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This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Tommy Mommy Resources. It is one of the earliest to explore childhood sexual abuse. Although many other books on the subject followed it, Louise Armstrong's was a radical work back in —— a time when society's bleak tradition of raping its children was even more forbidden to discuss than it is now. The book consists of many interviews with women who are survivors of incest.
Almost 40 years later, Armstrong's book is as relevant as ever: It is estimated that, today, more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men, experience sexual abuse before they reach adulthood. The majority of abusers are family members. Kiss Daddy Goodnight contains many accounts of abuse that helped me, as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse myself, place my abuse within the context of the ongoing social-acceptability of child rape. What shocked me the most is that this information was available in , but it was ignored. In the wake of Kiss Daddy Goodnight , we saw a world unfold where famous politicians raped children, retaining their positions, and state broadcasters like the BBC were free to facilitate paedophile rings, led by 'stars' like Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris, involving thousands of children.
Millions of daughters and sons have been sexually abused by their families in the intervening years of inaction. As one of the interviewees in Armstrong's book puts it, "Incest isn't the taboo. Talking about it is". I'd like to take a look at just one chapter in the book, as an example of the content.
This chapter, 'Shampoos, Yet' opens by drawing the connection between how badly we allow men to treat women in a patriarchal society, and how this permission extends, then, to children:.
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This was precisely my experience of being molested by my father and other men as a child. They had been placed, by society, in the roles of powerful male authority figures. In my father's case, simultaneously, he felt deeply weak and wounded on account of his own abuse as a child. This resulted in the perfect storm of repressed-memories of his own trauma combining with his power as a patriarch to simply re-enact the circumstances of his own childhood.
We live in a society that still does not easily allow men to talk about sexual abuse, or to express the emotions that would reconcile them with their pain, and thus themselves. And so, because the organism demands some outlet for the trauma, it is simply 'acted out'. It is this 'acting out' that society tacitly endorses. In short: Our culture would rather ignore a man abusing his child, than see him cry. The survivor in this chapter goes on to describe how her father would demand 'shampoos' which would quickly degenerate into sexual abuse. This is something I remember from my own abuse experience.
Baths, for example, lent a plausible deniability to what was actually taking place. Several people who abused me did so under the guise of giving me 'a bath', 'a shower', or 'helping' me get dressed:.
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In the extract above, the survivor refers to the process of 'forgetting' or normalising the abuse in order to retain belief in the authenticity of her parent's love. This was the same for me as a kid. It was necessary that I constantly reframe my experiences, and go through all kinds of mental contortions to explain to myself that I really was loved, and that the abuse was either not happening, or happening to some other kid who looked like me. On reflection, I can see how other kids might fracture under the pressure of such elaborate reframing and splitting-off of experience.
Indeed, one of my childhood friends did fracture under the weight of abuse.
He was later diagnosed with what society calls schizophrenia , but is most commonly, a habituated coping mechanism of splitting-off experience that the brain adopts when faced with unbearable contradictions in reality. One of the most difficult, and common, contradictions is the one that occurs when a child must believe they are loved and cared for, while simultaneously experiencing horrific abuse.
My friend killed himself, damaging his eyes so badly that he died. This haunted me for months afterwards; but the metaphor was clear enough: he could not understand what he was seeing; he could not reconcile his abuse with what he was told to believe: That it hadn't happened. And so, he destroyed his vision of a world that seemed so full of internal contradiction that it was unwatchable.
As the psychologist RD Laing observed, "The experience and behavior that gets labeled schizophrenic is a special strategy that a person invents in order to live in an unliveable situation. To return to the book: The survivor in this chapter of Kiss Daddy Goodnight goes on to describe how her entire family was complicit in her abuse because, as a child, she was used as a mechanism to soothe her father's anger:.
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This is something else I could relate to. I was also used as both a soothing mechanism and a scapegoat in the family system as a kid. Dressing up, enjoying a delicious dinner and dancing the night away: all the ingredients for the perfect Daddy-Daughter Date.
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Each year, many Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country dedicate one special night to the exceptional bond between fathers and their daughters. Sure to make every girl feel like a princess, each restaurant transforms itself into a magical scene complete with menus, tablecloths, flowers, balloons and sometimes even bigger surprises like limousine rides. You can also find your local restaurant to stay updated on when they are planning to host a Daddy-Daughter Date Night.
In the meantime, take a look at some of our favorite pictures from the events! We had a blast thankyou greattimes greatmemories mysweetdatewasthebestdate chickfila. CJ sent me these photos. Madden has been talking about her night since she left. She is so happy. When they left they handed her a rose and a treat bag.