To my fellow incest survivors:
I know you share DNA, and even if you don’t, of course there’s ways you’re alike. You’re related, after all. Like my father, I’m smart, witty and love the outdoors. Now that I’m older, I look more like my mother every time I look in the mirror. That doesn’t mean I’m like them in the hurtful ways. My father is smart but he used his intelligence to manipulate his own children. My mother is charming but she used her charm to make everyone believe we were the perfect family. I can be smart and charming and use it to help people instead.
I used to hate that my dad loved the outdoors, too. But over time I decided that I wasn’t going to let the bad things he did ruin the few happy memories I had of him. It wasn’t easy, but I learned to reconcile that the same man who took me on camping trips and walks in the woods did horrific things, too. I can have happy memories of the good times but they’ll always be tinged with the incest. That’s okay. That’s his fault, not mine.
My message to you is: Even if you are like the people who hurt you in some ways, don’t believe them when they tell you you’re just like them. You’re not. Your are yourself. Just like them, you get to choose what kind of person you want to be. I have faith that you’ll never choose to hurt people the way they did.
It’s okay if you hate the way you look because you look like them. Someday, I hope you can see that you’re unique and beautiful because you’re you.
I’m very sorry they did what they did. You don’t deserve it. It’s not your fault. Things will get better, I promise.