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INCEST: How victims cope when sexually abused

In this article, i will be dealing with incest that has been occurring  for quite a long time undetected. For incest that has been in existence for quite a long time, the victims are always helpless. The victims always believe that they have no choice and that nothing can be done to halt the incestuous activities that they are experiencing on a regular basis. In most instances, these helpless little children/adolescents are afraid to disclose the incest because of the aftermath of the incest disclosure. Most at times, the victims that cannot dislose the incest, will definitely find a means of coping with the molestation.

During molestation, incest victims are subjected to high degree of stress mentally, and physically. They may be flooded with feelings of fear, panic, confusion and betrayal, and may suffer from enormous anxiety. For the younger children, their bodies are undeveloped and unprepared for sexual activities, the physical sensations of the abuse can be overwhelming, creating discomfort, unbearable pain or unusual pleasures. There are different ways in which sexually abused victims cope with the pressure of the abuses. Coping methods are critical ways victims find to protect their sense of well-being and personal integrity. Because of the intense stress of sexual abuse, failure to employ coping methods could seriously jeopardize a victim's sanity. While the methods employed may vary, they all appear to facilitate mental escape from the abuse or relief from the stress of physical sensation. The following are coping methods use by victims.

Victims can dissociate from the incest by divorcing themselves mentally from the incestuous experience. Dissociation permit them to blank out and be somewhere else in their minds. They create a body-mind split so they do not have to stay mentally present and fully experience from conscious memories. Victims are sometimes, left not feeling fully themselves in many other situations. Dissociation helps the victim, a deep wish to believe that the incest never really happened.

A victim can dissociate herself by divorcing her attention and mind away from the actual occurrence she is experiencing. At that moment, she might focus her attention and control on a part of her body that was not being invaded. Some victims can even engage themselves in other activities around them. Yet some will become absent minded, becoming totally removed from that particular place they are being violated.

"During these episodes she would concentrate all her awareness the sounds of children playing outside the house. She vividly imagined herself being them instead with her father."  Excerpt from INCEST AND SEXUALITY

 "There are times when we have sex together that i find myself checking out of the sex. There's a plant that hangs above our bed, and that's what i will usually do- find a spot on the ceiling or on the wall or the corner of the room or something. i will just try to go there. Once in a while we 'll get going and i feel like somethings going to come up and i can feel that i do it again. But it's not any thing that's really creating a problem with us, because i think i'm coming alive sexually." Excerpt from INCEST AND SEXUALITY

Some victims learned amnesia as a response to sexual contact. They seems to be taken away mentally from the place of incest and forget totally about the abuse each time the offender leaves. Extreme forms of dissociation are evident in some victims who establish a mind-body split that cause them to leave the physical reality of a sexual situation and enter into state totally unrelated to who and where they are at that time.

"During incest, penetration was always painful, but i could ignore it and laugh it off...[Now] I never withdraw my body from the scene- my body doesn't have to fear because my mind leaves and my body becomes an object. When my mind is in total control, my body then joins my mind somewhere else. Then this is happening outside my body- Orgasm happens, but it is not my body. It is someone else, somewhere else, in another place and time." Excerpt from INCEST AND SEXUALITY

Survivors who used the dissociation method of coping sometimes experience difficulty with their abilities to control this dissociative response to sexual activities. They can become vulnerable to developing multiple personality problems. multiple personality problem is one the effect that a sexually abused female might developed, If help is not extended to her. 

This is another method developed by some sexually abused children/adolescents is numbing the body. Numbing the body can be an important protective measures taken during times of physical pain, but the repercussion is always visible when victims has become a full grown adult, physically ready for relationship. But mentally and sexually, they are not. The victims has the ability to create disruption in becoming sexually aroused. The incestuous experiences has made the poor rigid or limp. They suspect every touch from male. They assume that touching is for someone else's benefit instead of their own. incest victims or survivors may find themselves unable to feel comfortable with a simple hug.

This coping method is mostly applied by the older children {you know what i mean by older children? if not, go back to my previous articles on INCEST} that are sexually abused. Many turns to alcohol and hard drugs to help themselves escape mentally and physically during the incest.  

"One survivor described drinking alcohol and taking drugs almost every night from age twelve onward.During the period of the incest, she would do this until she obtained a state of semi-consciousness so that when her father entered her room, she could be less aware of what he was doing to her." Excerpt from INCEST AND SEXUALITY

Apart from using drugs and alcohol, the victim can also pretend to be sleepin during the abuse. They shut their eyes and make their bodies go completely limp.

 When a victim cannot control the abuse she is experiencing and its been going on for quite sometime, then they have to develop a way of coping with the painful and stressful act. One of the coping method she is likely to exhibit, is to relax and enjoy whole show. Every fondling, every touch,  for each penetration, she enjoys every bit of it. So the victim just simple give in to the offender without any struggle at all. In a situation where the victim has tried all she could to stop the incest but to no avail, or she is doing for a reason {probably to protect the interest of someone or so...}, such victims will is less likely to put up a resistant fight when abused sexually.

However, when early sexual experiences are perceived as both pleasurable and repugnant, there may be a sense of betrayal by one's own body. Self-hatred towards one's body and genitals can result. 
Protective skill developed by victims themselves are very important and creative means which are used in dealing with the sexual abuses.They are positive and absolutely necessary. However, These coping methods become problem only when the situation has change and they are no longer useful, that is, when these methods are used continuingly, even after the incest has stopped. It is important for survivors to remember that these coping methods were learned and they are no longer useful again after the incest has stopped. New ways of feeling safe can now be learned.

You might be wondering why i am writing on INCEST, Remember, this blog is all about spiritual life and earth life. Incest has become a menace in our society, no matter where you are reading this from, as long as you reside on this planet, then you belong to one community or the other. Alot of female children/adolescents are suffering on a daily basis from those who really should have shown them much love. Should you be the male offender, please i beg you, get help, i know you cannot stop it on your own because it could be an addiction, the more reason you need help. Should you fall into the category of the non-offenders and you know a child/adolescent that is sexually abused, endevour to help her. Probably, in one of the subsequent article on INCEST, i am going to inform you about how to get help.