From a Mom
This blog post was written by Jimmie. She shares with us the mother’s perspective of having to hear about the horrible abuse her son endured as a child. We are so grateful for Jimmie and her bravery in sharing her story.
I had never felt like such a failure as a mother, more than the day my son tearfully struggled out the words to tell us that when he was 6 years of age, a teenage neighbor molested him. I immediately hugged him as we cried and his dad sat in shock, not believing what he heard. We did not push for details, but as I sat there going over everything in my head and remembering that time in our lives, so many things clicked in place and made sense. He was 22 when he told us about what he endured 17 years before.
When asked why he never said anything, his response was that he was threatened if he ever said anything at the time. He also felt shame and guilt, thinking he somehow caused it and he did not want us to be hurt, as he said we always tried our best to be good parents.
We promptly researched and found a counselor for him to see, which helped him some. He was at least able to sleep a little better and slowly came to talk a little more about that fact he was sexually molested as a child.
We were a military family and moved a lot when he was a child, but I always made sure I knew where he was and with who. When he started not wanting to go to school or to go out to play, we thought it was the stress of being overseas in a foreign country and missing grandparents, family, friends, etc. We even thought it might be his teacher who was a very stern looking woman and not a typical warm elementary teacher. Once back stateside, he was like a totally different child – sleeping through the night with no problems, no fighting to get him to go to school and each day seemed like an adventure to him.
Years later, another move which coincided with puberty, had me asking myself what happened to my sweet little boy. He was moody and even though he was capable of making better grades, he did not care. If not for playing baseball at school, I am not sure we would have been able to keep him in school at times. He often complained of stomach problems and unable to sleep with no medical reason ever found when we would take him to a doctor. Even though he was a nice-looking, young man he did not want to date and we thought it was just his shyness.
Five years ago, we moved closer to him after my husband retired and he came to visit us. He handed me a stitch kit and asked me if I could sew the stitch on some of his things. I gladly got busy and over the years have sewn that stitch on a lot of his things as well as some of mine. He has even talked to coworkers about Speak Your Silence and wears the stitch prominently. How I wish I had known more years ago of what to look for and be aware of and wish that an organization like Speak Your Silence would have been in existence years ago.
He is doing okay now. He has had a couple of long-term relationships that did not work out for different reasons and has worked at several different jobs. A few years ago, he started having a lot of anxiety problems and panic attacks that led him to seek some counseling that was covered by his insurance. Recently, he got a job with a lot less stress and he is doing better, but I fear at times he might have setbacks due to his personality of not wanting to open up fully to others. The few times he has been in a relationship, they did not last and it takes a lot for him to open himself up to someone again.
Like most moms, I hope that someday he meets that extra special person that will love and support him as well as learn to be patient and understand him. For now, he has his dogs, his art, and as long as we are available, mom and dad will be here for him – plus we know Speak Your Silence is here for him also to help if needed.