PREVIOUS: B. Invasions (#2
BOOK: Healing from the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Journey for Women ~Karen Duncan
BOUNDARY INVASIONS (cont)
5. INCEST / sexual abuse (S.A.)
One of the great sorrows & tragedies of toxic families is the high incidence of sexual abuse. This is an abuse of power, not of sexual desire. Any adult who perpetrates sexual abuse on a child is screaming their sense of powerlessness & is trying to compensate for that in a totally deviant way! Not all are strictly pedophiles. Many abusers have sex with both adults and children, but their need to dominate a weaker person is at the very heart of their actions
Sexual abuse is :
• any type of sexual contact between an adult and anyone under 18
• between a significantly older child and a younger child
• if one person overpowers another, regardless of age
Generational Boundaries should never be blurred.
— In healthy families there is a firm parental coalition with NO evidence of parents competing with their children. Each generation should have clearly marked territory. When they have a need they seek out peers.
— Shame-bound families are multi-generational, insular & loyal to toxic rules that demand control, perfectionism, blame & denial. They create chaos by promoting secret & vague personal Bs, bind members together with shame & trap them in co-dependent allegiances.
• In any form of sexual inappropriateness, the key is INTENTION. Some actions may seem like just being affectionate when in fact they are not innocent, like a father who pays way too much attention to a daughter, attention which should rightly be directed to his wife or girlfriend.
Any parent who uses a child for their own gratification – either because their adult relationships are unsatisfactory or they’re too isolated – is only concerned with their own needs, so they are in no way loving!
• Children crave & lap up attention, so having an over-attentive parent makes it easy for them to get caught in a web of lies & denial. But they also know when something doesn’t FEEL right, even if they don’t have the words until they’re much older. When a parent’s sexually-based attention is indirect (no penetration or other sexual stimulation), it can be much more confusing for the child to identify as abusive, even when they’re feeling creeped out.
ASK: Was there proper conduct at home (reasonable modesty)?
For EXP – In many alcoholic & other dysfunctional homes, parents are sexually indiscreet in the way they dress (mother’s robe opening in from to expose breasts, drunk father in loose shorts exposing private parts…. Not bathing or grooming…)
• parent takes over your date or lover/ makes flirting comments
• calls you ‘dirty’, a whore; leaves pornography around or encourages sexually activity too early; talks about sex all the time, makes lewd jokes, refers to you in sexual terms
• watches you when you’re dressing or undressing, going to the toilet or bathing (you can tell when not ‘clean’), or make you watch them
• handing on you in public, kissing on the mouth (esp. if you don’t want to)
• walks in on you naked / often sleeps cuddled up to you
• always pawing at you, following you
• listens in on intimate conversations
• compulsively giving unnecessary enemas
• having to sleep in parents’ bedroom for several years – subjecting you see & hear parents having sex …….
OUR difficulty with Bs in the present is a direct result of the atmosphere in our family, such as with points – 1 thru 5. Boundary Invasions also occurred in school, on the playground, at church, in our neighborhood, with baby sitters….. SO, never blame yourself!
Naturally we are responsible now for correcting this imbalance, using Al-Anon’s 3 As –
AWARENESS – how we were B invaded (fill in your own experiences)
ACCEPTANCE – how we were damaged by it & act it our now
ACTION – use whatever tools, groups & people available to help us Recovery
NEXT: WEAK Boundaries – #1