Child abusers don’t let children know they’re victims. Survivors of child abuse by large don’t know they’ve been abused. Abusive parents raise the child to have great compassion for them, to always view them as humane as possible, they make sure children are grateful to them, they point out every single thing they did for the child, such as “paid for your stuff” or “financed your schooling” or “gave you a roof over your head and fed you all these years” (even though to not do these things would be straight illegal, but they don’t mention that part, do they) as a proof of how good and generous they are, they make sure to recite all possible excuses to why they’re acting so abusive, they had a hard life, they have a lot on their plate, they’re good people they just make mistakes, they’ve been badly treated too, they don’t even know they’re hurting you, they’re insisting you’re too sensitive and get hurt from nothing, they don’t let the child hold them accountable or hold them guilty for any of their abuse. Abused child will be ashamed of themselves and hardly ever consider themselves a victim, they will be taught to repress and ignore trauma symptoms, to find a way to blame themselves for everything, to feel guilty just for how awful they feel all the time.
Emotionally abused child strongly believes that their parent is inherently good and deserves all the compassion in the world, all the excuses, all forgiveness and none of the blame for their actions (parents make sure children know that the blame would hurt them so children must never blame them) and will fight to defend the parent and point out why abuse was not really abuse, why children deserved it, why nobody is to blame, except maybe themselves, because “they weren’t good enough” to appease the parent which would then hopefully be a bit more kind (of course not). They often wont even admit how badly they’re scared of their parents.
To have an abused child realize they’ve been exploited, lied to, betrayed, systematically destroyed and dehumanized by their parent, their entire world needs to break down, everything they’ve been taught has to be acknowledged as a lie, what they considered right and fair needs to change to wrong, who they trusted the most needs to change to be least trust-worthy, who in their head, made sure they survive up to that point, needs to turn into a person who almost cost them their life, and destroyed it rather than held it safe. It’s not a fun ride. It’s devastating to go through, it breaks a person apart completely and forces them to re-construct their entire reality. And it’s the only way to have a chance to really recover, to validate themselves and their pain, to understand to what depth they’ve been damaged, and by who and why. It’s the only way to realize that they’re entitled to life, to food, to roof, to nurturing, to everything that was held against them, they’ve been required to feel grateful that they weren’t left to die.
For those who still have to face this, or are facing it right now, you are going through the worst of your life right now. For those who have no empathy or patience for survivors to figure their lives out, fuck you, try living their life for a few years, see if you survive it. For abusers, I hope someone figures out how to force you to feel every single bit of pain you’ve inflicted on your children, I hope you fucking scream yourself to death from pain you’ve caused.