Our expert says:
It does seem dificult, doesn't it, to understand how any mom or parent can ignore, deny or minimize a child's comments about experiencing abuse. Maybe the atmosphere has begun to change, but attitudes up to not long ago were unhelpful. Child abuse was considered to be very rare, and children were often assumed to be likely to make up stories like that even when nothing had happened. And women like moms were much less free to act, being more economically dependent on the man in their lives, and often scared to confront him about such reports, for fear of being discarded and being unable to manage on their own. So they really didn't want to hear the bad news, didn't dare let themselves believe it.
It is actually typical, as you describe, for someone to remember such events, though often not in great detail. Sometimes it may not seem as awful or worrisome to a child at the time as it seems to us later, reviewing the events with what we now know about abuse.
I'm pleased to hear that you have grown beyond these events without problems about sex and affection towards men. Fortunately, many people do. There is nothing wrong with you for NOT being very disturbed by this --- kids are far more resilient than most people give them credit for. YOu don't HAVE to be greatly disturbed by it --- it is important that we respect people for adapting as best they can to the various stresses of life and growing up, without trying to make certain reactions compulsory.
When your mo insisted that you attend your dad's funeral, it might indicate that she didn't take the abuse issues so seriously --- or she may just not have seen them as relevant, compared with the strong urge to do what would look right in the eyes of the community. Reactions differ because we as individuals differ, and because the acts themselves differ ; some are low-key, some conducted with great violence and aggression.
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