Sunday, July 3, 2011

Excerpt by Cendra Lynn

"It should be clear by now that, indeed, incest does hurt worse than a loss due to death. The similarities and differences between the two kinds of loss have been mentioned, but let me articulate them for clarity. There are many similarities. There is the loss of a person; in incest it is the loss of the person who might have been. There is the loss of a relationship; in incest, the perceived relationship to the parent which is destroyed when the abuse is recalled. There is the loss of love. Both types of loss can bring on tricks of memory. And in both, each loss is unique.
There is also a similarity of process between grieving and incest recovery. Neither can be rushed. One heals from each loss in one's own good time, never quickly enough! In both cases, the survivor feels diminished by the loss. In some instances of grief, there is the similarity of self-blame, as often occurs with suicide survivors. In both types of loss there can be intangible losses. In the case of incest and some cases of grief these can be enormous and include the loss of childhood, trust, intimacy, autonomy, and basic beliefs and values.
The differences between loss due to death and loss due to incest are many. One loses not only a parent; one loses also the illusion of a parent. One loses sexual innocence. Like suicide or death of a child, this loss is perceived as unnatural, but because it is also taboo, it involves more shunning by others. With incest there is always terror: the child loses the protection of a parent and there is, at some level, fear for one's life. With incest, love and violation are inextricably intertwined. With incest, there is usually enormous loss of memory, with Multiple Personality Disorder being the most extreme form."

- Cendra Lynn, Does Incest Hurt Worse Than Grief?

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