humiliates me, comes into my own home and changes my home around to how she thinks it should be.  She makes comments about the clothes that I wear, the relationships I have, my own parenting skills when I know that I am a fantastic mother, I just feel totally controlled by her and that she just smothers me to the point were I avoid her like the plague!!!

It is only now at the age of 27 that I am starting to really come to terms with what happened to me growing up as a child, but whilst I am coming to terms with this I know that none of this would have happened to me if it wasnt for my mother.....I keep thinking she exposed me to Domestic Violence, which lead me to go and live with my grandparents to then lead to Sexual Abuse, after this because I had the courage to speak out and take my grandad to court over what happened, (which please bare in mind my mother refused to take stand in court and give evidence it happened to her) my mother then went on to Emotionally Abuse me since the age of 14.

Sorry that this is long winded, but I really want to know why my mother has done this to me, and known what long lasting effects this would have on me for the rest of my life, a mothers role is to protect her own and I feel like all my mother has wanted is for me to suffer worse than she ever has because I have experienced three lots of different kinds of abuse, which I just want to add the most psychological damaging to me is the Emotional Abuse as this has left me with low self-esteem, always questioning myself, not trusting my own gut reactions, why could anybody do such a thing?????

I look forward to your replies.

Many thanks


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Hi again Claire,
     No child should ever have to go through what you went through growing up, and currently are still enduring.
     One thing that really stood out in your letter is the extent to which your mother has learned no boundaries, and you in turn have not learned how to set boundaries for yourself.  This is very common in folks who have been victims of abuse.
     Your mother appears to be seriously mentally ill, Claire.  As long as she is not willing to acknowledge this problem, and get the psychological counseling she desperately needs, she will never change anything about herself.
     May I suggest that you go for counseling yourself to learn how to set boundaries that protect you from your mother and anyone abusive.
     You are a good person, Claire, one who needs to truly know that you don't deserve any of your mother's abuse.  In setting boundaries, you learn that you don't have to even have anything to do with your mother at all, by choice.  Healthy choice.  You also will learn that you don't have to buy into her guilt trips on you.  Healthy choice.  You need to learn that you are valuable and loveable, trustworthy, liked by people just because you are likeable and loveable on your own merits.  You do not have to accept or even listen to what venom spews from your mother's mouth.  You are an adult, you have lived this long and you are a successful mother.
What clothes you wear, how you keep your house, your relationships, your parenting skills, your choice of employment, your faith, it is all your own business, and none of hers.
     One start in setting down boundaries with your mother is that she telephones you whenever she would like to come over.  It is then up to you to decide if you want her company right then or not.  And don't be afraid to tell her that it is not a good time for you right then.  She has got to start hearing "No" from you.  No arguing about it.  Keep your door locked and refuse to open it should she not take no for an answer.  If she wants to argue, hang up the phone.  You owe her no explainations.  If you want to do your nails, watch tv, play with your child, write letters, take a nap...it is your business and your right and your choice to make.  This is healthy choice and setting boundaries.
     When your mother visits, immediately, you need to make it clear to her that your home is just the way you want it to be and she is not to touch anything to change it.  If she won't obey you in your home, then let her know her behavior has made her unwelcomed and that she is to leave immediately.  And make her leave.  Hand her her purse, coat, and open the front door fully expecting her to walk through it.  She has got to learn the meaning of "No".  If she refuses to leave, calmly inform her that you will call the police to get her out.  And do that, if she still refuses to leave.
     You are dealing with a child-minded person.  You have to be the adult in this relationship if you are going to know any sanity in your life.  Your mother does everything in her power to make you feel less than human, because making you feel so bad about yourself helps her in her sick way feel somehow better about herself, if only for the moment.  When she attempts to put you down or humiliate you or make you feel guilty, respond with "It is sad that you feel that way, but I am happy about or with ......"  Practice this statement over and over until it comes to your mouth naturally.  It is your refusal to buy her guilt, her criticisms and put downs.  You know what she is trying to do to you.  Don't take the bait anymore.  It may not work all the time at first, but don't give up.  You are setting boundaries and taking control of the situation, and her.  You can also stand up and tell her that you are tired of hearing her talk this way about you and you would like her to leave.  Or if you are at her house, tell her you will visit when she can be a nicer person to you and or your family.  By all means do not let her abuse your child.  Children are too little to understand what is really going on, and they bury the abusiveness into their subconscious only for it to constantly hurt them throughout their lives.  Don't allow her access to your child under these conditions.  This is also setting boundaries  You are protecting him in a healthy way.  Healthy choices are not always easy to make, but they are the right thing to do.  For yourself.  For your child.
     Sorry that I am so long-winded.  But I was abused exactly as you only by a brother.  My mother never stopped him.  I grew up thinking I was a nothing, stupid, not worth living on this earth, hated, ugly, and that it was all my own fault that I made life for the family such a miserable existence.  I never did anything to hurt him ever, or to hurt my family.  I was actually a good kid.  I just didn't know it.  Therapy is how I learned that I am a good person and I learned how to set boundaries.  Now I am able to deflect most assaults.  Also, I made my own choice not to be around my brother ever again, because I know he has not changed.  I am healthy and happy.  You can be too, Claire.  I know it.        Love Kathy434
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