Welcome to a difficult episode of SelfWork, sponsored by BetterHelp.  First of all, I need to state a trigger/content warning for anyone listening who was forced manipulatively, physically or sexually into a sexual relationship with a parent or grandparent.

I’ve done an episode on sibling sexual abuse and received a lot of feedback, thanking me for explaining the feelings associated with being molested by a brother or sister. Today, we’re going to widen the discussion to familial incest, and will focus on when a parent sexualizes the relationship they have a with a child. I’ll use the case histories of people I’ve worked with, both women and men, to describe what happened to them, and how they’ve come to understand and heal their very deep wounds of never feeling safe or loved for who they were, but for what they could “do” or were forced to do for a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle. – literally being treated like an object there to be controlled and manipulated.

The international sexual abuse hotline links can be found below in your show notes.

Today’s listener email is from a listener who’s identified with borderline personality disorder and who’s struggling with self-forgiveness.

Important Links:

BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now!

RAINN statistics on incest and sexual abuse

A SelfWork episode on confronting your abuser

Melissa Bradley-Ball, sexual abuse expert,  speaking on healing from abuse

SelfWork episode on self-forgiveness

If you’ve been abused, there are several excellent books that might help you. “The Courage To Heal” by Laura Davis and “Waking The Tiger” by Peter Levine are two classics. Many rape crisis centers also run free groups for victims, as do individual counselors. There are chat groups on Twitter — use the hashtag #CSA. Child Abuse Hotlines can be found here.

International Abuse Hotlines





BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now!

You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my websiteand receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click hereand answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!

Now there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Photo courtesy of Pexels.





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