Episode #45: How to Survive Incest?

Dr. Connie Omari

Hi, this is Dr. Connie Omari, the CEO and founder of Tech Talk therapy where we provide Person Centered counseling through the use of technology. I work with women, children and families who have been impacted by trauma, depression and anxiety.

And today, I want to talk with you a little bit about one of the reasons why many of my clients experience this. So today we’re going to be talking about a topic is a little uncomfortable, but it is about incest.

First of all, let me just say that incest is a form of sexual misconduct that happens between family members. What we know is that 90% of child sexual abuse cases take place by family members.

So you know, a lot of times we do a lot of trying to prevent sexual abuse, because we’re thinking about outsiders. And we are unaware that actually, most of the sexual sexual abuse that we experienced, this actually happens with inside insiders, incest, meaning people within the home more than likely people that you trust, to look after your children. So we’re going to talk about ways that we can deal with it. Because a lot of times, a lot of times these things don’t come up until later on.

And we can talk about variety of reasons of why children don’t disclose such about sexual misconduct, but today’s lesson is going to be about how to survive it. Okay. So before I go into that, just to make sure I give you one statistic, actually two statistics, we know that one in four women will experience sexual abuse or some form of sexual misconduct throughout the course of their life, and one in seven boys.

So what I’m talking to you about is very, very common, it’s very, very important. And I don’t mind disclosing that I’m actually an adult survivor of, of incest myself. So let’s proceed.

So the first step that I want to advise you to deal with getting on the other side of incenses acknowledge that it happened, you know, a lot of times we give so many excuses, we might say, Okay, well, that’s just how Uncle Johnny is, or, you know, that’s just the way our family is, it’s not really a big deal. But what we find on the clinical end is that when people do that, chronically, they begin to really just not take seriously the magnification of really what has happened with them. And they ended up having other forms of symptoms, like what we’re working with, because they refuse to acknowledge it. Because it is really uncomfortable to admit, hey, my dad touched me here, or my uncle forced me to have sex with him. But as I’ve indicated by the statistics thus far, it is very, very common.

So you want to get comfortable with at least acknowledging if it’s happened to you that hey, it has, indeed happen to you, or, or someone that you care about. Next, I want to invite you to seek physical and emotional safety, okay? Because what happens in these situations is, you know, with ancestors, it’s going to be a family member.

So you might have to, or you might be expected to interact with this person on holidays, or maybe during vacations or, you know, February unions, etc. You don’t have to do that. Like, there’s no rule, there’s no law that says that you have to interact with these people. And a lot of times these people, you know, we’re the ones who are suffering, because this thing has happened to us and these people aren’t going on about their business. So we definitely don’t have to put ourselves in a situation where one, it could happen again, or two that were emotionally vulnerable. So just keep that keep that in mind.

Next, choose whether you want to confront your abuser, I mean, you know, it’s a risk, you know, you don’t want to You certainly don’t want to give them the impression, I think that Hey, it’s okay, you can just abuse me or abuse other people anytime you want to. But at the same time, an abuser is an abuser, and dependent upon your family dynamic. It might not be set up to be safe enough to have this type of confrontation or support.

So you know that you run a thin line with that, I want you to know that you have the option to that to do that. But if you don’t feel safe and you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t feel like you’re gonna get the support that you need. You might want to think twice about it because it’s really not about the abuser at all. It’s really about your own personal healing. And that also goes for other people choose with whom you want to tell certain things. To the reality of it is the reason why abusers get away with abuse. Because a lot of times we just protect them, we protect them in our society, we say things like, Well, boys will be boys, or Well, why would you wear that anyway? Or what were you doing down there? Or I just don’t believe you.

You know, when a lot of it kills me when people talk about, if I were to tell you, Hey, I got robbed yesterday, your first instinct is not going to be about whether or not it’s true, you’re just going to think about how to help me. But if I say, Hey, Uncle Johnny touched me inappropriately, the immediate thought we just have is, oh my God, let me investigate this, let’s see if this triggered, I want to give this type of segment if it’s not. And because of that, it makes it very difficult for people to disclose and it protects the predators. I mean, that’s just essentially what happens.

So you have the choice to choose who you want to tell the story to or not. I do want to encourage you to try to protect children. Because that’s, you know, really, who this is happening to the most, to some degree. And I mean, you know, you really can’t do anything about other people’s children, but you can your own. What kills me is sometimes people will know that a person’s a pedophile, and then they’ll leave their own kids around them. guys and women, this pedophilia is a mineral problem, like they prey on children, they prey on opportunities to take advantage of vulnerable kids.

So definitely, if they got away with it with you, they’re gonna be thinking they can your children as well. So you want to be very mindful of that, okay? It’s not gonna stop just because it’s with you. So you, you have a duty to protect your own. And finally, I want to encourage you to seek counseling. It’s hard, it’s tough. I’ve done Gosh, hundreds of sexual assault cases, most of which many of which have been incest, as well.

And it’s, it’s tough, I don’t want you to think that we just the first thing we do is just say, Hey, tell me about your dad, having sex with you. You know, we don’t do that. Like, we give an opportunity to develop relationships. Sometimes I’ve worked with clients for over a year or so before it’s ever even been mentioned. So counselling should be safe, a safe place for you to process a lot of these thoughts and get to the other side of them. And I hope to be able to help as many people who are suffering from that as I possibly can.