“I Don’t Believe You, It’s In Your Fantasy.”

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.

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4 Responses to “I Don’t Believe You, It’s In Your Fantasy.”

  1. little nel says:

    Mrs. Atler said something that I could remember thinking. She said that she tried to find someone who had experienced the same abuse and had found recovery from it. She added that she could not find anyone, so she sought solutions on her own.

    I remember saying the same thing to myself. I have to find other people who know about this and what I need to do to heal.

    The people who helped point me in the right direction were co-dependents who were in recovery. Many of them had experienced rape and abuse by family members who also drank heavily. A home where the father is a problem drinker is a place where the abuse of children is rampant.

    I have listened to many speakers at Alanon meetings talk about how they experienced sexual abuse/incest in childhood and how they found healing from it.

    I was told at an Alanon meeting that childhood sexual abuse was the number one reason that women drank “alcoholically.”

    I also read books and the research journals on child abuse at my college library . Marilyn’s book was the most complete and informative book that I have ever read.

    She revealed what helped her and what was exploitation.

    • Alethea says:

      Little Nel, I have read that many people remember having been sexually abused after they sober up.

  2. little nel says:

    “Nothing is better than the truth.” Amen to that!

  3. little nel says:

    Do we have Sigmund Freud to thank for the commonly used “fantasy theory excuse” because he put it in writing?

    I agree that my inner “little nel” needs to embrace the truth and receive comfort for all she has endured in childhood at the hands of abusers. Because her well being means so much to me, I acknowledge the truth of her sufferings and the truth of her recovery. She is deserving of my love and care for all her courage.

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