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non-physical cheating

Is Non-Physical ‘Cheating’ a Reason to Break up Your Marriage?

non-physical cheating

 

The question “is cheating a reason for divorce” is highly personal. The answer depends on the state your marriage was in before the alleged ‘cheating’ occurred. An unstable marriage is more likely to reach a breaking point if infidelity is suspected.

Ultimately, the question can only be answered after you first take a closer look at what YOU define as ‘cheating’ and what YOU feel is acceptable or unacceptable in your marriage.

Is Non-Physical ‘Cheating’ a Reason to Break up Your Marriage?

For some women, cheating is having a physical relationship with someone outside the marriage (i.e. kissing, fondling, oral sex and/or intercourse). Other women have more liberated ideas about fidelity when they allow a third person to join them in the bedroom for a threesome.

They don’t consider this ‘cheating’. For others, having an emotional relationship with another woman counts as cheating. Some men still talk openly to ex-girlfriends and this is accepted in the marriage. In other marriages this is an absolute no-no, especially if this is happening secretly.

Then there are gray areas where no specific third person or emotional involvement is involved.

Would you consider going to a strip club as cheating?

Does watching porn in magazines or on the web qualify as cheating? In this case, it seems to be only the fantasy of another body that the husband is looking for.

What about more indirect contact like ‘friending’ an ex on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? Would it make a difference if communication is open or hidden?

How you define cheating depends on your personality, your threshold, your level of self-confidence, how strict you set the rules at the beginning of your relationship and your level of trust.

Over time, relationships change. If you were comfortable with allowing other women close to your man and felt secure in your relationship at the beginning, your level of comfort and security may change as life and the relationship changes. In long term relationships, the focus gradually shifts from physical attraction to love and intimacy.

That initial spark may wear off as you get caught up in daily routines. If you have kids and your daily life gets busier and more focused on the children, the relationship needs to be nurtured to keep the connection alive. Regular date night and effective communication can be the key.

Before you make the decision to file for divorce when you feel hurt and betrayed… pause…Decisions made in a highly emotional state of mind are not always the wisest.

Consider the consequences of divorce for everyone (especially the kids) and weigh the pros and cons of your relationship. If infidelity is your reason to consider divorce, make sure your definition of what is ‘cheating’ is clear to you and your spouse.

Bottom line is that every relationship has ‘rules’ that need to be clear to both partners. If boundaries are vague, they can easily be crossed. Open communication is key. If one of the partners is hiding something, it is time to have a serious talk together. If you feel that talking doesn’t get you the results you want, couples counseling could be an option.

A therapist can help both of you clarify your needs, set healthy boundaries and help resolve trust issues you may have.

For suggestions on how to weigh the pros and cons in your marriage, improve your communication and spend quality time together, I highly recommend reading self-help workbook To Stay Or Not To Stay.

For an insight into what challenges children face when they do end up living in two houses, I suggest to read children’s book Nina Has Two Houses. The book also contains helpful tips for parents.

The post Is Non-Physical ‘Cheating’ a Reason to Break up Your Marriage? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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The Simple Reason Why Narcissists Have To Hurt You

The Simple Reason Why Narcissists Have To Hurt You

 

Narcissists hurt you… a LOT.

In ways that seem senseless, cruel, barbaric and insane.

Why do they ALL seem to do this without any sense of remorse for the damage they cause?

We know narcissists are self-absorbed and lack a conscience, but what is really going on for them to be able to do to people the things that they DO?

 

 

Video Transcript

From our human framework it seems atrocious, horrible and unthinkable that narcissists hurt people like they do.

In fact, this can be one of the most painful things to try to recover from – WHY do they do that?

So, in today’s TTV episode I want to help you understand why narcissists do what they do. Also, I want to explain how we can protect ourselves against this.

Before we get started, thank you to all the new and existing subscribers, and if you haven’t yet subscribed I want to remind you to please do. And if you like this video, please make sure you give it a thumbs up.

Alright, let’s get going on today’s episode…

 

Hurt People Hurt People

You may have heard the expression ‘hurt people hurt people’ and think ‘that’s no excuse – there are people who are hurt who don’t treat people like that!’

I get that and I understand it. There are great people despite what happened to them, and there are people who are damaged and emotionally stunted, who do what they do. And they do this because of their model of the world, which they have established due to being traumatised.

There are two things I really do know, as a result of my own personal evolution. When I am in my most solid and whole place, even under stress, I am in the best possible position to treat others with kindness, love and respect, and…

When I am emotionally triggered and not well within, this is when I am the most likely to not be a particularly nice human being.

A person’s belief systems and emotional stability within, I believe, are the true gauge as to what they may or may not be capable of at their worst. Most of us can’t imagine being able to go to the pathological or malicious lengths that narcissists can. We simply aren’t capable of it.

However, when we were under siege in narcissistic relationships, and having our souls shredded, most of us said and did some things that we are certainly not proud of. It’s not just true that hurt people hurt people, it’s also very true that when you are around sick people, who are not taking any responsibility to face and heal their own inner demons, you don’t just hurt, you also get sick.

In regard to abusive people – I adore what Neale Donald Walsch says, ‘What is it within you that hurts so much that you need to hurt me?’

That question is the essence of what today’s discussion is really about.

 

A Narcissist’s Brutal Dumping

For those suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there is a very disordered, delicate emotional balancing act going on. The inner True Self is damaged and disowned and is constantly bubbling up to the surface with feelings of ‘I am defective. I don’t belong. People don’t accept me, aren’t to be trusted, and will hurt me if I don’t get one up over them.’

This creates a state of constant anxiety, hypervigilance and the activation of internal survival programs. Because the true Inner Self is too damaged to generate a solid and healthy ‘self-identity’, the False Self is constantly in need of hits of self-medication. This is to try to feed the narcissist with energy to offset the inner self-damnation that is always threatening to engulf him or her.

This is ‘narcissistic supply’, and the ego is very exacting about what the quality of this needs to be. It needs to provide ‘Look at me. I am significant’.

It is such a small window of ‘correct attention’ that if you don’t supply the feedback that provides the narcissists with ‘entitlement above all others’, as well as acclaim, praise, recognition and the fawning that the narcissist’s ego may demand, then you will be punished.

Because a narcissist is not taking responsibility to do what is necessary for emotional trauma recovery – turn inwards to heal their inner wounds causing their dysfunction – they truly believe that the triggers going off within them are your fault. You are an extension of their ego – a tool with which they self-medicate, to try to save themselves from their own inner annihilation.

If this isn’t done adequately – which of course is an impossible job – then the narcissist’s erupting inner wounds will be your fault. He or she will tear into you without conscience, with the full brunt of the anger and trauma that he or she is presently experiencing.

Letting off this spew of internal trauma onto you grants the narcissist some temporary relief. But, of course, because nothing is ever resolved internally the same trauma and behaviour keeps coming back.

There is another piece to this. The narcissist recruited you because he or she believed you were A-grade narcissistic supply. The narcissist’s False Self is childish and loves to indulge in fantasies. Something about you was so idealised and put onto a pedestal that the narcissist feels convinced that you being their drug will grant them the self-medication – the ego feed – to keep the inner demons at bay. Of course, when this started to wear off, as all mature relationships do in the real-life necessity of two people cooperating and doing a workable partnership together, the narcissist starts hating that you are not the durable, self-medication object that he or she assigned you as.

Then, inevitably, the narcissist will start devaluing you and blaming you. He or she will start sourcing newer, fresher ego supply elsewhere.

Naturally, at this point, you wonder where the ‘wonderful’, ‘adoring’ person went… That person wasn’t ever in love with you. He or she was merely getting off on the narcissistic supply that you were providing.

 

The Divorcing From Humanity Within the Narcissist

When we ask ourselves ‘How are people capable of that?’, what we need to understand is that their connection to humanity, internally, has been disowned.

Our Inner Being is our connection to everything – ourselves, Source/Life/God and others. I believe that this is the holy trinity; that it is essential for us to realise this if we are to be an integrated and holistically connected to The Field Being. It must all start through ‘Self’ first.

If we are divorced from Self, as narcissists are, having buried their True Selves deep within, then we are doing what everyone does… Only being capable of relationships at the level of relationship we have with Self. We all see in others what we see in Self. We love others at the level that we love ourselves.

How much self-rejection and self-abandonment is there within a narcissist who declares, ‘I will not be me. I need to be a fictitious character instead.’?

How do narcissists see others? As fake. As people who are also in it for themselves, who are ‘objects’ – just as the narcissist’s False Self is – trying to manipulate people to get a slice of the good stuff.

To the narcissist, you are an object who requires controlling in case you get control of him or her.

The narcissist has no comprehension of your soul, and realness and feelings, any more than they do of their own.

People believe that narcissists get malicious delight out of shredding people’s souls, but I don’t really believe this is the case. They punish you for not helping them feel better. They don’t really think that you are capable of such hurt, and this is because when hurting, they have very little awareness of any self-love, self-soothing or self-care for themselves. Narcissists have severely stunted, or non-existent, empathy.

They just try to get up and go again by grabbing the next hit of narcissistic supply, significance, or an addiction to self-medicate – anything they can get hold of.

Sentimentality and emotional hurt, compassion, sensitivity, and remorse are not emotions that narcissists can understand, let alone access. The truth is that narcissists have zero comprehension of what they have done to you, and firmly believe they are the victim that you have treated terribly.

 

The Dark Side of the False Self

When there is only a False Self, there is no True Self taken into account. Then there is no True Self recognition in others outside of oneself either.

The False Self is the only entity – and it is all about the False Self.

Nothing else.

This is why a narcissist doesn’t care about how it affects you when playing with you like a cat with a mouse. ‘I’ll throw you away, then I’ll reel you back in – because if I get your tears, apologies, attention, and even anger, it feeds my ego and makes me know that I am significant enough to affect another person in this way.’

You will be pathologically smeared to others because it’s great fodder to get sympathy off people. If you lose face with family, friends or colleagues, or lose your job over it, so be it.

The narcissist may be toggling you with other lovers or stealing your resources and contacts behind your back. According to the narcissist, this is all fair game.

This is the product of the dire ‘separation’ illusion of narcissism and the False Self – which is the most dangerous fracture in all of humanity – not realising that at the Quantum level everything and everyone is interconnected.

Look at what our world does, as per its arrogance with our entire eco systems. It’s the same thing. The ego believes that it is all that exists and there is nothing and nobody else who should be worthy of consideration – as long as the ego is fed.

This is an insatiable black hole, just like the literal one in space, which sucks neighbouring celestial bodies up whole and then keeps going – because it is never ‘filled up’. The truth is there is nothing there to fill.

The terrible fate for the narcissist is the same: I’m going to be alone, no matter what, because I destroy everyone I am with, and even if I don’t I can never connect to care for and love them anyway. They are simply an object to serve my False Self, which can never achieve wholeness and peace.

 

The Real Truth – You Don’t Matter – And You Need To

Of course, initially when we realise we don’t matter – and that we weren’t loved and the relationship we endured with this person was because of this – it can feel intensely personal. We are shocked when we are treated without consideration and discarded or replaced, or even maliciously abused.

The truth is we either outlived our usefulness or the narcissist is now trying to hurt us horribly to get reactions that make him or her still get narcissistic supply.

The real truth is we didn’t matter, because the narcissist is not ‘matter’. They are a False Self, that is not real. Nothing matters other than the False Self. He or she is not capable of internally mattering or recognising this mattering in others.

Now here is the clincher and our incredible soul lesson in this: we need to matter to ourselves, regardless of whether we matter to a specific other.

If you get this, really get this, I want you to write below: ‘From today forward I MATTER to ME!’

If we try to get ‘us’ from False Sources, that is from anyone who is not ‘us’, then we are in very hot water. Wrong Town, in fact. Where the people we cling to and get hurt by are the people who are really reflecting back to us our own inner disconnection, divorcing and lack of self-partnering.

I promise you with all my heart, when you let go of the narcissist and turn inwards to face and heal your wounds of not feeling like you matter between you and you, and Source/Life/God and others, then you will never accept a relationship like this again. Rather, you will generate real, healthy relationships with people who do have the resources to matter to themselves and recognise that others matter also. And you will easily let go of people who you realise just don’t have these resources.

I want you to understand the total truth that can help us wake up – we cling to people who hurt us when they are not providing us with what we haven’t yet healed.

So, as the full circle with this Thriver TV episode, which all of mine really are, this is not actually about the narcissist hurting you – this is a given, that’s just what narcissists do. This is REALLY about your turning away from them and turning inwards to heal you so that you can stop being stuck in this pattern of hurting yourself.

Do you realise that as much as the narcissist is punishing you for not granting the perfect, ever-constant, narcissistic supply, you are holding the narcissist responsible for not giving you healthy love and inner solidness and peace? The insanity has got to stop. The narcissist is not going to take self-responsibility, but you can.

Okay, so to start healing from this pain and madness I invite you to join me on my 16-day course, where you will get relief and clarity – and it’s all free.

Come with me by clicking this link.

And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

As always, I am greatly looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.

 

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The Real Reason Why The Narcissist Came Into Your Life

The Real Reason Why The Narcissist Came Into Your Life

 

Was the narcissist coming into your life a senseless, cruel mistake?

Was it to destroy you and what is important to you?

Trust me I know you could 100% believe that.  I used to too…

However, know there is a REAL reason – an incredible one – that not only holds the key to your full Thriver Recovery…

But also, the most incredible resurrection of you and your life that you could imagine.

BY knowing this TRUTH you can be set FREE.

Watch today’s Thriver TV episode to find out EXACTLY what it is.

 

 

Video Transcript

Most of us have believed that the narcissist coming into our life was senseless and completely and horribly ‘wrong’.

But I want to challenge you in the most loving and direct way today, by saying this: only if you are interested in deeper Quantum Truths that can shine a huge light on this mess and offer you the truth that will set you free watch on … otherwise maybe don’t.

Because truly, if you are still in the process of feeling deeply victimised and want to be there indefinitely (which I understand, because I’ve been there myself), this video isn’t for you.

However, for those of you who are Quantum and Truth seekers, I promise you the deep exploration of the following question holds the key to your true recovery: What is the REAL reason the narcissist came into your life?

Today I’m going to give you that answer, in various ways where I hope you won’t miss, by sharing my own journey from victim to survivor to Thriver.

I’m passionate about what I learned and applied regarding the real reason why the narcissist came into my life, because it saved my life. Me sharing it with you means this may save your life too.

So, if you are still with me watching this video, let’s get started by flipping perceptions – from outside in to inside out – because it’s vital.

 

The Outside In Version

Within narcissistic abuse, by looking outwards at what is happening to us we see that this person, the narcissist, is doing all sorts of unspeakable things to us and the people and things that are dear to our hearts.

It seems tragic, cruel and senseless.

To make matters worse, whatever we are trying to do to stop this person hurting us, it doesn’t seem to be working. And, to add insult to injury, we feel so mentally trapped in it.

Why can’t we walk away? Why can’t we leave? And even if we have physically moved away, we can’t seem to emotionally.

And why do we keep getting drawn back in time and time again? And even when we finally don’t go back, why can’t we stop obsessing about what happened with this person?

What is REALLY going on here?

If we stay in our normal human reality of looking outwards, we actually never get to work it out. The abuse continues, and even intensifies, and our feelings of being powerless and out of control seem to get worse.

 

The Inside Out Version

When we turn inwards, to the only person we do have the power to heal and change, then we CAN heal and change what is happening.

Yes, we are being traumatised beyond measure by narcissists, but it’s not until we let go of our focus on them and come deeply inside to find and heal the parts of ourselves hooked on them, that we can move out of our powerlessness and trapped and traumatised state.

From a Higher perspective, as well as my own personal journey and co-generating liberation from abuse with thousands of others, I know exactly why most people don’t get better after narcissistic abuse – because they are not working with the truth.

For many of us it takes a long time to know the real reason why the narcissist came into our life. I didn’t know the real reason until I was within a millimetre off dying, in my breakdown on my bathroom floor, when the answer filled me with such blinding clarity that there was no missing it.

Here is the absolute truth.

The trauma I am receiving outside of me, matches already existing trauma trapped inside of me. Now that these unconscious wounds have become conscious, I can go to them, release them and start finally living free of them.

 

Is This Victim Blaming?

The biggest problem I see in narcissistic abuse circles is when people are determined to uphold, ‘I didn’t ask for this, and there was no reason for this to happen to me.’

My recent video about peptide addiction explains the results of this thinking, which has dire and far-reaching negative results.

I understand this thinking; I used to be vehemently attached to it too, and sadly it nearly killed me. Because, when I was not willing to go deeper and heal my inner trauma I was fruitlessly trying to get others to change to make me feel better.

It wasn’t happening and the reason it wasn’t is because it is a false premise. It is the definition of handing our power over and being stuck in a state of personal powerlessness.

We also may not realize that this is the very co-dependency, looking for self outside of self, that allowed such horrific abuse to happen to us as a continuation into our adulthood where we DO have the power to stop it happening.

It’s Wrong Town on steroids and sadly the most destructive path we can take after being abused.

I believe the following is the issue: people thinking going inwards to heal our wounds means accepting ‘blame’, and that we are being ‘shamed’ by receiving the information that our inner work is necessary.

This is the EXACT thinking that has led us into the madness of our own self-abuse – being so horrified to think that we may be ‘defective’ that we refuse to meet our own Inner Being with tenderness, love, care and support.

Instead, we have self-medicated away our pain with food, other substances, workaholism, over giving to others, and all sorts of other ways – including having relationships with sick and unhealthy people – to self-avoid the cries to come inside and meet and heal ourselves.

By going inside the Quantum Way, we are not beating ourselves up with self-repulsion (which is horribly self-defeating). Rather, we are acknowledging there has been a ton of trauma in the human experience that was inflicted on us by other people who were steeped in their own trauma and unconsciousness. And like a virus this unseen force, wedged in our Inner identity, is leading us into more of these situations that continue to hurt.

I can assure you I have lived both ways, asleep to this fact and awake to it.

As the victim thinking that there was absolutely NO reason at all for a narcissist to come into my life and smash me so hard, I wasn’t getting the healing and evolution gift of freeing myself and future generations from ongoing generational trauma. The smashing continued.

When I woke up and realised that there was a great deal of inherited abuse trauma as well as many childhood knots for me to unwind – all of which had accumulated to toxic overload, hence experiencing narcissistic abuse – then, finally, I turned inwards and started meeting and releasing and reprogramming these inner traumas.

Soon afterwards I started to get well and free in ways that exceeded my wildest dreams, which was a miracle considering I was told that there was no way back to heal from my trauma conditions.

 

What Deeper Truths Are Narcissists Showing Us?

Narcissists enter our lives pretending to be the ‘answer’ to what we need to heal within us – a need that we may not even be aware of yet – and then cease the faux support and start to smash those exact parts, making the pain so horrific that unconscious parts become fully conscious.

The narcissist first appeared to be the saviour of our wounds and then became the messenger of them instead.

Let me grant you my own example. I used to suffer greatly from fears of abandonment and not being valid and seen or being ‘good enough’ to be loved. This was deeply unconscious because it was all I had ever known as my ‘self’ and my reality.

Like many people who are narcissistically abuse, I was over-functioning and over-compensating for my inner unconscious traumas and was very practically capable. I seemed strong and other people would have sworn I had it together. Yet on the inside I was battling anxiety and depression, which to overcome I had to keep myself very busy and to keep achieving goals.

Naturally, because it is how this stuff goes, I was never gentle, tender or supportive with these inner parts. Rather, I was constantly self-abandoning my internal pain, not making my feelings important at all, and being incredibly self-critical and demanding of myself. Again, this was my version of ‘normal’, being the only way I had ever known to be with myself; this was exactly what people in my life had always modelled to me.

It wasn’t until narcissistic abuse that these parts I had been surviving and covering over, came screaming to the forefront. The narcissists in my life initially appeared in my life validating and approving of me as well as claiming a full commitment to me. However, things switched and my fears and gaps were, over time, attacked with full ferocity. I was rapidly and cruelly abandoned, invalidated and regularly accused of being a horrible person.

My story is your story – in this way our stories are all pretty much identical. We see the narcissist as the ‘answer’ to our wounds – often unconsciously hence the powerful unexplainable bond to them – yet their actual message to us is to find and heal these wounds within ourselves.

When we awaken and get very self-honest, this is how we know there are parts of ourselves which are unhealed; that we are still sticking around and frantically trying to make the narcissist think and do it differently.

We are clinging onto that person trying to force them to provide us with the relief of these traumas, yet the only way out of the nightmare is to let go of them and attend to those parts that are screaming out deeply within ourselves.

If we are a whole and healed source to ourselves, it becomes a clear-cut thing: ‘I don’t agree with your warped version of me, and I have NO need to try to change you to have a great version of myself! Goodbye.’

We are thrilled to discover that we have ZERO urge for the narcissist to provide us with ourselves, and the longing, desperation and missing ends.

As does the narcissist’s power to hook you and hurt you. If you get the inner healing job done well enough and the narcissist becomes totally irrelevant, while you become a force of fearless, calm power, they will let go and move on with their life.

False Selves cannot exist in healed and whole environments, no more than germs can in a healthy, clean environment. There is nothing for them to feed off.

You may think this is glib and unrealistic. I promise you it’s not. Absolutely there can be complications with narcissists that need to be unpicked and sorted such as custody with children, property, businesses and all sorts of enmeshments. Yet no matter how difficult these challenges are, I really want you to understand that the greatest and most deadly binds with narcissists are the ones we are suffering emotionally through our wounds.

When we heal from those, all else can follow.

Myself and thousands of others have granted the overwhelming evidence time and time again that when we use Quantum Tools, such as NARP, to find, release and heal what the narcissist brings up in us, then our soul contract with them is concluded.

That’s when the healing message – posing as a holocaust to get our attention – ends.

The same happens with people with cancer. When individuals have gone inwards to discover what the cancer is calling them to heal and then address that at true causation level, the cancer, due to having delivered the message, may suddenly and completely leave their experience.

Narcissists, like serious illnesses, are RELENTLESS and their incredible purpose as a False Self is to NOT STOP delivering the torture until you get the message.

I dearly hope with all my heart that you made it here with me to the end, and that you are absorbing the message regarding the REAL reason why a narcissist came into your life.

And if you do know it now, it is time to turn inwards, self-partner and do the healing work to free yourself not just from the narcissist but from every internal trauma and false belief that has been limiting your incredible True Self and Life.

That’s the work I live as a lifestyle for myself and which I love assisting others with so that they too can claim their highest and best lives.

If you are ready to not just merely survive but truly Thrive join me in my 16-day free course where you will start shedding trauma and coming home to you. You can connect to this right away by clicking this link.

And, if you liked this video please click the Like button. And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

And as always, I’d love to answer your comments and questions below.

 

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Child Sexual Abuse: Yes, I Am A Helicopter Mom, And For a Good Reason

Child Sexual Abuse: Yes, I Am A Helicopter Mom, And For a Good Reason

Sad Boy.jpg

 

I’m that “helicopter” mom playing with my son at the park. I’m making sure my sweet boy doesn’t get out of sight.

I’m the mom at the play date who stays at your house, visiting, always keeping an eye on my child. I politely decline sleepover invitations.

I dearly love this boy. He’s funny and outgoing and generally kind. You may think I’m hovering and being overprotective.

Child sexual abuse: I’m making sure your child is safe from mine.

At age five, my child started acting out sexually, in explicit ways, and he told me clearly about inappropriate, intimate sexual contact he’d had with an adult’s penis.

I reported it to the proper authorities. Nothing happened.

The adult was my husband, and we were divorcing. Instead of believing my child’s words to me, it was easier for Child Protective Services to believe his dad’s word that they just took a shower together. CPS “educated” him on not doing this again and filed a report ruling out abuse.

Since then, his dad has been seen drunk-driving our son and leaving him strapped in a hot car while buying alcohol and cigarettes (CPS again did nothing, even though it was a criminal act, so it’s happened again). Our son says his dad has served him wine and shown him porn. Our son has talked about death and has tried to cut himself and strangle me. He’s drawn scary pictures with demons and genitalia and weapons. He has fits of rage. He has odd seizures of staring into space.

This happy boy, who could read at age three, by grade three needs help for multiple learning disorders and risks failing state exams.

Our son has been suspended from school for sexualized behaviors against other children. Most concerning, he initiated sexual contact with a friend the summer after first grade, while his friend’s parent and I were in the next room. He told his friend to keep it a secret. A few months later, he told his friend he wanted to have sex again. His friend, distraught, finally told his parents about the incidents.

State law mandates a person call CPS when a person suspects abuse. When I’ve made these required calls, I’ve been wrongly accused of “parental alienation.” Some judges wrongly use this unscientific theory to take kids away from protective parents who report abuse. This is a horrendous outcome for kids: to be stripped from a loving parent and given to an abuser.

Meanwhile, no one else ever reported the sexual behavior to CPS – not his psychologists, not the school counselor, not the (former) friend’s parents. Even though we all know acting out is a huge red flag for a child being sexually abused. It’s an even bigger red flag for a seven-year-old to ask his friend to keep it a secret. It’s an enormous red flag when we all know the child made a prior outcry.

When asked about incidents, our son pretends they never happened. He flees to a fantasy world. He tells me his dad tells him to keep secrets. He sometimes drops hints. But it’s possible we may never know what happened – or is still happening – to this precious child.

It’s clear that the person I love most has been abused. It’s also clear our society does not prioritize crimes against kids, and our courts do not make child protection a priority.

If a stranger victimized my child (or committed a crime against an adult), there would be a real investigation by police, with real evidence-gathering. But an abuser is almost always someone in a child’s circle of trust. When the perp is the parent or family member, the “investigation” is largely left to over-worked, under-resourced state caseworkers who don’t have the tools or time to gather or analyze evidence or even talk to relevant people. The CPS workers instead offer services to keep kids with parents. They meet strict deadlines and usually “rule out” abuse – which then makes protecting the child in court even more difficult for the protective parent.

It’s time to declare war on child maltreatment.

Toxic stress from abuse and neglect physically damages children’s developing brains. The Adverse Childhood Experiences study conclusively proves the link between severe or chronic maltreatment and future mental health problems, addictions, chronic diseases, self-harm, crime, and violence – and the perpetuating cycle. Children with several adverse experiences have a much greater prevalence of learning and behavior problems in school. Without intervention, they can end up repeatedly cycling through jails, emergency rooms, and hospitals.

It’s time to break the cycle.

My son is doing much better, after intensive counseling and other measures, but I don’t let him alone with another child. I want him to have friends and fun and learn empathy and respect and self-control. I want him to know he’s loved. I want him to grow up to be a good, moral man and to overcome the toxic maltreatment that can overwhelm him.

I will do my best to protect your child. My heart breaks when I can’t protect mine.

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