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All posts for the month January, 2016

Were You Affected by Incest? I Was…

Published January 27, 2016 by Nan Mykel

If you’re 3 out of 4 females following or reading this  blog, then I’m happy that incest did not touch you.  The stats for males are less clear, perhaps because they fear it reflects on their manhood.

If you were exposed to incest, you may be like me–discounting the effect it had on you.  Men who commit incest, even those who were molested by a family member themselves, deny to themselves that it caused any psychological damage to them…or to their later victims, if there are any.  I always assumed that “this” is the real me; not the dregs left after the incest. I used  to treat incest offenders in prison and recall one  of the men denying that incest was harmful: “It happened too me and I turned out all right,”  (he said from his prison cell).

When I retired I decided  to write a  book about  incest, in an attempt  to illustrate from the research literature, and my own experience, the damage it causes.  I targeted it a little too much toward the offenders, I guess, because it hasn’t sold.

I was impressed that whether someone is judged to be damaged or not reflects the kind of measuring device used.  Some offenders said, “she wasn’t hurt. She got married, didn’t she?” or, “she went to college.”  I’d like to share with you some of the effects highlighted by David Finkelhor, all of which I eventually owned in myself:

Powerlessness.  The experience contributes to the survivor following a “victim” role later in life. Being trapped in the situation is part of this. How many teenaged suicides are due to being trapped and seeing no way out?

Betrayal.  The experience of being betrayed by someone you trust can’t help but leave the survivor less trusting in later intimate relations–or unable to engage in them. Or carrying a chip on your shoulder?

Damaged Goods.  It seems everything conspires to make the survivor feel dirty and damaged, especially carrying the burden of keeping the secret.

Sexualized.  Being introduced to sex in a deviant, underhanded, secretive manner developmentally limits the child. Developmental stages are a natural unfolding of growing and maturing and when a stage is blocked, there is a loss.

Another effect which Finkelhor does not specify is the defense mechanism of introjection, in which powerful aggressive figures are incorporated into their victim’s psyche, resulting in self hate and a tremendous  ambivalence in feeling toward the perpetrator. This is referred to  as the “Trauma Bond,” and often results in the victim seeking  out other abusers.

Another eye-opener from the research for my book was evidence that the victims who were first “incested” before the age of nine tend to be more depressed, while those first incested after nine tend to carry more anger.

The grief experienced during healing almost always focusses on the loss of “what might have been.”

The preceding is just a nutshell of info discussed in the book “FALLOUT: A Survivor Talks to Incest Ofenders,” available from Amazon.  Sorry I’m light in references here, but they are available either in the book or by e-mailing me: nmykel@gmail.com.

Strides toward therapeutic relief for survivors have been made in recent years, and are discussed at length in the section on “Getting to Okay.”  And, there is always strength in mutual support.  I have come across several survivors working on their healing via their blogs. I will try and add to these resources.

MY METAPHOR

Published January 25, 2016 by Nan Mykel

Come jump into my arms, you furry-feathered verse!
I’ll know you when I see you, either wordy or terse.
Let your metaphor roll in like an occupying force;
sit up high in your saddle on your literary horse!
A shining black stallion, he snorts and passes by
leaving a desolated mule who gives a piteous sigh.
My metaphor has four legs and is not a happy guy.
He does not jump into my arms or even give a try
but nuzzles me as though to say,
“Thanks for waiting for me today.”

HOME IS THE WRITER

Published January 23, 2016 by Nan Mykel

My computer desk is not well lit. I don’t know why, unless it’s to keep company with my flailing vision. I know it’s “failing,” but if a writer can’t have a little fun, who can? Surrounding me, floor to ceiling, are remnants of my former craze for genealogy.  In the new digital robotic age, nobody cares, not even me. If we should meet ancestors in the sweet by and by we can introduce ourselves, surely!

And my books! They say writers should read, but… three copies of a book because I like it so much?

So much personal history! Who gives a hoot, as the old owl says.  My old report cards—with comments from teachers— Mrs. Arvesons’ two A-pluses on my term paper in ninth grade, my  National Honor Society certificate from high school and my tennis team letter, not to mention a drawer full of Christmas cards and correspondence from friends and acquaintances for more than 50 years;  at least 100 videotapes shot by me for Public Access line my shelves—many shelves.   Last week I came across a letter of congratulations for a forensic evaluation I did 25 years ago, which brings me to the question of why am I in two writing groups and maintain a busy blog and volunteer for public access when I need to spend a year dispensing with my junk?

Given my propensity for hoarding, how can I write anything, you might say?  Well, it has to do with escaping the melee I have created and continue to create. And oh yeah I forgot to mention  my blind deaf cat who requires his sanitary floor sheet changed daily.

After having an earlier computer fine-tuned at Staples, I lost it when I put it on top of my car and drove away. Now I have an hp  guaranteed to last a year, most of which has expired. My huge blonde computer desk sits more or less inside a vacant closet, whose doors are stuck under my bed in another room ..

Self-publishing three books last year was a step forward; I had file folders full of short stories, journal entries and info from the last job I held, so I published them to get rid of them.

Due to short cords and other unknown factors, I have to type—such as I am doing now—with my keyboard in my lap. As I survey the top of my computer desk I see the dregs of a glass of a cocoanut rum mixture, reading glasses from Dollar Tree, two new pairs of socks that are too small for me, a pack of hearing aid batteries, 4 paperback books, three flash drives, a screwdriver, a Diet Coke bottle top, a computer cord that I don’t recognize, an antique toy rolling pin I bought as a gift but never gave, and a green pair of pliers left from loosening  a recalcitrant   bottletop. Oh, then on the pull-out lap computer shelf there is a banana peel sans banana, a checkbook,  a journal and a free copy of a book by Bill Cosby.

I do love to be able to start writing at midnight  if I like, or groggily tap out a dream early in the morning.  See, it is 1:15 a.m. now.                                                            Nan

 

 

 

Neglected Page

Published January 20, 2016 by Nan Mykel

mandy red shoes.jpg

THIS IS MANDY MYKEL

I’ve been so busy with different blog pages that I have badly neglected my Downs Syndrome page. Tonight I discovered two excellent downs blogs and have included a couple of excellent resources from the noahsdad blog on my page. Another blog that I have found stimulating is http://www.meriahnichols.com/aboutcontact/

I recently changed the name of this page to Dear Down’s.

 

Our Shadow Selves and Guns

Published January 18, 2016 by Nan Mykel

Carl Jung’s “shadow” concept –the part of us we reject, deny and project onto others–would appear to contain in addition to traits we are ashamed of,  also traits and beliefs that are unconscious, leading to mistakenly motivated beliefs and actions. .  I know that’s a mouthful, but for example, evolution’s kinship selection seems to underly prejudice which we deny and are unaware of.

Strongly held drives and unconscious emotional beliefs can  can result in illogical decisions.  One such effect is associated with gun champions.   According to Shankar Vedantam, who painstakingly researched and published  The Hidden Brain,  uivocally is no. “The issue is whether people who live in homes with guns are safer as a result of owning a gun, and the answer  is unequivocally no.” (p 235).   The combined risk of “accidents, suicide and domestic violence dwarfs the risk of homicide at the hands of a stranger.” (p 236).

“We certainly feel more control  when we have a gun in our posession, and it is easy to confuse the feeling of control with safety. Indeed, this is an unconscious bias in the hidden brain….” p 237

Blame It on Chekhov

Published January 18, 2016 by Nan Mykel

For years now, whenever I have cautioned someone not to teach their grandmother to suck eggs they have been stymied, never having heard that phrase before. Even I never knew where it came from, butchekhov tonight I found it, in Anton Chekhov’s “Selected Stories,” newly translated by Ann Dunnigan, p 43, in the short short story “Surgery.” The dentist says, “Teach your grandmother to suck eggs! Oh Lord the ignorance of the people!” Anton Chekhov ———>

OOBES, ANYONE?

Published January 17, 2016 by Nan Mykel

My third book, Shattered Boundaries, is a story about an incest survivor who falls in love with a homosexual who has AIDS and learns to journey out of her body. While on a journey, she runs into “trouble” and as a result stays away from her body too long. When she returns it is to her own funeral.  I have been surprised how few people have heard of OOBES, and was glad this week to read The ESP Enigma: The scientific case for psychic phenomenon,”  by Diane Hennacy Powell, M.D. Chapter 7 is titled “Was She Out of Her Mind, or Just Out of Her Body?”dreams test for google

I am toying with writing a sequence to my book, involving those characters in addition to a TULPA, but probably even fewer folks know what tulpas are. (Available on Amazon via Create Space}.

Poetics: Persona Poem

Published January 13, 2016 by Nan Mykel

Source: nanmykel.com

OUT TO GET ME

On the streets of New York

every woman wears a lasso at her side.

She struts her stuff and gives a wink–

or was an eyelash in her eye?

Her beauty lures me to her until I am

the captor, no longer her, and with

my marriage vows in shambles,

she escapes. There ought be a law.

 

(Idon’t know how to get my poem to you)

My comment would be:  When researching for my first book, I read “Men Who Rape,” by Nicholas Groth, and found that many men experience the attractiveness of women as an aggressive magnet used against them.

A Show-Off’s Dream

Published January 11, 2016 by Nan Mykel

This is about me, of course. A slightly different dream, so I thought I’d share.
I am in front of a room full of people I know and I am reading a poem I have written. While I am still reading they start talking and go on and on so that I lie down. When I waken I realize the voices going on and on are from CNN, which I had left on.

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