Dusana Michaels

Author of "Chopping the Onion"

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Chopping the Onion Book Excerpt: Incest Cannot

Incest Cannot:

  • Take my smile
  • Claim my beauty
  • Control my emotions
  • Haunt me
  • Make me uncomfortable around men
  • Take my love
  • Have my power
  • Dominate my life
  • Run my sexuality
  • Make me less than
  • Make fun of me
  • Have my future
  • Affect my present
  • Live in the past without my permission


You are just a bad dream that happened to me a long time ago.



Dear Dusana,

You are right, I cannot control you anymore. You have learned the lessons you came here to learn. You’ve done a brilliant job and you are free of me. I ruined enough of your life, be free to create the life you want. I see you in a beautiful fulfilling relationship with a man who doesn’t care one lick for me. All he sees is you. Shine dear woman and bestow your gifts to the world. You have a lot to teach. Thank you for letting me visit your life but I am done with you now. Help others to let me go too. God is waiting.




I have been jealous of the support people get from having cancer. Part of the above entry is my solution to that. I have seen the plaques for Cancer Cannot…and wanted one for incest. Though I can’t imagine people buying one, putting it up in their homes or wearing it on a t-shirt. I laugh thinking of someone seeing a person walking down the street with their incest t-shirt on.

I want The Walk. I went to the end of a Susan G. Komen walk and saw the celebration for the survivors of breast cancer. I tried to take it in and imagine it being for me, for incest survivors. Just thinking about having that much vocal and demonstrative support makes me cry. There are no banners stating: Yeah, we survived incest. Our fight is terminal; it’s here until the end.


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Jewel in my hand

He texted yesterday.

A note to say Happy Easter,

I felt nothing.

No need to reply.

No need to explain.

No need to try.

I stare at a door that closed many years ago.

I’m sitting.

No pull to go towards it,

No push to get away.

It’s a door in my life.

It is closed.

I still don’t want to talk about it.

So much of my life left unspoken.

I don’t want to discuss, I don’t want to explain.

I want to be.

I hold a jewel in my hand.

It soaks up the warmth of the new spring sun.

It feels the coolness of the air ever changing its degree.

It’s quiet and still.

It watches and waits.

Anticipating nothing, expecting anything.

This is enough for today.

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Listening to life

I’ve been rereading some books and examining the past few months. I had surgery in December and it’s been a slow recovery process. People in my life are used to me being happy, positive and accepting of what life throws my way.

This hasn’t been the case for me since the surgery. It’s amazing how one aspect of life can magnify other parts. I’ve had to feel re-occurring emotions once again. Ask questions once again. Look for the next steps in my journey once again.

The message I kept getting was to accept the moment and situation. As I’ve reread the books, I got it that this was appropriate for the now. The moments were not something I could find to be enthusiastic about or easily enjoyed. But I could take responsibility and accept what needed to be done at the time. I didn’t have to be any further ahead than that. It was about the now.

I don’t know what is to come in the next year. But for today I can listen to my life and follow through with the action of the moment.

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He told her to go

One night my mom finally walked in on my dad raping me. He told her it was none of her business. He told her to go. She did.

I found out that my dad raping me wasn’t my greatest nightmare after all. Being left by the person I thought would rescue me was. It’s a moment I have lived over and over whenever I feel vulnerable and reach out to another person who ends up not coming through for me. The panic, anxiety and hopelessness flood me. I am lost for days or weeks with these emotions haunting me. I try to live in the moment. I try to find my strength again. I listen to the thoughts telling me to end it once and for all. There is nothing here that I want.

My suicidal thoughts on a daily basis have become a given for me. They are as constant of a companion as my thoughts to brush my teeth, and as unimportant. I know it’s the pain that I want to end. I know I am more afraid of failing at the task than succeeding. I know with time, they too will pass.

I am coming out of a time when these emotions were once again triggered by my life situation. The lesson has been to feel them and accept that that moment from my past cannot be changed. I am sad that it happened to me. I know I deserved a whole lot more. I am sad the adults in my life were so unconscious as to be able to do that to their child. I am so sad.

Whenever I think about the topic and feel the deep emotions associated with incest the one thought that comes to me is: seriously, no one should have to go through this. What needs to change in the human psyche to stop this pattern? It is insane.

I recommit to bringing my sanity and consciousness to the insane. I’m not into doing loud actions but live with quiet intention. I live in the now as much as possible.