Warning – This post tells the true story of a family where over time incest was an ongoing part of life. Do not read if you have personal issues regarding this topic.
One of my close school friends had an amazing and insightful father. She was lucky that way. Even as teenagers the conversations he bought up taught me such a lot about real history. Not the kind that appears in the school textbooks though.
One morning there had been something on the news about incest. We were having breakfast and taking hold of the topic, her dad told us that in some small out of the way places incest was still rife. Inhabitants often turned a blind eye as it had been a fixture for generations of family life, going way back in time. He explained that once a child had been abused they often found it difficult to break the chain and so could go on to abuse their own children or others in the family or neighbourhood.
I was fascinated and horrified in a macabre type of way and when the others left the table I continued the conversation asking questions. I never forgot that chat and his matter of fact attitude to such a problem.
The year here is not exact but if we go back in time perhaps 75 years we find 2 sisters, Milly and Sarah, who were both married to men they stayed with a life time – and their offspring.
It is probably easier if you see the pictorial family tree before I tell you their story.
From the above family tree only Annie, Patrick and Christina are still alive.
- Ted married Beth and they had one child called Annie.
- Laura married Geoff and they never had any children.
- Tony married Liz and they had a stillborn baby.
- Their cousin Jane married Dick, who was Ted’s friend, and they had two children – Christina and Patrick.
Here is the spiral of known abuse within this family. Whether it went back further is not certain…
Chain of abuse
As soon as Ted was in his mid-teens he raped and then continued to abuse his twin sister Laura. Soon after he began to sexually abuse his younger brother Tony.
Laura went on and married Geoff – who incidentally came from a physically abusive background. They had a sexless marriage. So obviously no children were conceived. Regarding her childhood, Laura once said that the abuse was simply a way of life.
Tony led a very sad existence – his wife had a still born baby and shortly after she died of cancer. Time passed, and when Tony died some years later, letters were discovered indicating that he was in fact gay. He chose to hide his sexuality.
The main perpetrator Ted married Beth. Their daughter Annie was quoted as saying that for years she went to bed every-night wearing her jeans. She made a choice never to marry or have children.
Jane’s husband, Dick, abused Christina until she was about 8 when he committed bigamy and started a new family several miles away. He died of a heart attack a few years later.
It is not known if Patrick was also abused, but both Dick and Ted showed an interest in him.
Patrick married but like Annie never had children.
Christina had two children and chose not to let her past figure in her children’s future. Refusing to be viewed as a victim she took responsibility for herself and the welfare of her children and broke the chain of abuse.
I always felt my friends dad was extremely insightful to talk to me about incest as the above family tree is mine. I am Christina.
A note for my regular readers who comment frequently – please do not feel you need to reply here with anything – I appreciate it is a difficult topic which is why the above narrative is given in a very objective way.