How many of you know someone sexually abused as a child? How many of them have a child sexually abused? I know families who have three generations with incest prevalent in all three. Even worse, I know families with the legacy of incest present in all three and no one in the family feels that they should address any problems they have. They don’t think they have any. An inability to look inward and see the damage that child sexual abuse, especially by a family member, can cause is too often the response to this disease that is worldwide. Codependent, suicidal, multiple sex partners and/or multiple marriages, low self-esteem, an inability to make wise choices, addictions, weak boundaries, manic-depressive behavior, eating disorders and severe depression are but a few of the consequences that happen when we have been sexually abused as a child.
I had a dear friend who I first met in the fourth grade. Over the years, we became best friends, our children were best friends and we are now working at the grand children being best friends. Her mother’s father sexually abused my friend while he lived with them. When she complained to her mother she was told, “Ignore him; he’s just a dirty old man. My friend first developed cancer when she was in her forties. I urged her to get in to recovery even dragging her to a Codependency meeting. She told me that being codependent was noble. She married a man who cheated on her during their honeymoon and continued throughout their marriage. He used drugs towards the end of their marriage. As the Maid of Honor at their wedding, I gave them a 25th wedding anniversary party. A few days later, she filed for a divorce. During the next few years, she suffered from cancer repeatedly. After I went through recovery I begged and pleaded with her to get help; at least to read my book REPAIR Your Life. She saw no reason for it. She died in her sixties of cancer and afterwards I found in her house a copy of my book with a marker. She had barely begun reading it. Her loss will walk beside me every day till I die.
Three of her siblings either had cancer or died of it. Her mother died of cancer and several aunts she had either died of cancer or had cancer at some time in their life. Her mother’s mother died of cancer and her mother’s father was the “dirty old man” who sexually molested my dear friend. What a legacy! One man had the power to destroy or damage the lives of three generations of people.
If you know someone who was sexually abused as a child, urge them to get in to recovery, to work the program REPAIR Your life. You may be saving not only your friend but many generations of her family as well. Never, never forget that Destructive emotion is one of the primary cases of disease.