Incest from a Young Age … Lasting a Lifetime
by Penelope Moore, LICSW
This is a personal account of incest between the author and her grand-father. The events described occurred decades ago. The effect is long-lasting and is manifested by foggy thinking and physical sensations. The issues of knowing something and not knowing erupt now and again, even in the present. This is 2019, a time of social change. The #MeToo movement has reached a broad audience. It follows the acknowledgment of sexual abuse rampant within the Catholic Church. Coaches of sports acknowledge their sexual abuse of their trainees. Filmmakers and photographers, judges and teachers have been brought down by being exposed as sexual predators. Powerful men can have a misperception of being beyond social norms. Knowing that others have experienced sexual abuse can invite one to remember one’s own experiences. In this piece, psychotherapy is a context for putting memories and sensations together to enable a feeling of freedom—to feel alive in the present.
Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 48(1), 41-54, March 2020.
About the Author
Penelope Moore, LICSW, is a BPSI Community Partner. She studied literature at Swarthmore College and was awarded the Tyson Fellowship. She earned three Master’s degrees: in Elementary Education, in Counseling Psychology, and in Social Work at Lesley University and Boston University. To prepare herself for clinical work, she first became a preschool teacher. She was a Fellow at Boston Institute for Psychotherapy (1983-1986); she trained in couple and family therapy at Psychodynamic Couple and Family Institute of New England (2015-2017). She is active with the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy. She is on the Boards of PCFINE and NSGP and co-chairs two committees, each of which offers opportunities for clinicians to present their work to the community. She is a member of the NSGP Training Committee. She is a licensed independent clinical social worker and has been in private practice for 38 years. Her previously published article is An Open Discussion AA Meeting Opens My Mind: A Powerful Group Offers Understanding about Clinical Decisions. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 19, (3), 30-34, 2013.
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