Atomic Bombshell

See No Evil

November 29th, 2004

A while back I wrote a post about a friend whom I recently learned was a victim of childhood abuse. Having instantly liked his mother, one of my initial questions was whether or not she ever discovered what was going on. The response was…

No… And she must never find out.

Well, maybe I should have kept my mouth shut and left it at that… But I didn’t. Over subsequent conversations I expressed these concepts:

1. Ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s merely postponed pain.

2. Your mom seems like an intelligent, caring, down-to-earth person. I find myself horrified that someone like that – someone so much like me – never discovered what was going on right under her nose. I find it impossible, in fact. And if I it were me I would rather know the truth.

Frankly, item number two has been plaguing me ever since. I mean, here is a loving mother with two beautiful sons… and she never discovered that they were being brutalized by their father? How could she not notice their precious personalities being warped?

This is unacceptable.

After spending some time with her, she seemed to be everything I would ever want to be as a mother. Funny, smart, and tough… no June Cleaver. A firecracker. Seeing myself in her forced me to imagine that this sort of thing might slip past my radar, too.

Somebody please tell me that there is no fucking way that could ever happen. Somebody tell me that she was a selfish, self-absorbed, blind bitch. Please. Somebody prove to me that I was wrong about her… It means too much to me about who I am.

Having suffered, and knowing firsthand the scars of abuse, I simply cannot bear the concept that I wouldn’t see it coming a mile away. To think that someone could violate my children for years without my knowlege… Sign me up for a preemptive hysterectomy.

And therefore, when I was told this morning that the truth had finally been forced to the surface… I was relieved. Not just because every cell in my body loves the truth, but also because she then lashed out at her son in prideful disbelief. Thanks, guess I was wrong about you.

Entry Filed under: The Black Hole


  • 1. Carson  |  November 29th, 2004 at 4:40 pm

    I’m so sorry that your friend is going through this. All too common. Parents deny, deny, deny. I’m beginning to think that my parents’ generation (ME generation) thought that child-rearing was much like having a cat. Put some food out, and it pretty much takes care of itself.

  • 2. Aurora  |  November 29th, 2004 at 4:41 pm

    I just hope I don’t get into deep shit for calling someone’s mom a bitch. Yikes… That was so faux pas, but it felt so gooooood.

  • 3. Sharn  |  November 29th, 2004 at 4:51 pm

    Sometimes you don’t see it coming. How can you if your child is just being quiet or not acting out. How can you read their minds? Sure some parents deny it. Some see it and pretend it isn’t happening. And some are blind to it.
    It doesn’t make them a bad parent, it doesn’t make them uncaring. Sure she lashed out, but after hearing something like that anyone would lash out. Once she’s delt with it though, don’t be surprised if she doesn’t turn into a lioness defending her cubs. Or maybe she won’t.
    Human nature is so hard to predict. And people will be people.

  • 4. Aurora  |  November 29th, 2004 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks Sharn. I mulled that over while I was writing, but the more I thought about it… The more fucked up I think it is that her first instinct wasn’t protective, but more of a “There’s no way I could have missed it.” Something about that is… revealing.

  • 5. Lewis Moten  |  November 29th, 2004 at 5:09 pm

    Denial is always, always, always the first reaction in most scenarios. You gotta realize, she probably didn’t go through this as a child. All she has ever seen from her husband is a loving man.

    Ok – I’m making too many assumptions here, but the main point is, there might be two sides to the story. Hopefully the healing process can start once she becomes open minded and has stewed upon it for a while. She’ll start reflecting on little things here and there and start hating herself for not seeing it in the first place.

    There I go making assumptions again…

  • 6. Neb  |  November 29th, 2004 at 6:48 pm

    This isn’t the first case I’ve heard of parent #2 denying that parent #1 was an abuser. it’s all too common, unfortunately. The real litmus test WILL indeed be whether she defends the kid or the spouse. If she does not defend the kid, then she has some SERIOUS mental issues, which will probably have contributed to her not noticing any odd behaviour. There may be a SERIOUS disconnect happening there.

    A very close girlfriend of mine was abused by her father. When she went to her mom with this not only did mom deny it but so did one of her older brothers! She spiralled into a series of eating disorders and ended up hospitalized. It was not pretty. This kind of thing makes my blood boil. You have nothing to apologize for.

  • 7. Easy  |  November 29th, 2004 at 8:15 pm


  • 8. withheld  |  November 29th, 2004 at 8:24 pm

    I know where your friend is coming from, I never want my mum to find out – it happened 20 years ago, all that would be accomplished by telling her is to foist a tonne of guilt and self hatred onto her, assuming she even believed me.

  • 9. Catt  |  November 30th, 2004 at 7:00 am

    As a mother myself, I can’t imagine that there wasn’t some SIGH that something was wrong. Some personality change – whether it be a drop in grades, acting out, or withdrawl. I can’t imagine if you are a good parent that you would miss something like that. And I can’t fathom turning on your child and blaming them.

    I’m with Carson. There is a generation of “parents” that think their major job is to feed them and plop them in front of the TV. Sad.

  • 10. Catt  |  November 30th, 2004 at 7:01 am

    That should be some SIGN (not sigh). Jeeze. Not enough coffee yet.

  • 11. Jenny  |  November 30th, 2004 at 11:09 am

    my mom did the same thing. my dad beat me everyday and she ignored it. i think they KNOW but they are too afraid to say anything cause it could turn on them as well. i dont know. i would die if my husband did ANYTHING to my son.

  • 12. cf  |  November 30th, 2004 at 11:37 am

    Being a survivor of child sexual abuse, I’ve learned that it’s never clear cut. I do hope your friend is seeing a therapist. That was the best thing I ever did when I finally told someone what had happened – I was 21.

    Blaming the kid is such an asshole thing to do. I disagree about the previous lash out comment only because I believe that the appropriate response, when first hearing this from your child, is to *lash out at the abuser*.

    But denial, the horror of finding out you’re married to a pedophile…some people can’t accept that about their lives. Cause, how could they have made such a wrong choice? And shame that she didn’t see it happening (maybe she did, tho..). There’s a ton of shame around the subject, too. I hope she wakes up and does the right thing. Unfortunately, you can’t take back what you say as easily as many of us would like.

  • 13. Amber  |  December 12th, 2004 at 3:45 pm

    I feel there is always that parental instinct that knows when something is wrong. It’s just up to the person whether they ignore it or not. It would shatter their whole made-up world to admit they knew about abuse. So to completely ignore it is helping them stay sane. Unfortunately it’s hurting everyone, especially the child, who is the one that REALLY needs the help. Not the selfish parent. Thankfully the generations after “ME” have helped us to realize we can’t live lies, keep secrets, and live so selfishly anymore.

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