A portion of this article was originally posted in 2009, but It’s time has come to be re-posted, with additional text.
When I first saw Gregg Milligan on Oprah many years ago, I was still so unhealed with regards to my mother’s sexual abuse of me. I was crying and so angry that day –crying over women getting away with sex crimes, merely because they are women.
Gregg Milligan has always been on my mind, and in my heart. I have never forgotten his strength, courage, and willingness to go beyond himself to help other victims of mothers who sexually abuse their children, and to help stop the denial that permeates society about this very real -and more common than we think- crime against nature.
Gregg Milligan’s mother began to fondle him when he was just four years-old
She began to aggressively sexually assault, and beat him, soon after.
Gregg was sometimes beaten unconscious. Gregg’s father left when Gregg was two, and by the age of eight, Gregg was being sexually abused by the men his prostitute mother brought home to have sex with.
Gregg’s mother sexually violated him in ways that would be called, “unspeakable”…but it must be spoken.
Can we imagine the terrible guilt inside of Gregg being brutally beaten by his mother, when she could not reach an orgasm while sexually abusing him?
Gregg says about this heinous act:
“Through her difficulty reaching climax, she would become frustrated and violent, hitting and punching and slapping not only my genitals, but my face and body.”
What this woman did to her son is beyond the repair of superficial therapy and “positive-thinking” therapy. For a mother to cause violence on the genitals and body of her son because she was so deviant in nature, that she not only had to abuse a child for sexual stimulation, but that she could not orgasm, is a traumatic crime –one that probably affected Gregg in ways that we cannot imagine.
“Around 10 years old, I started to get this unbelievable feeling of dread that if I don’t get out I am going to die from the decadence, the debauchery, the forced molestations and the beatings that became more severe.”
Gregg escaped at age eleven, his mother is now deceased.
Gregg says that he suffered from panic attacks and he wet the bed until he was sixteen years-old. He had hysterical paralysis for months.
Gregg saw many different child psychologists and therapists. Gregg also endured several foster homes and sheltered himself at the homes of friends.
Although he was able to finally go to college and attend graduate school, Gregg endured years of sleep disturbances, chronic nightmares, and anxiety attacks.
Gregg also experienced sexual dysfunction. Gregg had problems with intimacy, and his first marriage ended in divorce.
Men who have been sexually abused by their mother will often suffer from sexual problems. Some men become hyper-sexual, or addicted to pornography. In Gregg’s case, he has to deal with the fact that he was also sexually abused by adult males. This can create severe sexual problems, confusing sexual thoughts, as well as sexual identity issues in a person.
Experts agree that sexual abuse by mothers is “really hard to diagnose — most of the time it’s not witnessed.”
In addition, mothers can excuse, explain away, or more easily cover up the sexual abuse they are perpetrating, because they have a natural role to be with naked children, or to be bathing them, or performing enemas, or to be caught touching a child’s sexual organ.
Most children have normal physical examinations and any abrasions or redness from the abuse will disappear within 24 hours of the assault.
However, the number one reason mothers get away with sexual abuse, is society’s denial system that ‘women do such things,’ or ‘mothers don’t do that to their children!’ Or people think, ‘well, if she was sexually molesting her child, it’s not as bad as when a man does it.’
One of the unspeakable secrets in the world of child sexual abuse is that mothers can be molesters. Often, they prey on daughters, but more frequently their sons — who report increased feelings of isolation and sexual confusion along with thoughts of suicide.
I am well aware that my on-going articles about Lena Dunham have annoyed some of my readers. It appears that many women, who have been sexually abused by men or teenage boys, do not understand the darkness –the depths of the emotional pain and disturbing, disgusting feelings when a woman is sexually abused by their mother, or an older sister.
There seems to be a number of women who defend women, no matter what they have done, merely because they are women.
For people like myself, this is a re-wounding.
People don’t understand that Lena Dunham pried open deep-seated wounds in me, and every single one of her fans, admirers, and apologists also re-wounded me.
Personally, I feel Lena Dunham might have been sexually abused by her mother, but because she is so far gone into her own ego, and because she has so many supporters, and friends, and the press –who will never be truthful with her –who will never speak up to Lena about how wrong she was to write what she did in her book, and because her parents raised Lena to believe pornography and child molestation stories are “art,” Lena will most likely never do any inner reflection.
She is also so deeply embedded into the debauchery/porno scene, that she probably doesn’t care about ever looking into the fact that she might have been sexually abused in her childhood and should deal with it.
Maybe Lena Dunham will never know that child sexual and psychological abuse, is harmful and can be debilitating for the victim? I can’t see her ever knowing it when people tell her she is perfectly normal, and when she has joked about “making her sister gay.”
Why do I feel Lena Dunham might have been sexually abused by her mother?
Lena was recently quoted in an interview as saying she has suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder since she was nine. (She even joked about OCD, which is a very serious, life-altering mental disorder).
OCD has been linked to child sexual abuse, and incest. I used to have OCD.
The 26-year-old Dunham said she took antidepressants in high school, and was obsessed with the number eight.
“I remember saying to my mom when I was little, ‘I just had to imagine having sex with you eight times,'”… “and [Lena’s mother] really took it in stride! She was like, ‘Well, it’s your imagination; it didn’t really happen.'” ~Lena Dunham 1.
Hmmm. No one except Lena Dunham can get away with joking about having sex with her own mother.
Most of her fans will laugh it off. Her friends and the press will say, ‘oh, there goes Lena again, saying silly things. haha.”
However, anyone with common sense, and two degrees of intelligence would say to themselves, “whoa, that was a bizarre comment for a female child to make about her mother.”
Lena Dunham’s father, Carroll Dunham, is a painter of pornography, whose paintings you can look up online by Googling, “Carroll Dunham, paintings.” But beware… they are highly disturbing to anyone who was sexually abused by a woman.
It has also been well-reported that Lena Dunham’s mother was a photographer, who filled the family home with nude pictures of herself, “legs spread defiantly.”
My whole point about Lena Dunham, is that none of what she has written about, or done towards her sister, is normal. Very little of what has been reported about her upbringing is normal, and much of it is indicative of incest possibly having taken place in that home –incest other than what Lena describes doing to her little sister for ten years.
Those who have disagreed and argued with me about Lena Dunham, need to understand that I don’t care if she is a woman, or that most of what Lena did to her little sister was ‘passive abuse.’
I do care if she perpetuates sexual abuse, laughs at child molestation, or if she is made out to be a role model, or the “voice of our generation.”
The children of this earth need to be safeguarded by the Lena Dunhams of this world. I don’t care what happened to her as a child, as long as she continues to deny the pain she has caused, and the normalization of sibling incest, and as long as she thinks there is nothing wrong with it. Because once a teenager sexually abuses a younger child, they have crossed a line. They have become perpetrator, and are no longer a victim….they have crossed over to victimizer, and a hypocrite as well.
If people are going to excuse women for sexual deviation towards children, or for outright sexually abusing a child merely because the woman was once a victim herself as a child, then people must also be willing to excuse every man who has ever harmed a child sexually –because most men were also victims of child sexual abuse before they became a perpetrator.
In addition, Lena Dunham devalues women, devalues rape, and has no self-respect or self-dignity. She peddles debauchery, and is a liar. Thus, Lena Dunham should not be pushed as a role model for women.
I also care deeply that victims and survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by their mothers, and sisters, be believed and not minimized or brushed off.
People like Gregg Milligan, and myself, are usually not believed by anyone in the family, by neighbors, or by society in general. This is why the vast majority of people who are sexually abused by their mother (or an adult of the same-sex) will never speak of it.
It is extremely difficult for me, as a woman, to expose what my mother did to me because it is a double unnatural thing. Mother, and female-female.
I have yet to write about, or tell anyone, except my therapist the level of sexual deviancy my mother perpetrated on me as a child. It is disturbing, vile, and one of the most embarrassing things a person can ever allow to come out of their mouth to another human being.
One day, maybe soon, I will speak those secrets.
In the interim, it is so refreshing for me to know that Gregg Milligan is out there, doing the work, because I feel so alone with regards to child abuse issues, but specifically mothers who sexually abuse their children. Even some incest survivors have sort of condemned me in a sense for daring to talk about a woman like that. Gregg has experienced the same kind of denial and reaction in his work.
Women are so protected by society, and by other women.
It is harmful to hold the opinion that all mothers love their children, and would never harm them.
Gregg Milligan said to me, “passive abuse is just as brutal and damaging to the child.” He is 100% correct, and not only can female-female sexual abuse sometimes be passive-aggressive, or subtle…but when the mother, or anyone, witnesses sexual abuse and looks the other way, this is also passive abuse.
I am SO grateful for Gregg Milligan’s courage, strength, and his willingness to keep speaking up, in spite of the ignorance, name-calling, and condemnation by those who do not understand the depths of the psychological, and emotional destruction that a mother, woman, or older teenage girl can have on their victim.
I want to thank Gregg for being brave enough to tell his story, and to do the work. Many men and women are very grateful for his strength and courage.
To buy Gregg’s book, A Beautiful World, and to visit his website, click here