Toxic Mothers: “How was I supposed to handle your sexual abuse?”

“Well back in the ‘60’s, we didn’t know how to handle things like that”

That was my mother’s asinine come back to my question, “Why didn’t you even take me to the doctors’ as a caution?” when discussing the sexual abuse a few years ago. I’ve always questioned this, whether it be any decade, wouldn’t a mother ensure her child was ok? All around, I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother which explains everything.

My parents didn’t believe me when I was 8 years old, revealing that our neighbor was sexually abusing me, and making matters worse, had to ask for forgiveness from the abuser. I doubt my mother truly believes me to this day or recognized that she made a huge mistake or perhaps ashamed how it was all handled.

She has never fully expressed regret for her actions, never acknowledged or empathized with the crap I went through (PTSD, major depression, hospitalizations, etc.) including years of therapy to heal and wipe up her mess. (Showing no validation or empathy is a common trait of a narcissist).

She slept peacefully at night during my hellish years, while I was awake feeling guilt, shame, and worthlessness. I finally severed ALL contact with my mother a few years ago, which was the wisest decision and the only alternative allowing me to continue healing and living freely.

(I finally received validation from a stranger (therapist) 45 years later which began my healing journey from feeling anguish and pain).

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy 2016

Reminds me of my Narcissistic Mother In Law and how her adult children's are always turning a blind eye towards her bad behaviour. My narcissistic mother in law got all her adult children to worship and fear her.:

How true is this?  Hugs to all, Deb

Published by


I am a Mental Health Advocate for mental illness Stigma. In 2007, I created the "Living in Stigma" blog, with the purpose and anticipation of educating people about mental illness. Depression is part of this illness, which intertwines with those struggling with PTSD, chronic pain, and other invisible illnesses. I am a chronic migraine sufferer myself, and a sexual and emotional abuse survivor. My passions are writing, poetry, and art. All abuse Survivors are also Warriors.

21 thoughts on “Toxic Mothers: “How was I supposed to handle your sexual abuse?””

    1. No, being a narcissist she didn’t know how to show empathy. Perhaps she did feel guilty but never apologized or said to me that she was sorry the way the whole incident was handled. I’m still convinced she was more worried about what the neighbors would think, than the impact it had or would have on my life. Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow that is really sad. I truly think you deserve to have a mother who wants to love and protect their child no matter what. You have made a big step with No Contact and I have proud of you ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Deb thanks for your post. After being molested on a bus at 16 year old my mother didn’t believe me and called me attention seeking. Finally when I saw my attacker and he tried it on again with me a few years later I found the strength to call the police and when the police turned up at my house she finally had a reality check. For many years having narcissistic mother and beating myself up about why she didn’t love me I cut all contact and have slowly let her back into my life. I have stuck up for myself and told her what I need and she is finally listening to me. Of course a child needs her mothers love no matter what age but I have learn that I no longer need her love I want it and that puts me back into control.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing. The quest for a mother’s love seems endless even though you are treated like crap and you know deep down inside you just aren’t going to receive it. But you keep trying, wishing maybe next time she will show some love, but you are disappointed once again. Narcissists never change, she will never change and you will never be able to please her. I found that out and finally went No Contact. I used to beat myself up wondering “why does this woman hate me so much, why do I make her so angry, and why does she always criticize me?” I know why now. I still crave a mother sometimes, but mine was a disappointment and I have to accept that. Stay strong, you are a warrior. hugs, Deb

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It took a long time for me to get it through my thick skull via therapy that she was the problem. It was a relief to know that I didn’t cause her pain, she caused me grief and pain.


    1. No she’s just a bad mother who’s a narcissist and doesn’t know how to show empathy or love. Unfortunately I got stuck with her as my mother. Thanks for taking the time to comment on this post, appreciate it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this and for posting that wonderful quote about narcissists. I think my Mum has partial narcissism. Not sure if that is possible. I never went through the terrible abuse of a sexual nature you endured. I am so sorry you were left so alone in that by your mother. Hugs to you, Deborah

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply to erikamurrayblog Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.