In Her Own Words: A Survivor of Covert Incest

In a candid post published on The Mighty, contributor Monika Sudakov described her experience with covert incest:

“In my personal case, my parents were divorced by the time I was 3. My father was completely out of the picture and what emerged was a very unhealthy enmeshed relationship between my mother and I… Aside from feeling afraid to have any needs because I didn’t want to overwhelm my mother who was prone to fits of self-harming behavior and panic attacks, I squelched all of my negative emotions because I was always told, ‘don’t be mad at me’ or ‘don’t be sad because it makes me sad’…

“However, the worst aspect of this unhealthy relationship exhibited was that I was exposed to sex talk from a very young age. I knew all about sex by the age of 5 and was aware of every man my mom slept with, how the sex was and details thereof. As I got older, this boundary became even more blurred when it came to privacy. I was often told that she was entitled to look at me naked because I came out of her body, as if that ascribed some kind of ownership of my body to her… ”

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