My mother failed to protect me from sexual abuse as a child

After counselling you may feel strong enough to let your mum back into your life – on your terms and with your boundaries

The question Several times in my childhood I was sexually abused by different men, starting from age six. I was raised as the oldest child of a single mum who often struggled to cope. Having also raised kids on my own – both are now adults – I understand the challenges and exhaustions of sole parenting. However, I don’t understand a number of neglectful decisions she made, including leaving one or all of us in the care of unknown adults or, worse, adults who were suspected of abusive behaviour, for overnight stays.

Understanding that Mum is emotionally vulnerable has meant my siblings and I don’t raise these issues with her in the interests of keeping the peace. Even so, in recent years Mum has made a habit of raising the issue of my assaults unprompted, to explain that she wasn’t a bad parent. Or she will invoke a conversation about how she was a good mother, then she brings up a traumatic incident that she insists wasn’t her fault.

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