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My apologies to you if it is my comment that you are referring to that sounded invalidating. That wasn't my intent, but clearly the way I wrote it conveyed something other than what I had intended.
Let me clarify further. Your father clearly totally missed out on doing the single most important thing that parents should be doing, which is to protect their children from harm. That was a tragic mistake on his part. I regard it as a moral as well as a parenting/psychological failing, as he was the adult there and he did not step forward to block the harm that was being done to innocent children.
I do feel that he bears responsibility for having stayed a silent bystander, which enabled the abuse to continue.
At the same time, I have trouble with the concept of "blame." In my own thinking, I try to find more compassionate words, less accusatory, more in line with "hate the sin, not the sinner." For me, blame is hard because while your dad did act in a way that was cowardly, I assume, those responses stemmed from deficits in his own personal history, temperament, or something....
While that explains the rationale of what I was thinking, I do want to reiterate again that I do take seriously your reaction of feeling invalidated. It may be that my distinctions are splitting hairs in a situation like this where your Dad's inaction had such dreadful consequences.
Thank you so much for sharing your feelings....
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