This week, in conjunction with the release of her book, Mackenzie Phillips appeared on several shows to share her story about the years of sexual relations between her and her father. You can hear or read the story everywhere but the purpose of my writing about it is the reactions and comments that so many commentators and writers had put forth immediately because they seriously angered me.
Most of the remarks within the first day or so were that the story was made up in order to get publicity for her book. Her own step-mother, Michelle Phillips, responded that it is all a lie and what else would you expect from someone who has had a needle up her arm for 35 years. However, her sister came to her defense and indicated that she believes that what Mackenzie is saying is true.
Yes, the woman had been on drugs for many years as she readily admits but she has been to rehab and is currently clean. And while I do not know her personally and I cannot say what went on in her home – but, and this is a big but – I do believe that what she is saying is true and I will explain why.
Just about every single person that I know who has been abused as a child has not spoken about it within their own families let alone be willing to put it out in the public. Most are not even able to admit to themselves that it really happened until they have reached a point in their maturity where they realize that in order to move forward with their lives, they have to deal with what has happened in the past.
Most blame themselves for what happened and are ashamed when in reality they are the victims of those people who they were suppose to be able to trust with their lives. For those whose abuse came from their own fathers, I don’t know of one single case where their mother or step-mother has admitted that they believe that the abuse happened, even if the child told them about it. And most importantly, there is not a single one of these women (and in some cases, men) who made up their stories. After all, why would they? It isn’t as though their stories are of some wonderful accomplishments that they have attained in their lives.
Personally, I applaud Mackenzie for speaking up as she is a celebrity and the story that she has to tell has been repeated for many in this country on a regular basis. I really respect her and every other person that I know who has spoken up and spoken out about what happened to them.
They need to do this in order to bring about their own healing but at the same time, they help so many others who have also suffered any kind of abuse because we all share the same feelings of shame and believing that we did something to deserve what happened to us. And the more we work to heal our own lives, the more we provide hope and help for others by letting them know that we are all in this together and that by sharing our stories and experiences, we can find ways to forgive, to let go of the past and to regain the lives that had been taken from us.
I would love your comments.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.