There is nothing cotton candy sweet about a pedophile or the damage he does. The effects of abuse can have damaging consequences if once the child reaches adulthood they build a relationship with the abuser/predator. In order to prevent this it is important for you, and for your child, to build solid healthy relationships with others as a support system. It is just as important to sever relationships with those, including family, who do not support you and your children. Those people do not live your pain or your truth. Too often, it is an inconvenient truth for them.
You must stand strong. These abusers, especially the sexual abusers, are quite clever and have a network that is strong enough to destroy the toughest family. Which is why I say, build a network of people who will not expect you to be “nice” for their convenience. Furthermore, do not think you are helping your child by not speaking the truth to them about their pedophile “Dad”, “Uncle”, “Cousin”. Discuss the real issues openly. Listen to what your children are not saying.
If not, your family will be built upon a foundation as flimsy as pink cotton candy. The parent raising the child(ren) has to armor them with the tools necessary to keep their minds, and hearts safe. Without a proper foundation, the abuser/predator that is a family member can come back into their life when they are a teenager or adult. With their expertise, they can twist reality into a tangled spider’s web of deceit. The former victims can be deluded into feeling sorry for the abuser/predator, doubt their own truth, and slowly buy into the predator’s lies as they suppress their memories of abuse. These abusers/predators are good at what they do. They must be in order to gain trust and access to the same or new victims, and to escape prosecution.
Have the tough talks, be open, be honest, and tell them to keep no secrets.
Failing to do so means, you risk finding yourself on the outside while the abuser/predator gains a dominating, unhealthy control over your adult children. He must excise you and everyone else in their life that is healthy. This leaves your adult child(ren) ripe for further emotional and mental manipulation. If they have children, the predator has the opportunity to groom those babies from an early age as a feast for himself. As their parents, sometimes unwittingly, offer up their children; proof to everyone around that their daddy, uncle, cousin is innocent.
It can reach a point where your adult child(ren) begin to see you as the outsider, and any act of love by you to communicate can be viewed as “stalking” or “interfering. ” In their fear they will lose his approval, the abuser/predator can become a sort of demi-god. One who is willing to do anything to keep his secret safe. Often, the now damaged adults that were your child(ren) will protect him too. This means surrounding themselves with unhealthy people, or those who have bought into the lies. One reason your adult children do this is subconsciously they take ownership of the guilt, and the responsibility of the abuser/predator. A guilt and responsibility the abuser/predator is incapable of feeling himself.
Unfortunately, those that are healthy tend to put distance between themselves and their family, and the predator and your adult children. They too often keep quiet instead of making their suspicions known. An example is babysitters that quits showing up, and friends that find reasons for not getting together. Real friends try to have those conversations letting your adult child know how they feel about what is going on. Since people tend to keep quiet the adult child(ren) think the secret is safe. Some actually think they would rather die than allow others to find out. So, so continue the lie. Do not let this become their shame; it is the predators, not theirs. Get the secrets out in the open so change and healing can begin.
Remember, this hypothetical scenario can be prevented. If your child(ren) has been abused have those open talks, build a support system, and if you suspect abuse or have information then do not just fade away report your suspicions. In Texas and in many states, If you are a teacher or work in a medical office you are a mandatory reporter and can be prosecuted as a felony for not reporting.
In Texas call: 1-800-252-5400
Online reporting: https://www.txabusehotline.org/Login/Default.aspx