“The classic psychological responses to incest trauma are numbing, denial, and amnesia. During the assaults the incest victim typically learns to shut off pain by “dissociating,” achieving “altered states of consciousness . . . as if looking on from a distance at the child suffering the abuse.” To the extent that this defense mechanism is insufficient, the victim may partially or fully repress her memory of the assaults and the suffering associated with them: “Many, if not most, survivors of child sexual abuse develop amnesia that is so complete that they simply do not remember that they were abused at all; or . . . they minimize or deny the effects of the abuse so completely that they cannot associate it with any later consequences.
The key role of professional intervention as a triggering mechanism for uncovering the nexus between fault and damage is the subject of recurring comment in the literature. However, even during therapy misplaced feelings of loyalty towards an incestuous parent can elicit “defense of a parent, resistance with concomitant increase in guilt in the patient, or actual flight from treatment.”
Interesting. Shortly before remembering the incest, I almost left treatment. Even after I recalled the incest, I defended my father for many years by minimizing what he did.
I was unwilling to see my father for who, and what, he truly was –because if I did allow myself to see that he was just using me for sexual gratification, then I would not have been able to handle the emotional devastation of that.
It can take a very long time for victims and adult survivors of child sexual abuse, especially incest, to face the fact that their offender cared nothing about them, except to use them for sexual gratification. The blow to the victim’s self-worth can be hugely negative once they realize the perpetrator did not love them, did not care about them as child, or even a human being –that the victim was worth nothing more than a piece of trash to the abuser.
It is imperative for victims and adult survivors to not only realize their self-worth does not depend on any human being, but that it depends upon their own realization that they are loved by God, The Angels of Heaven, their children, or their animals.
Self-worth is not measured by sexuality, how we are treated by biological family members, or whether or not our parents or siblings loved us.
Our self-worth comes from who and what we are today –but not by our paycheck, our education, our degree, our status, our “wins” in competition, the number of friends we have, or whether or not we are in a relationship with someone. Our self-worth is defined by our actions, thoughts, and words towards God, our neighbor, the animals, our children, and ourselves.