Time ~ Looking Back & Travelling Forward

Time ~ Looking Back & Travelling Forward

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.

timeA 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.

22 thoughts on “Time ~ Looking Back & Travelling Forward

  1. There was a family history of incest/child abuse in the family of the man who assaulted my children, although apparently he was not directly abused. Breaking the cycle of even considering an abusive relationship “normal” even if you didn’t suffer yourself seems to me to be something we should be actively seeking to support. The focus in sex and relationship ed often seems to be on the sex and the five minutes before and not on recognising the features and desirability of positive strong relationships (however diversely they may be formed) and how to leave relationships which are not that (however they may be abusive).

    1. So agree with you – Thank you so much for commenting – will get to your post somehow. My server has been playing up for my site and my computer so hoping that is the reason – will perservere

  2. Thank you for coming by my page. Like you I learned sexual abuse had a long grip on my family as well. My mother abused by brother and uncles. Her mom abused. It was the way it was. Like you I decided that curse ended with me. Sometimes we have to be brave for the ones who couldn’t.

  3. Such a factual and dispassionate description of a situation which could or would cripple many people emotionally. I had to re-read the end portion twice, I was so surprised by it. You truly seem to have stepped away from this – a phoenix from those very toxic ashes. You come across as strong and grounded at all times May, and now I have glimpsed your journey, my feelings of respect and admiration for you and your achievements are multiplied a hundredfold.

    1. Very much appreciate you taking the time to read it Cara. I suppose one of the reasons I wrote it was because I feel we owe it to ourselves- and people we are close to- not to let such an experience own us forever x

  4. Thank you for sharing this powerful insight into your early life. I am so please that you and your family are free to live your lives. xx

    1. Thanks Julie – I only learned the full scale of what went on with Ted when I was in my 20’s – Always kept my distance from him as obviously I could see the “signs” x

  5. This is an interesting story. That Ted would be doing this and that his cousin would marry a guy who did the same thing. Incest is something I’ve had no experience with, nor knew anyone who did, until now. I imagine that sharing this, May, is liberating. Good that someone spent the time talking to an interested child, sharing thoughts and advice. Like Marie, I didn’t see that coming. I’m happy that you are in a good place.

    1. Elliott, as usual, you have managed to hit the nail on the head – it was very liberating – I didn’t realise that it would be until after it was written. I wrote it objectively because I do not let it own me now 😉

    1. Thanks, Molly – I had to write about it eventually- and I have made some mistakes in my life but my children are not one of them. They made me strong enough to tackle this, almost in the same way as I have written this post – objectively. And it sits very much in the past. x

  6. I’m sorry you had to go through that, and I’m glad you survived it. You should be proud of the person you have become, despite what you have endured. Breaking the chain is difficult, and yet you found the strength to do it.

  7. I didn’t see that coming as I thought your matter-of-fact was because you are telling the story of someone else. My first husband came from a background of physical abuse and when he one night hit my daughter and he ended up in a psychiatric ward for evaluation because he wanted to do his own defense, his psychiatrist told me to divorce him, to break the chain, or my kids may abuse theirs too. I left him and have never looked back…

    Rebel xox

Comments welcome

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: