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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Seen Too Much, Don't Want to See Anymore (no funny here today)

Every time I encounter this, I feel the need to say something, to shout something, about it. But I haven't before. I've just encountered it again. I'm saying something.

I have to say this, not to criticize those who have already done it -- that's not productive -- but to plead with those who are thinking about doing it, to those who are convincing themselves that it will be OK. IT WON'T BE OK. And even if there were a slim chance that it would, the risk is too great.

I have seen them in the media, and I have met them in real life. Over and over and over again. Those women (usually it's women) who were sexually violated during childhood by family members. When these women grow up, they convince themselves that their own children will be safe around those same family members.

"He's old now, he doesn't think like that."
"I forgave him, and we have moved past that."
"I told him what will happen if he does, and he's promised me that he won't."
"He knows how much it hurt me; he would never do that to his grandchild."

GET. REAL. I understand that you wish all those things were true. It's only normal that you would wish they were true. I wish it for you. But God didn't entrust your child to wishes. God entrusted that child to you. It is your job to keep her or him safe. When you delude yourself enough to put your child in that situation, and what you have convinced yourself won't happen, happens . . . You are the one who knew better. Not your child, not even the perpetrator, who may have convinced himself he wouldn't do it again. No, you are the one whose job it was to keep that child safe, and you, better than anyone, know that his promises aren't true. They weren't then, and they aren't now. How many times were you promised it wouldn't happen any more? Or told that it was OK? That is was normal? And all the other lies that just now disgust me too much to even write them here?

You know better. If you don't do better, then you are an accomplice. Please don't sacrifice your child in the name of family relationships, or saving face, or an inheritance, or forgiveness, or writing a happy ending to your story, or any other of the dozens of things that can't compare to your child's safety.

Some resources for help or more information: SOAR (Speaking Out About Rape), RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), and MAVAW(Men Against Violence Against Women).

file under: &Work &Partial Nudity

27 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger WILLIAM said...

An accomplice. I like the way that is worded.

Blogger Effie said...

so sad that you're so right...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, Susie.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes denial leads to an ugly, ugly place. But some do not know how to protect their children because they were not protected as children and therefore, no knowledge. A sad excuse, but all too true.

Blogger Susie said...

william, that is a gentler word than what I originally wrote. Thank you.
Putting a child in the presence of a known child molester creates what we call a "predictable occurrence." No excuses.

effie, I'm sad to be right.

barb, yea. Thanks for the encouragement. I don't normally like to boss people, especially vulnerable, injured people. And I don't know that this will make any difference. But maybe it will. To one.

hootiem, I think in this area, like in all other areas of life experience, we parent our children out of what we have learned. Sometimes we've learned painfully, brutally, but we still have to use what we've learned.
I've seen the horror that a good parent experiences upon learning that her child was molested by an acquaintance whom she trusted. That's different from entrusting a child to someone whom you know is a perpetrator. There's no excuse. There are reasons, there are justifications -- I've heard them. No excuse. And again, I'm not even concerned here with people who've done it already. They have plenty to deal with. Just saying to those who may be faced with such a decision today or in the future: please don't.


Say it, susie. There are no ifs, ands or buts.

Blogger Kranki said...

So, so, so, SO right on!

Thanks for writing this. If even one person makes the right decision because of it...

Blogger Platypus said...

I know exactly what you're saying. It happened to me and Stumpy doesn't get a million miles of the person concerned. At family gatherings if that person is present there are 4 fierce women (me and my sisters and mother) who will literally circle her and ensure that that person is never able to get close enough to touch her.

They are keeping their distance now but as they near the end of their life I wonder whether I'll feel relief at not having to stand guard.

As far as I am concerned, there are no second chances with abuse. People may get older and they may regret their actions but they can never be undone. My mother left me with that person because they were family and therefore trusted. They violated that trust and to put my own child in a position where it could happen again would be an act of not only gross stupidity but also, I feel, would be tantamount to neglect.

Phew! You got me started there! Anyway, as always your words are wise and I feel your frustration. xx

Blogger eclectic said...

Nothing funny about it. There are no "three strikes" in protecting your child from known or foreseeable dangers. You're either safe or you're out, there's nothing in between.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right. There are reasons it happens but no real excuses. Children are just so vulnerable. Even if we're damaged we have to do our best to protect them, even if it means breaking through our denial and feeling the pain.

Blogger lawyerchik said...

This is just me talking, but that's why (as far as I'm concerned anyway) the best way to deal with known child molesters is vaporization. That way, there are no more worries. 'Course, as long as I'm just talking, slow and painful vaporization would be even better...... Not that I'm vindictive or anything.....

[Yes, I know that child molesters were often molested themselves, but they choose to do it to another child].

Blogger Unknown said...

Amen Sister! That is the worst, most horrible thing.

The apartment I just turned my application into- I researched if there were any registered pedophiles in the complex.

I talk openly with my boys, but it's still my responsibility to make sure we're moving to a safe place. There are times where they will be home alone. Not long periods, but home alone nonetheless.

I'm very blessed with these two. Brennen is now 13 and he's been hanging out with me most of the day even though it's been a 'bed day'. We've watched a movie, about a teenager that was stealing her parents prescribed medications and using them to get high, went to the bottom, almost died, her parents put her in rehab, good ending.

I'm glad you posted this.


Blogger carlitosreina said...

it's been a long...

how's things at this side of the road?

I have to tell you i really like the way you try people leave commets here. I mean I like this: XX heads are better than 1


Well, good luck, health and good love.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good advice, Suzie. I hope someone benefits from this post.

Blogger Spilling Ink said...

This is exactly why it makes me sick and extrememly pissed off when I hear stupid shit like... "But they're your family...can't you just forgive?...that is all in the past..." and a million other really stupid things that make me see red. (Mind you this is about the more 'run-of-the mill' abuse -- they don't even want to hear about the rest. My poisonous mother still thinks I should be ashamed of myself as far as that goes.)

The truth is... it has a way of sticking around. It's not really in the past. AND I DON'T FEEL I SHOULD HAVE TO FORGIVE THAT. And I don't want my kids around anyone who has anything to do with the conspiracy of silence, even if she is their grandmother. She is/they are poison and they don't have any business even being in the same house with my kids. Not for a birthday, not for Christmas or any other 'gathering' -- NOT EVER OR FOR ANYTHING!!! I don't have to 'gather' with poison just because of shared genetic material. That's just not good enough.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former child affected by just such a situation, thank you, Susie, for these words. If only my mommy and her siblings knew better.

I have no idea whom this is directed towards but it's touched my heart tonight that you've put it out *there*.

Peace...for you, for children everywhere...for all of us.

Blogger Rayne said...

This is so true! I was in a bad situation as a child and when I tried to tell my mom what my stepfather was doing she said, "I can't handle this right now. Just stay away from him."
You know what really pisses me off? When it's the woman's boyfriend and she's making excuses for him. How desperate can you get? To chose a man over the safety of your child is horrible.

Blogger Susie said...

htgt, some things are too important to allow loopholes.

kranki, thanks. I don't know that anyone who "needs" it will even come by here, but I needed to say it.

platy, I'm so sorry that happened to you. Stumpy is blessed to have her fearsome foursome. You will feel relief, among other things. I know.

eclectic, you hit a homerun with that comment ;)

pat, well said, and that is exactly what it means -- the denial and pain.

lawyerchik, do you have, in your possession, one of them there vaporizers? You bring up something I'd like to address, and I know you know this, but I'll put it out there for some who haven't heard it:
While it may* be true that most perpetrators were molested as children, it is definitely true that most children who were molested do not grow up to be perpetrators.
(*I say "may" because that has always been the research and the conventional wisdom; I've recently heard of some "good" research that discredits that belief, but I haven't seen it, am not sure.)

peaches, I admire the way you look out for your boys. All the best with getting to your new home.

carlitosreina, gracias, and nice to see you again. That comment line works fine after two comments, but people say the "zero heads" or "one head" upsets them a little ;) Good luck, health and good love to you, too.

jen, thanks; I hope so, too.

lynn, it's a no-brainer to keep kids away from poison. Shouldn't be so much of a stretch to know what to do when the poison comes in a human container. Thanks for providing the metaphor :)

traci, you remind me of a quote that's on one of our Christmas tree ornaments, "Every child is entitled to a childhood."

rayne, I'm so sorry that happened to you. As I'm sure you know, that happens all the freakin' time, the looking the other way so as not to lose the man; or blaming or disbelieving the child. I can't get my mind around it, either.

Blogger Nina said...

I have nothing to add since I agree 110%. This I have seen too many times.

Blogger mks said...

I could not agree more.

Blogger The other me said...

I have seen these kids too, not only do they have to deal with that rage that grandpa/ uncle/pervert/ monster molested them but also knowing that mommy/daddy/ auntie knew it, had been through it and STILL thought it OK to let grandpa/ uncle/pervert/monster babysit? Evil in the extreme. It is never alright to 'hope' your kids will be alright, especially when you know damn well that they almost certainly won't be.

Blogger lawyerchik said...

Don't have one of them there vaporizers yet..... I'll keep you posted!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more...
thank you for posting this, Susie

Blogger Nilbo said...

Well said. I would only add that if someone reading this has abused a family member, and is now looking at another family member and wondering if they can get away with it again, there's a lovely quote from Dennis Miller: "Do the world a favour. Go buy a gun, load it, lean in, and take one for the team."

Not very enlightened, I suppose. But how much better a world if some people weren't in it ...


What a sick sickness.

Blogger Susie said...

nina, mks, sheryl, thanks for the support. xxx

t.o.m., yep, that's another layer of the whole ugly thing.

lawyerchik, yea, let us know; there's definitely a market for it.

nilbo, I take the 5th on that one.

otk, humans can be that way, sadly.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


A million AMENS!


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