My daughter was date raped six years ago. She did not tell anyone at the time. Last week she told my sister and wrote about it on her blog. As her mother I feel hurt that she did not take me aside and tell me. Am I wrong? (age 55, from U.S.)Hurt by Daughter’s Lack of Disclosure
Hurt by Daughter’s Lack of Disclosure
A: You aren’t wrong, but neither is she. I can understand why you are hurt. You are her mother, and no matter how old she is, you want to protect her and help her through difficult times. However, rape is a very, very traumatic experience. Many victims find it difficult to talk about, and unfortunately, some feel a great deal of shame and self-blame. It makes it very hard to reach out to others, and sometimes it is easier to reach out to those not as close to us.
I’m glad she is finally talking about it, and now that you know, you can reach out to her. When talking with her, please try very hard to keep your focus on her and her pain, rather than your own. I know you are hurting too and you may find that you need to have someone to talk to as well, but when dealing with your daughter, lead with your heart.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts