Local support groups

Leigh_jennings14 - posted on 08/22/2016 ( 12 moms have responded )

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One of the reasons I started looking online was that I am interested in starting a support group for moms of sexually abused children in my community. Wondering if anyone else on here has done that or if anyone is active in a support group in their community. I would love to hear your experience and any suggestions or resources you may be aware of. Thanks.

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Leigh - posted on 09/13/2016

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I love that. Giving moms a voice. So often there is no one to talk to and this increases the sense of isolation. I often felt like I was the only one going through that particular nightmare. Then when I was working in an adolescent psychiatric unit I realized that unfortunately it happens all too often. At that time I came up with the suggestion of starting a support group for moms. I was told there would not be enough people in our community for such a group. When I refuted that I was told. "No one would come." I think it would have been closer to the truth if the clinician had said, " I don't want to deal with that group. Too much pain."
Please keep me posted on your web site/blog. I definitely want to follow it.

Grace - posted on 09/25/2016

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Here are some of the books I've found really helpful:
Molested
The Kiss
Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist
Understanding Child Abuse
Father-Daugher Incest
The courage to be me
Her Silent Tears
Year of Yes
Mending a Shattered Heart
Contemplating Divorce
Becoming Wise
Divorcing a Narcissist
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Mothers of Incest Survivors
No Right Way
Facing Heartbreak
The Wounded Heart
Daring Greatly
Courage to Change
Writing to Change the World

Here are the books I'm reading next:
Carried by Grace: A guide for mothers of victims of sexual abuse
Beyond Betrayal
The Secret Trauma
Getting Past What You'll Never Get Over
Beginning to Heal
Incest & its Effects on Families
Under My Roof
Rising Strong
Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely
The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life
It's Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn't Choose
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
The Relational Trauma of Incest: A Family-based Approach to Treatment
The Feminization of Job: A Mother's Reflection on Child Sexual Abuse
Child Molesters, Child Rapists, and Child Sexual Abuse: Why and How Sex Offenders Abuse: Child Molestation, Rape, and Incest Stories, Studies, and Models
How Long Does it Hurt? A Guide to Recovering from Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends, and Their Families
Mothers of sexually abused children: A framework for assessment, understanding and support
A Mother’s Nightmare — Incest: A Practical Legal Guide for Parents and Professionals
It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence
Not to People Like Us: Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages
Hurt (by Julia Webb-Harvey)

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Leigh - posted on 09/26/2016

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Thank you so much. Can't wait to get to the library. I have a copy of Wounded Heart and have read it several times. It is very good.i am praying and continuing to talk with other women in leadership at Celebrate Recovery. I am trying to get a clear concept and beginning to network. Praying for you as you continue working on your website.

Leigh - posted on 09/24/2016

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Would you be willing to share the titles of the books you have found most helpful? I would be very interested.

Leigh - posted on 09/13/2016

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With a name like Gregory it doesn't sound like you are a mom. This is for moms and using it as a forum to promote something totally unrelated feels very disrespectful.

Grace - posted on 09/12/2016

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Very helpful suggestions! I appreciate it. I love the idea of providing a way for moms to sign up for local groups. I'm going to figure out a safe method for that. I definitely agree about the book list. Books have been huge for me. I think I've read more than 100 books in the last 10 months. So helpful.

With the issue you mentioned, you've made me think of another idea: Inviting moms to write guest posts for the blog. Each of us has our own experience of this tragedy, our own lessons we've learned and insights we've gained. Sharing those will help others.

Leigh - posted on 09/12/2016

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You have an impressive plan. I've wondered about starting a blog but actually have no idea how to go about doing so. Maybe you could include a strictly voluntary registry for moms looking for other moms in their area to start a local support group as I have the feeling there are many communities that have no support for these moms.
It would also be awesome to include educational sources, books moms could read to help them get a handle on all they and their children are going through.
One thing that was incredibly painful to me was the misconception of some therapists that moms always know and make a choice not to protect their children. One of my son's therapists wasted time trying to get him to admit I knew about the abuse.. This wax not at all helpful but only caused more pain and misunderstanding.I am not denying that moms sometimes know and don't intervene, but I did not know and took immediate steps to protect my children when I became suspicious.I think this is true for the majority of moms. This type of blame and suspicion added greatly to depression and emotional pain.

Grace - posted on 09/11/2016

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Great idea. I've attended Celebrate Recovery also and really appreciate them. I can see how having a group for moms of sexually abused children would fit very well there and would be such a help to the mothers. Unfortunately, I'm in Idaho, but if I lived nearby, I'd definitely participate.

I'm working on a plan for a website that is specifically for non-offending mothers of incest victims. To begin with, I want to keep it that narrowly focused because the issues are so unique in this situation. My concept includes a blog, private forums for members on relevant topics, a curated list of resources, references to local support groups (like your Celebrate Recovery group when you get it going), support and coaching for writing your story, and possibly a podcast featuring moms, compassionate experts, and others who can share in ways that may be helpful to the moms.

I'd welcome input on this. Even though I am one of these moms myself, my situation isn't the same as all other moms because my daughter was an adult by the time she told me. So I have a lot of insight into what moms need who are in their 50s and whose kids are no longer at home. But I need input from moms in other situations to find out what would help them the most on a website devoted to supporting them.

Leigh - posted on 09/11/2016

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I agree that a one size fits all type of program does not work very well for non-offending moms of sexually abused children.
I became involved a little over a year ago with a program called Celebrate Recovery. It is a Christ centered program. I went to Celebrate Recovery for other reasons, but in the time I have been there have seen them respond to strong needs by developing a program adapted for needs of veterans coming home and for people who are incarcerated. I have also heard of groups who have developed specific sub groups for those who are recovering from abuse. My thought is to work on developing a group that is specifically for moms of sexually abused children. At this point it is nothing more than an idea and a dream I am praying about. I recently joined the leadership team of my local Celebrate Recovery group and they were certainly open to the idea.
In Celebrate Recovery (CR) we spend an hour in large group where we have a time of worship and then either a testimony or or lesson. For the second hour we split into gender specific groups. Currently we have two groups for women. They are addictions and life issues. My hope is to add a third at some point in the future that would be moms of sexually abused children.
I realize it is unlikely we are any where near to each other geographically, but on the off chance I live in central Indiana. Would very much like to find at least a couple of other moms to begin building a group with.

Grace - posted on 09/08/2016

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Hi again, Leigh. I have searched extensively for a local support group for non-offending mothers of sexually abused children, but there is nothing in my area. I finally found a counselor who specializes in treating families where sexual abuse has occurred. Her clinic used to offer a class for the mothers, but they don't any longer. Now they refer the mothers to Al Anon as a sort of generic support group. I tried it once and it was nice, but not quite the same as being with other mothers in the same situation.

What have you found?

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