Monday, November 26, 2007

Greetings from E. Sue Blume . . .

. . . . who is firmly lodged in the 20th century, and blogging is therefore a new skill. It only took about 12 tries to get this right. OK, gimme a break, I'm old.
But I'm learning!
What a great opportunity it is for me to participate in Angela's blog. I have been a fan ever since seeing "Searching . . .", her inspirational, moving film, and am delighted to lend my support for any of her other efforts in the important crusade to fight child sexual abuse.
My own involvement in this issue began a million years ago--in 1984. Back then, the world never acknowledged sexual abuse or “Organized Perpetrator Abuses” (including Ritual Abuse or other “mind control” activities) that victimized children. Incest was not even mentioned in graduate school programs for therapists! That year, I began developing my “Incest Survivors Aftereffects Checklist (c),” which has since evolved into a 37-cluster list of the emotional and behavior consequences of incest.
The definition of incest I use is not the original one, but one taught to me--as everything I know was taught to me--by survivors. That is, incest is the sexual exploitation of a child committed by an older child or adult who is connected not by blood, but by a dependency bond.
One of the unplanned applications of my list was that it frequently helped survivors of repressed, or dissociated incest to trigger the release of an awareness that they had been abused. This particular aspect has been much criticized, and misrepresented, by the Backlash. As I have always emphasized, no one item on this list should be taken to indicate any possibility of an incest history. Only when one has the overwhelming majority of items should incest be considered, and even then, please remember that other childhood traumas can cause most of the same issues described on the list.
I no longer do much clinical work in this area. My focus has moved into being political. That is because now we must combat the effect of the “false memory syndrome” Backlash, which is a political effort spearheaded by perps and their supporters to suppress the truth about incest, DID and RA, and destroy those who advocate that truth. What began as an effort to support the healing of survivors has evolved into a resistance to the war declared by predators’ advocacy groups against survivors and those who help them. Although incest is now a recognized fact, many psychology books present these issue through the distortions of a Backlash bias. That same bias permeates the media, the courts, and society at large.
One way that Backlash efforts have been successful is that they have distracted us from focusing on understanding incest and helping survivors. So it’s time to get back to basics. My Checklist has helped countless survivors to identify the cause behind the often bewildering and confusing struggles they faced in later life. I offer it to you here in the hopes it can help you, or someone you know, as well.
You’re not crazy. You’ve been traumatized by what may well be the worst abuse a child can suffer. And that changes a person.
If you are a survivor, remember, no one can tell you what your own truth is--not a perp, not a political movement, not even a therapist. YOU are the expert on your own experience, which is a power you will recover as you heal. And you CAN heal. Be gentle with yourself.
If you are a therapist, or someone who cares about a survivor, learn everything you can, and spread the word about the truths you have learned. This struggle is more important than you know.

Here, now, is the “Incest Survivors Aftereffects Checklist (c. 1984-2004, E. Sue Blume.) (Well, not "here," exactly. It actually appeared . . before this post. Because that's how things are now. Sigh.)

My love to you all,

E. Sue Blume, LCSW, Diplomate in Clinical Social Work Therapy for Women and their Relationships, Long Island, NY


Angela Shelton said...

Wow woman, them there are some bold statements! I'm glad you stepped into the tech world to share them. I hear a lot about organized perps groups and what they are up to and it really is disgusting. If the world only knew... but hopefully soon they will!

Thank you for being on here and for contributing. I'm a fan of yours too!