Sunday, May 22, 2011

As A Mother

As A Mother…..

For days now I have been reading posts about child abuse in the blogging world. In silence I read them as the horror of it all totally shakes my belief that there is more “good” in this world than “bad”. What is it that makes men behave like animals? Fathers, brothers, uncles? And what do mothers do when they know that their child is being abused regularly by their husbands or boyfriends? Turn a blind eye? How is it allowed to happen? Children are angels and they are meant to be cherished, loved and kept safe. I try to place myself in their skin and imagine the fear, the dread and the kind of helplessness they experience every time their predator attacks them. Nowhere to run, nowhere to go for help, suffering day and night, lost and frightened angels. I know the enormity of the horrors that they have gone through cannot be imagined, the emotional and psychological scarring and damage haunting them for the rest of their lives. I am a mother of a 17 year old and I have always warned my son about strangers. There have been instances when some stranger has approached him and his friend with a candy or chocolate but they have had the sense to walk away from it. As a mother I have tried to protect him from harm. Mothers are supposed to do that, protect their little ones. They are tigresses when it comes to their cubs being kept away from harm’s way. So what do mothers of children that are abused on a daily basis do? Don’t they realize what is happening or are they scared too and prefer to keep quiet about it?

Awareness of child abuse is still something of a taboo here in India. Incest and abuse have been going on for decades amongst families especially joint families but for most self denial is the best attitude, while the abused grows up haunted by demons. It is only of late that NGOs and organizations are coming up to rehabilitate an abused child but for most it is still preferred to bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong. I know of mothers who have refused to believe their child and done nothing to put a stop to it, perhaps they cannot accept the fact that it is happening to their child or perhaps they do not want to shake their comfort zone of a happy settled family. I often wonder what these mothers think of when they watch their child. Do they too feel helpless or do they just become desensitized? Or do they unconsciously blame their child for bringing this upon themselves? I really don’t know. I as a mother would have killed or taken my child and run as far away as possible from the beast. What would you as a mother do if you knew this kind of a heinous act was occurring in your home?

This is a poem I came across on the net. I leave you to read it and ponder…..

There is no peace....

The night falls gentle upon the earth
But hard within the heart of a terror-filled child.
There is no peace this night
But a sentry-like awareness of
Every noise, every movement
Within the house.

A silent prayer is taken upon the wings
Of the mourning dove
Who waters the ground below with its tears
Watching puddles form where each drop lands
Forming a new ocean of sorrow.
There is no peace this night.

The tender child draws itself
Into a tiny ball as if to disappear
... Footsteps are heard in the hall
"Please no" is whispered, "Please go" is prayed
As the doorknob quietly turns.
There is no peace this night.

The dove soars higher, shaking sobs within its breast
Penetrating clouds, gliding on wind
Seeking its source
Looking for the Light
Knowing there will be no peace this night.

The shadow falls across
Clenched fists, tousled curls,
Drawn up limbs, eyes squeezed shut
Against the scene about to unfold
Scarcely breathing, knowing
There is no peace this night.

Feverishly winging toward
The rainbow of light and celestial destination,
The dove contracts and gasps with the pain
Of its little charges' spirit
And delivers the message
To the being of Light & Beauty
Who swoops down to grasp the hand of the child
And deliver its pain to another dimension
To be stored until the child is stronger
And able to face the reality of evil on the earth.

The angel cradles her charge,
Gently rocking, while tears stream down her face...
Mixing with the silent tears of the child.
The dove quietly sings its grievous song of mourning
For the lost innocence of this precious tot.
There is no peace this night.

- Pamela Prentiss-Harrison


  1. Like you I find myself in shock as to what adults do to children.... I cant seem to understand their reasoning why and how.....

  2. Hi Rimly -

    Child abuse stories are difficult for me to read. In fact, I often avoid reading them because how sick it makes me feel inside. I care also!

    I've too have wondered what is going on in the mother's head, since she must be aware something horrible is going on. What the heck is the abuser thinking as well? How sick it that? I pray Rimly. I wish to God it didn't happen. Who could be happening on the street I live on and I don't see it. But someone does I guarantee that. I pray!

  3. A lot of people in our community don't want to believe that child abuse happens in their neighborhoods — but it does.I believe the best service to the child is the service closest to the child, and children who are victims of neglect, abuse, or abandonment must not also be victims of bureaucracy. They deserve our devoted attention, not our divided attention.The only reason why child abuse is alive today, is because we as adults fail our children when we fail to listen to them. Listen to a child today!....Well written,Rimly...Wish more people thought like you.

    1. Thanks for quoting me however, you should have used my name as author..."The only reason why child abuse is alive today, is because we as adults fail our children when we fail to listen to them. Listen to a child today! ~ Heather McClane

    2. I am sorry Heather I dont get your comment. What is it of yours that I have quoted and not mentioned you as the author? Please clarify.

  4. As a fellow mother,I am appalled as well. And yet, I can’t turn a blind eye to such horror. None of us can. So I thank you Rimly for bringing this to the fore and exposing the deeds of darkness as you have done here.

  5. As difficult as it is to read about child abuse it is even harder to have lived it. My step mother chose to join in, I suppose it was because she loved my father. My mother, well that is a whole other story; I guess she was more concerned with having her own life away from my sister and father. I am a mother of 2 teens and I could never let anything happen to them. In my heart and soul I know I would kill someone including their father if they were ever harmed. Children look up to their parents, look at them to protect them but, when they don't we are scarred from it. It is a scar that never goes away and reopens time and time again. Unfortunately I do not believe as you do, there is more bad people in this world then good. Several adults knew I was abused and did nothing to help, they just made it worse or ignored it. I will never be a person to ignore abuse, I have stepped in many times and stopped a man from abusing his wife and I have threatened any parent who was overly aggressive with their child. I am sorry that you found out that a lot of parents are monsters but, the only way to stop child abuse is by speaking about it. You are doing the right thing as a parent by protecting your child and doing the right thing for child abuse awareness by blogging about it. Much love and respect.

  6. Rimly - Having known and worked with victims of child abuse - I can only say the pain runs so deep, that it takes a lot of work (and sometimes a miracle) for them to be start healing. Thank you for sharing this. You always manage to touch the heart.

  7. Rimly,
    We need to listen and see the signs of abuse in children and not turn a blind eye to it. We as parents across the world need to stand up for those who are afraid, scared and not able to do so for them selves... Child abuse as with any abuse is an atrocity against all man kind. Keep speaking out it is the only way things will ever change.
    when you see something say something and don't stop until you are heard.

  8. coming from an abusive childhood this was not only hard to read ,,but hard to comment...I can tell you where some parents were...the ones that didn't protect... the ones that saw and did nothing.. I can tell you....I can tell you...As always...XOXOXOXO

  9. It's a remarkable post about a taboo topic and I admire you for writing about it. Maybe some mother will raise her voice and make a difference in her child's life. Thanks a ton for sharing...

  10. It's horrible isn't it??? I worry all the time...I'd kill anyone who harmed my child. I would...the poem is beautiful!

  11. You have put in words the feelings of so many you are a very wise women. People who abuse children ( it is not always men) are at the bottom of the ladder and I do not feel deserve any sympathy or our understanding just our retribution. If you take away the childhood of someone then you should not EVER get that opportunity again. I only know of one away to insure that.

  12. Hello Rimly:

    Yes, it is sad the cruelty we do to each other as well as little ones who depend on us for support and protection.

    All we can do is teach our children to protect themselves. We can't be there all the time for them.

    Unfortunautely, the world will not change for us so we must do the best we can and take care of the ones near and dear to us.

    Best wishes,

  13. Rimly, I've felt this way forever. I never hit my kids, only to find out my ex and her husband did (punishment). I had to threaten to take them to court if they continued. I was always on guard for signs, as I did not trust the bastard she married, nor her. It's not just the males who do this, and it's not just the women who feel this way. I'm not angry (and reading this back, it may sound that way)..not my intention.
    I saw a mother smack her toddler in a supermarket cart because the kid did what any other kid would do: reach for something on the shelf. Smack is not what she did..a little more force and the kid's head would have come off. A few people, me included, started to intervene verbally. She went off like an Atomic Bomb. Did we make it worse for the kid when she was alone with him? I want to hope not, but I'm afraid.

  14. i remember while assisting some children, there are a couple or even more whom i suspected of being abused... many of them were... it's more appalling that some were beginning to enjoy it... i cry my heart out for these children rimly... for the innocence that could have been preserved... for the joy that that child has lost... the glimmer of hope and light... of a future...i pray to see in their eyes...

    i am not yet a mother but i wish to be a mother to these children.. it takes real strength and will to do so... to love them... to love them truly...

  15. as a mother i am very protective and particular about my baby girls movement. i teach her the bad touch and good touch from now. may be many mothers will be shocked to understand why i explain her so early but i do it in her own level of understanding. i must and i know i need to because the abusers never look at the age. they are just hungry wolves. so i need to be my daughters shield.

  16. This is rampant all over the world. You know i wrote about my own experience. its been years since then but i still remember it distinctly. it is a scar that will not erase~r

  17. Ugh. Hearing the stories makes me sad, but I have LONG been aware it exists in the world. Thankfully my family tree stopped it from getting to me. I definitely feel the key is awareness, even though none of us really want to hear it. But, traditionally people have ignored the issue, so now is time to spread the word. We all have to help try to put an end to it... be the "good" mother or father to neighboring kids when needed.

  18. This was hard to read.... I am now (30 yrs later) struggling with my own nightmare of abuse.
    Where are the mothers? HA!

    I would tell you would I would do... but that would make me sound not so nice ...

  19. Thank you so much for this. My husband was abused by his mother's boyfriend, between the ages of 7 and 9, thirty years ago. He is now in his 40's and suffers long-term depression and anxiety. His mother is in total denial and in fact blames him for all the 'trouble' he's caused her. We have had to distance ourselves from her for his, an my, sanity. I would fight like a tigress to protect my children and cannot understand how she could not? Blessings.

  20. We must speak loudly & clearly on behalf of abused children everywhere. Advocate & bring their abusers to justice. It can & must be done. Thank you for raising awareness. I feel my poem was well used & am honored that you chose it. ~Pamela Prentiss-Harrison

    1. Thank you Pamela. Your poem really touched me deeply.