Posted by: Marie | September 10, 2009

(143) Family of origin

Post #143
[Book study – Thursday, June 4, 2009]

The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
(Third Edition, 1994)
by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

Part One: Taking Stock
Effects: Recognizing the Damage

[Table of Contents]


Green text: Quotes/Summaries from the book
Gray text: My words

This transformative work (the entire series of blog posts relating to this book) constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright law.


Where are you now? (Families of origin)

If the abuse took place outside your family and you weren’t adequately heard, you got the message that your pain wasn’t important, that you couldn’t rely on your family to protect or understand you.

Are you satisfied with your family relationships? Or are they strained and difficult? They are good – not great, but good. Our conversations are somewhat superficial – but if I needed help (a place to stay, an abusive partner dealt with, etc.), they would be there for me. We keep out of each other’s business unless invited, and then only to the extent to which we were invited.

Sun Moon Lake by Martin Chen

Sun Moon Lake by Martin Chen

Is the sexual abuse acknowledged in your family? Do the people in your family support you? The abuser was a clergyman in our church, not someone in my family. I’m not going to tell my mom. My sisters both know, and a niece – they listened to what I said then changed the subject. So, I guess that means we’re done talking about it.

Do you feel crazy, invalidated, or depressed whenever you see your family? No.

Have you been rejected by your family? No.

Have you confronted your abuser or told other family members about your abuse? I confronted my abuser, but he was not a family member.

Do you feel safe when you’re with your family? Yes.

Do you expect the people in your family to change? To take care of you? To see your point of view? To believe you? Do you keep hoping? N/A

Does incest still go on in your family? N/A

Quotes 052


  1. Interesting! For the most part, my answers would be opposite from the answers you gave. My abuser was a close family friend, my family will never change and there was not incest in my family.

    It’s funny how backgrounds can be different, yet have similar outcomes on our mental health.

    • That is so true, Ivory . . . I guess abuse in all its forms violates the same parts of each of us . . .

      Thanks for your input! I like to hear how other people would answer the questions.

      – Marie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: