Punished With Silence

It has been 15 years since one of my sisters has contacted me. It has been nearly three years since another sister has spoken with me, and over a year for another.

My crime? I dared to write my mother a seven page letter disclosing to her that the disease in my body, which doctors told me has no treatment or cure, was actually a disease of unhealed traumatic emotions buried in my subconscious mind. I dared to tell my mother that I remembered being raped and sexually abused by my father as a child, and that my mother knew and did nothing to help me.

I did not speak of my sisters in my letter. Nor did I accuse them of anything. I also only sent the letter to my mother. One of my sisters betrayed me before the letter was even sent.

My letter was honest, but it did not attack my mother. My letter was written only to open the doors to truth in our relationship, to ask for a sincere acknowledgement, and was written with the clear expression of forgiveness for my mother. There was no name calling, no threats, and no intentions of ever cutting her out of my life.

Two of my sisters punished me with silence for that letter. I was cut off, called names, and threatened by them.

My mother never cut me off for that letter.

This past Christmas, I received a card from one of the nuns who used to reside at my local parish. The first thing that struck me about the card, was the word “Sister” in front of the nun’s name.

Sister Agnes had written to ask how I was doing. She also sent along her prayers and Blessings, and hoped that all is well with me.

As I realized the irony of this “sister” caring more about me than my own flesh and blood “sisters” do, tears rolled down my cheek.

Standing in front of the mail boxes that day, I wondered to myself if my sisters consciously knew they were punishing me with their silence? Was it actually deliberate?

images trash three

Their silent punishment used to make me feel as if I was a worthless piece of trash –so easily discarded.

By The grace of God, I no longer need them to feel anything about me, one way or another. I have been released from my previous desire to have any of them be honest with me, or with themselves.

However, I am a living, breathing human being. I am not a robot.

This means that as much as their punishment by silence does not affect me psychologically any longer, I do wonder if they will ever, one day, be willing to look at themselves, and wish to have some kind of human openness with me.

Ignoring me all these years, and pretending I do not exist, will never erase me from their mind.

Nor will their silence remove the past, or their part in inflicting pain in me when I found the strength to speak out to our mother about the incest.

This is how it feels when truth becomes more important than being accepted or loved by them.

This is how it feels when truth becomes more important than being accepted or loved by them.

I recently mailed this letter to the sister who has not spoken to me in fifteen years.

I never received a reply –not that I was ever expecting anything from her. But the letter, in and of itself, was liberating and rewarding for me to write and to finally send to her, and to do so without fear.

Her silence will not protect her from herself.

Recently I also mailed a very important letter to one of my other sisters. It took me several years to find the courage to send the letter. There was a time when I could not even fathom sending the letter confronting this sister –the one who sexually abused me as a child.

Sometimes, what we are most afraid of doing, is what will set us free.

My sister was a much older teenager at the time. There was no excuse for her behavior, and no matter what some advocates against child sexual abuse say, teenagers who sexually abuse their siblings are not victims. They have a rational, logical mind by then. Teenagers have an understanding of right and wrong, morality, and when something is crossing boundaries and when harm is being inflicted on another child.

When the older teenager is of the same sex as the child they are sexually assaulting, it can be devastating to the victim in many ways.

Child sexual abuse, perpetrated by a person of the same sex, can create severe rage, and even repressed and conscious anger against people of the same sex. It can cause tremendous self-punishment behavior and psychosomatic symptoms that are painful and debilitating, and can potentially create disease and illness beyond what is experienced by people abused by a person of the opposite sex.

I speak from personal experience on this matter.

The most detrimental problem is that same-sex child sexual abuse can cause sexual confusion, bi-sexual feelings, or it can make a person think they are gay, or lesbian, when they are not.

My sister’s reply to my letter? Nothing but the deafening silence. I sent it twice, once with delivery confirmation.

silence

It used to be painful to be ignored, ostracized, and condemned by people I once believed loved me, and thought had regard for me as a human being.

But what a beautiful feeling it is the day you realize they no longer affect you.

It is always curious to me when people who have hurt someone so profoundly will totally deny any responsibility or offer an apology.

Do they not understand that a sincere, honest, heart-felt apology and an offer to make some kind of amends is all we ever want from them? For them to be honest with themselves and then with us?

Many years ago, I was threatened and betrayed with, ‘going to mom with your incest memories, means you will pay.’

The threats were carried out.

Living with the silent punishment is the price I am willing to pay for my freedom.

I no longer feel victimized by their silence. I no longer suffer from the pain of being cut off, called names, and vilified by my sisters.

My sisters have judged me harshly, but have they ever looked in the mirror and asked themselves, “what have I done to hurt another human being?” and “where am I not being honest with myself?”

Fifteen years ago, when I did nothing to any of them -nothing except speak up for myself about having been a victim of incest by our father- not one of them ever came to me with sister to sister, or even human to human, communication to ask me to sit down with them and talk about the issue.

Throughout the past fifteen years, none of my sisters, nor the mother, have ever contacted me to get together and have an open discussion with me, or even with me and my therapist.

As I have always made it known with all of my sisters, and my mother, my door is always open to any of them that want to walk through it and be willing to sit down and discuss things openly.

I recall very well the first time I ever mentioned to my mother that I was seeing a therapist. I had not remembered the incest yet, but when I told her I was having psycho-analysis, there was dead silence on the other end of the line.

To this day, my mother has never asked about my therapist, and never once expressed any kind of joy over my having been healed with this therapy –healed from an endless list of physical illness and diseases. My mother has been silent about this vital and amazing subject. So have the sisters.

What kind of a mother expresses no happiness to her daughter that she has healed from chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, shingles, migraines, nightmares, PTSD, bladder problems, heart problems, neurological problems, chronic IBS, and a long list of other physical ailments usually only treated with prescription drugs, and diseases doctors say “have no cure?”

I am blown away every time I re-read the list of physical ailments I used to suffer from, or when I truly realize all I have healed from with this therapy.

I get down on my knees every day and thank God for what God has removed from my mind and body.

“Live with no regrets”

That is my motto for my life. It does not mean I will never fail, make mistakes, or fall down and have to pick myself up again. But it does mean that when I make a choice to serve humanity, or the choice to serve those who hurt me, I will always choose humanity…whatever the consequences.

Humanity is my family now. I will never regret having started this Blog. Anytime I ever doubt myself, or during moments of fear, I am reminded of the very reason I began this Blog in the first place. It was to help others.

When a woman named Grace found her way to my Blog because she was experiencing tremendous mental and physical anguish from having been sexually abused by her sister as a child, and when Grace found relief through an article on my Blog, she then found my therapist and was helped beyond belief in her experience with the quantum mind healing therapy we do with Dr. De Saint-Simone.

Unbeknownst to Grace, she is someone who drives me to continue to be a warrior for children and for those who are now adult survivors of child sexual abuse. The thought that my Blog helped another human being so profoundly, has made every word, threat, and emotional abandonment from my biological family to be worth it one hundred times over!

I will never regret having spoken out about the incest to my mother, or having written those two letters to my sisters.

I am currently starting to make steps big and small, to get back to my manuscript, which I abandoned last year, for many important reasons.

You will read about those reasons within the pages of my manuscript when it is published as a book.

My biological family probably hoped that by punishing me with silence, I would keep quiet about the incest. They probably figured their silence would generate mine. I have compassion for every one of them, but I am no longer punished by their silence. I have been liberated from it.

IMG_7918 Greatest Strength Two

Their silence has moved me to work harder, and to be louder.

~Alethea Marina-Nova

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Coming Soon: More about my therapist, who is truly more like a quantum-mind healer than a “therapist.”

An intuitive Native American, who had just met my therapist, told her, “you are a surgeon without a knife.” This means, she is someone who helps a person remove disease from their body, through the power of the Mind.

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23 Responses to Punished With Silence

  1. Grace says:

    Alethea, it fills my heart to see all the comments from people who feel helped in some way by your blog and your unabashed honesty. I am so happy to have come across your blog (for various reasons, of course, not just this post).

    It is indeed difficult when communication becomes strained (or non-existent) when there is a disclosure. I think it’s all ego related, as honesty is not appealing when there is so much ego armour involved with something like incest. I still have never had an admission of guilt from my abuser. It’s hard to see when one is still at the “starting line” of the healing marathon…but looking back, it’s liberating to break the silence and push past the starting line, into the healing. It is worth it. By the way, I LOVE the comparison to running a marathon.

    Thanks be to God that through His Grace, you were able to push past this “punishment” from the family members and become your own best support system :)

    Thank you for sharing the confusion that comes from same-sex incest (and incest involving siblings, something rarely spoken of!)

    With love.

    • Alethea says:

      (((Grace))), my friend…

      Thank you for replying, for being strong, for walking the path of healing, for sharing the planet with me.

      I totally agree about EGO.

      I think it is important that people understand that “ego” does not just mean arrogance, or being “egotistical.”

      EGO is any behavior which separates us from our love-nature, and which blocks us from having a true and loving relationship with others –behavior like selfishness, refusal to admit wrong-doing, lashing out at others in order to defend our own wrong-doing, and a whole list of other behaviors that are too long to include here.

      The human ego gets between relationships, and this is why people suffer so much.

      Have a beautiful weekend Grace.

  2. Mary says:

    Alethea, thank you for sharing your pain and emancipation from it through your blog. I’m sorry you were punished with the silent treatment for years, and I’m glad you’ve liberated yourself from this toxicity. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. My mother is a narcissist and the whole family (three sisters, one brother and my father) tiptoed around trying not to inflame her. My brother (10 years older than me) sexually abused my middle sister (3 1/2 years older than me) for years. She was finally able to reveal it to me and our oldest sister (11 years older than me) when our brother was in the midst of being charged with molesting a neighbor’s son. She did not want to reveal it to my parents, who were buying into my brother’s claims of innocence. Eventually, my sister decided not to be silent anymore, and together with me and my oldest sister, planned a meeting with my brother’s wife, whom we felt might be in the dark. My mother and father got wind of this plan and my mother was furious with me. I wouldn’t tell her why we were going to meet with my sister-in-law, because my sister still wasn’t ready to talk to my parents about her abuse. At this point, my mother traveled to see my brother and confront him. She actually claimed the Holy Spirit had come to her and helped her see that my sister had been abused by him! Although she didn’t cut us off at that point, several months later when I urged my parents to come forward with information they had about a previous charge of molestation, they were enraged, and we all got the silent treatment for nearly a year.

    The silent treatment was something applied often in my family and extended family. When I made my mom unhappy, she would sometimes refuse to speak to me for hours or days. She did this to me, my siblings, and my dad. We were sometimes cut off from my aunt and her family, or other family members for long periods of time. It usually took a wedding or a funeral to break these silences. I applied the silent treatment to my father when I was around 13 or 14 years old. I can’t even remember why I was so angry with him. I also applied it to my husband sometimes early in my marriage, before I began to evaluate my crappy upbringing (long before I was aware of the incest). Thankfully, I started to realize that the way my mother treated people was wrong and rather than imitate that, I needed to break the cycle.

    I don’t have a relationship with my brother, but I don’t consider that silent treatment. I just don’t see any reason to have someone like that in my life. When my dad was dying, my brother came to see him in the hospital, and he did apologize. He also came to my dad’s funeral, and he seemed to think we would all be communicating and being a family again. Why wouldn’t he think we would repeat the old pattern? Silent treatment for undetermined amount of time, someone dies, you see each other at the funeral, and the silence ends, back to ‘normal’. Normal! Hahahaha!

    I’m sorry to have written such a long comment, and please feel free to delete or move it. Thank you for your blog, and your work trying to help others heal from the devastation of child sexual abuse.

    • Alethea says:

      Dear Mary,

      I do think it is something your sister-in-law needed to know. Whenever children are at risk, the wife/girlfriend needs to know.

      Don’t apologize for the lengthy comment. I prefer a long comment than none at all.

      Thank you for doing the work, and for sharing the planet with me.
      :)

      ~Alethea

  3. ColorfulShadow says:

    Your family won’t answer until they’ve done the hard work you’ve gone thru.

    • Alethea says:

      Yep, Marilyn van derbur wrote me once and told me that she compared the healing work she had done to a marathon. She said she did all the training, eating right, etc. and ran the marathon. She then looked back to see where her sisters and mother were, and they had not even left the starting line.

      • ColorfulShadow says:

        Alethea……sorry for not mentioning my tribute to your healing work, your blog and great way of writing. I forgot how I found your blog but since then came back to see your ongoing effort to reach some kind of inner peace. I can assure you……….the happiness in your life will always grow as long as you keep your confidence.

        Sincerely from Germany ;-)

        • Alethea says:

          Hello Colorful in Germany!

          Thank you for taking the time to send me this beautiful comment.

          I would like to visit Germany one day, it is one of the few places in Europe I would like to see….Italy and Spain are the others.

          Peace and all my best wishes to you.

          ~Alethea

  4. Yes, I, too, have a sister who I no longer communicate with. HER loss, not mine. She chose her sides and was self appointed judge & jury. Now I am free of her.

  5. Mark kent says:

    very very well said very true as well ,being abused sexually by

    same sex .i was , does make you very a gay person .man or lady

    i was abuse by 2,men and 2,ladies .photos was taken .was tied up

    vibrator was used .forced to drink urine ,I DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED

    BUT I DO FEEL DISGUSTING .people make me feel this way .i am sat

    here crying and lot snot down my cheeks,runny snot .. people never

    see the effects of sexual abuse .i have your blog because it helps

    a great deal not too feel alone .one thing has not helped is YOU

    not replying,

                            mark________________________________ > Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 23:50:17 +0000 > To: mkentdad12@outlook.com >

    • Alethea says:

      “I DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED, BUT I DO FEEL DISGUSTING.”

      I can fully understand this statement Mark. I too felt little shame, but a GREAT deal of feeling disgusting….like there was something very seriously wrong with me, deep inside myself. I also felt embarrassment (maybe that’s the same as shame, but it feels different to me).

      I can give testimony to the fact that these feelings can be fully healed.

  6. Kevin F says:

    Excellent article, Alethea. I think this sort of rejection/avoidance by family experience is very common among us. I’ve had far more support throughout my life from people in similar circumstances to me than from any biological family.

  7. chris sample says:

    Thank you so much again. So helpful and so similar to what I have gone through with my own family. Grace and mercy to you. Christopher

  8. PDD says:

    My FOO used silence as punishment for years before they finally excommunicated me. What’s interesting is they used silence not only as punishment, but also to reinforce their appearance as victims: “poor us, PDD hasn’t contacted us in such a long time, we don’t understand why he treats us this way….”

  9. Little Nel says:

    You go, girl!

    “punishment used to make me feel as if I was a worthless piece of trash – so easily discarded”

    What a smug, self-righteous, and cold response to those of us who seek wholeness, peace, and healing from all that brokenness.

  10. thephotochef says:

    My sister deleted me from her life when I questioned her foregiveness for our Mother. I had not worked out my feelings yet, but nonetheless, my sister felt that I was unworthy of such time to heal. I tried to reach out, but this woman who had forgiven our Mother for allowing men to molest her couldn’t find it in herself to forgive me while I tried to deal with the truth that I was raped by our Mother’s boyfriend and alas, it wasn’t my fault. I adore you Althea.

    • Alethea says:

      Photo Chef,

      What your sister calls forgiveness is not coming from a true experience –from a true place of being CLEAN of them in her subconscious mind. The conscious mind cannot forgive to the point of total freedom, peace, and health.

      The subconscious harbors anger, pain, and resentment that the conscious mind is UNAWARE of. The subconscious, when not dealt with, creates illness and disease in the person’s body.

      This is a spiritually scientific fact, not a judgement of someone else’s forgiveness.

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