(an encore post by Cecil Murphey)
"Who would believe kids?"
I read those words in the newspaper as part of the testimony of a then-12-year-old boy who testified in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse trial.
Since then, I've pondered those words.
It's strange how it works with parents. We know those overly protective parents who believe anything their children say and become angry over the slightest injustice they suspect someone has done to their precious child.
It's the other kind of family that troubles me. "Who would believe kids?" That's the cry of a child in pain, a boy who knew he wouldn't be believed and didn't have an adult to stand up for him.
Why wouldn't he ask that question?
His words haunt me because it's a question I might have asked. It didn't occur to me to tell an adult—any adult. I didn't feel anyone cared enough so why would I consider telling? I felt totally alone.
I wonder how many molested kids have asked, "Who would believe kids?"
I definitely didn't think my mom would believe me. She was emotionally gone and hard/cold. When I started going through serious psychological issues and the pain came out, my mom saw my anger and thought I wanted revenge. She smiled and said it in such an insensitive manner.
She hasn't talked to me about it since. Fortunately I had my dad, maybe I focus too much on the effect my mother had on me. But it makes me angry. I'm slowly healing and forgiving her, but it's hard.
I hear that a lot from guys who were abused as kids. Many have said and I agree with them that to tell and not be believed, even ridiculed or blamed is many times worse than what actually happened and hurts deeply. It can leave one feeling alone, betrayed, abandoned and eventually very angry. It is like being abused all over again.
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