Child abuse is probably the least acted upon crime. I remember reading a stat that they believe around 80 children are murdered in Calif and around 50-60 in Britain each year, but only a handful ever face trial. So hard to prove. The average person cannot comprehend how a real mother or father can behave so dramatically different to themselves.
My wife's mother passed away recently. A nice woman but incredibly ordinary. Except for her children she made absolutely not a mark on the world, good or bad. At the funeral there was lots of tears. I clearly remember thinking, what are they all going on about, .. it's not like you have lost a pet, it is only your mother. I just could not get it. I have to be aware of this. I am out of sync.
Personal question, but do you have nightmares ?? Very common.
The comment you made about your own child is similar. When my youngest did something very naughty when he was around 2 1/2 I smacked him, not hard, because it made him cry, I was running late, he had damaged property, he had smeared my wife's make up over our new carpet, I had to change clothes after cleaning up, was late for work in a difficult job with a very unpleasant boss, but in that instant it became clear that smacking him was not the answer. I remember the feeling of shock at how that felt, and wondering about my own childhood filled with constant abuse, which we were always made to feel was out fault. I still did not get it. Think many abused children never do. Which is why it can start a cycle.
Again I am so glad you have come here, I have met some great people. A lot of us come here at a specific time in their lives, but as it is a painful issue don't drop in often. Drop in as much or as little as you like.
As a side note you will read some terrible stories here, and mine is one of them, but I can tell you I am not sure I could do what you have managed to have done. You have my respect and admiration.