I've been working my nerve up for some time and finally I picked up the phone yesterday to ask my mother about my abuse. T said I likely needed some validation that the abuse had happened. I disagreed with her - I had no doubt that it happened - I do have some specific memories. I guess I wanted to hear what she would say AND try to figure out how long she knew about it before doing something. Needless to say, the question was a surprise to her and she at first danced around the issue for a few minutes. To put this in perspective - I am 50, my mother is 75 and this abuse happened between the ages of 5 and 11. So this has been on her mind for some time. She was confused about the dates - she said she discovered it when I was 5, but they divorced when I was 11, so she was wrong about that. In no way did she make it seem like the abuse was my fault, but she did seem to blame me for not telling her. Comments like - "You didn't say anything. Things happen. I'm sorry." and "He's dead now so you don't have to worry anymore." and "You have to watch your kids like a hawk." She disclosed that she "could have sent him to jail" but didn't because his mother begged her not to. I've always thought she got a better divorce settlement because she had this to hang over his head. She told me that he had abused "a lot" of girls including two of his nieces. She apparently didn't know this until after the fact, although I remember spending time with this family during my childhood. She said that the girls' father "ran him off". This is not true - because as I said, we spent time together as children.
The worse thing about all this is that she disclosed specific things about the abuse of which I have NO memory. So I know there is more buried in my mind. I wasn't prepared for that part of this. I phoned the T yesterday to let her know I had called her. I didn't specifically ask for her to call me back, and she hasn't :(((