TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
(From the Lancaster Independent Paper (LIP), December 2003)
"This paper is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is the saddest thing I have ever done.
Anxious to understand how this could have happened to me, and anxious for people to believe me, I began an investigation into my parents and my family. It was months ago that I realized I had a 'scoop.' I had every reporter's dream story. A story that involved sex and lies and a multitude of secrets to cover double lives. The lives of an 'upstanding,' even notable family.
There was only one problem. The story was about my family. On several occasions I said to my therapist, 'Maybe I'll just walk away. I'll walk away from my entire family and try to pretend that this never happened.' 'You could do that,' she said. I knew I never could. I think she knew it as well. She likens it to the company whistleblower, the person who tells the secrets. They become the scapegoat.
Family members told me many times that I was destroying this family. I'm not destroying this family. Incest already did that.
In some dysfunctional families, the children band together and help each other through the pain and deprevation. They cling to each other. In other families they lead seperate and isolated lives. It is every person for themselves. That is my family. We are spread over the United States and Canada and rarely speak or visit. When we do, we criticize and belittle each other the way our parents treated each other and us.
There is only one way to break the cycle of incest. That is to tell the secret. To let people see the tragedies it causes. It must be stopped.
This story has cost me more than I can put into words. But incest was the cause and that cost is incomprehensible.
I've told my secret. Now, I'm going to try and heal and repair some of the damage that incest has caused in my life. If any of my brothers and sisters would like to join me, they are welcome to.