Here is part three of the interview with Marilyn Van Derbur.
Marilyn is so fortunate that her sister Gwen came forward to say the incest happened to her too. Marilyn talks about how painful it is to go to your mother in hopes of finding love, support, and help…only to be told, “I don’t believe you, it’s in your fantasy.”
Most adults, who come forward to their biological families about incest, don’t have anyone to support their memories. Most people are faced with denial, name-calling, threats, or being cut off from the family.
All of this happened to me, but as I have said before…I would come forward again in a minute. Nothing is better than the truth. No family function, no Christmas get-together, and no birthday celebrations will ever supplant the feeling of being true to myself, and to the child within me, who knows the truth and wants it told.
I knew that if I did not come forward to my mother and sisters about the incest, my inner child would never have forgiven me. She would have retaliated against the lie I would be living. She would have given me psychosomatic symptoms and emotional problems. In addition, I would have had to sit there during family functions, like “a good girl,” and pretend as if nothing happened.
However, I do not outright recommend that people go to their family with their previously repressed memories of child sexual abuse. It took me over a year of intensive therapy before I felt ready to speak out. I have devoted an entire chapter in one of my manuscripts to this topic, and in my other manuscript, I detail exactly how I approached my family, and what happened when I did.
I am currently searching for the best way to publish these manuscripts and will post the information when I do.
When Marilyn remembered her father’s rapes, she had no one to turn to –no one who had been through what she was experiencing. She remembered the incest in an era where child sexual abuse, much less incest, was not even acknowledged and certainly not spoken about.
Marilyn went through her experience in an time where no one was discussing repressed memories of incest. Marilyn was so desperate to find someone to validate and acknowledge her pain, that she checked herself into psychiatric facility to find someone like her.
That is powerful testimony to how desperate a person can feel when they have no one to help them and no one to believe them. My manuscripts will also help anyone who is dealing with repressed memories of child sexual abuse. I always wished that someone had written books that would have helped me when I was going through it.
Marilyn’s book, Miss America By Day, is extremely helpful, validating, and humorous but she wrote it long after I recalled the abuse and went to my family with my memories.