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Health & Spirit

Parent refuses to let others post kids' photos

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I'm a survivor of childhood incest, and fairly certain I know who perpetrated the abuse. I've suffered the repercussions throughout my life (nightmares, sexual dysfunction, multiple failed relationships, a much lighter wallet due to years of therapy), but I have no actual memory of the abuse aside from brief flashes with no clear image of the person responsible, despite finding pictures of myself as a child in clearly compromised positions.

Part of me wants to share my story -- to speak out and let people know how close #metoo hits home and that life after abuse is possible, if not always pretty, but doing so would bring a spotlight on other relatives, and theirs is not my story to tell.

Besides which, how can you accuse someone of something when you don't remember what happened, and the person can no longer defend themselves?

Aside from continued therapy and psychotropic medication, do you have any advice?

-- A Friend

Dear Friend: I applaud your strength and recovery. Keep going.

Your sensitivity regarding this is commendable.

If you believe that other family members were abused (for instance, if you also see compromising photos including them), you should invite them to join you in a therapy session. And yes, if it would further your recovery (and certainly if it would protect others), you should definitely out the people who didn't protect you, although you can't blame your abuser, if you don't know who it was.

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You are already sharing your #metoo story, and thank you for that.

Dear Amy: Thank you for your advice concerning how parents can help to educate their children about the dangers they face when encountering guns at someone's home.

Please continue to remind parents that they should always ask other families if they have guns in their homes before sending kids there on a playdate!

-- Grateful

Dear Grateful: Responsible gun owners should expect and welcome this question.

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(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)


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