Roseanne Barr: “I Was the Victim of Incest, “I Wasn’t the Victim of Incest,”…’Oh Well, Let’s Talk About My Sex Life Instead’

In 1991, Roseanne Barr publicly accused her parents of sexually and physically abusing her when she was a child. Roseanne said her desire to speak up had been inspired by former Miss America, Marilyn Van Derbur, who had gone public with her personal story of having repressed memories of being raped by her father for years.

Roseanne, who grew up in Salt Lake City Utah, said she had repressed her memories until something triggered them. Roseanne’s parents, Helen and Jerome Barr, denied all of her accusations.

“Keeping the secret of incest has taken all my energy and courage for 38 years. For most of my life, voices in my head must have been telling me, “Shut up. Shut up. Shut up and take it. There’s nothing you can do, take it, forget it. At least you have a place to live and food on the table. You’re crazy. You deserve it.”

Roseanne says that after her former husband, Tom Arnold, told her that he was sexually abused by his baby-sitter, she immediately started to shake and sweat. She said that “pictures started to appear before her eyes.” She called them “surreal and frightening, looming large, then crystallizing into my mother’s face.”

The frequent dreams about being molested sometimes caused her to wake screaming. Roseanne also described a state of anxiety attacks, being unable to drive, and thoughts of suicide. Through individual and group therapy, she began to believe herself.

http://static.tvguide.com/MediaBin/Galleries/Shows/M_R/Ri_Rp/Roseanne_Barr_Blonde_Bitchin/season1/roseanne-barr-blonde2.jpg

Roseanne’s accusations included that her mother abused her from the time she was an infant until she turned 6 or 7 years-old. She said her mother “did lots of lurid things. She hurt me psychologically and physically.”

“I remember being 2 years old and standing in my crib. I remember my mother holding a pillow over my face, pushing me down. I remember thinking, ‘Lie still, play dead.’ I did, and then Mother took the pillow away and said, “I must have hurt you honey. I was just playing. As soon I was able to start talking, my mother went from physical abuse to a more emotional and mental abuse. I remember when I was about 5 or 6 that I came home from school and my mother was lying on the kitchen floor with blood covering her neck and chest. I screamed and screamed for two or three minutes. Then she sat up and said, “It’s ketchup, you idiot,” and laughed. She always played horrendous mind games with me all through my life.”

Roseanne says her father molested her until she left home at age 17. “He constantly put his hands all over me. He forced me to sit on his lap, to cuddle with him, to play with his penis in the bathtub. He did grotesque and disgusting things: He used to chase me with his excrement and try to put it on my head. He’d lie on the floor playing with himself. It was the most disgusting thing you can ever imagine.”

The accusations also included that her father did not allow the children to lock the bathroom door, that he would enter the bathroom when she was in the shower and look at her naked. “So I took baths,” she said. “That way I could bend my knees up around my chest and fold in while he stood there taking pictures of me with his new movie camera.”

Previous to the incest memories, Roseanne said she had retained a “fantasy of our happy, quirky family, a bit off-kilter, but colorful, all-American, Jewish.”

Roseanne has openly spoke of her addictions, her issues with food, and self-injury.

Now, years later, Roseanne has appeared on the Oprah show in order to update us on her life. After seemingly endless dribble about her farm in Hawaii, a discussion about the Connor family cast members, laughter about the joys of her current sex life, and chit-chat about the presidential election, it was suddenly, ‘oh, by the way, the incest accusations.’

So after Oprah, her guests, and Roseanne’s boyfriend clapped for her, raved about Roseanne being so “spontaneous and brilliant,” and that she is good in bed, the topic of incest and her public allegations against her parents were finally discussed.

When Roseanne had originally made the incest accusations, she wanted everyone to know, and wanted to give voice to other victims. But when Oprah began to ask her about the allegations, and how she feels about them now, Roseanne wanted the topic over as quickly as possible. “I’ll try to say it quickly” she said, “I wish I had waited until my therapy was completely over before going public.”

She then said, “I think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done.” “It’s the biggest mistake that I’ve ever made.” Oprah asked Roseanne if she was referring to calling it “incest” or about going public. “Well, both of those things,” Roseanne said.

Then Roseanne went on to say that the book, The Courage to Heal, influenced her decision to believe her memories. She spoke of the passage in the book, that states,  “if you have the feeling this happened, then it did.” Roseanne then mentioned the fact that a lot of ‘other people were making accusations’ of abuse at the time.’ She said that, at the time, she was prescribed psychiatric drugs, in a bad relationship, ‘had some mental illness,’ and that the drugs caused so many problems, she didn’t know what the truth was.

Roseanne’s sister Geraldine was in the audience of the Oprah show. Geraldine stated that she had to find out about the incest accusations by seeing Roseanne’s story on the cover of People magazine. “I saw the magazine article and dealt with our family and felt that we come from pretty common Jewish folk there in Utah,” she says. “I came from parents that loved me. I knew I was loved.”

What, Jews don’t commit incest?

Roseanne now says that she had the feeling of having been abused, and did have memories, but feels that using the word “incest” was wrong to do.

Roseanne said her father crossed boundaries –ones that other people would call incest, and said that nobody makes accusations without justification. Roseanne feels that she needs to think of another word for what happened to her (other than incest).

So does this mean that she now feels her father crossed boundaries, but never touched her sexually? That he stared at her naked, against her will, and that he made her play with his penis and put his hands all over her, but that this wasn’t incest???

Although she regrets the way she publicly accused her parents, she still says that she “didn’t just make it up. A lot of things were true and abusive and horrible things that happened to me that my father did.”

Her father died ten years ago and she vaguely spoke about how ‘Jews are supposed to uplift their fathers when they enter the after-life.’ So what does she mean, that she won’t talk badly about a man who she says abused her just because he is dead? That she won’t use the word “incest” now that he is gone?

Roseanne says she has found peace and is “very content.” Well good for her, but she is very unhelpful to those of us who have gone through the process of breaking through Dissociative Amnesia for incest. She also doesn’t help current victims, or any future victims out there who are, right now, dissociating from being raped, molested, threatened with death, ritually abused, or otherwise controlled by people in positions of power.

In 1991, Roseanne said, “Incest and child abuse thrive in darkness, in secrecy. One of the great taboos about incest is talking about it, dealing with it and healing from it. I believe the more voices we hear, the braver we become. I want to enter my voice into the mix. I want to be one more person who speaks out and up about incest, to give it a name. With a name and a visible form, we can treat it, contain it, destroy it.”

Well great, but now what she has done is probably made countless victims and survivors question their own memories, caused many people to disbelieve and even scoff at victims who speak about previously repressed memories of abuse, and has caused victims and survivors to wonder if speaking up about having been abused is even the right thing to do.

Barr says that after she first went public about the incest allegations, she was contacted to visit sexually abused children. She said that one girl really touched her in particular. The child told Roseanne that “she was so glad that any celebrity cared about them. She reminded me of all the little girls and little boys who have to live with that horrible experience. She reminded me of me.”

Well what would Roseanne have to say to that child now?

Personally, I believe Roseanne was sexually abused as she originally thought. I feel that her drug and alcohol addictions, problems with food, self-injury, and mental health issues, are all indicative of someone who was sexually abused as a child, but that the drugs she was prescribed really screwed with her memory and thinking process. I feel that, over the past several years, Roseanne has slipped back into denial.

Roseanne’s original account of the “incest” and other abuse sounds very true. They are not stories that sound contrived at all. The way she tells it sounds very much like she was right-on the first time. But now, what are we to believe? She has presented us with very conflicting stories and versions of the “truth.” This is unfair to victims and survivors. I wonder if she even realizes this?

It was pretty nauseating to see this woman uplifted and admired by Oprah and the audience, when Roseanne should have spent the hour deeply discussing the issue of repression, incest, child abuse, and how her actions have hurt -not only her family- but probably thousands of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, ritual abuse, mind control, terror, torture, and incest.

This is a very serious situation that she has brought on herself and that she brought victims and survivors into. It should have been seriously discussed, not mixed in with laughter and praise for her successful TV show, her macadamia nut farm, and the joys of her sex life.

After Roseanne revealed her story in People magazine two decades ago, someone wrote this to People magazine:

“Roseanne’s Story: An Expert’s View:
Dr. Judith Lewis Herman, who has studied childhood sexual abuse for 20 years, is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on incest. An associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and a staff physician at the Women’s Mental Health Collective in Somerville, Mass., she is the author of Father-Daughter Incest. She spoke with correspondent Heidi J. LaFleche. Roseanne calls her experience incest, but cites no instance of sexual intercourse. Is her use of the term accurate? The essence of the term is sexual exploitation, not a particular sexual act. For a child to be forced to perform fellatio can be as frightening and overwhelming a violation as vaginal or anal intercourse. It’s not which orifice is violated, but the child who is psychologically and physically violated. Anytime a child is sexually exploited by a relative in a position of power, that’s incest. What typically is a child’s emotional response to incest? What is essential is the violation of trust by the person to whom the child turns for care. The child learns that the most intimate relationships are dangerous. Is it common for a victim of incest to bury the information for long periods of time? It’s quite common. The majority of kids don’t tell while they’re growing up because they fear being blamed or threatened with dire consequences if they tell. So most kids keep it secret well into adult life. Even from themselves? Frequently, yes. Many kids learn to create a secret compartment in their minds where memories are stored but not readily accessed until later on. The trigger is often a specific reminder of the abuse. Once the memories are released, they can come in a flood. Is it possible that Roseanne could be imagining the incidents of abuse she recalls from her childhood? Anything is possible, but we do know that what she’s describing is consistent with the way traumatic memories come back to people. Normal memories have a context and a story line. Traumatic memories don’t. They have a hyperreal quality. They’re very vivid and consist of images, sensations and feelings. What we have found is that the great majority of women who actually try to validate their memories from outside sources are able to do that.”

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Oprah.com

Peoplemagazine

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73 Responses to Roseanne Barr: “I Was the Victim of Incest, “I Wasn’t the Victim of Incest,”…’Oh Well, Let’s Talk About My Sex Life Instead’

  1. My personal opinion after reading much about her and watching both of her shows is that her father was abusive. My thought of her changed a good deal when her Mom appeared with her and told the story of Roseanne getting hit in the head by a car as a teen and having the cars hood emblem engraved on her. Her Mom says “Roseanne was a different person after that.” I think her head injury explains quite a lot of her behavior and mental state.

    • Alethea says:

      A parent hiding an abusive childhood might use a head injury to try and explain away true accusations of incest. Both the car accident AND the incest could have happened.

      I believe something sexual happened to her as a child, we just may never know what, or by whom.

  2. I think Roseanne is a coward. She still cares what her family thinks. Despite her tough “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me” attitude, it is obvious that she desperately needs the approval of others. This is why she minimized her previous incest statements. Just because the perpetrator is deceased doesn’t mean that they are forgiven or that anyone should forgive them. They still committed the act. Period.
    I believe that all Roseanne has done is given credence to “Don’t rock the boat, just keep quiet, forget it and move on.” Now other victims are questioning whether or not they were really abused. Should I speak out? Am I crazy? Maybe I wasn’t sexually violated?
    A pedophile is a pedophile is a pedophile; no matter how you slice it. Anyone who has sexual desires towards children is a pedophile. I don’t care if they only look and there isn’t any technical intercourse…they are a pedophile.
    My Story
    When I was 5, my babysitter’s husband molested me several times and molested his own daughter, who was 4, every day. I told my mother about this on 3 separate occasions and she called me a liar at first. When I insisted that I wasn’t, she told me that it was my problem and I should tell him to stop. I stated that I had told him to stop. She told me that I must want him to, because if I had told him to stop then he would have. Then I was told to quit making problems for her.
    None of these memories were ever suppressed. I clearly remember all of the physical, emotional and psychological abuse that was inflicted upon me by my parents and others. This is why I am not an alcoholic, a drug addicted, criminal or degenerate. Suppression is the worst thing a victim can do to themselves.
    In conclusion, Roseanne is a no role model for victims of child sexual abuse. She has done more harm than good.

    • Andre' says:

      Roseanne is mentally ill, and probably has MPD/DID and changes her mind often. Its understandable.

      • Alethea says:

        Everyone changes their mind, and has different moods. It does not give a person the right to practically laugh at repressed trauma, and to minimize sexual abuse on national TV by using their star status.

        She is perfectly capable of conducting herself in her day to day affairs, and in her current jobs in Las Vegas, and with her farm in Hawaii. She is a perfectly capable human being! Stop making excuses for women.

      • Anonymous says:

        You pass an awful lot of judgement. Maybe you should take that hostility you’re putting on someone you don’t know and focus it on your own shortcomings. Just because she has an “I don’t care what people think of me” attitude when it comes to the general population doesn’t mean there aren’t one or two people who still terrify her. I have a general “I don’t care what peopel think of me” attitude, but I admit I still have a certain amount of fear for people who have brutally hurt me in more vulnerable times.

        • Alethea says:

          Dear anonymous, I not only don’t care what others think of me, I dare to say what others don’t dare. You might consider it “judgmental” or “hostile” but I just call it as it is. She has made a mockery out of repressed memory and brushed off accusations of incest as “oh well, my bad.” This is detrimental to children and to adult survivors of sexual abuse.

          Her attitude is not…”not caring what others think,” it is one of selfishness. She did not use prudence in her public accusations and in using her stardom to speak about vital issues.

          • Slightly mad says:

            It seems kind of mixed up that the victim is expected to be perfect- of course the bad guys are bad, but victims aren’t allowed to make mistakes or do anything wrong or they’re bad too and they get picked apart far far more than the actual perpetrators.

            What she said was damaging and destructive, but since when do victims have to get everything right and never give in to denial or whatever else. There are certain ways a victim is expected to behave and if they don’t play their role ‘appropriately’ they cop more flack than the perpetrators. No one can fit perfectly into any category, we’re all good and bad and helpful to different degrees at different times. Her parents were very very bad to abuse her, but it doesn’t mean she has to be very very good for that to be true and for her to be respected as a human being instead or torn apart here.

            • Alethea says:

              Oh for goodness sake….”torn apart?” And respect is earned. I respect her as a human being, in that I would stop my car on a dime and help her off the side of the road if she were injured or stuck in a ditch. But I will not stop myself from expressing my opinion about her lack of awareness, her lack of using the Golden Rule in outing her family, and her lack of regard for other survivors, and for children –children who are severely affected by flippant incest retractions and someone laughing off a very serious subject.

              I judge her actions, and you now are judging me for daring to have a different opinion than yourself. Be careful you are close to being a hypocrite.

              I don’t expect anyone to be perfect, but when another human being, abused or not, makes light of incest allegations in a forum that millions of people will watch, then that person is off, and I have a right to say so.

              • No one is arguing your right. As someone who has been through similar issues there seems to be years where I’m doing great and years where I’m not. I think this is common with all abuse and you often find yourself in circles. Since she is a celebrity those circles are well documented and may seem like contradictions or something else that will lower her “credit”. Unfortunately, a lot of abused people (as children) go through a long line of emotions that last a lifetime and are so confusing. You are not seeing this first hand, you are seeing this through 3rd party media and it is no way to make an official judgement of someone.

              • Alethea says:

                PF, people were indeed saying I have no right to say what I did about her. Nevertheless, that’s not even the real issue.

                I agree with, and understand most of everything you say, but my point is still being lost.

                She has every right to heal/grieve/feel, etc. any way she chooses in her personal life…but before a star with her magnitude goes on Oprah before tens of millions of people, I do expect her to think about what the hell she is doing and saying.

  3. Jess says:

    Thanks Althea, people need to point this stuff out and take a stand. I so agree with the need to make judgements when things are wrong- like in the examples you used. I was inspired by the way you stood your ground and agree with what you said. Except for one thing, it’s really common for people to take back accusations as part of the process of coming to terms with things.

    I regularly deny all the abuse that happened to me even though a some of it is documented and proved. It’s true that doing that on TV has a disasterous impact for all of us, but I’m not sure whether we should blame her or use it as a chance to talk about why people do things like that. I honestly think a lot of people cope in the world by thinking somehow or another what happened to them ‘wasn’t incest, or wasn’t that bad, or wasn’t abuse’ because to continually live with that knowledge is truly incredibly painful.

    There are points in time where it’s easier to try and convince yourself and others that you’re ok and what was done to you didn’t hurt that much/was partly your fault/is over now/etc. etc. I’m pretty sure that we’ll hear from her again, next time it hits her hard. And maybe she’ll talk about why she spoke like this and what was happening for her at the time. Unless she’s decided never to speak about it in public again.

    Still, I do personally feel hurt, betrayed and upset by what she’s said because anything that makes people think it’s not a big deal or is something to laugh about sets us all back and plays a part in shaping a culture where future victims aren’t believed and taken seriously.

    PS: to the ‘Professor’ (who will probably never read this), you should be ashamed to make such ignorant comments. There is loads of evidence for recovered memories, maybe it hasn’t been done in a lab- but honestly, what board of ethics could approve traumatising children for the purpose of studying memory? There is at least one study I know of where researchers got hospital records and asked the victims when they were adults if they remembered being abused and a significant amount of them didn’t, even though there was documented physical evidence. Any decent google scholar search will pull up loads of evidence to show that it does certainly happen.

    • Alethea says:

      Dear Jess,

      I am aware how common it is for people to take back accusations as part of the process of coming to terms with things. To my knowledge, I never said it wasn’t, or that this was not Roseanne’s reason.

      So I am not sure what you disagree with me about. It was her manner of taking back the accusations, not the taking back that bothered me so much. But I think you got that?

      “…but I’m not sure whether we should blame her or use it as a chance to talk about why people do things like that.”

      Who should take responsibility for what Roseanne did, if not Roseanne? Regardless of our pain and suffering, and our history of abuse, we all have a moral compass inside. She can be pretty vulgar and gross sometimes and I think this part of her personality ought to be balanced out, or controlled by her higher self, through mediation/spiritual awareness…something.

      And why not discuss why people do things like this? It opens up doors for others to express themselves and to let people know how abuse survivors sometimes recant, even though they were truly abused.

      “Still, I do personally feel hurt, betrayed and upset by what she’s said because anything that makes people think it’s not a big deal or is something to laugh about sets us all back and plays a part in shaping a culture where future victims aren’t believed and taken seriously.”

      This is exactly why I wrote the article –to counter what harm she may have done by laughing it off, and by making repression seem like a silly joke.

      Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your views.

      • Jess says:

        I’m glad you wrote the article, and thanks for your reply. We do need to talk about all this, especially in public. Anything that counters the jokiness is much much needed. Keep up the great work

      • Alethea says:

        Thank you, this is a pretty good article, except for the claim that, although a memory of early childhood abuse that has been forgotten can be remembered later, …it is “rare.”

        Remember that, when incest was first brought out of the dark, it was considered “rare.” So was women, or mothers, who sexually abuse children –all of which was/is not rare.

  4. Samantha says:

    I think you’re being unfair. If you truly believe Roseanne was right the first time, WAS horrifically abused her entire childhood, then isn’t her behavior understandable? Regressing back into denial seems very human given what she’s been through. Sure she’s a celebrity in the public eye, but that wouldn’t suddenly make her better equipped to deal with dissociative amnesia.

    • Alethea says:

      Dear Samantha,

      My point is that when someone like Roseanne Barr makes public claims of incest that involve dissociative amnesia, and then retracts those incest allegations on national TV before millions and millions of people…and on a program that was mainly about joking around and laughing about sex etc….it gives support to the False memory Syndrome Foundation, makes abuse survivors who repressed their memories out to be nincompoops, it makes dissociative amnesia look like a joke, and it supports perpetrators everywhere.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I feel the need to jump in, as several individuals seem to be attacking Roseanne for “making a joke” of a serious situation…this is merely a coping mechanism, and from personal experience, I can say it is a very effective one. When you take the power away from your abuser and use their actions as the butt of your joke, you regain your power in a sense. I was brutally abused consistently (physically, sexually, and verbally) by my ex; my best friend had been through an abusive relationship a few years before. We found that making fun of our exs and calling each other mockingly speaking in the psychotic sentences they used to use on us was far more therapeutic than any CARDV counseling that we’d been assigned to. Granted it’s not the best coping mechanism for everyone, don’t judge people who find it to be their only way to deal with things. I’ve been a fan of Roseanne long enough to know that she makes comedy out of everything, and good for her if that has been her pathway to recovery. If only we could all be so lucky as to overcome our personal demons with such triumph. P.S. I have bipolar disorder as well, and it simply means that I can get sad for no reason or be happy for no reason. It does not mean that I lie about -or imagine- things that have happened to me (I have always been known as a very honest person with an exceptional memory.) To imply that something such as a mood disorder invalidates the trauma a person has endured is, frankly, very insulting.

    • Alethea says:

      Dear Anonymous,

      She was not making fun of, or joking about, her abusers. She was actually defending them in the interview. She was making a joke, or making light of, the very serious fact that she came out publicly with accusations of sexual abuse, and then retracted them.

      I have every right to “judge” her for making light of repressed memories and accusations of incest.

      As far as your BD, I never labeled BD as a mood disorder.

      However, you do not “get sad for no reason or be happy for no reason.” You get sad or happy whenever something triggers past experiences, usually from childhood, that would have either made you angry as a child, or happy. You might not consciously know what the trigger is when this happens to you, but believe me, your subconscious mind knows.

      Alethea

      • Anonymous says:

        Bipolar IS a mood disorder, by definition. It is characterized by extreme shifts in mood. I think I would know, as I’ve had it my entire life. As far as your description of Roseanne’s behavior/dialogue regarding her experiences, I still say it is a coping mechanism (albeit not a healthy one). The fact that her PARENTS are the offenders makes it as sick as it can possibly be, and the fact that a person in most any extreme religious upbringing is taught they are supposed to always honor their parents probably makes the situation even more difficult for her to deal with. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms and reactions to their pain, and you cannot dictate how their particular brain responds to trauma. Personally, if my parents had done that to me, despite the fact that I’m a generally very outspoken person I would probably never have the balls to tell anyone, because it’s just too repulsive to even think about. I applaud anyone who is even willing to speak up about such a taboo and horrible subject.

        • Alethea says:

          Dear anonymous,

          I apologize for misunderstanding about why you were offended. I am still uncertain why you were/or are offended by the mood disorder issue, but if you live by definitions, and label yourself with disorders, then you will always suffer from them, or they will always be a part of your life.

          Did you actually see the interview on Oprah?

          Nevertheless, I believe you are incorrect. What she did on the show is what is done by much of American society. People do things that are not okay and then they laugh it off or wave their hand at their actions and say, “what’s the big deal?” Meanwhile, their actions and behavior have negatively affected hundreds of thousands of people, and cause children to not be believed.

  6. cirilo says:

    she was not making fun of it on purpose the only way someone tries to not let the memory take over them is by trying to laugh about it i say this from experience when this happens to me i try to laugh about it so i can get over it faster i truly wish that i was brave like roseanne and let my family know what one of them did to me

    • Alethea says:

      Hi Cirilo,

      You are right when it comes to people who are not in a position that can influence hundreds of thousands of people. Roseanne has a duty and obligation to use prudence about how and when she discusses the topic of incest, accusations of incest, and repression…..and to not make light of these vital subjects on national TV.

      As you must be aware, there are many people who want to say you and I are making up our memories. When Roseanne behaves as she did, she gives fuel to those people.

      • cirilo says:

        yea what i dont get is why do people judge the way someone handles something like that so even if she didnt take it serious they need to understand that is the way she handles it and the reason people say that we are making up memories but the thing is is that we choose to only remember when we something that brings back the memories its not like we think about it 24/7 so if someone asks me what happen im not going to try remember what exactly happened im just going to say the main parts and thats it

        • Alethea says:

          We obviously won’t have a meeting of the minds on this one. You don’t seem to get my point. It has nothing to do with how she handled her memories PERSONALLY. It isn’t about “judging” her…man that word gets thrown around a lot, and to the detriment of society and intellectual conversation.

      • Marie Jondel says:

        You are right. People that are given that much exposure which equals power, have a great responsibility. She sought that exposure.

  7. katherinelong says:

    I saw roseanne on piers morgan on August 8,2012. How can someone who was assessed as mentally ill and later get a new diagnosis of perfect mental health–i think her accusations of abuse came from psychotic episodes caused by using recreational drugs

  8. Anonymous says:

    So what, now she’s supposed to talk about her traumatizing experiences from now on instead of focusing on the better aspects of her life? For what? To help others who went through the same thing? I believe she already did that and being a victim herself, she shouldn’t have to make a career out of talking to the entire public about something that bothers her so much. Just because she’s famous, doesn’t make it her responsibility to heal incest victims. …

    • Alethea says:

      No anonymous. You missed the point. She and Oprah almost made a joke out of incest and repression, and accusations of incest, by inserting the topic for a few minutes into an entire hour show on nut farms and Roseanne’s sex life. And she does have a duty to others to fully explain herself and to correct her errors, and to give the facts about incest and repression when she is the one who made the choice to originally come out with these things in a public way, and as a public figure. She has a duty to do it in a respectful way, and to do it in more time than just a few minutes like an ‘oh by the way.’

  9. Andre' says:

    The under lying problem is – America suffers from Stockholm Syndrome, being bullied by our captors, until we capitulate for a crumb. We arent free, we have never been free. Then we split hairs on so called “disorders”. We are all abused on some level in this country.

    • Alethea says:

      No Andre’, Americans do not suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, because most Americans are not victims. They have willingly allowed themselves to be duped and abused.

      • Andre' says:

        We are all victims to one varying degree or another. Ive been abused, picked on, bullied, ignored and unloved my whole life. Maybe not raped as a child but trust me I have suffered. Americans have been bullied by their captors thru war, medical extermination, vaccines, GMO’s, taxation, religion, cops, courts, public school fraud, criminal courts/government and a few hundred other assaults I cant think of right now. The pharisees have Americans brainwashed thinking they are free when nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing I can say for myself, is I see the corruption and refuse to be part of the collective mental illness. I think Stockholm Syndrome is spot on. Merry Christmas

        • Alethea says:

          Any American who still believes that a group of Muslims brought down the two towers, and that the war on Iraq and Afghanistan are being done for our “safety” are not victims. They are people who believe what they want to believe. They believe what is convenient for them.

          Anyone who has not questioned or been concerned about pesticides and GMO’s don’t care much to ask or research for themselves because it is easier, cheaper, and more convenient for them to eat whatever they want. Even some of my friends, who know full well about the dangers of GMO’s, still sit there and eat plates full of GMO french fries and GMO popcorn. They eat hormone-ridden meat, and buy cheap veggies at Walmart loaded with pesticides.

          People line up for deadly vaccines like herds of cattle –even though their instincts tell them no, and even when they read about the hundreds of deaths and paralysis from vaccines. They vaccinate themselves and their children without a blink of an eye. They don’t do any research, don’t ask any questions, and they don’t look into holistic and natural ways of keeping their immune system strong.

          As far as religion goes, they don’t question things that make NO SENSE and swallow the b.s. that no matter what they do in life, they will go straight to Heaven if they just “believe.” They don’t question this because it is convenient for them to think this way. They want a free pass to Heaven.

          I don’t have time to address the rest of this, and this is the last I will allow on this topic, as it is off subject now.

          • Andre' says:

            My point being, people are ripe to commit the abuse, and suffer the abuse almost willingly, because America is in a chronic state of abuse by being bullied by the state, which is run by pedophiles. People like Sandusky’s wife suffer from this “amnesia” and contribute to this mind control, like a communicable disease. BUT people still have the choice to stand up and say something, its very strange they dont. Ill stop here, I was making a point.

      • Lynne says:

        And in my hunble opinion, society often co-signs abuse by in-action & failing to put children first over self & hedonistic pursuits…it takes a village…

  10. Katrina says:

    I would never be embarrassed to tell the truth about being violated by my Father nearly 40 years ago since I have opened up about my experience that I have yet to share here. I will be writing my rough draft soon and posting it here. I am grateful to say that I came across this article which is very powerful, effective and actually comforting as it took away some of the pain I have carried all these years due to it’s familiarity and the fact that I am not alone. I shall return to post my testimony in hopes that it will also help with the healing process of those who have been through the same general experience as I have. Keep healing and be blessed all.

  11. Rebecca says:

    My daughter was told by her psychology teacher that they no longer believe there is any such thing as repressed memories or disassociative amnesia. Her teacher said that a lot of people at that time were influenced by their counselors to believe they had been molested. This could be true in some cases, however, I do not believe that there are absolutely no cases of repressed memories. I was not sexually abused but every once in awhile something will trigger a memory from childhood. For example, I had broken my leg when I was three. My father did not believe me and would not take me to the hospital. I screamed in my crib all night long. I did not remember this, but something triggered the memory later. I asked my mother about it. She has always been reluctant to discuss these things, but she did admit it was true.

    • Alethea says:

      Your daughter’s psychology teacher is an uninformed idiot. Any psychology teacher who still puts forth the myth you describe above, is either a child abuser, a pedophile, or a nincompoop.

      The vast majority of professional mental health experts support the diagnosis of Dissociative Amnesia (also known as repressed memories). The DSM-IV lists Dissociative Amnesia as a valid mental health disorder.

      Not all cases of repressed memory of abuse are true, just like not all rape accusations are true. A number of claims of false rape, do not make all claims of rape false. The same goes for repressed memories of child sexual abuse.

      • Anonymous says:

        No Althea: you are an uninformed idiot. There is absolutely no experimental evidence that repressed memories exist. None. Whatsoever. And Dissociative Amnesia is NOT a form of repressed memory: it is a relatively short-lived extreme form of temporary amnesia. it does not extend over years.

        I am a psychology Professor, and all first year textbooks now acknowledge that repressed memories arise through false memory embedment through bad therapy. Look up Nadean Cool for an example.

        Or better yet, educate yourself a bit more before you pretend to be an expert and call the real experts names.

        • Alethea says:

          Dear “Psychology Professor,”

          I would boldly and joyfully say that personally going through the experience of repression for trauma, emotional abandonment, and incest makes me an expert on the matter.

          A person can say, “I believe” or “I don’t believe.” But if I have personally experienced it, then I can say with authority, “I know.”

          and I certainly know more about the human mind than yourself. True wisdom comes from within, not from book knowledge.

          Peace,
          Alethea

          • Anonymous says:

            Alethea is right, there absolutely is evidence that repressed memories exist and if “Anonymous” was truly a psych prof then he would know that such a scathing rebuke is counter productive.

            BUT, it is also true that hypnotherapy IS FALSE many times. Ideas and memories can be implanted.

            • Alethea says:

              Hypnotheray, used by someone who is trained, is not false. The client might make something up, or be confused about who their perpetrator is, but it is not the proper use of hypnotherapy which causes this. It is an inadequate therapist and a client who has issues that are not being addressed… so they instead falsely accuse someone of abuse, or they name the wrong person as a perpetrator because they cannot deal with the pain of who the perpetrator truly was.

        • Loula says:

          Well, if you are a psychology professor, you certainly like to use abusive language on people. YOU should educate yourself, see this link: http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/ before using such absolutist language about the evidence as “None. Whatsoever.” You are wrong.

  12. talkingbook says:

    IMO it is a lot more likely that persons who have been molested/raped/sexually abused as children to turn to prostitution to get by and that’s what Roseanne did. (just sayin’)

    When she first came out with this, her younger sister denied ita nd said oh no way, let the punishment fit the crime–whatever that meant but she denied any abuse. I think in your heart it’s easy to think, If I am honest about this, everyone else will be.

    I wonder how much Roseanne counselled with anyone with the question of whether to coem out with the story right away or talk to others about the consequences of outing one’s parents.

    Also I remember her saying (to Oprah? to someone on a talk show): “we can’t really ever say no to the question of ‘were you molested as a child?’, we can only say if we don’t remember any abuse, ‘I don’t know’ “.

    She is not the most stable post in the fence.

    • Alethea says:

      Hi Talkingbook,

      You are correct TB, I think one study found that it is like 95% of prostitutes.

      It’s a mistake for people to think that if they are honest then everyone else will be too. I know it is a wonderful thought, but when it comes to breaking the family silence, the survivor can be as loving and honest as possible, but still face denial, personal attacks, vilification and being ostracized by the bio family. That’s why a person needs to be strong and centered before doing it, because they have to be able to handle and accept any kind of reaction.

      It’s also pretty bad for anyone to do it the way Roseanne did. She not only hurt herself, but other victims and survivors, as well as her entire family. Abuse or not, we can’t just attack people with our truth. That was one of things that I did not like about The Courage to Heal. That book encouraged public confrontations. (By the way, just for the record, I never even heard of that book until AFTER I remembered what happened to me).

      “Also I remember her saying (to Oprah? to someone on a talk show): “we can’t really ever say no to the question of ‘were you molested as a child?’, we can only say if we don’t remember any abuse, ‘I don’t know’.”

      I do remember this. Thanks for bringing it up. It’s an interesting statement.

  13. Joe says:

    I think she might have been abused some what but really I think alot of it stems from her Bi-Polar disorder.

    • Alethea says:

      Joe, did you know that there is a link between Bi-Polar Disorder and child sexual abuse? Where do you think people get these “disorders” in the first place? It is usually child sexual abuse or trauma that causes them.

      Thanks for posting.
      Peace.
      Alethea

      • JR says:

        i’m gonna wave the “bull shit” flag on this one… i have a relative with bipolar disorder and he was never the victim of sexual abuse. what i DO know is that bipolar disorder is caused by an imbalance of the body’s neurotransmitter system (chemical disorder). so… while there may be a “link” between child sexual abuse and bipolar disorder… you can’t just use a blanket statement that says “where do you think people get these disorders from in the first place”… the large majority of the time bipolar disorder is simply a chemical issue within the body… plain and simple.

        • Alethea says:

          Jr, it has been scientifically proven that abuse, trauma, and other serious life-altering experiences in childhood can and do alter brain chemistry.

          • Rebecca says:

            I agree with JR. True bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance that is usually inherited. I have not heard of any type of Bipolar disorder to be associated with environment. My daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. We didn’t have any contact with her biological father until she was 19. She found out that two of his sons were also diagnosed bipolar. It also explains his behavior when we were together. Bipolar disorder is an inherited chemical imbalance. When a mental disorder is caused by environment, it is usually a different disease described by a different name, such as borderline personality disorder. However, I do believe that many people with mental disorders caused by environment (Family Disfunction) are often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder.

            • Alethea says:

              Rebecca, please do your research. Bipolar disorder is often linked to child abuse. Science has proven that child abuse can and does alter brain chemistry. Most mental health problems, no matter what you want to label them, are rooted in unresolved childhood relationships, abuse, family dysfunction, trauma, or emotional pain.

              Many parents don’t want to hear that because they don’t like to admit that something in the family dynamic caused their child to be emotionally/chemically/mentally imbalanced.

              The truth is often unaccepted and unwanted because of self-comfort.

              • Just because it is “linked” to child abuse, that doesn’t mean it is caused by child abuse. Especially if you consider that it is genetic–that means that there’s a good possibility that the parent or parents also have bipolar disorder and possibly a cocktail of other mental disorders that may cause them to be emotionally or even physically abusive, caused by this genetic condition that was passed on. I’m sure abuse aggravates it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a causal relationship just by being present.

                You are not a doctor, and it’s dangerous as not-a-doctor to spread information as though you are an authority. Mental health can be as unique to people as fingerprints, deriving from combinations of genetics, environment, maturity or immaturity, learned behavior, education, relationships, trauma. I’m a little perturbed that you blamed a victim because she didn’t act the way that you think is appropriate–as a victim yourself, you should know that it isn’t always easy to know what the right thing always is when you’re feeling raw, hurt, and betrayed, not to mention a little out of your mind from it all.

              • Alethea says:

                You point your finger at me for “spreading information as though I am an authority,” yet you do the same damn thing. If you knew anything about the mind, you would know that Bipolar Disorder is caused by external influences, usually from childhood experiences. All “genetic,” means in these cases, is parents passing on their psychological dysfunction to their kids.

                No where on this Blog do I propose, hint, imply, or pretend to be a doctor. I have been outright honest about who I am.

                Roseanne made a decision, without using any prudence…a decision that has negatively affected thousands of people who struggle to be believed. She had a duty and an obligation as a celebrity to not allow her emotions to affect a very serious decision.

        • SD says:

          There is actually no proof of a so called “chemical imbalance” which causes bipolar disorder, or depression. It’s the convenient explanation of the day trotted out time and again to justify the use of antipsychotics and anti-depressants by the pharmaceutical industry, which stands to profit hugely from their widespread use, and to excuse medical insurance agencies from paying for psychotherapy, which takes more time and money. I ask you, what does a “normal” brain chemistry look like? What neurotransmitters are involved, and in what amounts? Doesn’t the amount of any neurotransmitter flux from minute to minute, hour to hour? Do you know what the purpose of the expression of neurotransmitters is systemically? These drugs do NOT “correct” an imbalance! The best they could do is create an artificial abundance in the synaptic space between the neurons, which IN THEORY elevate mood, but overall do not treat, and certainly do not CURE, mental illnesses. Chemically blunted emotions are not a “cure,” anymore than a painkiller “cures” whatever is causing the pain. Let’s stop the mindless regurgitation of the “chemical imbalance” fallacy once and for all.

  14. Andre' says:

    I am not one to judge. I cant walk in her shoes or know how her mind works, my guess is she focus’s on things away from the trauma, that bring joy to her life, without having to live it over and over. You were strong enough. YOU need to book a show on Oprah and talk about this. Im serious!

    • Alethea says:

      Please try and separate “judging” the soul of another person from using our God-given intelligent discrimination to judge right from wrong. If you see a child being physically abused in a Walmart, do you say to yourself, “don’t judge” and walk away? If you hear a friend gossiping horribly about the private life of another friend, do you ignore it and say to yourself, “don’t judge” and walk away? If you see a driver on the street hit another car and drive away without stopping, do you just turn you head and walk away saying, “I shouldn’t try and get the license number, I shouldn’t judge.”

      Nearly everything in life requires and DEMANDS judgment of the actions of others. When people are doing harm, or when they have really behaved in an unloving way, then they need to be told, or -with public figures who make public statements that harm- they need to be called on it.

      If everyone is silent about every single wrong, or about a person’s lack of awareness, or about outright damage done to others, then guess who and what wins? Evil, self.

    • Alethea says:

      She might pretend to have peace, but she is not at peace within herself. No way. A previous victim can try and focus on things other than the trauma and abuse, but they can never escape it for more than a brief time (and I mean hours). EVERYTHING can be a trigger for a previous victim who has not dealt with it. I’ll bet that she faces hundreds of triggers every week in her life but doesn’t even know it because she has not dealt with the subconscious. She probably goes in and out of mood swings, gets angry for ‘no apparent reason’ still has issues with food, etc. She might even still be on RX drugs. She doesn’t ever escape, not until she fully deals with it inside herself.

    • Alethea says:

      I don’t think I would ever want to subject myself to having my life aired on Oprah or any other talk show.

      I might do public speaking or public radio.

  15. C/C Rosie says:

    Who is to say what happened to Ms. Barr as a child? I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that she goes from one subject to the next and seemingly makes a joke out of it. I did not watch her on Oprah yesterday as frankly I am ver tired of Oprah. I am over her and her continued belief that we all love and agree with her 100%. As was never a fan of Ms. Barr either. She does real victims of incest and abuse a serious setback. Nothing about it is a joke.

    • Andre' says:

      you should do video blogs. You should still go on Oprah, regardless of what you think of her and use her show as a platform for what you have to say. Can you do video with your computer ?

      • Alethea says:

        No, I do not have the electronic capability to do video. Maybe one day.

        My books will be loaded online some day soon. I’ll start there.

    • Alethea says:

      The jokes on the show were what bothered me the most. Everything was/is a joke. She and Oprah did not openly joke about the incest allegations but it was treated as, ‘oh well, oops!’ ‘let’s all joke about my sex life now and about the presidential election, and about my macadamia nut farm.’ It was a subtle way of making the incest allegations out to be a joke, and it sends a subliminal message to the viewers.

      I don’t care much for Oprah either.

  16. Andre' says:

    You know Roseanne used to joke about giving head between sets, in other words, she was a prostitute. She was definitely abused and is still disassociating, in which I cannot blame her. As a grown man, I don’t understand men/women who do this to children, other than it happened to them too. This kind of abuse is multi-generational. Nobody talks about it and nobody hears about it because, its is so deep dark and disgusting.

    • Alethea says:

      “She was definitely abused and is still disassociating, in which I cannot blame her.”

      Well then, I guess we can’t hold anyone accountable for anything can we? Sorry, but when a person becomes an adult, and does not use prudence in serious situations, and when they neglect to use the golden rule towards others, then they are indeed to blame.

      She may very well still be dissociating from trauma and child sexual abuse, but this does not mean that she isn’t responsible for her actions that hurt others, or that she can’t make prudent choices, or use her intelligent discrimination with regards to how she deals publicly with the very seriousness of child sexual abuse and child rape.

      She is well enough to run her farm in Hawaii, vote in the presidential election, and get out of bed to fly on an aircraft to Chicago to do the Oprah show, in order to promote her new book. She is therefore, well enough to exercise better judgment on this matter.

    • Alethea says:

      Andre’ I am working on a new article that I would like to include a reference to your claim that Roseanne gave oral sex between sets on the TV shows. I tried to do a search with no luck. Do you recall where and when she said this? I need to be accurate in my article. I can’t say she said this unless I have some proof.

      Thank you so much.

      • Andre' says:

        it was probably close to 20 years ago, but I BELIEVE that it was part of her routine about her hungry days doing comedy. Ill see if I can find something.

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