Monday, December 10, 2012

THAT'S WHAT STEPFATHERS DO! #incest #child sexual abuse

I have to write this! And forgive me for ranting. But I'm damn angry this morning. I did my usual quick perusal of Facebook posts and came across another poor young woman pouring out her heart about the sexual abuse she and her sister suffered for years at the hands of her step-father. My blood boiled as I read her pain. But what really took me over the top was her mother's reaction when the two girls finally told mommy. Mommy's response?

"That's what stepfathers do."

'Scuse me? That's what stepfathers do? What kind of heartless response is that from a mother to her daughters? That's what stepfathers do.

So it's okay then for you mom to find a new partner, bring him into your home and let him molest your daughters? You give him permission for this because that's what stepfathers do? If he, like many other men, decided to cheat on you with another woman, would you also stand by and say "well that's what men do?" What kind of woman are you? Are you that insecure, that needy of a man like this in your life that you let him screw your daughters and pass it off as "that's what stepfathers do?" Argggh. Pardon me while I vomit!

I'm reading this too often! Patricia A. McKnight was molested for years by her stepfather. Lisa James suffered at the hands of her stepfather. Book after book, story after story ... that's what stepfathers do.

As an incest survivor of sexual abuse by my own biological father, I still cannot fathom why a father would do that to his own flesh and blood. But these stepfathers ... and the women who choose them to step into a father's shoes? I'm still trying to wrap my head around both of these perpetrators. Yes, I hold the mother to blame too. In all crime, accessories to the crime can be charged. Incest is a crime and these mothers are accessories to the crime. They know it's going on and let it happen because "that's what stepfathers do"!

My eldest daughter, a single mom to a 10-year-old, is looking around for a good man. She wants someone like her own dad, a man who would never touch either of his beautiful girls. A gentle man who has all the normal male urges but would vomit at the thought of touching his own daughters or some other woman's daughters were he put in a stepfather's role. Are there any other men like him around? As I read, I become more and more fearful of my daughter finding and falling in love with someone like these molesting stepfathers. What of my grand-daughter if mommy were to have the bad luck of hooking up with one of these perps? Of course, I know she and her daughter are so close that if someone were to touch the child and she told mommy, mommy would gouge his eyes out! Well maybe not quite but you know what I mean. She wouldn't blithely stand by and say "that's what stepfathers do!"

And those mothers who do say that, and worse yet, as in the case of the girl who wrote that post this morning, how can they stay with the creep even after the children have been mercifully removed from the incestuous situation? Do they love the jerk that much or are they that dependent on him, that afraid to be alone, that they stay with him knowing what he did? I don't understand and I never will. I couldn't stand having a man like that in my house, let alone my bed. How do they stand having his hands on their bodies, his penis inside them, knowing that just a few hours earlier or last night they were doing the same to their daughter or daughters? Women, have you no pride? No self-respect? Are you that bloody desperate!

Sorry if I swear but yes, I''m mad. Damn mad! I'm mad at the men who do this and even madder at the women who let them when they know it's going on. And for those women who would care, and who are looking for a mate, bear this fact in mind:

"Incest is more common and more severe in step-parent families. In a comparison of 59 incestuous stepfathers, 70 incestuous biological fathers and 158 offenders against unrelated children .." while their psychological characteristics were similar, "their life histories and marital histories differed significantly. Stepfathers were significantly more likely to have prior convictions for sexual offences, to have been sexually abused themselves as a child, and to have juvenile records."

Stepfathers were also more likely to have histories of previous marital failures. This information comes from a clinical study recorded HERE. If you have the time and care, you might want to read the full study. It's eye-opening.

And I think it should be read by all single moms with children who are looking for a stepfather for those children. Maybe that guy on Plenty of Fish or some other dating site who looks great, sounds like Mr. Wonderful and can sweet-talk his way around all your concerns will one day sweet-talk or force that little girl or boy of yours into letting him sexually abuse him or her. Be wary. Be very wary.  If he's attracted to you and your little girl looks like a young you as she blossoms into womanhood, she could look real good to him ... 'cause "that's what (some!) stepfathers do!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

THANK YOU FOR THE NIGHTMARES DADDY #incest #child sexual abuse

"To sleep, perchance to dream" wrote Shakespeare. Yes, that's what we all want to do: sleep peacefully, letting our subconscious sort out the experiences of the day so we can wake up refreshed and ready to take on a new day.

That's all good when all is good. Dreams are nice. But once you've become a victim of abuse, sexual or otherwise, sweet dreams and refreshing sleep elude us. For many of us dreams become nightmares. We toss, turn, fight demons and sometimes wake up screaming as we try to fight off the abuser or the uncomfortable feelings and thoughts we develop about ourselves ie.. the blame, the shame, the feelings of being dirty, soiled, unworthy, rotten ... an endless list of BAD.

As I write my book, COMING OUT FROM UNDER, beneath the memories I'm finding buried in my psyche, lie the nightmares, almost forgotten now, but not quite. These nightmares puzzle me. A dream expert could have some fun (?) with mine. I think I figured out their meaning long ago, and once I got away from my abuser, my father, these nightmares stopped. In my nightmares, I don't scream. I'm not terrified. But in one, I am filled with tension, worry. In the other, I am filled with revulsion and disgust but utterly confused. Without giving away the full details of these 2 nightmares which recurred for the entire 11 years I was being abused, and even for a short time after, let me try to precis my nightmares:

In the first, I am under a house which is built on brick supports, typical of Australian homes back in the 50's. (No basements there). It is dark but some weak light streaks through the spaces between those foundation pillars. I am digging in the dirt for something but I don't know what I expect to find. But what I feel is tension, great fear of finding something or someone that I have buried there. I cannot think what I've done wrong but I know it's something bad. And the bad is buried under that house. There's another shadowy figure down under the house with me. It is my father. He is digging too. He tells me that when I find it, I must not tell anyone, ever! Just cover it back up with the dirt. I am afraid that what I will find is a dead body. And I'm afraid that if I do, I will be charged with murder and spend the rest of my life in prison. But my father will walk free.

Care to interpret? I have.

In my other nightmare, always the same, I'm desperate to go to the toilet. I rush to the toilet, a small dark one like you find in those portable toilets, and relieve myself.  But when I reach for the paper, I can't find any that is clean. The toilet roll is soiled with excrement! I try to unroll it to find a clean piece and I get the excrement all over my hands. I cannot clean my hands or myself. I wake from this nightmare in panic. I can't stand this filth all over me ... and I can't wipe it off either!

I think the meaning of that one is probably quite clear. Does anyone else have nightmares similar to those I had? What were yours like? When did they stop? Or do they still surface even now, years after the abuse has stopped.

There is one dream I do remember having very often but this was a good dream. Sadly it never came true, well not quite the way it did in my dream. I am in a schoolyard or some crowded situation. There are people of all ages and sizes. They are coming after me but I don't know why. Suddenly, I stiffen on the spot, my legs together, almost glued, rigid. My arms hang tensely by my sides. I take a deep breath, stiffen my legs and arms again, and Houston ... we have lift-off! Just as the people reach for me, I soar high into the air and float above them. They are shouting but I am laughing. I'm flying. They can't get to me. I'm so happy as I zip over rooftops and see the people getting smaller and smaller the higher I go. It's such a wonderful dream. I laugh with happiness and freedom. I'm finally away from everything and everyone who causes me pain. The only nightmare in this dream is waking up to find it wasn't real, that I was only dreaming.

Bob Hope used to close his show for years with the classic "Thanks for the Memories". Those of us who have been, and are, victims of any kind of abuse, but especially child sexual abuse and incest would more likely sing "Thanks for the nightmares"

Can you relate? Your thoughts? Your nightmares? Want to share your story in private? Ask to join our Facebook group at SPEAK OUT FROM UNDER. We listen.