The Sacred Monster

So there are a number of people who probably wonder why, after all these years, I am still in therapy.

Well lately, I have been getting nudges and feelings within myself, and through dreams, that my subconscious is not okay with the fact that I have not been completely open and honest with my Blog readers, or even with personal friends.

Funny, because I just wrote the other day about being expressive, voicing your truths etc. Well, the time has come that I must proclaim my truth, own my truth, and try to be an inspiration to others to also speak their truth.

I have been hiding something for years. I have hinted at this in a few posts and comments, and mentioned it in this article, and professed it in this article three years ago, but have never truly, come completely clean with strength and purpose.

Why have I kept a secret from my Blog readers, most of my Blog friends, my personal friends, and even my husband of nineteen years?

Out of deep humiliation, disgust at myself, and because of death threats and attempts by my mother to take my life as a child –attempts to choke me to death so I would keep her dirty secrets.

I won’t do that to myself anymore!

I have been lamenting to others about breaking secrets, being true to yourself, and to scream the dirty little secrets from the bedroom, but I have been a lie to myself while telling others to do what I should have done a long time ago.

So here goes…….

I was not only sexually abused as a child by my father, I was also sexually abused by my mother and my older sister.

I dealt with my father’s sexual abuse and rapes, almost entirely, several years ago in therapy. But being sexually violated and tricked into sex by my mother (and to a lesser degree by my sister), has been profoundly intense to heal.

…but I am almost there, and this article proves it. I am no longer ashamed. I am no longer embarrassed that I took part in the abuse to gain acceptance from my sister, and so-called “love” from the woman who calls herself my mother.

I am no longer willing to keep her secrets because they, nor she, have any power over me any longer.

I will not hold my head in shame anymore for the sexual things I did with my mother –and that I didn’t like it when my mother stopped having sexual contact with me.

I have to admit, I cringed a little inside when I just wrote that. This means I am not completely free of that issue, but I do know that I have nothing to feel ashamed of. My mother and sister are the ones who should feel ashamed. I have carried this too long, it does not belong to me, the shame belongs to them. 

So, in honor of my lack of shame, here is the story about my mother, for everyone to see. I will not keep her secrets anymore.

The Sacred Monster: “Butch” Enters My Life

How Can This Be? Your Mother Cleaned the Church!

I can easily recall the moment of anger I had about ten years ago when a friend began discussing women who volunteer to clean the church, and who do little tasks around the parish to help out the priest. These women are sometimes called, “church ladies.”

My friend felt these women who clean the church are “good” trustworthy people.

My anger was quick and potent. I told my friend, “Just because someone helps clean the church; it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of being liars, manipulators, deceivers, and abusers of children!”

It was Butch who had become angry that day. Butch was the part of me that carried rage, and she wasn’t afraid to use it.

Butch was the part of me that suddenly felt rage when a woman got too close to me in the grocery store and Butch was the one who wanted to beat women up whenever they stared at me. So I named that part of me “Butch” because it was an ugly side of me that resembled an angry Tomboy who hated women.

It was Butch who blew up the day I saw a reality television program where a joke was played on a pizza delivery man. The producers (disguised as employees of the pizza restaurant) had sent the unsuspecting man to deliver a pizza to the home of a male customer. The customer, who was an actor playing a role, answered the door naked and paid for the pizza while visibly naked.

The surprised pizza delivery man handled the situation reasonably well. He had no visible sign of distress or anger.

I, on the other hand, flew out of my mind. Before I knew it, I found myself running to the telephone. Frantically, I called information to find the phone number of the television station. When the person, at the TV station, who was taking customer complaints came on the line, I heard myself screaming into the phone receiver, “You just can’t do that! You can’t force a naked person onto someone else!!! You just don’t know what that person has been through in their life!!! How dare you?!”

The person on the other end of the line didn’t have a chance to respond before I added, “If that man had been abused by another man as a child, then this would be devastating to him!”

Butch quickly hung up.

A few weeks later, while watching a documentary on the biography of Hustler Magazine’s, Larry Flynt, Butch became furious upon learning Flynt’s wife had used her bisexuality to push herself on other women. Butch was so angered by Flynt’s wife, that it gave me a strange satisfaction when the program revealed she had died of AIDS.

These incidents were the beginning of the end of the life I thought I had understood. For several years, I had progressively, and almost miraculously, healed from having been a victim of father/daughter incest. But my progress had come to somewhat of a standstill, and some new physical symptoms had begun to plague me; like feeling full before meals. Even though I had not eaten in a few hours, and knew it was time to eat something, I felt as though I had just eaten a large meal. I had started to get terrible gas pains for no known reason. Hemorrhoids, stomach aches, and a feeling of wanting to just “check-out” –to go to sleep, as if I almost had narcolepsy. I also developed heavy bags under my eyes, and back pain.

But I had gone through many different physical symptoms before and felt these new problems were related to something unresolved with my father.

The curious part of all these new problems, was the outbursts of unexplained and unchecked rage. At the time, I assumed my over-reaction to the pizza delivery incident was because I had been forced into sexual abuse by my father, but I wasn’t quite sure why I found a quiet satisfaction in a woman dying of AIDS. So I assumed it was because I didn’t like people forcing themselves onto others.

I was sure my friend’s comment about church ladies, had to be based in the anger at my mother for not protecting me from my father, and for her having physically assaulted me as a child. While I was growing up, and being sexually abused by my father, my mother regularly cleaned our local church.

But when I began to notice a strange pattern of incidents which caused me varying over-reactions to seemingly benign situations, I started a list in my log book –a list of experiences which created sudden anger, depression, or physical suffering:

  • Hearing the name of a daily television program called “Woman to Woman”.
  • A close female friend jokingly referred to our seeing a movie together as “a date.”
  • The film Boys Don’t Cry caused me to become enraged over the main female character’s deception by pretending to be a boy. The girl, based on a true life story, fooled an entire town of people, and even tricked a young girl into thinking she was her new “boyfriend.”
  • Each time that I visited a certain establishment –whose owner was a lesbian- I became nauseous.
  • Oprah Winfrey did a show on mothers who were too busy for their children. One mother had agreed to be filmed at home while performing her daily routine. In the opening segment, the woman’s little girl was shown (discretely) going potty while the mother was busy at the other end of the house. The little girl cried from the toilet “Mommy, come and wipe me.” It was a distressful moment for the child because the mother was in another room and out of hearing range. The curious thing was….. while the audience, Oprah, and her panel of experts were all reacting to the mother not being available to the child (which was terrible), I instead, was feeling disgusted inside and felt mentally disconnected because the little girl was asking her mother to touch her in the genital area.
  • A long-time friend gave me fancy underwear for a birthday gift and I was extremely uncomfortable and hated every moment of opening up a box and seeing lacy underwear that had been given to me by a woman.
  • I never wanted to have a female friend over to my home if it meant that I would be alone with her, and I coiled in rejection at the thought of doing yoga with any female friend in her home —or in mine. I also refused to join a yoga class and shunned the idea of attending a woman’s day spa.
  • I had always been repulsed at the idea of having a woman gynecologist, but when my male gynecologist allowed his female nurse in the room during an exam, I became extremely uncomfortable with it.
  • I began to experience severe chest pains while in women’s clothing stores and several times, while trying on clothes in a dressing room, I almost blacked out.
  • One night a friend called me from her bathtub just to have a chat. I had not been at home at the time but the fact that she had made the call from her bathtub, I shot into a seething state of anger.
  • I found myself repulsed by innocent depictions of normal mother/daughter situations or of two women friends. Any photograph or television program showing a mother and daughter hugging, or a mother kissing her daughter, or touching her hair –or even seeing two women friends being physically close, caused me to look away, change the channel, or brought on physical symptoms.
  • A well-known actress commented about another actress’s breasts in a very causal way and I found myself screaming at her on the television set.
  • Lesbian scenes on television, or in films, had begun to send me into furies of rage.

As my log book pages began to fill with these feelings and physical reactions, I slowly started to realize that Butch was a part of me that could no longer be ignored. Over several months, it became clear that Butch’s anger and disgust was coming from some kind of deeply personal experience. The ugly truth was reluctantly beginning to sink into my mind, and as it did, Butch rejoiced inside me because her voice and pain was finally being acknowledged.

Butch had forced me to recognize that she was a very distinct, but powerful part of my psyche, and she would not release me from my prison of rage and inability to heal, until she was heard and validated.

Over the next two years, I finally learned to accept that lesbian and gay situations, or female to female contact –no matter how innocent- was very disturbing to my subconscious mind.

I don’t quite know where Butch was all the years prior to this. Had she been sleeping? Who was this rage-filled Tomboy inside me? Had she been waiting silently in my subconscious mind until she felt that she couldn’t take the pain any longer, or could not live in denial for one more second, and that she just had to heal? To be heard…To scream out her pain?

Until Butch decided to make herself known to me, I didn’t have many female friends and never felt completely comfortable around women unless I had been drinking, but I never had any conscious disgust towards gays. Then again, it wasn’t until about fifteen years ago that homosexuality began to be openly accepted and acted out in public so blatantly. It wasn’t until homosexuality became so common in films and on television that I began to have these reactions. It is very possible that when homosexuality was more subdued in society, Butch was still sleeping.

Until Butch woke up and decided she wanted to be heard, I did not want the gay lifestyle to be forced on my mind, intruded on my daily life, or seen on television –but I was never vocal about it, nor did it evoke such rage.

I never liked to see children exposed to affection and sexual acts between adult homosexuals, but until Butch decided she had had enough, I never showed any antagonism or anger towards gays and lesbians. I held a somewhat liberal view of things and never gave it much conscious thought.

Butch, who had lay dormant for years, suddenly wanted me to know that she despised any mention of gay or lesbianism, and that she was extremely disgusted at the sight of two women together. Butch even freaked out when some states began to legalize same-sex marriages. Butch was so pissed off that she couldn’t even look at any of the headlines about gay marriages, or legal proceedings surrounding the controversy.

The possibility that I had been sexually abused by my mother, as well as my father, was alien to my life at that time, but at every turn, I was given signals, by my mind and body, that something highly disturbing was coming into my consciousness.

During this period of time, I realized that a neurological twitch, which had plagued me for years, was very noticeable with any connection to the movie “Sybil.” At the time of the twitches, I didn’t understand the association, but when I acknowledged that Sybil had been sexually abused by her own mother, the reason for the neurological twitch was becoming more clear.

It was during this strange time of my life that I started to hate fruit (unless it was chopped up for me), and began to become mentally disconnected in sushi bars, and my heart rate always accelerated after eating fish tacos. I also refused to eat tuna fish —even though it previously had been a favorite food of mine.

Upon reflection of this new hatred of fruit and tuna, I realized that many different fruits are associated with female body parts. Women’s breasts are often referred to as “melons,” “coconuts,” or “grapefruit,” and there is a song by a popular 1980’s rock band which refers to a vagina as a “pineapple.” Women are sometimes called a “peach,” and when a girl loses her virginity she is considered to have just “popped her cherry.”

Fish tacos, sushi, and tuna have all crudely been used as words to describe vaginas.

A colorful and appetizing grocery catalog had sickened me for weeks. Every time I saw the catalog, I became nauseous or dizzy. Then I finally realized that, on the cover, was a picture of a papaya which had been cut in half. For the first time, I consciously realized the photo looked exactly like a woman’s open vagina. Until that moment, my subconscious mind had seen the photo in a vulgar way, and caused me to be sick every time I saw it. Yet, my conscious mind, had not been quick enough, or intuitive enough, to have figured that out —that is, until I was emotionally prepared to handle it.

Photos of orchids also bothered me. I turned pages quickly when I saw them in magazines, and when a female neighbor bought me one as a gift, I hated it. Orchids look similar to a vagina.

I find the subconscious mind to be pretty mind-blowing. It sends us little clues and gets us to make little mental notes in our daily life, but if the conscious mind is not willing to believe the notes and clues, and decides not to deal with what is right in front of our face, the subconscious mind says, “Okay, you don’t want to know the truth, you want to stay sick and stay in denial…well, here you go!”

One night, my subconscious (my soul) decided that it was tired of giving me little clues. That night, I had a dream that I was being given oral sex by my mother.

The dream was highly disturbing at the time, and I could not even discuss it on the telephone with my therapist. I did not tell her a word about it when I spoke with her in my next therapy session. Instead, I sent my therapist an email telling her of the dream, because I could not handle speaking the words about such a vulgar violation. I could barely write the words, much less say them out loud.

How far I have come from that day. I can not only say the words out loud, but write them for all the world to see.

Part Two of The Sacred Monster coming soon…

Please note: The publishing of this article was inspired by one of my Blog readers named Grace. Thank you Grace for being strong enough to expose your story. It was your courage which pushed me to post this article. I am going to publish Grace’s story soon.

I had originally planned on publishing The Sacred Monster as a little book when I felt strong enough one day. But when I began to work on Grace’s story for publishing on my Blog (with her permission) my subconscious mind began to get pretty angry with me and let me know that I needed to stop trying to live through Grace going public, and to go public myself too.

Stay tuned for Grace’s amazing story, and for the continuation of The Sacred Monster.

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41 Responses to The Sacred Monster

  1. auntiebodhi says:

    *offers a respectful bow*

    First, I have to say that I don’t believe my mother sexually abused me, at least not in any way I think I could recognize. But, I also think she knew about my father’s abuse; she’d been horribly abused herself by her genetic father (mine was a step-father) and the knowledge that her “perfect” husband was doing this to me sent her fleeing life and reality like her ass was on fire. Talk about living with a trigger! Poor woman. I hated her and felt sympathy for her, all at the same time. Mostly, I was just angry and baffled as to why she didn’t like me.

    She was definitely verbally and emotionally abusive- nasty, cutting, self-esteem-blasting things she’d say or do stuck with me for decades. Once, when I had run home to avoid a bunch of bullies intent on whupping my butt (a near-daily thing), I ran into the house, furious, slamming the front door as I stomped inside. Her only beef? “Don’t slam the damned door!” When I told her why I was so angry, she came back with “if you only acted like a human being, maybe people would like you better!” I roared back (in one of the first instants of real self-defence I ever made, I might add) “I AM a human being, I just wish people like you would realize it and treat me like one!” It obviously hurt her to hear that, for she told me to go to my room. Still furious, and a little petty, I suppose, I said, “I know where I’d like to send YOU, you bitch…”

    It wasn’t about the bullies at school, anymore. It had become about the bullying I recieved at home. My pointing it out in so flat a way hit her hard, and she couldn’t face me, even threatened to kick me out- her only “defence” she’d ever had for anything I’d say or do in my own defence; “If you don’t like it, there’s the door.” Play on my need for a place to live, security. Well, when she hit me with it that day, I took her up on it, and never looked back. I was sixteen. Totally surprised the fuck out of her, I’m sure. She never thought I’d do it- I was too much of a pussy, right? Too much of a cry-baby, clinging to mother. Hell no, as she found out that day.

    Another time, one of my aunts had dropped by to say hi to the family. I wasn’t there when she came, so I missed seeing her. But, she apparently had left a present for me; some cool silver rings. My mother’s method of “delivering” them was to snarl at me, “Aunt Cathy was here and she left these for you,” and threw them on the floor, hard, forcing me to pick them up like scattered pennies tossed by a sneering nobleman to a peasant. It actually didn’t humiliate me then- I was glad to get any kind of a present at all, from anywhere. It pisses me off, now.

    The sexual abuse from her mate only stopped after I threatened to hurt him; “I don’t love you like that, never did. It’s wrong, and I hate you. Touch me again, and I WILL kill you. I’m sleeping with a knife under my pillow from now on…” He believed me and never touched me again. Years later, I asked him why he did what he’d done, and he replied with “you were the closest thing at hand.” Six little words, and I was an object only there for his pleaseure. Fucking sociopath. I put him up against a wall and told him “I should kill you for that.” Maybe he was hoping I would, I don’t know. I used that word a lot, back then, never really wanting to hurt anyone. The very idea made me physically ill. But, I suppose fury can be damned convincing, if used at the right time.

    Your comments about the anger being bottled up for years, being triggered by weird things and seemingly explosive over minor stuff: I got accused of that a LOT, and rarely understood why. I never thought to keep a journal of things that set me off. Usually, I’d forget whatever it was that had gotten me growling in the first place. Short-term memory blows. Long-term, on the other hand… that shit’s great. Pity it didn’t tag on the few good things in my childhood. Mind you, that would been a very small collection. :-p I have a journal, but it’s all rants about how I didn’t fit in, didn’t feel seen, or feel right, or even human… just like my mother accused me of.

    I think trying to suss out my triggers could be interesting. I know some of them because they’re “regulars”- same things, same reaction; panic-attack that lasts for hours. Smells, textures, tones of voice- all of my fears are in relation to people. I don’t like people very much. Refused to allow anyone to even touch me for years. Bleh.

    “Butch” reminds me of “Beast”, my little pet montser that wanted to come out and play with the bloody bits of whoever pissed me off that day. Then there was “Mouse”; she skirted the edges, always watching, never seen, seeing everything. And “The Comedian”, the guy who came out when I was in a new social situation and nervous as hell, always worried about how they saw me (my mother’s biggest fear become my own), assuming all were judging me in the worst possible way, and so would “perform” and keep everyone entertained, so they never got to see the real me that I knew no one would really like…

    As for me, I didn’t exist as anything I wanted to pay any attention to.

    Like you, I didn’t like women, they made me feel very uncomfortable if they got too close, or touched me. I don’t understand, though, why I’d be “man-like” and prefer the company of males, going so far as to act male, test my strength against males (often winning), wrestle, argue, horse around, even though they were the ones who’d hurt me most often. Females? I had no model for those, and my mother kept telling to “act like a lady” when she swore like a sailor, smoked, drank, and smacked her kids around. Certainly not an elegant bone in her body. The only examples I had were what was on TV, and even at an early age, I knew those weren’t real people. Mother tells, hey? Goes to show, what mother does hurts or helps the most for some people.

    Yeah, there’s a lot in your post I resonate with, and so I thank you for your story, and hope that this very truncated version of mine wasn’t too long. 🙂

    • Alethea says:

      Dear Auntie Bodhi,

      Allow me to apologize for the delayed response.

      Your first sentence in intriguing:

      “I have to say that I don’t believe my mother sexually abused me, at least not in any way I think I could recognize.”

      psychological emphasis on the words in bold.

      I think you ought to start a journal of those triggers you mentioned. Look for patterns. They could be triggers over your male abuser, or something you have not yet dealt with.

      Your uncomfortable feelings about women is something in and of itself to examine. You mentioned that males are the ones who you preferred the company of, even though they were the ones who hurt you so much. In my experience, because male/female sexual energies are normal, intrinsic, and how life operates…I gravitated to my father as a child, and to males in adulthood, because that is what was natural inside me. Even though I was raped by my father and terrorized by him, we had a male/female interaction. Mother/daughter incest is more abhorrent to the mind of the victim than male/female incest is.

      Thanks so much for your support on my story. I hope it helped you somewhat. I am going to post more of it soon.

      All my best,

  2. Casey says:

    Is your mother and the sister you mentioned that was included in the SA still alive? I suppose, if it had been me, I’d have turned them into the police. I would want my justice. Have you ever thought of doing so, or do you feel it would be/would have been useless?

    You are a strong person to share your horrific stories with the world. There’s no doubt you are helping many with this blog!

    • Alethea says:

      My mother was in her late eighties before I remembered all of this. She is now in her nineties, and has no access to children. None of my siblings have any children. There are no children in my biological family at all. I am the youngest of this biological family. I am not going to turn a ninety-something year-old woman in to police or publicly expose her when she is no threat to any child and is chronologically on her way out of this world.

      • Casey says:

        I guess that makes you a better person than me. I would turn my own mother in no matter what age if she did that to me. I know that’s awful, but that’s what I would do. I don’t believe in a heaven or hell, so I believe the only place someone can be punished for their crimes is here on Earth. I do admit I’m the lesser person for those feelings.

  3. little nel says:

    There will a trial coming up in April. A “church lady’s” husband has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of his step-daughter. The step-daughter went to the police and complained. She said that he had been abusing her since she was 10.

    The “church lady” had moved here when her daughter was 11. She told the congregation that she was divorcing and needed a fresh start. She asked for help with her re-location needs.

    I noticed that the home she rented was the kind of home that needed a man. Well, right on cue, the husband showed up, moved in, and they “reconciled.” I saw this coming.

    I sensed that something was wrong with this woman and her husband. I never saw the daughter with them.

    The daughter told the police that she had been abused for 7 years by the stepfather. The mother claims that she is divorcing and knew nothing about the abuse (horse shit).

    There were only three people living in that home and the husband had a stash of nude photos of his step-daughter from age 10-17.

    • Alethea says:

      Thanks for this Little Nel. I feel it is important to keep posting cases like this so that people can be educated about how many of these women there are in the world. For every case made public, there are hundreds of thousands of cases that go undiscovered.

  4. shanakd9 says:

    I think you are right Alethea. I think that there are a lot more of that have been abused by our mothers than we know. I think that many people have been abused under the guise of hygiene. Mothers supposedly washing their children and they are actually molesting them. Just one way. I too used too and still get triggered sometimes by little things. I never cared for slumber parties, and women’s retreats. DO NOT like sleeping with other women!!! Yuk, and I don’t think I would ever get used to that. So I don’t do that. Thanks again for sharing this.

    • Alethea says:

      Shana, in the past, I always felt pretty different for not wanting to have a massage by a woman, not wanting to share a hotel room with a woman, or for not wanting to join a yoga class. Now I understand myself and because of healing myself so much, I don’t judge myself anymore.

      All my best,

      • shanakd9 says:

        I still have a lot more healing to do. I need to actively find another therapist, but I have had some really bad experiences with the last two therapists. Especially the last one, on top of money is an issue. My last hurdle, well another hurdle is having to deal with abuse from my father, that I don’t remember, but parts of me do, that I really am in denial about, because it is ritual related. Makes me want to throw up whenever I start to even touch that area.

        • Alethea says:

          Keep searching, keep interviewing. Get recommendations. Ask how much they deal with child sexual abuse. See if you can find someone who practices EMDR or hypno-analysis. The subconscious mind must be dealt with.

  5. little nel says:

    Alethea, Kudos to you!

    You have taken on two more family members who abused you. You have uncovered their shameful rituals.

    These two family members have snuggled together quietly in a cocoon spun from lies and tried to keep you enmeshed with themselves, but you resisted and broke free. I salute you for your courage and conviction.

    You have emerged like a beautiful butterfly who is free to go anywhere she wants to go, while they stay bound up in lies.

    Again, I say, kudos to you!

    • Alethea says:

      Wow Little Nel, what a great comment, and it hits the nail right on the head with everything I am experiencing. The butterfly is my personal symbol for freedom, so that was pretty serendipitous of you to say 🙂 Thanks for all the love and support.

  6. shanakd9 says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I often feel alone with the abuse from my mother and aunt and lesbian older cousin too. Makes me want to puke. more later. i am sorry that we relate to such horror as this.

    • Alethea says:

      Shana, you are NOT alone. Far from it. I think you and me, and all the others here who have expressed sexual abuse by their mothers are just the tip of the iceberg.

      • Why Not? says:

        You very well may be right, Alethea. God, for the sake of the quality of their lives, I hope not. I’m struggling right now with it. I’m pushing through, but this is the place where it gets really difficult for me to navigate to that place where “it begins to get better.”

        I do still have hope. I want to quit, but I won’t. I am determined to see this part through to the resolve I desire to achieve – to reclaim those parts of my self that I have innately believed to be irreparably damaged, undesirable and without worth.

        • little nel says:

          “I am determined to see this part through to the resolve I desire to achieve-to reclaim those parts of my self that I have innately believed to be irreparably damaged, undesirable and without worth.”
          Now, that’s profound!

          I understand your motivation completely. I can relate to all of it.

          “Irreparably damaged” is how I perceived myself since I was sexually abused. “Undesirable and without worth” was how I felt when I was put into a county home in Los Angeles because my personal identity was stripped away from me in that place.

  7. Marjie says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have just started my journey and while things have changed some there is a long way to go. I appreciate your bravery. So many similarities for me.

  8. SurvivorSunshine says:

    Alethea (((((hugs)))),
    As one of your fairly long term blog readers, I can honestly say I understood parts of your abuse by BOTH of your parents and your sister from your posts. So don’t be so hard on yourself about that aspect. You are always so honest and straight-forward about sexual abuse in general, and I think all survivors get that some memories resurface when we are ready to face them. I just want to be sure you are not doubling the shame and guilt inflicted upon you by feeling like you weren’t always so transparent with your readers. Your honesty and boldness has inspired me to not feel like that little girl who is screaming at the top of her lungs but no one is listening.

    I was also triggered when reading your post but I feel like this is a good thing to slowly crack open my repressed memories. I can understand why I’ve ALWAYS felt so alone and unprotected. I was used by both of my parents and their families! I was probably sexually abused by more than the 3 people I’ve suspected (dad, mom, maternal aunt). No one could save me back then except myself, through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. I fought hard and also for my sister, so I’m proud of myself. I have two amazing kids who show that you can leave a disgusting, shameful legacy behind- FAR behind.

    • Alethea says:

      Sunshine, you are so sweet. I do not feel shameful or guilty for not revealing this sooner. I wrote that beginning of The Sacred Monster, more as a way to lead into the disclosure, than to express any guilt or shame over having kept it a secret. The secret itself caused me all the guilt and shame -for many many years- but I have almost healed all of that. Coming clean with my Blog readers and Blog friends was liberating.

      It’s so great that you recognize a trigger as an indication that something is unresolved. Many people, including me (well, I used to), run from triggers in order to not deal with it. Triggers are merely the Subconscious saying “you need to deal with this before it gets worse.”

      God Bless you on your healing journey. You and so many others who post here (and who silently read) are so strong and encouraging for all of us.


  9. Why Not? says:

    Bravo Alethea, Bravo!

    Your opening sentence, alone, was nothing short of a lifeline to me this morning – and others, as well, it seems… to be able to read on, with absolute certainty that “I am not alone.”

    You said, Alethea: “So there are a number of people who probably wonder why, after all these years, I am still in therapy.”

    And, PDD said: “My father’s conclusion: If I’m still in therapy after all these years, that proves therapy isn’t helping me, proves therapy is unable to help me, proves I am beyond help. This all proves I am the demonic little boy he’s always known me to be.”

    I’ve heard it all from both family (my very abusers – which is no longer gut-wrenchingly shaming for me) and “friends” – privileged to never walk an inch down the path I’ve traveled through my life – and lived long enough to SALUTE myself and my fellow “travelers”!

    I announced, boldly, to my therapist last week that “I never wanted to talk in detail about the incest – or certain other aspects of abuse that I endured from my mother.”

    Well, I got severely triggered yesterday afternoon and had an agonizing and discouragingly sleepless night – wondering ‘how in the world I am EVER going to get ‘completely’ through all of this?!’

    I am so, so sorry, Alethea, that you have had to struggle with so many of the same abuses – and others’ here as well. I am so, so grateful for your courage and willingness to share this part of your story – to, once again, light the path for me, as I am trying to find my way home… to me.

    Yes – there is something about “mother-daughter – same-sex parental incest” that is agonizingly difficult to face, much less tell a world that can’t stand the thought of it – either. It happens. It happened to me too and it no longer matters whether ANYONE finds it so much easier to simply NOT believe.

    Bravo! Thank you, Alethea, for the inspiration to KEEP GOING – TO KEEP FACING OUR TRUTHS!

    • Alethea says:

      Yes Why Not, we need to keep facing our truths, because it is in doing so that we face ourselves, our very soul. The soul (the subconscious) does not lie, minimize, people-please, or hide it’s true feelings. My therapist once said to me, “if you do not deal with the subconscious, it deals with you.” No truer words ever were spoken.

      The SC will not allow us to lie to ourselves.

      Thank you once again for your amazing words to me.


      • Why Not? says:

        I find the subconscious mind to be pretty mind-blowing. It sends us little clues and gets us to make little mental notes in our daily life, but if the conscious mind is not willing to believe the notes and clues, and decides not to deal with what is right in front of our face,


        Yet, my conscious mind, had not been quick enough, or intuitive enough, to have figured that out —that is, until I was emotionally prepared to handle it.

        To think that I’ve called myself “emotionally dumb” for being unable to unravel the mysteries of what I am going to call, from this point forward, “The Sexual Abuse-Trauma Complex

        I had a “conscious” experience with food yesterday. I found myself “enduring” it – inwardly repulsed at what I was eating, but outwardly acting as if everything was “fine.” The energy it took to “endure” was one thing; the feeling of anger and the mental confusion I had after it was over left me depressed.

        And, so it has been – as a result of my inability to ‘face the abuse.’

        Last night, I decided to face what “it” was that I was reacting to about the food. Today, I find myself struggling with trying to figure out how “to spare my therapist the details.” Sheeesh.

        I get it now about ‘the sub-conscious mind sending us clues.’ I’ve always “known” I knew about the abuses at some level – I just didn’t have the knowledge about HOW to face it – much less, recognize how it was affecting me on so many levels, so that I could find effective ways to deal with it – much more constructively.

        “Seeing it” for what it is, is an experience I can’t find words for, yet.

        Thank you, Alethea, for teaching me that it’s time to start making Lists.

  10. PDD says:

    “So there are a number of people who probably wonder why, after all these years, I am still in therapy.” Interesting statement, one that my father and sister asked me as well (after I assertively confronted them over my mother’s SA). My father’s conclusion: If I’m still in therapy after all these years, that proves therapy isn’t helping me, proves therapy is unable to help me, proves I am beyond help. This all proves I am the demonic little boy he’s always known me to be.

    Curious how he commented that therapy will never help me, yet believes I should be institutionalized. (Perhaps he really meant incarcerated, incarcerated for my elementary school boyhood crimes of sexually abusing my poor helpless mother). Wow, amazing how denialists twist facts to protect the abuser, and impugne the abused.

    Anyway, congratulations on coming clean with strength and purpose. I, too, have been having similar subconscious nudges for some time now, but I’m not yet able to determine why. Maybe I’m just not yet ready….

    • Alethea says:

      PDD, out of sight, out of mind. If you are institutionalized, then no one in your family ever has to think about, or speak about, your mother’s sexual abuse again. If you are put away, then they are all able to be comfortably numb and the “problem” has been taken care of.

      One of my sisters asked me once in a snide way, How long have you been in therapy?”

      It is a very linear question. No one can measure these things. I was so sick and dysfunctional. I had so many different physical symptoms, at least 70. I had a disease from hell that doctors say has no cure or treatment. My sister’s question was pretty judgmental and accusatory.

      Thanks for all your encouragement. What kind of nudges are you getting?

      • PDD says:

        “How long have you been in T?” When I volunteered to my father that, without his knowledge, I’d been seeing therapists off and on since high school up to present day, his response was that proves I’ve been driving people crazy with my lies my entire life! The fact that I’ve been in T for years and years due to my mother’s SA (and other abuses), to my father, proves that these lies are so entrenched, there’s no hope for me (other than institutionalization/incarceration).

        He’s come up with various theories to explain why I’m so demonic, including sibling rivalry, head injuries, arrogance, emotional retardation, blah blah blah. Perhaps I mentioned he (and my sister) banned me from attending my own mother’s funeral, threatening a restraining order against me: my lies equal violence….

        Nudges…. I’ve had a couple major nudges over the last few years. First was when I finally admitted “incest” to myself. Before, I could only call it “inappropriate sexualization”. I wept for days. Second was when my father unknowingly confirmed my suspicions he knew all along, but didn’t give a f*ck. I raged for days.

        Nowadays, I still have that feeling of a lurking nudge, of there’s still more to uncover, but I’m not sure what. I’m patient. It’ll come to the surface in its own time. Can’t rush it.

        In the meantime I struggle with dreams and memories and understanding why parents do such shit to their kids. I think I understand my mother, father and sister pretty well, their motivations, their values, their goals. I have no idea who these people are. Well, yes I do know who these people are. Maybe that’s my nudge?

        • Alethea says:

          PDD, your case is one of many where the father is the one who denies, ignores, doesn’t care about the wife’s sexual abuse of the children…usually it is the other way around. I am so glad you are sharing your story because I know you are not alone, by any means.

          I wonder if your rage was rooted in feeling worthless to him? It’s a strong blow to feel meaningless –like a piece of useless garbage to our parents. It took me many years to heal that.

          Yes, maybe your nudge is finally realizing and allowing yourself to know who they truly are, and not who you had built them up to be in order to survive.

  11. Kevin F says:

    Excellent article and very triggering!
    I am a 55 year old male and am beginning to get feeling memories of sexual assault by my mother. What triggered me in this article is that she was a ‘Church lady’, who cleaned the local church and even ironed the vestments of the priest.
    My father too was very religious and he was party to me being sexually assaulted by a priest when I was two or three years old. Religious people can be very dangerous and violent monsters in many ways.

    • Alethea says:

      Kevin, you are awesome for being willing to take a look at the possibility of something with your mother. It is one of the single most difficult things to have to face and heal. But worth the journey.

      My father was not religious AT ALL, and I think my mother used the church and Catholicism to make herself appear normal and upstanding to the neighbors. At least that’s my memory of her. I witnessed only hypocrisy.

      • Kevin F says:

        You’re an inspiration, Alathea.
        Just a thought about the title of this article. People who sexually assault children are evil, violent and sick monsters. Nothing sacred about them at all!
        Best wishes.

        • Alethea says:

          Thanks so much Kevin for you kind words.

          The title is based on the fact that society itself, history, images, etc. have all portrayed mothers as these sacred creatures who do no harm to children.

          The title was meant to encompass that false and deadly idea.

          Best wishes,

  12. Reesee says:

    You are an inspiration!! Congratulations on everything so far. You deserve love and happiness and the release that comes with forgiving yourself. Keep going my dear! We’re rooting for you!

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Alethea says:

      Thanks Reesee. It took me years to be able to post this article. I appreciate the encouragement. I also owe a huge thank you to my reader Grace. Her courage pushed me to post it. Grace’s story will be coming soon.

      • Why Not? says:

        Looking so forward to reading Grace’s story. It sounds like there is much insight to be gained from her courage and work, as well.

        • Alethea says:

          Grace’s story is pretty compelling. I am looking forward to sharing it because it can really be a source of enlightenment for many people.

  13. Chris and Judy says:

    Dear Alethea,

    Thank you so very much.

    I too was horribly abused by both parents, and my mother threatened to kill me too.

    Great grace as you work out this next stage.



    • Alethea says:


      Thanks for coming “out of the woodwork” so-to-speak. I appreciate the support, and that you can understand my experience. Posting this article was a huge push past my fears of death if I expose my mother’s ugly secret.

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