LAD – your question got me wondering...
I have reconciled my mind to the fact that what the step-father did would be defined as incest – even though he was not related by blood – because of the paternal relationship – the fact that he married my mom and raised me as his son. But I had not ever looked into whether the incest aspect made it different in any way from regular CSA in the symptoms or effects or whatever. I know it was harder for me to admit it was incest that to admit that it had happened – or at least it took me longer to face that fact and say it. So I appreciate your asking. Maybe we will both learn something.
So I did a little research. Turns out there is even less info out there about father-son incest than other forms of male victims of CSA. not surprisiing - i guess - given the strength of the taboo for both perp and victim. i found NOTHING that has been identified as UNIQUE to it.
What I found can be summarized this way: the signs and indicators and after-effects are essentially the same – BUT – one comment I discovered is that it is usually more traumatic if the perpetrator is a father than if it is a stranger or less close relationship.
Below are some quotes and links that I thought were the most useful:
Father - Son Incest
Father-Son Incest is rare, however it does happen. The effects on the victim are extremely traumatic. The son not only has to suffer the effects of sexual abuse. He has the added trauma, that the man who is supposed to teach him how to be a man, to protect and love him no matter what, has broken that trust and bond.
He has the trauma of dealing with a homosexual act which was forced on him. The shame and guilt he is feeling will in most cases be more than he can bear, and yet it was never his fault. He will face issues of homosexuality, whether he becomes homosexual or not.http://www.nomorevictim.com/child_sex_molester.shtml
If you have been molested by your father, there are many problems you may face. Not only do you have the trauma of child molestation to deal with, you have the issue of being betrayed by someone who is supposed to love and protect you at all costs. Once this information becomes known to other family members, it more than likely has caused a great rift between you and them.
Should You Mend The Relationship with Your Father
Even after molestation some choose to have a semblance of a relationship with their father, however it is very rare that trust will be regained. A true relationship will not be possible as anger and other emotions will surface.
You will never be sure that he is truly sorry for what he has done, nor can you be sure that his feelings are now pure. Even if you do not think about these things on a concious level, your unconcious will be filling you with doubts.
There may be days when all is going well and you think you are over the worst of it, only to have more memories bombard your mind. You will have these memories, for months, years or even indefinitely, without working on recover, they more than likely will never disappear. As you try to spend time with your father, you have a constant reminder of what he has done.
You will at times feel rage towards your father. It is a love, hate relationship, if there is one at all. One where you will be at times questioning whether you are doing the right thing by having anything to do with him. Other times you'll be wishing with all your heart that you could have had a healthy, loving relationship whilst you were a child.
If your father lied about the abuse, you will find it hard to forgive him. You may never want to. Choosing instead to have nothing to do with him.http://www.nomorevictim.com/relationship_family_incest.shtml
here is a link to a website on Incestuous Families that I found extremely informative – with its own TRIGGER WARNING:
“Notice: This page analyzes incestuous families. The material is based on the eBook SPELLBOUND by Martin Dak. The book is intended for mental health professionals and is only available in the USA. Since the following information may cause you mental harm, you agree that you shall defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the author and the publisher against any and all claims, losses, expenses, and lawsuits that may arise from this visit. Leave now or read at your risk. “http://www.lucidpages.com/family.html
this one is by a founding board member of 1in6 Inc. –
Factors research has shown to influence the effects of abuse:
• Age of the child when the abuse happened. Younger is usually more damaging, but different effects are associated with different developmental periods.
• Who committed the abuse. Effects are generally worse when it was a parent, step-parent or trusted adult than a stranger.
• Whether the child told anyone, and if so, the person's response. Doubting, ignoring, blaming and shaming responses can be extremely damaging - in some cases even more than the abuse itself.
• Whether or not violence was involved, and if so, how severe.
• How long the abuse went on.
Additional factors that are difficult to research or may differ in significance for different people:
• Whether the abuse involved deliberately humiliating the child.
• How "normal" such abuse was in the extended family and local culture.
• Whether the child had loving family members, and/or knew that someone loved her or him.
• Whether the child had some good relationships - with siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, etc.
• Whether the child had relationships in which "negative" feelings were acceptable, and could be expressed and managed safely and constructively.http://www.jimhopper.com/male-ab/
below - from “Survivor Checklist – Dancing in the Shadows” by Laura Bryannan (about female victims – but also seems to apply:
Did you know that many incest and sexual abuse survivors are not aware they were abused? The psyche effectively blocks the trauma from the conscious mind so the person can continue to move forward and function in life. However, the trauma is never completely erased from a survivor's experience. Some survivors who have no conscious memories of abuse have always had a feeling something happened to them but, because they can't remember anything specific, they tell themselves the feeling must be wrong. If you are one of these people, there is a good chance that you are right-- something did happen to you, even if you can't remember exactly what. So, don't let the fact that you have no solid memories or "movies" keep you from exploring this issue.
Incest and abuse survivors often develop telling pathologies as they grow up. These pathologies are actually the various ways a survivor learned to cope with the abuse as a child, and were extremely healthy (perhaps even lifesaving) at the time, but are now in the way of their becoming a fully-functioning adult. So, if you've been working on a specific problem in yourself for some time and haven't been able to get anywhere with it, it's possible that you haven't been asking the right questions about it.
The book Secret Survivors, by E. Sue Blume (John Wiley & Sons, 1990), has a checklist of some of the many symptoms that can develop from sexual abuse. Of course these kinds of symptoms can develop from other causes as well, but if you see yourself in the discussion below, it's worth asking yourself the question, "Is it possible that I am this way because I experienced incest or sexual abuse as a child?" I'd like to summarize some of the most relevant points below...http://homestar.org/bryannan/checklst.html