John Bradshaw once said, “If your family has any secrets you can bet they are about sex.” In looking back through my years of recovery from incest I see how accurate he was. Just finding out that I was an incest victim, even though my father had told me twice, was a shock in itself. My best friend, reluctant to believe this, asked, “Do you think your father did rape you?” I view my response as one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever said, “Of course not. He’s Catholic.”
In the light of all of the Catholic church’s problems regarding child sexual abuse it is even more idiotic. While I progressed through my recovery, there were several other revelations that knocked me to my knees. The first was finding out that my husband was cheating on me. Then I found out that he had sexually abused his sister for over ten years and that he had been sexually abusing his teen-age daughter. I had already figured out that he was a sex addict. I learned in recovery, while tracing my family history, that “no woman was safe from my paternal grandfather. Half way through recovery I found out that my ex- husband had sexually abused my two older daughters. These were the only family secrets I learned.
If you have even a whiff of possibility that you were sexually abused, trace your family history. Through it you will see a pattern that helps to access the truth. Once you discover the dysfunctional family members that are a part of your history, you’ll understand that raising a healthy child with those tools was an impossible task. You literally were a pawn on a chessboard.