Incest

All posts in the Incest category

TO THOSE WHO THINK SURVIVORS ARE DRAMA QUEENS

Published October 5, 2019 by Nan Mykel

Has the #Me Too movement gotten to the backlash stage yet?  It will, in part because people are so incredibly nauseated by  even thinking about sexual abuse, and most especially incest.

I just came across  a chapter which escaped the garbage several years ago, by Philip Ney and Anna Peters, who treat inest surivors. The article, Despair: Saying Good-bye to What Might Have Been or Could Be, deals with “The discrepancy between what they are and what they could have been produces an enormous incipient rage.”

“…They cannot recapture their childhood. Their needs will never be met. ..They can never become what they were designed to become…”

No one  can re-create that loveless childhood because each building block is age and stage specific.  A small example:  I’m a survivor of my father’s incestuous behavior.  I persevered  into becoming a survivor through excellent psychotherapy and escape into academia, but at the gut level I am always tense, if not afraid, of men.  And that’s half the human race!

Don’t get me wrong–I’m relatively content, even happy at times, but I know I’m not whole.

Photo courtesy of  Faisal Jawaid  info@www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://gdj.gdj.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/kits-photography-3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://graphicdesignjunction.com/2013/07/kids-photography/&h=750&w=500&tbnid=0sYvrGsLE8-ErM&tbnh=275&tbnw=183&usg=__TxaMRYu_LpNDk4KTslifxXTYJlA=&docid=YFx0JFHX82-3wM

 

SEE ALSO PAGE ON INCEST

 

I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN…

Published August 30, 2018 by Nan Mykel

In order to respond to a recent blog posting by a survivor,  I got out a book I wrote and published in 2014, and re-read it.  Because the world is so threatened by anything that smacks of sex offending or incest, it’s basically never been read. I published it through Create Space and did nothing to publicize it. Oh, I sent a note to the local paper which was discarded, but I write, I don’t push.  After 4 years I have only 282 blog followers, but I love them all.   My county library was disinterested in helping to sponsor a presentation on the book, and I didn’t push.  A follower wrote something positive about the book but I didn’t know enough to pick up her review and run with it (thank you).

But the thing is, it’s good and valuable and I’ll soon be 83 and no one will have profited from it.  Sooo–I’m going to try and schedule a discussion of it at the county library, knowing that the incest offenders, for whom it was primarily written as well as survivors who I also believe can profit from it but are ashamed, will probably not show up.  I have one friend who I believe will attend–won’t you, Alexa?

The discussion will be based on the book Fallout: A Survivor Talks to Incest Offenders plus her journal including dreams, drawings, and reflections.  I treated sex offenders at Hocking Correctional Facility for 12 years, and spent two or three years researching the literature.  At first I began to write on just my experience as a survivor, and the damage incest causes, but then I realized that would be too easy to discount, so I began the research.

Since I used to be a clinical psychologist before I got too old, the session will hopefully involve give and take more than preaching.

I’m kinda scared to do it, but I figure if I announce I’m going to do it I’ll follow through.

(I think I can.)

SCHEDULED THURSDAY,   NOVEMBER 1 st,  6:30p.m.  Big Meeting Room, Library,

Athens, Ohio, but they want a sponsoring organization so I’ll push through that situation.

WHO IS MY READER?

Published December 24, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I’m finally trying to get the hang of blogging via WordPress’ tutelage, and one of the questions I need to address is who I am writing for [and about what].  That’s an especially tough question for me, because my interests are so far-flung.  I write–a lot of different stuff–I think because I was never listened to until a rehab counselor who became alarmed at my sudden torrent of tears in his office referred me to a master psychotherapist right there and then, making a contact on the phone during the session.

So, I write in response to folks I empathize with, and almost all of them are struggling with some sort of problem at the cusp of growth and change.  My mind is like a billiard table, with thoughts, ideas, questions and “what-if’s” rolling around inside my head almost constantly, by myself.  I’m lonely for intellectual stimulation. I was most alive in graduate school, studying psychology,  where everything and everybody was a glorious mystery.

I know I have too many pages on my blog, but still I probably need to make a separate one for politics, because I keep getting waylaid by someone’s political savvy. My page on Relief is pure bliss, for those into bliss, and the two on Secrets really reveal the wide range of things I’m curious about. But none of that addresses the question of who I’m writing for–what kind of followers would find my blog most compatible with their experiences and interests?  I probably shouldn’t have revealed my age–that’s an automatic downer, but too late to re-think that.  Talking about my book is also a downer, I think–everybody who blogs seems to have written a book.  Most bloggers I have read seem to have suffered from more heartless incest than I did. I can’t relate to the yearning or jilted lover population, and I don’t cook; never did, really.

I can despise myself as much as any blogger, but that’s a downer for others and not fun, even for me, to read.  Obviously my experience with a Downs syndrome child (one page) didn’t light any fires.  So if I’m not aware of who I’m writing for, why write?  It reminds me of my 20 years of volunteering as a public access television producer, when almost no one ever watched that channel.  So–it’s probably back to the question of why I never reached “my potential.”  Since I was licensed to practice clinical psychology in two states, received a Ph.D., and received top-drawer psychotherapy for myself,  I am reluctant to admit that I still  bear the traces of the sexual abuse (from my father) and the verbal abuse (from my mother).  I don’t want others to know that even the best psychotherapy still leaves some of the damage untouched.

As Briere (1996, 84)  said of survivors, they will never not have been abused–the past will continue as memories, and it will always be part of her life.

Although I look okay on the surface, I am the only one who is aware of the shortcomings, inadequacies and even diseased places within.  I’ll have to go and meditate a little more to put that into words for readers who may in turn have empathy for me.

He Adored Her All His Life

Published September 24, 2017 by Nan Mykel

Spoiler:  Tragedy

She listened well, very well.

When he was drunk, she could

put him back on track. He was

so full of himself  (aka her) that

one day when he stepped on her

she stuck to the bottom of his

shoe.  He saw her in his d.t.’s

and never knew  she was there

so close, just squished, still out of

sight,  carried through life on the bottom

of his smelly old shoe. It’s called

trauma bonding. Avoid it if you can.

Could I Re-Write My Childhood?

Published June 25, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I guess I have been holding back some of my resentment. I’m in a  nice normal poetry group on the outside and they love to laugh at my funny lines. This isn’t a therapy group–far from it. It’s a nice civilized friendly group, and I sure can’t let the cat (me) out of the bag there.

On my WordPress blog, I hold back a little. Although an incest survivor, I’m a clinical psychologist and have had oodles of good therapy, and I guess I don’t want other survivors to think I’m typical of an almost “cured” survivor. After all the work and insight and research I’ve been through, if I’m still messed up what does that say to  other survivors who maybe haven’t even begun therapy? I don’t want to turn out to be the rotten tomato others strive for.  I certainly should model a healthy adjustment, at 81!  If I let the cat out of the bag that maybe victims won’t ever be completely “cured,” might that not discourage them?  I’ve done enough harm in my life to not want to be responsible for discouraging others.  And it’s true I do hate complaining blogs.  Hand-wringing doesn’t do it for me.  I’m not aware of many alternatives at the present moment.

It does seem unfortunate that it doesn’t occur to abused and neglected children that there’s something wrong with their parents, not them.  But the books tell us that children have to  believe in their parents, because their very lives depend on their care.  I’m having a fantasy now of  something as popular as the Bobbsey Twins series, in which young readers are taught to observe and diagnose their parents’ behavior.  I even thought about trying to re-write some scenes from my childhood, such as when I was sent home from school sick and my mother angrily told me not to bother her.  A that point I didn’t expect anything else, but I can pretend now her being concerned and feeling my forehead and asking how I felt, etc.

The hell of it is that even if we don’t sexually or physically or verbally abuse our  own children, there is something intangible missing in our own parenting. If we didn’t experience it we don’t have it.  So there, I’VE SHOT MY WAD FOR TONIGHT. And now I realize I should have written “I” instead of “we”  in those last  sentences.

MY AUTHOR’S NOTE

Published June 8, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I look in the mirror and see a strangely content woman losing her femininity to the neutering of old age.  I’m not sure why I cover the gray. Perhaps I want to be seen as someone still to be reckoned with–but was I ever? The antidepressant is helping not only to keep me centered but also to bank the fires of desire.

If I were still sexually desirable would I so easily reject my sexuality? Well, yes, I suppose. I began rejecting sexuality even while still married, although then it was the experience of being valued only for sex that I could not tolerate, since it echoed my feelings that I had nothing to offer another person except sex. I never integrated sexuality into my self. I can think, create, listen well, empathize, write, draw, analyze, and have a sense of humor, but  still struggle with the belief that I have little to offer a partner.  And with that limitation the experience of romance and intimacy is not available  to me.

There are many lessons already learned and incorporated. I am not sarcastic, I am not bitter. I do not “bad mouth” others. I no longer play Pitiful Pearl and Wooden Leg games. And since becoming an adult I have never used any power advantage to hurt others.

And I am not special, although I still struggle with this. During many  years of  “keeping the secret” and believing that I had wielded great magnetic power destructively, I did feel special–especially destructive, especially wicked, especially confused in the head. I still feel different from others. It’s a weird mix of feelings, debased and inflated, and is a flip-flop many survivors have come to know well.

Like many others, I am haunted not only by my father but by my response to him. Problems with perspective and judgment have always dogged my steps, in addition to the fallout of feeling shame. Although I rationally know better, in my eternal reality I stole my father from my mother. I am the other woman in her life. I am his partner in crime. 

So at this point in time and probably until the end of my time, I am a survivor but not a victim….Instead of trying to change in an effort to be acceptable to others, I have come to embrace myself, with all my limitations and strengths. (At least that’s what I’m aiming for). As someone once said, “I’m not okay,  you’re not okay, and that’s okay.”

 

SAFETY FOR US SURVIVORS

Published May 31, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I would like everyone to be safe, but sometimes survivors who have been abused need to be especially cautious, because of a tendency to expect abuse and not watch out for it.  This may be especially true for incest survivors.

Right now, look around yourself and check that you are physically, emotionally, and interpersonally safe.  If you are not safe, problem-solve.  Where does the danger lie and what can you do about it?  Then do it. Remember, denial is the bugaboo.  Safety concerns might include birth control, protection from STDS, abuse of substances, illegal activities such as shoplifting and DUI’s, an unsafe living arrangement, acquaintances that have a toxic effect on you,  impulsive behaviors–yours and theirs–frequenting unsafe places, etc.

Many survivors find themselves in unsafe relationships which they do not see as abusive because of their past. Ask yourself if you  are being respected, listened to, and free of physical and emotional abuse. (Emotional abuse includes being called abusive names).  All of us incest survivors were trapped in the abuse earlier, for which we were not responsible. We are responsible now if we allow ourselves to be further abused in any way.

 

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