I have been seeing a counselor for a couple of months now. I originally started seeing her because I left a ten year relationship that was abusive in every way imaginable. Last week she suggested that I am a survivor of covert incest. I am still reeling from that.
I think on some level I have known for a long time that things weren't right with my relationship with either of my parents, but to have been labeled with this term is almost more than I can deal with.
I have been afraid of my father for as long as I can remember. He was big and loud and temperamental. He didn't tolerate my childlike behavior very well. He worked nights and was often gone; I remember being so relieved when I knew he was working and how I dreaded him being home. I hated sitting in his lap—absolutely dreaded it. My mom encouraged it. I remember taking naps with him and hating it. In the adult sexual relationships that I have had I get "nap flashbacks" and my dad becomes part of that experience. I remember him coming into my room at night to "check on me." There were times when he would lay down with me and ask me to stroke his hair or rub his back. I honestly don't know if it went any further than that. My mom was needy and anxious, smothering with her affection. She often slept in my bed to avoid my father.
As I got older my dad treated me in many ways like a wife. He would treat me more like a date or a girlfriend than a daughter, especially if we were out. He told me about how my mom rejected him sexually and would make lewd, detailed comments about my friends, myself or women we would just see walking down the street. He would buy me underwear from Victoria's Secret, matching sets and ask me to try them on for him. He bought me clothes to wear as a teenager that most girls would have to sneak out of their homes and change somewhere else because normal fathers would never permit their daughters to leave wearing what he encouraged me to wear.
I distinctly remember in junior high talking to him in the kitchen about a nonsexual subject and he had an obvious erection, he was wearing sweatpants and he just kept talking to me like it wasn't even there.
He would tell me that he didn't ever want me to grow up or move out. My mom said that literally the first thing he said when I was born was: "Someday I will have to share her with someone else."
He kisses me on the lips and calls me baby. He has told me that he would date me and that it's ok if I don't have a boyfriend because I will always be his baby.
There was a lot of animosity between me and my mom when I was a teenager. I was very angry at her for rejecting my father. If I was disrespectful or rude to her, my father would beat me for it, but he would ridicule her openly when we were alone.
As an adult my father has given me herbal aphrodisiacs to use with my ex-boyfriend. He also recently gave me a sex manual, saying that I might need it, although he said his skills go beyond what can be taught in a book.
I have problems with food. I overeat which makes me feel protected. When I am overweight my father still makes inappropriate comments about other women and himself but not directly about me. I have recently lost a lot of weight because I basically starved myself for four months and he again has become very sexual towards me. Needless to say the weight is creeping back on.
I have found that in my adult life that I only form friendships with men who are married or seriously involved in a relationship. It's as though somehow that makes them safe. If they breakup, divorce or become somehow available I immediately pull away. If I do have a guy friend who is single, once he makes the first sexual advance, I pull away.
I am obsessed with sex though. Even though I am absolutely disgusted by my desire for it, I can't stop thinking about it. My disgust with my sexual self has even gone so far as to wish that I was asexual. There have been times when I wish my genitals would disappear.
I really don't know how to deal with this. I am in the same town as my parents and they often call or want to see me. I cannot bear to be around them right now. I have to pull away for myself and I don't know how to do that.