This question was asked to the writers of “The Courage to Heal”. So, I am taking it upon myself to answer this as well since this must be a common inquiry for people like myself.
My answer is that it is not depressing for me at all! I got through enough of my healing that I am not afraid of the topic or the word. What is depressing is that incest is not talked about enough! It is still a taboo topic, widely ignored, minimized by statistics, victims are still blamed and disbelieved, perpetrators are still largely being protected in spite of some being sent to prison or “called out” on TV programs such as “To Catch a Predator”. (But even those who are imprisoned… I ask, how long are they there? Are they being helped with it? Are they re-committing after they are let out? Is it just lip service we are getting? Is all this done for show to keep the truth of perpetrator-protection hidden?)
Incest is not stranger danger. Those subjected to incest trauma know and trust their perpetrators, obviously. And we don’t know about these victims as they are too young and disempowered to talk about it. Much incest happens before the victims can even speak. This is why we cannot trust white-washing statistics.
“Infants have preverbal memories that are stored in their bodies. These body memories may resurface throughout an adult’s life, causing unexplainable, uncomfortable, physical sensations. They may be in the form of chronic genital arousal, stomachaches, painful intercourse, uterine pain, etc. A certain smell, sound, time of the year, or touch can stimulate these preverbal memories…. Infants under the age of two are at the highest risk for sexual abuse because they can’t tell anyone what has happened to them.”
-Marilyn Van Derbur
I don’t know it all. I am still learning, but I am more than enthusiastic to expose and create awareness around this pandemic and the potential to heal because very few others will. If anything is depressing at all, it is the generational loop of keeping incest secrets buried under the carpet and trying to silence those who break the silence. It is not helpful to the children and adult survivors when we pretend that incest is a rare phenomenon. I have tons of links, a few books and documentaries to prove it is rather mainstream. We are a world too reliant on the mainstream media and this is why so many of us don’t know the truth.
I want to also inform other survivors that healing IS possible. I want to help empower and nothing can be more hopeful and positive than that — even if I can only inspire or encourage one person.