Monday, July 7, 2008

The Fantasy Parent

From Silently Seducedby Kenneth Adams. Exploring the dynamics of covert (emotional or non-sexual but gender-related) incest.

From page 46:

[Following a case study of a young woman named “Vickie”]

Vickie had kept [her pain and rage] behind her illusion that her daddy was “all good and loving.” Children who are abused have no choice but to create a false illusory image of the abusing parent. This enables them to believe they are loved. Children need to believe they are loved at any cost, much as they need food and water. For this reason, children who are severely abused are always willing to follow and love the abusing parent.

From page 56:

Playing the role of a surrogate spouse to both parents is devastating, perhaps the most tormenting of the situations presented so far. The result is a loss of clear identity. One's inner life feels empty and agonized. Awareness of feelings, choices, preferences, wants and desires is lost under a deep sense of worthlessness and inadequacy. Outwardly, these women seem to be able to do it all. They also are capable emotional caretakers of others. They leave the impression that they have few cares of their own, and if they do, they handle them just fine. Yet there is great pain in the experience of self for these women. They have contempt for their own femininity and fear men as well.

Excerpts from

Kenneth A. Adams
"Silently Seduced:
When Parents Make Their Children Partners
~ Understanding Covert Incest"
Health Communications, 1991