INCEST – what do you think

When I wrote FALLOUT: A Survivor Talks to Incest Offenders, I was unwilling to take a stance on whether the victim should “tell” or not.

“Some readers may be surprised that I don’t give victims advice as to whether to tell or not but only suggest an alternative via escaping the incestuous situation. There are several reasons for this. First, the justice system is flawed; enough said. Second, the family suffers economic hardship, often losing the house and car, both vital to continual survival. Third, the victim experiencing additional guilt. Fourth, too much taxpayer money is not only going down the drain , but in many instances doing harm, as inmates become hardened by the prison experience. Fifth, incarceration doesn’t seem to solve the problem.” (p 261).

“The victim cannot seek support in deciding whether to report or not, and is actually as trapped as she feels, especially with the current reporting laws.

“When incest is suspected, social workers usually urge victims to ‘tell,’ so the family member can get the help he needs,” they are doing their job but misleading the victim.”

“According to Gaddini (1983, 357), “Years after the incest, survivors who did not report usually wished they had, and those who did report wished they had not.” (Quoted by Mykel, 162).

 

 

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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