I have noted a situation as of late asking me to confront some naivete on my part.
I used to think that all children who are being abused or traumatized had to do was ask for help and they would receive it. I thought that child abuse has been so brought to our attention that champions awaited in the wings ready to swoop in.
I have been surprised to learn otherwise.
For both my stepchildren, I have wanted to get them counseling.
When I have contacted counselors, I have been told they would be unwilling to see the children unless both parents agreed.
What abusive parent is going to agree to counseling for the abused child? C’mon. It’s in the abusive parents BEST INTEREST to keep the child suffering and hurt- that is the goal of the abuse.
The abusive parent is getting exactly what he or she needs from the child- a vulnerable target for his or her abuse, anger, rage, and manipulations.
I understand the counselors being unwilling to see a child without parental consent, but I truly think if one, healthy, engaged adult in the child’s life is calling out for help that someone would help.
It seems the cards are so stacked in the abusive parents favor.
And, then there is the subtle (and not so subtle) manipulation and expectation put on the abused child that IF THE ABUSED CHILD WOULD JUST CHANGE (for the better) THAN THE ABUSE WOULD STOP.
Are you kidding me? I see this ALL the time with my stepson. Everyone constantly telling him that if he were “better”, his Mom would love him more.
I hear others tell him, “She is your Mom, you need to respect her.”
To which I respond at the top of my lungs (and from a top of a mountain if I could climb it) that HE IS HER SON AND SHE NEEDS TO LOVE AND RESPECT HIM.
At time like this, I am reminded again how large and strong a Mama Bear persona stalks within me.
Sometimes we get things a** backwards in our focus and understanding. This is one of them.
If 1/10th of the pressure were put upon my stepson’s Mom to treat him with love and respect as has been put upon him, then maybe there would be a chance for success.
If counselors were more worried that a caring adult was worried about abuse of a child and stepped in, then maybe there would be a chance for success.
You don’t solve problems by focusing on the wrong end.