Friday, August 22, 2014


You'd think when one's been victimized by an abuser, you'd run a mile before getting involved with another abuser. Yet, time and again victims tell me they left one abuser only to fall for another. It's like victims have indelible signs printed on their foreheads saying "abuse me!" But we all know that's the last thing victims want or need. So why does it happen?

Some reasons come to mind immediately:

Victims don't feel they deserve better
Victims feel whatever happened to them was their fault
Victims are needy, desperate for love. As such, they are easy targets for abusers.
Victims often hate themselves so much they believe they should be punished.

All of those reasons scream of the insecurity the victim feels as a result of abuse. They feel so empty inside, they rush to fill the void. They are looking for confirmation that they are worthy of love.

This thought came to mind after I read the words below posted by a friend, Johnnie Leonard-Yaegel on Facebook. She was reflecting on how it felt to lose someone you love and why one shouldn't rush to find a new love:

"Filling the spot of someone you have lost to a break up, divorce or even death with anything or anyone else is not always healthy. When the body heals, it focuses on that wound till it is completely well again. It doesn't add another human to the body to heal. So many are in a hurry to fill a void. But a void is room to grow. Sometimes we are too quick to put something there that inevitably slows our growth." 

Her words struck me as being applicable to victims of abuse. Now, you might ask "What has that got to do with abuse victims? They aren't mourning the loss of someone they loved." To which I say 

"Really? I beg to differ"

Here's why: Abuse victims are indeed mourning the loss of someone they loved. That someone is themselves! When we are abused, especially as children, we lose ourselves. Some of us spend a lifetime trying to find ourselves again. We are drawn into relationships, some as harmful as the one we escaped, in our desperation to find that person we loved and lost: ourselves.  We hope that somehow the new person in our life will convince us we are worthy of their love and that through him or her, we can once again learn to love ourselves. Some of us find that person who can do that for us. I did. But sadly,  too many of us never do. We drift from one relationship to another, from one abuser to another, ever seeking confirmation that we are worthy of love. 

But as my friend states above: "A void is room to grow." If we immediately seek a new partner to fill that void, without giving ourselves time to heal, we might end up filling that void with more emptiness, more insecurity. So why rush? Slow down; take the time to heal; let the wound close. Slowing down will give us time to clear our heads, to step back and look objectively at that new person who's saying all the right things but possibly for the wrong reasons. 

Welcome the chance to be alone; to think for yourself; to not have to answer to someone else or do what that person tells you to. In that period of alone-ness, not to be confused with loneliness, you might find someone you can trust and love: yourself. Remember, as Whitney Houston sang, "Learning to love yourself is the greatest gift of all."

That, by the way, is the title and theme of my new memoir, a love story of rebirth and recovery after abuse. All being well, it'll be available from my website in late September/early October. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014


If you have subscribed to my personal blog, VIANVISIONS, on my author's website, you probably are aware that I am currently in the last stages of writing the Sequel to my true story of #incest, "NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER".  I wrote and published that book a little less than a year ago, and today, I have been thrilled with the sales and particularly pleased to see my book added to 6 Ontario libraries. 

Nonetheless, I know there are many thousands of victims of incest and their families who have never heard of the book, or even if they have and would like to read it, feel they can't afford to buy even the eBook copy.  I decided to remedy that if I could, at least temporarily. 

So I uploaded NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER to a site called STORY CARTEL. By joining this site (it's free) readers can download tons of ebooks for free for a limited time. My book can still be downloaded for FREE for another 12 days. So if you've been wanting to read it, here's your chance. 

What's the catch? There is none. 

And what's this about winning a KINDLE? 

Well, if you download my Free book, and leave me a review at AMAZON (and anywhere else you like e.g. Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, GooglePlay) within the next 15 days, you will be entered for a chance to win that KINDLE, or an Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift or more...just for leaving me a review. 

Why is your leaving a review for me important to me?

Because the more reviews my book receives, especially at Amazon, the higher it goes in the rankings, meaning many readers are likely to find it. And if they want or need this book, to help them heal, to help them realize they are not alone as victims of incest, then that's important to me.  

Won't you help them, or perhaps help yourself, by downloading NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER absolutely FREE, leaving me a review? Even just a few lines would help. 

Thank you in advance for doing this and I hope you'll share this blog post with others who might like to take advantage of this FREE offer. As for my sequel, where I cover the years since I left my abusive father and built a new life for myself with my husband and children, look for it to become available in the next few months. 



To understand and enjoy LEARNING TO LOVE MYSELF, it will help to have read NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER. So go grab yourself a FREE copy now from STORY CARTEL

Monday, June 16, 2014


Sabrina is in her 40's now and still lives at home with her mother and step-father. She works in their shop but receives no salary. Her step-father thinks she's insane and wants to have her committed. Her mother is abusive and narcissistic. The rest of her relatives think Sabrina is crackers too. Everyone tells her to stop talking rubbish and tarnishing the family name with her ridiculous allegations of incest by an uncle who is today a very prominent member of society. He also wields lots of power. Sabrina is scared of what he could do to her and her family if she ever goes public. So she stays silent. 

She's told her mother the story time and again. One minute her mother says she's making it all up; the next she tells her to get over it: it happens to lots of girls, so just get over it. But Sabrina can't. 

She was only 7 when 'it' happened. Her parents had left her in her uncle's care. She trusted him when he said she was being taken to have a needed medical procedure. There were 4 "doctors" in the room. She was put under. When she awoke, one of the doctors was on top of her. No, correct that: he was inside her and she hurt. Then the other doctors took turns. And they took photographs too. And they laughed. 

They took turns. 

When they finished with me, I was told the procedure went wonderfully. 
I was sore. 
I was tired. 
I was confused. 
I wanted to throw up. 
I didn't want to be near him anymore. 
I sensed something had changed my relationship with him forever. 
I sensed something had changed me forever. 
I just wanted to go home. 

I was 7-years-old

Sabrina never forgot and never got over it. She did what all incest victims do: she went quiet because she was fearful of what would happen to her if she told. 

Sabrina has been quiet for 40 years now. She's gained weight, on purpose. She doesn't want men to get interested in her. That doesn't mean she wouldn't love to have a good husband and children and all the rest, but she's too scared and she can't trust any man. The same relative abused her again at a later date under different circumstances and not to the same degree. But his abuse just cemented her fear and buried her silence even deeper.  She's written about it in her blog, LIGHT DANCING IN THE SHADOWS. Click the link to read her side of the story. Right now, her only support is readers like you and writers like me. 

Sabrina wants to leave home but has no money to head out on her own. She's a prisoner of her past and her present. She's trying to fight back using the only weapon she has now: words. She is speaking out from under incest. She's committed to writing a book about it and has already started. And every day, her parents keep her chained, convincing themselves and everyone around her that she is nuts. 

We other victims of incest know better. Sabrina is not nuts. She needs support and ears willing to believe her side of the story. I have promised to help her publish her book when it's done. As much as I wish she'd find the courage to get out of the prison she's been in for 40 years, that is ultimately up to her. Only she can change her life. But writing her story is a beginning. Don't back down Sabrina. Fight for your life and your freedom. Fight for your chance to be the beautiful woman you can be and are, away from your persecutors. Others have done it. You can too. Courage and love my friend. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014


You have to go out to pick up some groceries and don't feel like getting your youngster all dressed up to take him or her with you. Grandpa's watching TV and having a cuppa. You wonder if he'd mind looking after the little one for an hour. You promise not to be long and you tell your child to be good and do whatever grandpa tells him or her to do. And you're out the door.

When you get back, your little one runs into your arms and starts crying? Did he or she miss you that much in such a short time? Why does he/she looked scared? Oh it's probably nothing. Your little one's just a bit tired ...

Meet Angela: she's in her 20's now and a member of my secret incest group on Facebook. She wasn't that little when "it" happened. She had just graduated from Grade 8, but she waited another 3 years to tell on Grandpa. As she wrote to me recently:

"As I was still too young to stay alone over night, I went to my grandparents' house. The night started off as any other, watching some boring shows that my grandparents just loved. My nana decided to have a shower while my papa and I just continued to watch the television. I heard the shower turn on and that's when the night took a turn for the worse. My papa got up out of his usual seat in the rocking chair and came over and just looked at me. He then proceeded to lift up my blue nightgown and touched me; he fondled my lack of a chest, and kissed me,  trying to stick his tongue in my mouth. He must have gotten spooked because he suddenly went back to his chair and sat down. But not even five minutes later,  while I was still trying to process what had happened, he was in front of me again. He held his finger up to indicate "one more time" and repeated what he'd just done 5 minutes earlier.  When I heard the shower water turn off, I'd never been so thankful in my life! I ran into the bathroom with cramps (which I later learned happens when ever I'm nervous) and begged my nana to call my parents. She called and called and finally my dad came and picked me up at 3 in the morning. He asked what was a matter.  I told him I had cramps he said it must be my period coming on. I agreed, unable to tell him the truth. When we got home I went right to my room and cried and cried and cried."

Maybe to the reader of this post, that doesn't sound so horrific. Perhaps readers have experienced what they consider much worse happen to them at the hands of a grandparent. But all children are different in how they react to violation of their bodies. Some take it much harder than others. But none of them ever walks away and forgets about it.

And the bottom line is NO GRANDFATHER has the right to do what Angela's grandfather did! To this day, though Angela's come a long way thanks to some therapy for this and other abuse she later suffered at the hands of others, she still has a lot of "self" issues.

Before writing this post, I did a quick Google search on "grandfathers, sexual abuse". Pages and pages of articles, forums, blogs came up, like this one:

and this one:

Read the articles. Feel the pain. Now tell me this isn't happening again and again with those, whom next to our parents, we should be able to trust most: our grandparents!

And then there's this information I found at this link:

"Using a sample of 95 case records of sexual abuse substantiated through child protection investigation, this study confirmed several findings from earlier studies of sexually abusive grandparents: (a) virtually all perpetrators are male, (b) the vast majority of victims are female, (c) a disproportionately large share of abusive grandfathers appear to also be sexually abusive fathers, and (d) stepgrandchildren appear to experience greater risk. Additionally, it was noted that stepgrandparent perpetrators were more threatening and physically violent. However, contrary to some earlier studies, evidence was provided that this form of abuse is inappropriately described as "gentle." Explicit threats and overt physical assault were noted in 14 cases. Moreover, the other tactics used to gain children's compliance, such as overpowering them, suddenly grabbing their genitals, and attacking them in their sleep, appeared to seriously compromise children's autonomy and personal integrity."

 I was intrigued by that sentence above that said these forms of abuse were considered "gentle". I guess they were like Angela's case. That statement makes such abuse sound less significant, something moms leaving their children with grandpa needn't worry about even if the old man does decide to lift the child's nightie and cop a feel or stick his tongue in her mouth.  After all, it's only grandpa. Right Angela?

Sunday, June 1, 2014


After writing and publishing my own true story of #incest, "No Tears for my Father", I began mentoring memoir writing groups for my local library. This most rewarding volunteer position brought me, and the participants, a few surprises, the biggest being what many of the members were experiencing as they completed various writing exercises I assigned: they found what they were doing ... writing ... was therapeutic!

Of course, I'd known writing was therapeutic since I was a teen: in my unhappiness,  I'd begun penning poems and writing songs that captured my angst and heartache, and in doing so, I often found release for my pain and bottled up rage. I had no-one to talk to about the incest. But putting what I was feeling down on paper somehow helped.

And now, the members of my memoir group, even those who hadn't necessary come into the group to write about trauma or personal tragedy, found that as they recalled their past, remembered things about their childhood, even incidences like feeling awkward at puberty, or their first crush, were finding that writing about these things was "freeing". They realized that even now as adults, some of their present insecurities and hangups harked back to those earlier days. Writing about them now brought them face to face with some issues they still have trouble dealing with day to day in their personal lives and careers. And hence came the realization for them all that writing is utterly therapeutic, because, as Adair Lara once stated:

“When you pin your misfortune to a page, you rob it of its power. You begin to get distance from an event the moment you write it down. Even the most intimate and horrendous details of your life become transformed into material”

That misfortune could be something as current as losing a job you've worked years to get, or saving money for a trip only to have to use it to fix a leaking roof. It doesn't have to be something as horrendous as incest or rape, but when it is, then the therapeutic nature of writing becomes incredibly healing.

One of the members of my memoir writing group had always been a writer, but she only wrote fiction. Suddenly, in the memoir class,  with every exercise, her past surfaced so strongly she couldn't stop writing about it.  It was she who first said to us all, "I'm finding these sessions, the writing, the exercises are therapeutic," and everyone agreed. This same discovery was made by the authors of that famous book, which I highly recommend for those wanting and needing to heal, THE COURAGE TO HEAL.  They point out again and again how therapeutic it is to write your pain onto the page. 

Have you tried writing your pain on a page yet? Try it! Try it the next time you have a flashback that knocks the wind out of you. Or the next time you hear your abuser's words mocking you, frightening you, reducing you to a blubbering mass of tears. Wipe away the tears by writing down everything that is on your mind, all the tortuous thoughts. You don't have to share it with anyone. This is just for you.

And as my memoir member recently wrote on our writers group page at Facebook:

"Vomit flows freely from my past, cleansing the depth of my soul at last."

Let this happen to you. Heal yourself through writing and/or journalling.

Did you know you can read excerpts from "No Tears for my Father" for FREE? Just click on the book title to read some sample chapters now!

Purchase your signed, printed version of NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER directly from the author, Viga Boland.

Friday, May 9, 2014


These past two weeks, like many of us, I have been horrified and nauseated by the news of the kidnapping of those young girls in #Nigeria by the #Boko Haram. I am appalled by the rationale, the justification their mad leader, Abubakar Shekau, gives for their actions, i.e. 

"Girls, you should go and get married!" 

Adding further that "There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women!"

This line of thinking about women ... no ... young girls barely in their teens, is appalling! I want to scream out "What gives men the right to treat women this way?" Why, in this day and age are there cultures that still hold this archaic, barbaric attitude toward women? How many more centuries will it take before women are seen as equal and as deserving as men, not put on this earth to serve men, to be their slaves, good for nothing more than sex and having children? 

And yet, this attitude, as we all know, is not limited to Nigeria and many middle eastern cultures. Here in the great Western world, how much progress have women really made? We are far from equal to men in so many areas of life: work, home, educational opportunities etc. Men continue to rape women; pedophiles from all walks of life, abuse children of both sexes. Fathers, grandfathers and uncles continue to sexually molest their daughters, and families in denial continue to protect the abusers and victimize the victims. 

In my never-ending efforts to understand my own childhood sexual abuse and my mother's role in it, as told in my book, NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER,  I've been reading a book titled "Mothers of Incest Survivors" by Janis Tyler Johnson. This author studied and spoke with six  mothers and daughters about incest, how the moms found out, when they found out, how they handled it etc. Explanations for their failure to do nothing even when they knew the abuse was happening, are generally focussed on either the dependence these mothers had on the fathers for financial support or their own fear of their spouses. Both of those reasons would have applied to my own mother. Here's an excerpt from my book that explains her own fear of my father: 

"She met dad in the camp when she was 16. He fell madly in love with her but she never loved him. It was war-time and she had no-one, so he looked after her. One night in the trenches as the planes still patrolled overhead just after the war ended, I was conceived. So there she was, 17 and pregnant to a man she didn't love. 

Whatever pressures they were under, it didn't take long for Dad's violent nature to surface after they got married. I remember her telling me many years later how he kicked her off the bed and onto the floor, then continued to kick her in her swollen belly because of something she said that upset him. Another time he forced her down on her knees, demanding she kiss his little finger to acknowledge his dominance over her. She refused. 

The beating that followed her "disobedience" convinced her once and for all that opposing him was futile. She turned into a quiet little mouse who went to work, cooked his meals, cleaned the house and had little time for me, who after all, had come along, unwanted, and unfortunately for us both, chained her to him forever. No wonder I felt she had an unspoken resentment of me all my life. "

That was 50 years ago. How different was my father or his attitude toward women from the Boko Haram? And how many men living today in our very modernized western society still perceive women as my father did ie. that it was his right to treat mom this way, that indeed, she should kiss his little finger and if she didn't do as he commanded, then it was his right to kick her in the belly or beat her up or whatever he felt was fitting punishment for this little woman he most obviously saw as beneath him, as something so much lesser than he was. Garrghhh! It just makes me want to spew!

I think about my father and I read news items like this and every day I am so thankful that the man I married doesn't think like these men. How did I get this lucky? How I hope my daughters meet and marry men just like their dad. Did you, dear victim of incest or child sexual abuse have the good fortune to meet a really good man, one who understands that women deserve the same love and respect that men do. I sure hope so. 

Purchase a signed, printed copy or electronic copy for all e-readers directly from the author's website

Have you read "No Tears for my Father", a true story of incest, yet? Click the title to purchase a signed, printed copy today directly from the author herself. You will also find the electronic version for all e-readers, including Kindle, on the author's website, where you can also read chapters from the upcoming SEQUEL to her book which covers the 20 - 25 years of recovery and finding herself through love. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


At the request of readers and fans of my book, NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER, I am currently writing a SEQUEL to my true story of incest. In a previous post here, I invited subscribers to this blog to subscribe to that sequel as well. It's FREE, and you can read as I write because, at least for a while,  I'm posting the story chapter by chapter.

But as I work my way through it, I have to ask myself what do my readers want to know? If they are simply interested in knowing how I recovered from 12-13 years of incest at the hands of my biological father, "got over it" as it were and moved on to have a productive life after incest, then I am writing what they want to read. It's a memoir of my married life following my exit from a despicable situation.

But if the person who reaches for this sequel is looking for a book on healing, therapy for their own pain, then my Sequel, as yet un-named, may fail to satisfy their need. You see, for some reason I cannot explain even to myself, once I walked away from my father it was like I erected a wall between me and my past. And once on this side of that wall, I stopped letting the past rule my present.  Where I found that strength, I don't know but perhaps it's rooted in the fact that it took so much strength not to buckle, commit suicide, resort to drugs or booze while I was being abused, that once I was away from it, I had a arsenal of strength to carry me through whatever life might throw my way.  You see, as far as I was concerned, I'd been through the worst already ... and I'd survived.

On top of that, I now had a whole new world to discover, a world that had been denied me. I was naive. I'd never dated. I'd been locked in a prison. But my jailor had let me go,  not easily, and not without trauma and drama, but I was out of there and ready to taste a freedom I'd never known. Perhaps by focussing on the good that was to come instead of forever slipping into the very bad of the past, by thinking of the positives instead of the negatives, therapy and healing came quietly, subtly, and I never really knew it was happening.

Now granted, as I've said many times, I got lucky: I found a really good man and slowly but surely started to trust again. As my trust and love for him grew, and I realized he wasn't going to dictate my every thought and action or restrict me in any way from doing whatever I wanted to, bit by bit my confidence in, and respect for myself flourished. I began to like myself again, even love myself again,  and as Whitney Houston once sang: "Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all", and the most important love if one is to heal from childhood sexual abuse.

Coupled with all that is something else I'm realizing as I write this sequel: while I hated myself for not standing up to my father for all those years, unlike so many victims of incest, I never really blamed myself for what happened. Maybe that's because I was 11 and not 2 or 3 when my father started abusing me. At 11, as horrifying as what he was doing to me was, somehow I knew this wasn't my fault. I never saw myself as the reason for the abuse; I didn't invite him in: he forced himself on me. How was I to blame? I fought him for months but there's only so much mental and physical abuse one can take before you finally give in. It's self-preservation. And somewhere inside the recesses of my mind, I made the logical and intelligent decision that regardless of what anyone might think, what happened was NOT MY FAULT!

I truly believe that realization, and the acceptance of it, is tantamount to recovery. Once we stop blaming ourselves for what happened, once we put the blame squarely on the abuser, we can finally begin to heal. So when my Sequel is ready, if you, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse want to read it in the hope that somewhere in there you will find a means, a pathway or guidelines to your own recovery, you most likely won't find it. Instead, if you are still blaming yourself, asking why me, and waiting for an apology from your abuser or for justice be done in the law courts, my SEQUEL will be of little use or interest to you.

If, on your other hand you want and need to believe that you CAN survive the memories and flashbacks of incest (and you will indeed see me battling them in this sequel) you will get that from this second book.  You will also come away knowing it is possible to learn to trust and love yourself and others again, for, if you survived the actual abuse, you can survive the recovery from it too.  Don't think "can't" or "won't".  You survived the war. You can survive the aftermath too by believing you can  do it.