Mothers are angry
after they find out that their children have been sexually abused
. They may be angry at the perpetrator
, the victim
, themselves, or the many people and systems now involved
in their lives. Victims are usually angry at their mothers
for not protecting
them or for not intervening earlier. Other family members
may also be angry at mothers. They may hold them responsible and guilty
because they did not intervene sooner or they may hold them guilty for embarrassing the family and not keeping the secret
. They may blame
mothers for the abuse. The mother responds with anger for being blamed.
The anger of the mother can be transformed into depression
as the mother directs that anger towards herself. She may manifest symptoms of depression: sadness, crying, worthlessness, hopelessness, and physical symptoms
Anger is a normal emotion. What a person does with the anger is what makes it either good or bad. Mothers need to direct the energy of anger into protective and productive activity for both her and her child's benefit.
If the perpetrator is the husband or partner
of the mother, ambivalence
will be a chronic state. Ambivalence is having two sets of conflicting feelings - to love and to hate something or someone at the same time, to have ongoing internal conflict and shifting of emotions both for and against a person or situation. Even if the decision
to support the child is firm, and the choice of the child over the partner was deliberate, the mother will continue to have conflicted emotions regarding the perpetrator.
Anger is an emotional common denominator. It affects all relationships. Although a normal human emotion, anger is destructive if not managed. It increases levels of neurochemicals and neurohormones in the body and creates physiological stress
which can produce physical illness