Hi, Charles -

I just made a reply to another post and think you should read it, because our situations sound eerily similar in some ways.

You can decide, after reading that, if it had anything to do with being selfish. I don't think so - I think it had everything to do with busting down a wall of secrets I kept at the behest of my molester.

Two truths for me, Charles:
...1) Every secret I keep today is a secret my molester still hopes that I keep.
...2) Every secret I keep puts a huge space bar between me and the people I love - precisely what my molester needed me to do in order to continue his carnal access to me.

My secrets only served to protect him and did nothing for me. My secrets ensured I remained a victim and he relished that I kept them for him. My secrets were damaging to me then - and damaging to me now.

We are not children any more. We don't have to keep those secrets. The Sandusky trial taught me the power of breaking our abuser's secrets. I wish I had that chance...

If I never confronted my mom, I never would have given her a chance to explain what I apparently did not understand. Maybe that is true in your case. Maybe by telling her, you'll get some answers you aren't expecting - as happened with me. Maybe you'll get an apology. And maybe you'll have an opportunity to forgive - something I suspect you cannot do now. In that sense, telling her is not selfish but rather the deepest gift: truth.

Don't keep the "dark secret." That is the very thing that - for me at least - is most damaging about CSA. The secrets are the only tools we had in our limited arsenal as children to navigate a confusing situation. Breaking that cycle is what recovery to me is all about.

Do people get over this? I took a course called Death and Dying - all the Kubler-Ross studies, yada yada - but the one thing I took away from it was that one NEVER recovers from the loss of a loved one. You can adapt, you can find happiness again, be functional again, you can even try with some success to "forget" - but you never get over it. We mourn our childhoods and the people we may have become had we not dealt with being victimized. To me it's like a death - an abortion - a part of my soul that just stopped growing and I'll never know the man I would have become had I not fallen into the hands of my abuser. I have no allusions about getting over it. It's a part of my past, a part of me. For too long I stuffed it, tried to forget about it and thought I DID get over it. But that's just another lie.

Instead of getting over it, I learned to accept it - and in so doing I learned to accept myself, stop hiding, stop the secrets. It has made all the difference in the world.

I hope for you the best, whatever you decide.