CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

May 13, 2014

Miss America: Marilyn Van Derbur’s Incest Story

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CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

MARILYN VAN DERBUR (ATLER)

MISS AMERICA 1958

HER INCEST STORY

One in three adult women is a victims of child sex abuse. Among their ranks is Marilyn Van Der Bur Atler, Miss America 1958. As such, her life was/is defined by 13 years of incest.

Marilyn Van Der Bur Atler, Miss America 1958 and incest survivor, was guest speaker at the Fourth Annual Awards Dinner of the former Safe & Sound, Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. I attended the event as director and representative of the Family Support Program of Jamestown, Pennsylvania. Board member Jennifer Johnson also attended.

The date was April 7, 1993. However, Marilyn’s story is as relevant today as it was 21 years ago.

Teal is the official color representing sexual violence awareness and prevention

Teal is the official color representing sexual violence awareness and prevention

 ..the greatest accomplishment of my life—surviving incest.”***

How does a person survive being sexually violated as a child?

  • The feelings of abuse of this kind, or any kind, are “too intense for a child to absorb; that’s why children split their minds”, explains Van Derbur.*

Marilyn’s survival was enabled by her ability to “split into a day child and a night child…Until I was 24-years-old I had absolutely no conscious knowledge of the traumas or the terrors of the night child. The more the night child came, the more the day child needed to excel.”

  • People ask me why I didn’t tell what was happening to me. It was because I perceived no way out. A young child tells on her father and what happens? She’s taken away from her family. Her father goes to jail. The family is destroyed, and the message is, “It’s all your fault.”***

(more…)

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June 17, 2012

18-Year Olds Charge Fathers With Sex Abuse

CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011

18-YEAR OLDS CHARGE FATHERS WITH SEX ABUSE

     Once I sat in on a trial of a man accused by his newly eighteen year old daughter of child sexual abuse. It takes courage for a daughter to press charges such as these.

     Yesterday’s newspaper reported another case where an eighteen year old victim pressed charges against an elderly couple (ages 80 and 78) who sexually victimize her for at least seven years.

     A deal was agreed upon by the victim after the family asked for a resolution that would legally fit the circumstances and spare her from dredging up all the memories…

     Edward Lisovich pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor charge of corruption of miners.

     The punishment? (more…)

February 19, 2010

Laughter Heals Dry Bones

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

LAUGHTER HEALS DRY BONES

 

Proverbs 17:22   A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.  Ezekial 37:4  Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. (KJV)

      Joan sat at our dinner table, her head bowed so low her hair fell into her food and her nose would need to be washed if she leaned forward any closer.

     She was our guest while undergoing three months of intense abuse counseling. As a victim of incest by her father and others, her spirit had become so dry, so buried, she couldn’t raise (more…)

March 2, 2008

LIZZIE BORDEN—A REENACTMENT

Lizzy Borden took an ax,
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

I’m sure this childhood rhyme is familiar to you. The difference between us is that you weren’t talking about someone who shares your ancestry. Lizzie and I share common roots: both of us descend from Rebecca and Thomas Cornell, albeit our lines separated prior to 1700 (I only discovered this paternal thread of connection in January 2003!).

That’s why the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Mass., was placed on my list of non-negotiable plans (more…)

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