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.