Monday, September 2, 2013

Effects Of Incest - When Your Abuser Is Your Dad

Yesterday, I read an article about the Stockholm Syndrome written by CW Seymore Shards of Glass. Today, I was leaving a comment on her link on Facebook when I decided to make it an article for here. Here is the link to CW's article "The 'Stockholm Syndrome' and the Abused!":

Here is what I wanted to share with you.

When the abuser is your dad, you have a love/hate relationship. You love the dad that says he loves you and makes you laugh and feel good but you hate the dad who abuses you, calls you names, and makes you feel worthless just because you were born a female.

I hated the man that used me for his own sexual pleasures before I was old enough to understand what he was doing. I hated that he took that first time that was supposed to be special away from my husband and me.

Instead of excitement and shyness, I was filled with dread and guilt. I felt shame because that wasn't my first time. I loved my husband but I had so many mixed up, messed up feelings about sex before of the incest.

When my dad forced me to have sex with him, I would close my eyes and go deep inside until it was over. I thank God that my dad was never interested in me enjoying the act. Because of that lack of caring on my dad's part and that of my other abusers, I can separate the sex that was had with them from the love making that occurs between my husband and me in our marriage bed.

Through the love and patience of my husband, I have been able to stay present and experience pleasure in the act of love making. I wasn't the best of partners in the bedroom because of the incest. I had to realize that my husband was not like my dad. My husband taught me how to enjoy my body and his. I have been very blessed and it took time for that to happen.

Spouses of incest survivors don't have an easy road either. They deal with lots of stuff that they don't understand because the incest survivor can't explain what she/he often doesn't understand either. Some of us tell our spouses about the abuse. Others don't. I can tell you that I was married for eight years before I told my husband because I was afraid he would leave if he knew the shame that I carried around inside of me. I wasn't afraid of how he would feel about my dad. I was afraid of what he might think/feel about me. He didn't turn away in disgust. He continued to love me and gave me the needed time and space to work through my major issues.

My dad wasn't my first abuser in my memories that I have but his attitude toward me, women, marriage and toward sex were what took away from my first time with my husband in case you are thinking, well, she told us that her dad wasn't my first. I don't know who my first sexual abuser was. The first one in my memories at age 11 was an uncle. The one who caused the most hurt and emotional damage was my dad who became my sexual abusers within a month of being abused by my uncle. My dad was the one who influenced the way I saw myself and my life.

Who was my first sexual abuser that caused me to think of myself as an adulteress at the age of three? I don't know. I don't have access to those memories, just the clue that I believed myself to be an adulteress at age three. That is a very strong memory that I do have and one of the clues that I was being sexually abused by someone at a much younger age than 11 when my memories of abuse do start.

Here is blog post written by another friend of mine, also on the topic of Stockholm Syndrome.

I am going to end this post with something that I left in a comment after reading the above article:

I do understand the loving your father, hating the lover. When someone tells me that love and hate can't live in the same heart. I tell them they are not incest survivors.


Mary Graziano said...

Pat, thank you for this post, yes, I felt love for the dad that took me fishing, who showed me compassion when my mother didn't care. But then the dad who I hate for what he did to me. It is a love hate relationship stuck inside our hearts. It hurts so much.

I never told my husband for 25 years after we were married, and he was so understanding, and couldn't understand how a father could do something like that to his own daughter.

We survived, and the memories can still come out, and facing that new memory is so hard to do. And like you said Love and hate do exist in one heart, we as incest survivors have felt it, we know it is real. Big hugs my dear friend. Love you for you, and for all you do for others <3

Patricia Singleton said...

Mary, I am so proud of you, my dear friend. We are survivors and together we will get thru this. Love to you too. (((Hugs)))

Alene Gone Bad said...

Beautifully written post, Patricia. You convey the intensity of your feelings so well, and touch the reader's heart by showing your own. Thank you again for sharing.

Patricia Singleton said...

Alene, I thank you for your words. They are important to me. You are very welcome. I appreciate your show of support.

Tracie Nall said...

This is the best explanation of the love/hate dichotomy so many incest survivors experience.

I, too, loved and hated my abuser uncle - he was my best friend and my worst nightmare. This is part of the curse of incest.

Having a supportive spouse who helps to work through the issues, until you can find love and pleasure in the act of sex, is one of the most beautiful blessings a survivor can have in his/her life.

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, Thank you. The ambivalence of our feelings creates so much confusion and shame inside of us as incest survivors when our abuser is someone that we love. Yes, my loving compassionate husband is a beautiful blessing in my life. I tell him so often.

Jean Marie said...

Patricia, you write so clearly about the conflict in the marriage bed. I married believing I was a virgine, in complete denial. My husband knew after our first time. He asked me about it. I was oblivious and did not even understand what he was asking. My dads lie was that I was the one who got away. I believed him. This last year I finally faced the memory of being raped by my father. Which was the worst moment. This still affects my intimate relationship with my husband.

Patricia Singleton said...

Jean Marie, Thank you. Sending prayers and blessings to you for a glorious 2014. The abuse still affects my marriage and intimate relationship with my husband today but to a much lesser degree. (((Hugs))) Just keep talking to your husband. Tell him what you are feeling and what your thoughts are so that he can understand.