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The Sexually Abusive Mother

As a survivor of mother-daughter sexual abuse, you know that you are in an unusual position.  This type of sexual abuse is the least discussed.  Many people cannot fathom a mother doing such atrocities to her own daughter.  They also believe this is about sex, or the mother's secret homosexual desires.  The sad thing is these misguided notions leave you feeling alone, and possibly even doubting the abuse really happened.  You may be trying to convince yourself that it was only a bad dream.

But it was not a bad dream.  It really did happen.

Accepting that it happened may be the hardest thing you will ever have to do.  No one wants to believe that the one person who is supposed to love and protect them instead used and abused them in such an intimate matter.  Accepting this happened may also be especially difficult if you learned to dissociate during the abuse.   Dissociation is a common coping mechanism where mentally you disconnect with what is physically happening to you during traumatic events.  In extreme cases, it can lead to Dissociative Personality Disorder (also sometimes known as Multiple Personality Disorder).  In most cases, however, it leads to repressed memories.
If you are having trouble accepting that you were sexually abused by your mother, please think about some things...

  1. How do you feel around your mother?  Do you have a strange or creepy feeling around her that you do not have around other people?
  2. Do you have mental and physical problems such as those mentioned on the Types Of Abuse And Coping Tips page?
  3. Do you have bits of memories or foggy memories of being sexually abused?
  4. Do you have an exaggerated startle response when people touch you?  Do you dislike being touched?

If you can answer "yes" to these questions, the abuse did happen.  I know it is excruciatingly painful to accept this fact, but there is one good thing about it- once you accept the abuse happened, then you can begin to heal from it.

Your journey to healing will be a long one, and challenging, but it will be worth it in the end when you finally have inner peace, are able to trust other people, and realize that you are a wonderful and valuable woman.

Some suggestions for recovery are:

  1. Talk to someone! God is best, but also a non-judgmental friend, family member or pastor can help you.  Just talking about it will help, because there is something healing about bringing pain into the light instead of hiding it.
  2. Journaling.  Writing down your thoughts and experiences may help give you clarity on the situation, or ideas on how to cope.
  3. Take care of yourself- do nice things for yourself that you enjoy, such as exercising, watching movies, indulging in hobbies.  You cannot focus on what happened 24/7!  Take breaks frequently, as it will help you in the long run.
  4. Never rush your healing process.  It will not help you heal faster, but instead will have the opposite effect.  Rushing will mean you ignore your feelings, pushing them deep down inside, only for them to manifest later on.  Rushing never works!
  5. Recognize your triggers, those things that remind you of the abuse.  They will give you insight that helps in the healing process.
  6. Forgive yourself.  Many abuse survivors blame themselves for the abuse.  You did NOTHING to make your mother abuse you!  She is the one with the problem, and unfortunately, she hurt you because of it.  That does NOT mean it is your fault.
  7. Forgive your mother.  Not because she deserves it, because, let's face it, she doesn't.  Forgive her because you realize that you deserve better than carrying around anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness.  You deserve instead to carry around peace and joy.
  8. Seeking a therapist may also be a  very wise step for you to help you down this painful road.   Whether you seek therapy or not, at least consider following the above steps.  They will help you to recover from this trauma.

On the road to recovery, I personally found my relationship with God to be my greatest help. He helped me to heal, and to learn ways to deal with my dysfunctional mother. Prayer and meditating on His word, the Bible, helped so much. Learning who the Bible says I am as a child of God is not only inspiring and comforting, but helpful in the healing process. If you do not have a personal relationship with God, please read the page 
Salvation Through Jesus Christ 
for more information.

© 2018  Cynthia Bailey-Rug and www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that the full and clear credit is given to Cynthia Bailey-Rug and www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.