Life Advice



Ask Amy: An abuse survivor wonders about disclosure

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My son and daughter are now middle-aged, and my parents have been gone for more than 20 years.

I've not told my children the whole truth about my parents. It was awful growing up in a house full of alcohol, anger, and abuse.

The reason I've not told them was that I didn't want to injure their memories of their grandma and grandpa.

My parents treated their grandchildren with love, as opposed to how my siblings and I were treated by them as they raised us.

I've grown and changed over the years to overcome the damage of a sad childhood, and both of my children have worked through whatever they suffered at my ineptness, most likely through therapy.

My daughter and I are close, while my son, with whom I used to be very close, started treating me dismissively once he went off on his own.


I've wondered whether telling them both the true story of my upbringing, including traumatic events they have no clue happened to me and my siblings, would be all right this late in the game.

They are highly moral, responsible adults, in solid marriages.

I almost feel like I've answered my own question, but what does Amy think?

– Mom Missing My Son


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