Welcome To Healing Hearts & Souls

 

WHO ARE WE

We are a group of mothers that have children that have experienced CSA. Our stories are all different but the pain we feel is the same. We have come together to provide a place where non-offending parents, grandparents, family members and caretakers can come together and give each other support, comfort and understanding as only a parent that has experience the disclosure of a child can.

 

Our Stories

 

Reflection


Hi my name is Reflection. I am a mother of a daughter that was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of what I thought was my life partner. My daughter disclosed when I made the choice to leave him because of mental and physical abuse that had started towards me during the past year or so. We had lived together for 8 1/2 years. It turns out he was molesting my daughter for 6 of those years. Talk about guilt. My mind couldn't comprehend how I didn't know. Why didn't I see the signs?
I had sooo many questions about how this could happen. Then I found many of the ladies here that helped me understand that not only was my daughter but I was a victim of "grooming". You see perpetrators (perps) of child sexual abuse are master manipulators. Ours was one of the best. He had destoryed my self esteem. He had me believing that I was nothing without him. That I would never make it on my own. He destroyed the women inside me that I once was. This was all part of him grooming me so that I couldn't recongize what was happening with my daughter. He spent years making my daughter believe that I didn't really love her. He would always take her side on any issue making me the bad guy. He spent two years grooming us before he ever even touched my daughter.

 

After my daughter's disclosure my goal in life was to undue all the "damage" he had done to my daughter's and my relationship. I set out to prove that I was a strong women and mother. Over the last five years I feel we have finally accomplished this. He is in prison due to my daughter's unbelievable strength in telling her story, not only to me but to the authorities. Don't get me wrong that definitely did not repair the damage that was done. That took a lot of heartache, counseling and time. We have had times when we didn't think we would survive. There we times when we had to make really tough choices. There were times when she just wanted to give up. But she fought back. I always told her not to let him win. That she had so much unbelievable strength. All she had to was dig down deep. And boy did she!!!

 

My daughter was fourteen when she disclosed. She struggled for years. She went from straight A's to almost flunking out of school. I wondered if she would graduate high school. She did graduate and towards the top of her class. She is now in college and excelling. She has dreams and is working to achieve them. There was a time when all I did was pray that she would survive that day. I am soooo proud of her. She has become an amazing and beautiful young lady with the world at her feet.

 

I have taken my career to new levels that at one time I didn't think I would ever be able to do. I have accomplished so much more than I ever imagined I could. In the days after disclosure I wondered if I had the strength to make to the next day. It was a day to day process.

 

Like I have told some many in people that have passed through here for support:

"We have wounds so deep that we don't think they will ever heal. But eventually they start heal. They start out with a scab that is easily torn off to only open the gaping wound again. But eventually we ended up with a bright pink scar. That scar is still painful to the touch but it doesn't leave a gaping wound when we touch it. Eventually that pink scare turns into a scar that is no longer painful to the touch, BUT it does have phantom pain. Pain that when we think of what caused it brings the pain back. Now though that pain doesn't seem like a bottomless pit that will never end. Now we know that we do heal."

 

You see that scar is a badge of honor. It is a badge that says "We are Survivors!!!"

 

My goal here is to help other parents realize that they are victims too. That they need support, comfort and understanding that only a parent that has been through this can give.

 

Tadpole

Our family's lives were dramatically changed by Child Sexual Abuse approximately 5 years ago when my then, 12 year old daughter came to me and told me that she had been brutally molested in our own home by a man I had been dating seriously for a long time before we made the decision to move in together. I thought I knew him very well. He met my parents, I moved clear across country for him. Thought we would get married and treated my children so very good. I NEVER suspected.

Pedophiles are invisible, but yet they are everywhere. That night will forever be burned in my mind.......the story goes on and still now, while she struggles with issues due to her abuse. I am proud to say she is a survivor and is thriving in life.

There is hope in this nightmare. Our hope is that we are a group of parents who care enough to strive and struggle through this nightmare for our children. But? That also makes us convicted to stop the cycle. That, in and of itself is a testament to the loving, beautiful and incredibly strong parents that exist on this forum. I am so very sorry you have the need to seek this haven out. However, I promise you will be so very fortunate to have found a loving group of parents who truly understand the grief you are feeling now and can help you through it with support, guidance and sometimes just thought and prayer for you and your child. Welcome


 

Karen

Hi, my name is Karen and I'm 'finally' a woman who has seen many things in her life. I have experience and various experiences with the many types of graces that God bestows on us. I say finally because now, after 6 years since my daughter disclosed being sexually abused by a family friend, I'm no longer defined by that time in my life.  I used to introduce myself as 'the mom of a beautiful daughter who was sexually abused."  There are many aspects of life and I know for you this is one of the most traumatic, if not the single most traumatic, event in your life.  It consumes your every thought and drives every emotion (right towards the cliff huh?).  There is no easy button to get you through this.  Unfortunately you have to work through each piece of it one bite at a time, the 'senior' members on this board (Reflection, Tadpole, Ani, etc.) are here to help you try and get through it.  There are no rules, there is no instruction manual, everyone's experience is uniquely identified by the details of their situation but the underlying feelings of guilt, inadequacy, fears, anger, sadness, all of it run through all of us.  Please don't be afraid to share your story, ask questions, express yourself as you need to because as we've all found there is no 'safe' place in reality to do this. It's funny because the statistics show that 1 in every 4 girls are sexually abuse and 1 in every 5 boys are sexually abused but I was alone when my daughter was sexually abused, I had lots of friends with kids and not a single one of them could truly understand what I was going through and I was not only alone but lonely for others who carried the same yoke as I, most of my friends acted like I had the plague and couldn't phantom why I thought/felt the things I experienced and while they were patient for awhile, I just couldn't "get over' it fast enough to retain their relationships.  The others on this board have heard me say various things over and over and over these last 6 years and guess what? they still love me and they've taught me that life does go on and we have to take it 1 step at a time, they've shared my sorrows and my joys through all of this and because of the true-life-long-friendships I've developed here sustain me in times when I waiver.  We share our stories of our child(rens) abuse and discuss various topics such as the involvement of the authorities, counselors, you name it, when it comes to CSA we've shared it all..But more importantly we've learned to move forward in life and that's what we hope you will find too. Hang in there, talk it out, and love your children with your eyes and ears and heart wide open. Don't let the system frustrate you...as a parent who had the "reward" of seeing the perp put behind bars, I know the frustrations you face, I know the heartache you feel and I also know that there are so many more important aspects to this 'new life' than whatever the outcome of your case turns out to be.  Welcome, I look forward to getting to know you better.

 

Mamabear

Hello, my name is Mamabear. I remember my daughter’s disclosure like it was yesterday. I refer to that day as the day the birds stopped singing. At the tender age of 6, my daughter told me things that were beyond my comprehension. Like a brick slamming upside my head and a javelin piercing into my heart, the news came as a total and complete shock. Questions swirled around my head. How could this be? We are not poor. We do not live on the “wrong side of the tract”. We are people of faith; surely God would not have allowed this to happen to “good” people like us. I took every step possible to protect my daughter at all times, only allowing trusted family members to baby-sit her. When she disclosed that her molester was a woman in the family, a woman that held a trusted, sacred position in any family, my entire belief system shattered.

It was in that very moment that I was forced to remove the veil of ignorance on the subject of CSA. After working with law enforcement, social services, attorneys and therapist, and after securing my daughters safety, I began to work on healing my daughter and myself. Without the love, support, encouragement and experience of the ladies I have met from this site, I would dare say my healing would be non-existent. I encourage any person that is going through this hell, to not wait to seek support. I hearten you to being the healing process today. May God watch over you and yours, and may your child be hedged with protection that brings to an end this evil. I do hear the birds singing again, and I am grateful to these groups, for teaching me how to live again.

 

Chicaroo

Our son had come to my husband and I, he was thirteen years old. He had stated that he had been molested. I was in a total state of shock but I kept myself composed. I being a survivor felt that it was important for him to know that he was no longer in danger and that he was BELIEVED....

So our journey began. It ended up being that our son was abused at the age of 10 to the age of 11. It was a neighbor kid that was five years older than he. So, the accused abuser was between the ages of 15 and 16 years old. We reported the abuse, put our son into therapy may I add that he was in therapy at the age of 10, we did notice things were array with him, but he wasn’t speaking up, he was diagnosed with PTSD associated with 9/11. Once disclosure happened we reported the abuse, set him up with a specialist that dealt with csa. the police interviewed our son, the parents of the now 19 year old hired an attorney to defend their son, the perp plead the fifth and got away without even a slap on his hand. This made things very difficult because it was a neighbor, we had to walk out our front door everyday and see these people, and this was very traumatic for our son. They did finally sale their home, but they left their son in the same city. We have run into him on several occasions.


We have lived through attempted suicide, drug abuse (self medication), and low self esteem. It has been very very difficult. It’s been two years. Yes, at the beginning the tunnel looked so very dark, but after two years I will say that with love, consistency, therapy, hugs and understanding of boundaries.... life has gotten easier, we are seeing light, i.e. smiles and laughter. Will it ever be the same, no I don't believe so. This has brought us closer together as a family.


If I had anything to say to parents whom children have disclosed... believe believe believe. You are their strongest advocate.

 

Dee

I remember the day I got the phone call like it was yesterday.  I had been out shopping with my older daughter that day..  We arrived home late in the afternoon and the answering machine was beeping.  I sat down our bags and went to listen to the message.  The first message was from the Video Store telling me I had an overdue video out.  Ugh, I thought to myself why I can’t ever remember to get them back on time.  I was reaching for the video to run it back to the video store right away when the next message started.  It was from a social worker asking that I call her back as soon as possible.  The third message was from my ex-husband saying to call him because there was a problem.  I grabbed the phone and dialed my ex-husband’s cell phone.  He answered right away and asked “Do you know what this is about?”  I said, “No.”  Then he said, “Here, I’ll give you to the detective.”  The next voice I heard was a detective who worked for the Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit.  The detective explained to me that they had received an anonymous call that morning from someone reporting suspicion that my daughter had been sexually abused by her father.  At that point I could feel my knees going weak and my older daughter started crying and asking me what was wrong.  She could see by the look on my face and the white tone of my complexion that something was terribly wrong.  I can only remember fragments of my phone conversation with the detective.  I was supposed to come to their office and pick up my little one because they would not be able to release her back to her father’s care.  I don’t recall much about the the time I was in their office.  I felt like I had been in there forever because how can one’s life fall apart in such a short amount of time, but in fact I was there for less than 20 minutes.  I signed papers promising to keep my daughter away from her father until they could complete an investigation.  I told them about my daughter's hysterical reaction to going with her dad.  I told them about a few of the odd sexualized behaviors I had noticed lately.  I tried to be fair and not jump to conclusions but inside I was panicked and I knew in my heart that something terribly wrong had been going on.  Next thing I remember I was walking out the door of the building with my daughter in my arms.  She was three and a half years old.

My ex-husband was never held accountable for what he did....but I still feel fortunate since rather than follow through with a court ordered offender evaluation he decided to just walk away.  For that I count myself and my daughter among the lucky few.  She never had to see him again and he has since signed over all rights to her.  I would like to say it has been smooth sailing but that would not be true. My daughter continues to struggle with issues from the abuse....its two steps forward and one step back, but I know that, in the end, she is going to be alright and so will I.


Contacting Us:

Please feel free to e-mail any of us by just clicking on our name. We will do our best to respond to you. The best support can be found at one of our forums, as there are many member's with different storys than ours. I am sure someone will relate to your story. But we understand that sometimes that is a difficult step to take. So go ahead and e-mail us and we will help you in making the first step in finding support, comfort and understanding