Silence is a betrayal


People say that a mother’s love is patient and forgiving, that it never fails or falters. They say that mother’s hold their children’s hands for a while and their hearts forever….but not my mother.

My mother’s love faltered. My mother’s love failed me. My mother no longer has my heart.

Why? Because her silence is a betrayal.

Her harsh words have hurt my feelings, but her silence has broken my heart.

Being called a mistake and told you are unwanted is something no child should ever have to hear.

Being called selfish and a burden is heart breaking to hear at any age but to hear it as a child hurts in ways I cannot explain.

However, knowing that the one person who should love you unconditionally and protect you no matter what doesn’t do that, That the one person who should speak up to help and defend you turns their back on you when you need them most, that is betrayal….. and it hurts. It hurts more than any words can describe.

I was 13 years old and the person to betray me was my own mother.

For me betrayal is the worst kind of hurt because it means that someone was willing to hurt you to make themselves feel better…. But how do you live with it when it is your own mother who betrayed you? The one person in the world who a child is meant to be able to trust without question.

The worst part about abuse is not the abuse itself, but the silence of the people who stand by and let it happen, especially when the abuse victim is an innocent child who cannot protect themselves.

I have no childhood memories from before the abuse started, I can’t seem to find any no matter how hard I try. I have no memory of my mother comforting me or telling me she loves me. I have no memory of any happy times that, I hope, we must have shared at some time in my childhood.

However, I do have memories of that day. The day she did something I never imagined a mother could do. She just gave up on me.

I was 13 years old when I struck up the courage, through a teacher at my school, to tell my mother and my Nan that my stepfather had been touching me for over a year.

The betrayal and the pain that I suffered that day is just as clear in my mind as if it had happened yesterday.

I have memories of her saying that I was a liar, that I was making everything up for attention. I remember her telling me I was a mistake and unwanted. I remember her sending me to my Nan’s house for a telling off because she could not stand to look at me.

I remember the feeling of despair I felt with the realisation that she was not going to help me. That she was instead going to stand by him. I was terrified, upset, confused, hurt.

I did not know then that what I felt was betrayal. I did not know what betrayal was. I was a child.

It is only in recent years, as I have started to face what he did to me, that I realise my mother committed the ultimate act of betrayal. She gave up on me and practically handed me over to a rapist, without even the slightest question that maybe, just maybe, what I was saying was true. She did so to protect herself from looking like a bad mother. This I have come to understand as the case now that I realise she knew more about the abuse than she ever let on to anyone when I was a child.

I have grown up believing I am a mistake and unwanted. I have grown up believing I am selfish and unlovable.

The day she gave up on me and failed me as a mother, that day was the day I swore to myself that I would never try to tell anyone what he was doing to me ever again. That week was the first week he raped me properly. It was the first time I realised that I was truly alone in this world and that I had no one to help me. That was when she lost my trust and, as I now realise, my love for her as a mother.

Yes I still care for her and yes, for a very long time I believed I did still love her as a mother. I did not, and still do not, entirely understand my feelings, but she has not ever been and will never be a mother to me.

I do know, however, that it is hard to trust someone, especially when the ones you trusted the most are the ones who betrayed you. I will never forgive her. I will never trust her.

Blood makes you related. Loyalty makes you family.

I did not know it then, but the day she chose to stay silent, the day she chose to betray me to keep her own happiness, that was the day she stopped being my mother.

So you see, my mothers love has faltered. My mothers love has failed me. My mother no longer has my heart and I no longer have a mother. The pain and sadness I feel inside at this realisation is unbearable and is tearing me apart.

I know deep down that this pain will never go away. I will always question why she did not love me enough to protect me and keep me safe. The pain she has caused me will never be forgotten.

Her silence was a betrayal. Her silence is a betrayal. To me a betrayal that can never be forgiven.

The saddest thing about betrayal is that it does not come from our enemies. It comes from those closest to us.

I guess that is why it hurts so much.

Thanks for reading.

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