Saturday, July 5, 2008

What is Botkin Syndrome and Covert/Emotional Incest?

Hello and welcome.

In response to teachings in the so-called "Biblical patriarchy" movement within Evangelical Christian homeschooling circles in the US, just a year ago, I started writing about the trappings of this strange mix of religion and family and Americana. I soon recognized the dysfunctional family relationships within this group, not just being modeled but taught as God's ideal for healthy Christian families. This conceptual model offered by these groups is not Biblical but typifies the dynamics of dysfunctional families, usually plagued by addictions to work, religion, performance, perfection, not necessarily just substances that alter one's level of consciousness to drown out the pain of living.

On my blog, "Under Much Grace Blog,"(information about "spiritual abuse") I started to post information about what the addictions and recovery literature calls "Covert Incest," defining relationships that may not be characterized by sexual violation and physical involvement, but relationships wherein adults look to children to meet their unmet needs. I have been overwhelmed with feedback from the homeschooling community, both from those who have suffered only emotional and psychological usury at the hands of their parents (for meeting non-sexual needs) as well as those who have been sexually violated by family members.

The evangelists of complementarianism (promoting the "equal but different" and female submission messages) as well as the patriocentric/"Biblical patriarchy" movement teach that woman is the man's primary source of his undoing as women naturally desire to usurp man's authority. I believe that by painting women as a sort-of natural enemy to guard against in combination with the concept that her whole purpose limits her to only supporting men at her own sacrificial expense, men and boys interpret that women are creatures for their use. God put enmity between woman and the serpent, not between man and woman. By the reassignment of the enmity, the subtle message conveyed promotes the concept of woman as a thing to be used. I believe that this message of woman as man's natural enemy has promoted the rising incidence of incest within this population, both emotional and/or sexual.

In weeks to come, this blog will present writings and resources for those who struggle with these issues, complete with a detailed index of specific topics related to these patterns of behavior. Until this project is completed, please refer to the Under Much Grace Blog series on "Botkin Syndrome," as I have haphazzardly named what the secular world has long called covert incest, love addiction/avoidance, emotional incest and the "chosen child." The information that appears on Under Much Grace Blog will be categorized and indexed here, according to topic, after the entire series has been completed.

Hopefully by August of 2008, this blog will be up and running. Please check back for updates and developments.


Cindy Kunsman, RN

Sinner saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ
Sojourner on the path to wholeness
(after both molestation and covert emotional incest)