DEAR DEIDRE: MUM asked me to take care of Dad if anything happens to her – but I can’t bear the thought because he abused me when I was a child.
I am 40 and have two teenage boys with my husband.
Mum is recovering from a heart attack but I don’t want to visit in case she brings up the subject again.
I told teachers my dad beat me when I was 11, and the police came round.
Mum stood up for him and said I was the one always fighting.
I was in care for a month.
Dad laughed when I went home and said no one would believe me.
That’s when the sexual abuse started.
Bringing up the past is making me ill.
I am scared it will come out and I will be seen as the bad one.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Attitudes to child and sexual abuse have changed radically.
You were a powerless victim of your father’s abuse but can now find understanding support.
Confide in the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (napac.org.uk, 0808 801 0331).
Your mum may have been a victim of your dad’s abuse, too, but still be in denial.
You don’t have to be.
Tell her your dad forfeited his right to your care.
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