Sunday, August 30, 2015


As some of you who follow  Not the Life I Chose (or the Wind Harp Tree blog) may know, I have been writing A SEX OFFENDER'S WIFE, A DAUGHTER"S LIFE, a memoir about my own experience with incest from the perspective of a daughter, a mother and a sex offender's wife. At first the book was tentatively entitled "Happily Ever After" but as the memoir progressed and I got my "life" down on the page, I realized that A SEX OFFENDER'S WIFE, A DAUGHTER"S LIFE might also provide a unique opportunity for a reader to understand "from the inside out." what life is like inside a sex offender's family.

As an incested child growing up, then as the wife of a man who turned out to be strangely like my own father, then as the mother of incested children, I was silenced, shamed and blamed, And for a long time I did indeed blame myself. I didn't understand that incest and the Burdens of Silence and Shame resonate through whole generations of family until I began to examine my life and write this memoir..

At first, I was afraid to speak up, to write, because however a sex offender's wife or an incested child's mother decides to handle her children's and her own sexual betrayal,someone "out there" is going to say she "lived right there and must have known all along."  Today, not only the sex offender but the whole family can be Googled and tarred and feathered right along with the child who was sexually molested and betrayed by a person she or he had every right to expect would protect him. Life becomes a vicious circle of shame, blame and ignorance.

The Families of Sex Offenders are isolated both by the incester and by a society that doesn't understand what  life is like within the cycle of sexual abuse.  Unless families are able  to speak out, report and keep talking, incested little girls and little boys "Treated like girls" remain trapped  all their lives within the cycle of abuse. Silence and shame renders us invisible. Some boys, like my own father, go on to "solve" the problem of their own molest by growing up to become molesters themselves.  Some girls go on to marry men "strangely like" their own fathers. Living silenced,  un-examined lives we complete a hidden cycle of sexual abuse.

I'm not finished writing or revising A SEX OFFENDER'S WIFE, A DAUGHTER"S LIFE  but when it's polished and ready sometime next year, I hope my memoir will offer a rare perspective  on sexual abuse from inside a family and by extension, see the families of sex offenders perhaps with new eyes. With 750,000 sex offenders on the National Sex Offender Registry (and more added every day) there are a whole lot of "us" out here and our experience offers a  unique  perspective on a national problem..

If nothing else, I hope that in writing A SEX OFFENDER'S WIFE, A DAUGHTER'S LIFE  I may in some small way break the silence and the shame surrounding family sexual abuse, I hope the book starts a discussion and that Wind Harp Tree (like Not the Life I Chose) might provide a place where other mothers, other families living with sexual abuse  are free to  share their own experience,strength and hope with me, with Evie  and  each other. Because, I believe, it is only in daring to become Visible that there is hope of  breaking the cycle of sexual abuse before it rolls on down into the lives of future generations of children.

So, whether your marriage, your family has been effected by sexual betrayal or not, I hope that when A SEX OFFENDER"S WIFE, A DAUGHTER'S LIFE is ready for publication, the book will offer a rare public glimpse of life inside a sex offender's family.

By speaking out on Wind Harp Tree and Not the Life I Chose and by (eventually) publishing A SEX OFFENDER"S WIFE, A DAUGHTER'S LIFE I hope in some small way to help sexually molested little girls and little boys  "treated like girls" to go onto live lives that are  Visible and Free.

So, please tell us your own story. (We won't repeat it) but coming together and sharing will cut down on our isolation, give us comfort to know someone has been there and understands. We have so much to give to each other and to the children, and the families we still love.

So take care. Looking forward to  hearing from you soon. Janet Mackie

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Something we can do on 8/30/2015: Watch a film and Start the Conversation about Child sexual Abuse: Watch Breaking Silence

      Breaking the Silence World Premiere
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Dear Janet,
On Sunday, August 30, at 10/9 Central, the TLC channel will air the premiere of "Breaking the Silence." It has been an incredible experience participating in the development of this groundbreaking film addressing the issue of child sexual abuse. This film communicates the importance of adult responsibility and prevention. Don't forget to set your DVRs or tune in to this special commercial-free program. Join us on Twitter before and during the premiere, using the hashtag #BeTheVoice, to discuss the film and how to protect children from sexual abuse.

We are also creating a viewers guide that will give you more information and provide deeper insight into the film. It will be available on Sunday right before the film at 9 p.m. Eastern and you can download the guide here.
For those of you who are not able to see the live airing, the film is available for download on iTunes, VOD or on demand at starting on Monday, August 31.

We look forward to the premiere of this very important film and ask you to join us for conversation on Twitter and beyond.
Lyndon Haviland
Interim CEO
Darkness to Light 

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Friday, August 28, 2015

What (might be) going on in their Heads? Sex addict, sex offender, rapist, child pornographer, child molester, incester...

An Opinion from Daily Strength a website for Families who live with betrayal

"I personally believe that there is indeed a sex and pornography addiction and that it can be treated.

The reason I am confident that these addictions exist is that these addictions show a chemical change in the brain which is responsible for the behavior.

In school, as part of my pharmacology studies, I had a course in addictions. The porn, sex, and gambling addiction is almost exactly like most other addictions and follows the same pattern.

These addictions are something that happens in the brain, but there is a physical component involved, as with all addictions. I don't see how anyone that understands addictions can say that porn, sex, gambling, or any other activity cannot be an addition.

Any action that excites areas of the brain, making the user want more and more is addicting. In fact, that is one of the main explanations for the addiction and an addiction causes this repeated behavior regardless of the consequences. Porn certainly can do that.

The changes in the brain area seen with guys with porn addictions are the very reason they cannot just stop looking at the images and videos. These addictions are treatable; they are not someone's imagination or an "excuse" for someone to use.

They are real, prompted by demonstrable changes in the brain area and the brain chemistry. "