Then something happened. Actually, several things happened. A dear friend came to me in agony: she had discovered the man she'd been dating for 4 years and hoped to marry was interested in her only as a smoke screen for what he truly is: a selfish predator who has been using his daughter as his sexual partner for years. My friend was distraught, not just because of suddenly realizing who and what he really was but out of fear for the welfare of the victim. What would her future be? Would she survive this and go on to lead a productive, happy life or would she, as so many have done, end up in the streets, selling herself for love or drugs? Or had his handling of the situation been so insidious, so clever that she too was now a willing participant, convinced that only her daddy could ever love her this much and fulfill her needs?
My friend was also beside herself for not recognizing the signs that were as clear as this writing is on the screen: that what was going on was incest, a dirty word. Taboo. The topic no-one wants to talk about, but is, from all my research, far more widespread than I'd ever imagined. And I learned something else that rocked my old world: some people think incest is great! 'Scuse me? What's more, certain cultures accept it as part of growing up. They even encourage it between siblings, between parent and child. What?!
I looked up "incest" on Facebook. There is one page, started by Wikipedia. There is no information other than its definition but it has over 16,000 "likes" and the numbers "talking about it" is in the hundreds. There are zero posts on that page. I found another page that was a community named "Incest Sex Stories". It has 788 likes. Again, there's just about no posts on the page but if you click "recent posts by others" it brings up a slew of posts and links. It was there, reading some of those, that my jaw hit the floor and my stomach turned in revulsion. Here were people for whom Incest is a "Yoo-hoo" and far from taboo. How innocent I still am at 66! But I shouldn't have been surprised. After all, daddy had assured me way back when he started on me that what he was doing was quite normal, a part of most families, and that he was doing me a favour. Really? If he were alive today and internet savvy, he'd probably join that Facebook group that says it's okay to screw your child's mind, body, spirit & soul.
So all of this has now set me back on track. I'm on a mission. Enough sitting in the closet and keeping all the hurt and heartache bottled up inside. There are too many out there like me and they need all the encouragement they can get to open up and talk about it to someone who cares or is in a position to help them out of their situations. Folks are speaking up and rallying together against domestic abuse and violence. Gays are "coming out" and telling us they're not ashamed of who they are. Neither should we, those of us who do see ourselves as victims of (and not willing participants in) incest, be ashamed to tell our stories. We need to be like Marilyn Van Derbur, former Miss America, who told the world on her father when she was 48! That's how long it took her to drum up the courage to speak out. And look how long it's taken me!
My research tells me there are many more celebrities like you: Sandra Dee, Rita Hayworth just to name a couple. If high profile and well-known people like these can risk speaking up about this taboo topic, what have we got to lose? Perhaps, at least by doing so, we will give some poor girl or boy somewhere who is confused, lost and ashamed, the courage to stand up, talk to someone and get out of a situation that is surely but slowly killing them in ways they've yet to realize.
Here is Marilyn's video. There are two of them but this one is more complete. Watch it, listen. I say thank you Marilyn Van Derbur for telling us your story.