Forbidden Topics and Ugly Truths About Child Rape and Father/Daughter Incest

It is a physiological fact,and well documented, that even an adult or child, who is being raped, can feel pleasure during the assault. Some victims even have orgasms during sexual assaults –orgasms with their own father or brother, and in some cases, even with their own mother.

Marilyn Van Derbur was raped by her father for years. She said, “My body betrayed me.” She is correct. What happened to our bodies had nothing to do with what our mind wanted.

“Before you chastise yourself for one more minute, remember that your sexual organs do not have a brain. They cannot distinguish between a mauling rapist and the gentle touch of a lover. They simply react to stimulation the way they were physically designed to respond. If you climaxed or had some other sexual response to the rape, this does not mean that you enjoyed it.” ~Aphrodite Matsakis

A big part of the problem is that the guilt and shame are imbedded in us by our perpetrators. It’s not like they molest and rape us, and while doing it, say, “You know, I am sick and this is all my fault, not yours. You are my victim and you have done nothing wrong.”

Quite the contrary. They made us feel good, got us “into it,” tell us we “wanted it” and “liked it,” and they often blame us later on when they are caught.

They say, “this is OUR secret” and in the mind of an innocent child, the child has become a part of the crime.

When the mother finds out, she often blames the child and automatically assumes the child is the aggressor because that’s convenient for her to believe –it’s what she wants to believe.

Our abusers call us the sexual aggressor and, in cases like mine, we do go to them for more because they have conditioned us to need the attention.

Some child sexual abuse survivors feel like they were the perpetrators, but no child is guilty for needing love and nourishment. The attention is all the child wants. If attention is in the form of abuse, then the child accepts it.

Many of us had mothers who didn’t provide an ounce of love or nourishment, and even resented us, so our mothers essentially forced us to go to our perpetrator for more abuse.

So it really isn’t so easy for adult survivors to simply say to themselves, or to hear their friends or husbands say to them, or to listen to mental health experts say, “It’s not your fault, don’t blame yourself, let it go.”

This advice is like leaving a damaging virus in a computer and totally ignoring it. These words cannot heal a person. The person must heal themselves inside, at the subconscious level, where the abuse originated.

This is why most victims cannot heal with talk-therapy and end up acting out sexually through affairs, promiscuity, behaving dangerously, or with excessive gambling and shopping.

Other people want nothing to do with sex at all.

One woman, who was sexually abused by a female perpetrator, was driven to try and have affairs with priests so she would know she was not a lesbian. She purposely tried to seduce priests to prove that she was attractive to men.

Other women are only sexually aroused if they are being “bad.” This is absolutely 100% normal behavior and a normal reaction in a previously abused person. There is nothing wrong with people who react this way. Their brain has been wired, through sexual abuse, to only associate forbidden things with sexual pleasure.

The only thing that ‘needs to be fixed’ is the brain association, and this issue can be healed.

One male survivor, who is married and did not consider himself gay, was driven to re-create his abuse and pleasure with his father and brother, who both sexually abused him as a child. The married adult man went to gay bathhouses and hooked up sexually with two men at the same time in a desperate attempt to rid himself of his suffering. He kept hoping that by having sex at gay bathhouses, he could create a different outcome and overpower the suffering and memories. It never worked.

I used to be so into male attention that it was suffocating me. It used to be my sole purpose in life.

My father was charismatic one minute, and in the next, he could be full of rage, but through the sexual abuse, he also gave me the affection and attention that I craved. I thought that the sexual abuse was love. I simultaneously loved and hated my father. I simultaneously feared him and wanted to be with him.

Some children are presented with nice treats and special outings with their perpetrator and this leads to deep confusion inside. It is like living in two conflicting worlds, and many of us still loved our fathers in spite of everything they did to us.

Some victims, and I include myself, end up suppressing the righteous anger they have for their father (or step-father, or brother) in order to shield the perpetrator because of the victim’s romantic love for him. By romantic love, I mean that many victims, myself included, feel as though they and their perpetrator were boyfriend and girlfriend, or simply put…..that they were lovers.

“For many women, a sexual response during rape becomes a “trigger” for negative beliefs about themselves during later consensual sexual experiences. If you associate sexual response with assault or with “badness” in yourself, you may consciously or unconsciously suppress sexual sensations at all. Libido, sexuality, and even orgasm become misunderstood as immoral or dirty sensations that you do not want or deserve, and some women temporarily lose the ability to orgasm at all after a rape, which she previously may have been able to do. While some women become extremely sexually active in the aftermath of rape (which has nothing to do with pleasure-seeking or mora character), many become actively disinterested in sex at all.” ~Resurrection After Rape

In order for me to be healthy and free, I had to remove and heal my romantic love for my father, and to truly allow myself to see that he was a child sexual abuser –a criminal rapist. If I carried romantic love for him around with me forever, I would have always suffered inside. My relationship with my husband would always have suffered, and my self-punishment issues would have continued. This is no way for any human being to live.

In addition, like in my own case, when the child victim has a mother who does nothing to stop the sexual abuse, and who protects the rapist, the mother is worse in many ways than the perpetrator.

Hatred or anger for these mothers, and unhealthy love for the perpetrator often shrouds our true feelings about our mother.

After the sexual abuse ends, the teenager or adult survivor often carries around a feeling of having been ‘the other woman’ and might even feel a sexual rivalry with her mother. But deep inside, victims most often feel greater emotional pain towards their mother’s total lack of regard for them, than the pain of what their father did.

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11 Responses to Forbidden Topics and Ugly Truths About Child Rape and Father/Daughter Incest

  1. nancykern says:

    I was terrified of my father and mother both. But I hated them differently. My relationship with my father was black and white. He had the power, and I either submitted or fought him.
    My relationship with my mother was confusing because occasionally, she was nurturing and appropriate. She seemed to slip into different sub-personalities herself.
    About 5 years into my recovery, she told me, “It was like I knew something was going on, but I didn’t really want to know.” Who would have believed her if she had spoken up?
    She never acknowledged to the rest of the family that the abuse happened, and I still feel angry and hurt about that.
    I know she was sexually abused, as was my father. Incest and abuse get passed on intergenerationally.
    We are the FIRST generation to have the therapeutic and cultural support to heal.
    I believe mental illness is a result not just of abuse, but of trauma, and that in some cases, a child is manifesting repressed trauma that has affected their neurology/biology, as well as the family’s emotional habits–that spans generations.
    Are you familiar with Family Constellation work? When we heal ourselves, we are healing our ancestors. We are compelled to do this.
    Survivors who help other survivors heal are at the forefront of a revolution of truth. May incest go the way of slavery: be examined and debated on a global level; become illegal and taboo on a global level, instead of being tolerated and considered inevitable.
    I think your blog is awesome and I’m so glad you’ve created this forum!

    • nancykern says:

      Who would have believed her if she had spoken up?
      when I wrote that, I meant in the 1960’s….she was utterly powerless; she was obese, spent most of her time in bed hiding…her credibility was about zero. My dad made sure of that. He lead us to believe she was stupid and he was perfect. The family dynamics in abusive families are crazy, because there is so much avoidance and lying going on. People lie to each other, to the world and to themselves.

      • little nel says:

        “her credibility was about zero. My dad made sure of that.”

        The offenders spend a lot of time and effort covering up their behavior. They are compelled by the fear of being caught and exposed as perverts.

        I learned to deny and avoid pain at all costs in my childhood home because it was safer than the alternative of telling someone and not being believed then suffering the consequences of physical punishment for telling.

      • Alethea says:

        “People lie to each other, to the world and to themselves.”

        Nancy, I never realized how big a part the lies play in the craziness of incest families until you said this!

    • Alethea says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Hating your parents differently is a very good description of the complicated dynamics of incest.

      “About 5 years into my recovery, she told me, “It was like I knew something was going on, but I didn’t really want to know.”

      That’s pretty unusual, you are lucky you got that much of an acknowledgement, it’s more than most of us get.

      “Are you familiar with Family Constellation work? When we heal ourselves, we are healing our ancestors.”

      I am not familiar, but I know that when we heal ourselves, we contribute to the healing of the world. I also believe that in the total healing…the true healing…..at the stage of forgiveness….our forgiveness helps to heal the souls of those who abused us.

      “I think your blog is awesome and I’m so glad you’ve created this forum!”

      Thank you Nancy, I am so glad you found it!

  2. little nel says:

    “Might even feel sexual rivalry with her mother…etc.”

    I can remember that my step-sister and I felt rivalry with each other which was initiated by my father. He must have fantasized that we would vie for his attention sexually and we would totally focus on pleasing him sexually.

    “Women were put on this earth to please men (sexually).” Was his mantra. I guess that he perceived that a little rivalry would rev up his pleasure meter.

  3. little nel says:

    I remember thinking as a young adult that “maybe” my father would have loved me if I had joined him and step-sister in the sexual trysts.

    I was still trying to take responsibility for his lack of love for me and what I could have done to make him love me. My father was devoid of love for anyone but himself and I could not acknowledge that notion.

    Why was it so difficult for me to accept that idea?
    Answer: Confusion on my part.

  4. little nel says:

    Great post!

    You have effectively described the victims confusion, and the after effects in adulthood when the abuse ends, and self-punishment takes over as a means of eliminating the pain and shame.

    I can relate all too well.

  5. manuela says:

    At one time I was thinking to became a foster mother …and when I interested in all the files that I have to present and procedures that I have to follow, a very nice lady stopped me and ask me: “are you sure you want to do this? how you will react when the child you will take will want to masturbate you or your husband in order to show you that he needs attention, love, care? how?”
    i cried at that thought, that there are kids treated this way,…and I realized that my love for children is not enough.

    • Alethea says:

      In a sense, that person was right. I think it takes an incredibly strong person with a lot of resources for the best therapy to adopt a foster child who has been severely abused.

      Sadly, those who end up adopting them, often do it for the financial gain and have no intention of helping the child. The child is often abused and unloved all over again by weak and selfish foster parents.

  6. Robert Ong says:

    “…because it is like living in two conflicting worlds, ”
    This is called cognitive dissonance, it is the prime source, the core essence, the origin of ‘mental illness’
    When the mind is conditioned this way at an early age, it can become a lifelong struggle to rectify.
    There is a saying…” We spend our adult lives overcoming our childhood”.

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