Saturday, September 28, 2013

No Tears for my Father: a true story of incest Book Review

Viga Boland is an online friend that I met because we are both advocates for ourselves and for other survivors of incest. When I heard that Viga was writing her memoir, No Tears for my Father: a true story of incest, I told her I wanted to read it and would do a book review afterwards.

As Viga says on the back of her book " 'Victims' own voices are the best weapons against child sexual abuse.' " In some ways, Viga tells my story. In others, Viga's story is distinctly her own and no one else's, as is true for all survivor stories. No Tears for my Father comes with a Trigger Warning Advisory for the safety of those incest survivors who may experience flashbacks or emotional pain from reading the sometimes graphic scenes of Viga's memories.

Viga Boland was born in Australia in 1946. Like many children of the 1940's and 1950's, Viga was taught by her parents to do what the adults in her life told her to do. It didn't matter who the adult was, they were in control if you were a child. This one rule, above all others, made it easy for Viga to become a victim of childhood sexual abuse and incest.

Viga, throughout her book, compares her dad to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll was the smiling, loving father and friend to a lonely little girl who was taught that she was ugly and stupid by the angry, often violent, and unpredictable Mr. Hyde.  Mr. Hyde was physically and emotionally abusive to Viga and to her mother.

When Viga Boland was 11 years old, her family moved to Canada, where the physical and emotional abuse continued and at the age of 12, Viga's dad started to also sexually abuse her. The secrets, the lies, the shame and the blame of incest that make a survivors life a living hell began too.  Secrets such as "Let's not tell mama. It would hurt her." "If not for you, I would be having an affair with some other woman and your mother would be hurt." (These aren't exactly Viga's words. They were lies I was told too.) The coercion, the threats and the fear that are part of the daily life of an incest survivor, all of that worked to keep Viga a prisoner in her parents home until the age of 23. 

To find out more of Viga Boland's story of incest, you will have to read her book. I would recommend the book No Tears for my Father, written by Viga Boland to all who are interested in the truth of what it means to be  a victim of childhood abuse, domestic violence and incest. 

You can visit Viga Boland at these websites which are listed at the beginning of her book: 



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Helplines of the United States of America

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696

• Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433

• Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
• Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743
• Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438
• Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673
• Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272
• Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000
• Exhale: After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice: 1-866-4394253
• Self Harm: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
•Pregnancy Hotline 1-800-4-OPTIONS (1-800-467-8466)
• Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Youth Support Line 800-850-8078
• National Association for Children of Alcoholics 1-888-55-4COAS (1-888-554-2627)
• National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-422-4453
• National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)
• National Drug Abuse Hotline 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357)
• National Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663
• Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention 1-800-931-2237 (Hours:8am-noon daily, PT)
• Veterans: 1-877-VET2VET
• Adolescent Suicide Helpline: 1-800-621-4000
• Postpartum Depression: 1-800-PPD-MOMS

Thank you to my friend, Darleen Thompson from Facebook for sharing these helplines in the United States where most of my readers are. Please if you ever need help, don't hesitate to call the appropriate line listed above.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Child Abuse, Incest, Domestic Violence - In The Silence Nothing Changes

Child abuse, incest, and domestic violence have always been around. People have just now started breaking their silence and talking about it so it seems that it is every where. It is and it always has been. That is why so many of us are so vocal about child abuse and domestic violence. In the silence, nothing changes. Awareness creates change.

This is why so many survivors like me are writing about and speaking about their childhood experiences. Women survivors have been speaking out for a few years now. Finally men have joined the movement forward to a time where every child will be safe from all forms of abuse. That is why I am now writing my memoir about my childhood and efforts to heal from incest. As survivors, we give each other hope and dreams of a world different than the one we grew up in. Join me in this march forward to a better world.

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.