Tuesday, 20 March 2007
My Abuser II
A mother who abuses her daughter, a mother who sexually abuses her daughter is a monster. Right? That is how such women are always described, that is how society thinks of them. Well society has it wrong. I know. I've been there. Its wrong on so many levels. First, there are no monsters. Just people. Call the abuser a monster and it implies we will see them coming, recognise them on a dark night, on a tube train, in our kids scout meeting, when we meet them in a pub. Call an abuser a monster and it distances them from us ordinary decent folk. You wouldn't ask a monster round for tea, or to baby-sit your kids, or to marry you and have kids with you, you would know better. So call an abuser a monster and you blame the victim. second, it means it should be really easy to realize that you have been abused. Call an abuser a monster and it means that the family of an abuser has been living with a monster, and that's not the kind of thing you miss, in an ordinary boring house, in an ordinary boring street. So call an abuser a monster and you blame the non-abusive parent. Third, they just aren't. My mum was an ordinary, middle-class lady, who went to coffee mornings, did voluntary work, had her pals over. She had a quirky sense of humor. She liked to go shopping. She loved a bargain. She bought premium bonds and dreamed of the big win and buying a big house and living quietly in the country. She was loved and admired by her husband and three sons. She cared deeply about her children, and worked hard to ensure that they did well in school. She helped me with my homework. She cooked us nutritious home made meals for lunch and dinner. She was an excellent baker. I loved her and she abused me. It took a long time before I could face that, name it. Because she wasn't a monster, no one else saw the abuse, and I found it hard to see it for what it was. So next time you are about to call an abuser a monster, don't. Not because they deserve your sympathy, they don't. What they do is monstrous, and whatever their past, they choose to do it. So you should be angry and outraged, but please think of the weight your words carry.