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What is Incest?


Incest occurs when there is sexual activity between two persons who are related.

Who is Daddy/Uncle Joe or Aunt Jane? Daddy, Uncle Joe or Aunt Jane can be a natural or step parent. One who has parental authority. It can be one whom Mom or Dad has brought into the home as their intimate partner who has sought intimacy from a child in the home.


I could write about this from a third party perspective. I said I could. Unfortunately I can’t. I am writing from personal experience. I was seven years old the first time it happened to me. I wish I could say that was the first and only time, but I can’t say that either. It continued for seven years after that. One might ask how come you didn’t just tell someone, that would have put an end to it. During the time that I was victimized, these acts were not made public, especially in the black community. It was often said, what happens in this house, stays in this house. However, this wasn’t the reason I didn’t tell. The reason I kept quiet was that I was told by the person that abused me, that I would not be believed. He told me that it would just be my word against his word. After all, he was the adult in the situation, and adults were always believed over children. Furthermore, when I finally did tell, he was absolutely right, I was not believed. It seemed that there was no way this was possible, especially since he and his spouse had an active sex life. It was said he had no reason to do such a thing.  What the spouse did not realize or what she failed to understand is that sexual abuse as well as any kind of abuse, is not about the act itself, it is about control. The control one has over another. Incest is all about the control daddy, Uncle Joe or Aunt Jane has over that child. That control can last a life time if not dealt with. Not necessarily by that abuser, but throughout the victims life by anyone in an authoritative position.


Once becoming an adult, I had to make a choice. Do I continue to be controlled or manipulated by men, or do I break free. If I chose to break free, how do I go about achieving that freedom? This is a decision that all victims of incest must make. One thing I neglected to mention is that at the age of 17 I became pregnant. I mention this because, my abuser told me that he was disappointed in me for getting pregnant before I finished high school. Can you imagine he was disappointed in me after all he had done to me? Had I not made a conscious decision that I wanted to succeed in life, who knows where I would be right now? I would have let his disappointment in me control me for the rest of my life.


However, for a season, it did control me. I allowed the men in my life to control me, to abuse me, either physically or emotionally. One way or another, they abused me, they controlled me. They controlled my way of thinking. One would make me feel that even though they loved me, I was not worthy to be taken care of. Another would make me feel that although they were willing to take care of me, they did not love me enough to be faithful to me. Another would make me feel unworthy of either, without them saying so. They talked love, but showed me everything but. Not only that, I did not trust men. I did not trust any man. I was always looking over my shoulder, always walking through the night. Never trusting, never believing any man could be faithful. I thought all men were the same. All men were daddy. I thought that what happened in our house happened in all houses.


I needed some peace. I needed healing. Once coming to this decision, I realized that I needed to talk to someone about what I had been through, about what happened to me as a child and the effects it had on me as an adult. But where would I go, who would I talk to? Who would understand?  After thinking about it for a while, I decided to talk to a friend about it. That was a mistake. They did not believe something like this could happen to a child. After telling them my whole story, I was still no better off. After a while, I decided to talk with my pastor. To my surprise, he said it was not my fault. He said I had to stop blaming myself. I needed to let it go, I needed to forgive the person that did this awful thing to me. When I told him that as a child I thought this happened in all homes, he assured me that this was not normal and it did not or does not happen in all homes.


I did not understand how I could forgive someone who had caused me so much pain or why I had to forgive. He said I had to release it and allow the Lord to heal me of the hurt. He prayed for me and said he would continue to pray with me. I want you to know that I did not forgive right-a-way. I had some issues with the need to forgive someone who was deceased. It took some years before I could totally let it go, before I could even start the forgiveness process. I had to acknowledge and accept the fact that what happened was not my fault, that I was not responsible. For my own peace of mind I needed to forgive myself for my part in the act, even if I was not responsible.(read more)






Dr. J. G. Johnson

Issues of Life Conqueredd



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