In this blog post Jane Rowan and I compare notes on recovering our lost memories of child sexual abuse. Jane is the author of The River of Forgetting.
Mary: It’s exciting to begin this dialogue with you about our experiences with incest and our paths to healing. We have much in common, along with many differences. We were both successful professionals getting on with our lives (mine as a psychotherapist, yours as a scientist and college teacher) before our memories of incest surfaced.
Let’s start with topic of repressed memories, which is very controversial in some circles. Why were our memories hidden and forgotten for so long? Read more
Here is another excerpt from my book about father-daughter incest:
“In 1945 when I was seven, the war ended and the men came home. What a strange time for the world. It was an era of post-traumatic stress disorders from the horrors of war. And for many it was a time of marital stress from too many years of living separate lives.
I don’t know how my parents’ marriage would have been different if it hadn’t been interrupted by the war. And I don’t know if my father would have relied less on rye and Coke to face his world. He had always been a party boy, but after the war he was seldom sober. Read more
It’s three days until my book launch for Confessions of a Trauma Therapist: A Memoir of Healing and Transformation.
Talk about telling the world! In it, I tell everything about how I recovered my lost childhood memories of incest.
Let me tell you, it’s much easier to tell the world than to tell one’s own family. Read more
Victims of child sexual abuse often survive through daydreaming and dissociating. The second chapter of Confessions of a Trauma Therapist is titled “My Life Goes On Without Me.”
It starts like this:
“I daydreamed my way through grade two, the year my father came home from war for good. Most of the time I imagined being the queen of the fairies. The plots varied, but had one prevailing theme. I was the beautiful, dearly loved queen who had the power to find answers to everyone’s pain. (Does that sound like the origins of a psychotherapist?) Read more