When Grooming is Mistaken for Love

This poignant image of a precious little girl on her way to have fun in the company of a wolf stirs me deeply. As she glances over her shoulder, she is unaware of the menacing look in the wolf’s eyes. The image captures for me both the innocence and vulnerability of a child being “groomed” by a sexual predator.

Yesterday I saw an old photograph that troubled me even more. It was a group photo that included my older sister as a small child. She was holding the hand of an uncle who I now know sexually abused his own children.  Other relatives, whose abusive histories I also learned about later in life, were in the photo too. Many years after that photo was taken, my sister confided in me that one of those men had sexually abused her when she was just four-years-old. Incest was a tradition in our family even before I was born, and grooming was unwittingly accepted as “love.”

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What Prayer for Sexual Abuse Taught Me About Significance

What Prayer for Sexual Abuse Taught Me About Significance

If you have always remembered your abuse and hated your abuser, this post may seem strange to you.  That was not the case with me. For years my abuser was my hero. In fact, I didn’t remember my abuse until after it was disclosed that he had also abused my child! My suppressed memories resurfaced then, and I struggled to accept a brand-new reality. Even after the memories returned, I still struggled with conflicting feelings of love and disdain for my abuser. Continue reading