I understand the incest family system's need to silence me. I accept
they can tread no other road but it is a hard road, and the road will
end in the darkness of their own fear, guilt, and shame.
In the final week of September they reveled in a major triumph against
my sisters and I. After several months of tunneling in, around, and
under the roots of strong bonds between a handful of us sisters, like
great juicy earthworms aerating the soil under a flowerbed but leaving
gaping black holes of fetid air and rotted sludge from their dead
souls, a "moral majority" of the family I was born to as the youngest
of twenty, ousted me, they thought, bodily from their lives.
Since then I have tottered and teetered and careened about like a
little Weeble wobbling, but I won't fall down figure. Mostly I have
careened into self, examining and re-examining my life, motives,
choices, wishes, responsibility, and in the end, the reality of my
The fight to destroy me ultimately destroyed, or at least broke down,
one sister particularly dear to me, a woman who was always there for
everyone, and gave love and solace to the best and the worst of us. The
bond between us traveled a dark path from an indestructible pipeline to
a thread of spun sugar shattering in mid air.
The family did not count on one major element. Love enduring,
outlasting, out maneuvering, and outdistancing every evil thrown among
Love, the kind where one person has the other person's best interests
at heart and wants for that person what that person wants, and not what
a person "thinks" the other person wants.
Example: The day I was ousted bodily from my sister's house it was:
1. Done out of "love" that says "I know what is best for you."
2. It was accomplished inevitably by me, who was overwhelmed by the mistaken belief that my sister wanted me to leave.
The incest family system won a battle, nothing more, by pitting us
against each other in subtle, unobtrusive methods in the guise of
But love is what brings me back to my reality, my responsibility, and
my voice here. Love is what has revamped the bonds between my sisters
and I. Love will endure as will truth, hope, kindness, compassion,
For six weeks I have struggled and lost, struggled and lost, and
struggled and lost, because the family system did not simply cause my
world to shiver and shake like the towers of Babel. It was not simply a
matter of relocating, rebuilding my office in a terribly inconvenient
place in order to get on with my work, my business and my life. They
stole my sister, though temporarily, from me. They ripped a piece of
her heart out by pitting her children against her, in the guise of
love, and they ripped a piece of my heart out using my sister who was
not strong enough to continue to fight her children.
And what pray tell did they use to frighten her children? The visual of their mother in danger from me.
The visual of my sister waking up one morning and finding me dead from suicide in my room.
A visual of me tearing through my sister's house constantly yelling at her and throwing things and slamming doors.
The false idea that I was penniless and was sponging off their mother and stripping her of her retirement and happiness.
My sister withstood the barrage as long as she could, making every
effort to hold the world at bay so I could continue to work in peace to
build the career, business, write my book, to the end that i would, by
October, return south to my children and grandchildren.
But an incest family system driven by fear, guilt, shame, and aversion
to all truth, turned her home into a battleground, tension flying
through every crevice, and social services at the door investigating a
claim of elder abuse.
The abusers were the ones who sent the investigator around.
But yesterday my sister came to where I am presently, and my sister 1,
my sister 2, and I jumped the barrier strung between us. Though the
rebuilding of our bonds began strangely enough on the very day in
September that the family divided us, yesterday was a true layering of
a new, stronger foundation. It is based on love and hope. And that,
dear friends is what the incest family system cannot eradicate, nor
Recently three of the people responsible for this horrid undertaking
had a meeting of the minds. Two have hated the third for most of their
lives, one hates another and has no use or respect for the other, and
thus it goes, enemies with a clear vision of me, the greatest enemy to
all honorable family members which for the moment precludes any former
rivalry and/or disgust they feel for each other.
I wonder what they will do when they remember they cannot stand the sight or company of each other?
By the way, I am the enemy, not because of what I did, but because of
what they fear I will reveal about our incest family system, which I am
now revealing with far less pangs of conscience than I ever believed
possible of me.
I am the enemy because I survived.
I am ultimately the enemy because I was the victim of incest who found her voice.
Steve Lohr is a reporter for The New York Times on technology, business and economics. In 2013, he was a member of the team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting
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