There has been a lot of publicity lately centered on the issue of child molestation. Child molestation is a horrific form of child abuse that leaves its victims with a deep loss of self and the inability to cope with life’s challenges.
Another form of child abuse, that leaves its victims powerless and confused, is incest. Incest is a topic that most families refuse to discuss and sometimes deny that it ever existed. The Laid Daughter, by Helen Bonner is such an example.
In this riveting novel, the author discusses her own issues with incest. What is so unique about the novel itself is that the author has been journaling her strange feelings and dreams for over 20 years before she realizes that her journal entries depict her true life experiences.
The author takes us on her journey through self discovery and healing by allowing us to see her daily struggles in life. She is plagued with failed marriages and her inability to have honest and open relationships with others. She cuts herself off from her family and friends. There is however, something very striking about Ms. Bonner’s character. She is able to hold down a job and build herself a lucrative career while dealing with the incest issue.
Going through the healing process was not an easy road for Ms. Bonner. Early on, she was given erroneous advice from some early therapist. She found herself dropping out of therapy with the belief that somehow she could conquer her demons on her own. She then seeks therapy through a wonderful therapist by the name of Glenda Parkinson who discovers that Helen was not just a survivor of incest, but she also suffered from a Multiple Personality Disorder.
Glenda Parkinson also expresses how quickly Helen was able to work through her demons as shown by the following excerpt:
“Helen spent only a year in intense psychotherapy with me. The average length of treatment time is somewhere between five and ten years. She was highly motivated and followed her gut instincts in making therapeutic decisions for herself. She read. She wrote. She practiced suggestive directives. She attended a national conference for adult survivors. Her art work was another vehicle for self-understanding. She used relaxation techniques when feeling panicky. She begin to fill her new “house” by acknowledging and fulfilling the needs of her integrating selves. Decisions Helen made for herself rather than against herself were the catalyst toward wholeness.”
As you can see by the above excerpt, healing from incest or any other form of childhood abuse can be done with hard work and determination. I would recommend this fine piece of work to anyone who has suffered the pain and anguish of child abuse or to anyone who wants to discover how they can make changes in their own life that can help them move forward to living life to its fullest.
Author: Helen Bonner
Publisher: Kairos Center