Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Latin word: INCESTUS

Two years ago, Dear Therapist suggested a book that she thought would be helpful for me to feel connected to others and not so alone in the world. The book is called, “Secret Survivors – uncovering incest and it’s aftereffects in women” – by E. Sue Blume.
I agreed to read the book, and because of the shame I felt by the title, I ordered from Amazon rather than picking the book up at the local bookstore. And even today, 2 years later, it is a book that remains hidden in a basket, not on the beautifully hand-crafted bookshelf that was designed to show off the vast collection of books I own.

The word “INCEST” is derived from the Latin word INCESTUS- which means, sexual impurity. Impure! I am impure! He made me impure! I am not offended by many words, but I find the “I” word the most difficult word to say. For me, it is charged with emotions – it means so many things to me, and I’m sure for others like me. It means fear, betrayal, abandonment, humiliation, secrecy and shame. The word is full of shame. It is sadistic, painful, brutal… and for me, the very word, incest, has the power to drain the life from my veins. It makes my brain convulse with a torrent of emotions and thoughts, images and memories.
I try to convince myself that it’s just a word, just a word….but it isn’t just a word – it represents so much more than that for me. It was incest – sexual impurity. It happened to me, it was forced upon me – I had no control over it, it was no longer my body, I no longer owned it, he did.

The book, Secret Survivors, is well written, very informative – but parts of it are triggering. I find it interesting that even the title of the book is written as though it is to be spoken in a whisper….SSHHHHH! *WHISPER* “secret survivors*…don’t speak it out loud, they are full of shame…it must be kept a secret…

Certain words are not meant to be spoken out loud. For me, *incest* is one of those words.


  1. INCEST< INCEST: it is okay to say....I hate that word. I grew up hearing incest is best....and it sucked because literally I WAS LIVING THAT NIGHTMARE> i am sorry for what you have been through. thanks for writing. there is strength in sharing and not keeping it a secret. thanks for the hope and the healing. ♥

  2. Hi! I am new to your blog. Though I have not read all yet..it will take me a while. Just wanted to let you know that is a word that I hate too! Still to this day. There are some other words that I still cant say. At least you are talking about it and sharing your virtual feelings. Thanks for your sharing.

  3. I hope you're not disappointed to read that I think this might be the only post i actually mention "incest" (whisper) it's so hard to say....and, like you, there are MANY other words too...many other "realities" that sre still so difficutlt to face.
    Take care of you - hope you continue to read and comment....