When you were raised by an abuser

Until her last days, the 53-year-old star Anne Hesch battled childhood demons

American actress Ann Hesh died tragically after crashing her car into a house in Los Angeles which caught fire. According to initial data, a drug was found in the blood of the 53-year-old star, but the police want to exclude the version and whether it is not a question of any medication that she took, since she has been struggling with mental problems for years. According to Anne Hesch’s confessions, they are due to experienced sexual abuse in childhood.

She is the youngest of five children born to Nancy and Donald Hesh. The large family lives meagerly, as it relies primarily on the income of the father, who is a choir director. By Anne’s 12th year, the family had moved 11 times and ended up taking temporary shelter at a friend’s home. The aspiring actress began working in theater to help with the family budget and at one point was earning $100 a week, the highest amount earned by anyone in the family. We all collected our money in one drawer, and this helped us to move out after a year, the star recalls.

Soon after, her father died at age 45 of AIDS. Ann believes he contracted it from homosexual partners and fears he may have passed the disease on to her as he repeatedly raped her. His sexual assaults began when she was very young and infected her with genital herpes.

For a long time Anne did not understand what he was really doing to her. When he realizes it, he starts to feel very ashamed and tries to lock it inside himself. After realizing that it was not possible and that it interfered with her own life, in 2001 she published her memoirs, Call Me Crazy, in which she brutally describes what happened. “He raped me… He fondled me, put me on all fours and had sex with me. I think my father was sexually addicted,” the actress wrote. She claims that during the first 31 years of her life she was not herself because of what she experienced, but she promised herself to speak only the truth and follow her heart.

It seems that a great catharsis for her is her relationship with the famous American presenter Ellen DeGeneres. The two announced they were together in 1997, when same-sex couples were still frowned upon. They face a lot of negative comments and prejudices. Hesh publicly thanked her co-star Harrison Ford for continuing to film the romance Six Days, Seven Nights with her despite the homophobic backlash against her fling with Ellen. And while both said they would marry if same-sex couples were ever allowed in the U.S., they split in 2000.

Shortly after, it was first understood that the famous actress in the 90s with her roles in films such as “Donnie Brasco” and “Another World” has mental problems and suffers from alcohol and drug addictions. The police are called by the owner of a remote ranch after she shows up at his door out of nowhere and wants to take a shower. After doing so, she sits in his living room to watch TV. Her car was later found miles away, and Anne Hesch was taken to a psychiatric ward. She was discharged quickly because they discovered she was under the influence of ecstasy.

Having just ended her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, the actress started a new one with cameraman Colman Lafoun. A son is born to them, but their marriage falls apart. In 2009, Anne again became the mother of a boy – from actor James Tupper. He strives to make fewer films and choose their plots so that he has time for the children.

At the same time, she is waging a war of words with her own mother over allegations that she was raped by her father. In a series of interviews, Nancy Hesch denied that she knew he was doing such a thing. Regarding Ann’s claims of contracting genital herpes, he thinks it’s diaper rash. She learned about the man’s homosexual contacts from his doctor when it turned out that he was among the first infected in the gay community in the United States. Nancy Hesch was deeply religious and spent years lecturing on the harms of homosexuality after her husband’s death. Therefore, she perceives her daughter’s relationship with presenter Ellen DeGeneres as a betrayal and simply stops communicating with her.

She would later admit that her reaction was probably dictated by accumulated anger from her husband’s homosexual escapades, which she also could not accept and understand. Both she and her older daughter, Susan, admit that Donald Hash has led a rather strange double life, but they doubt much of Anne’s claims, both regarding sexual abuse and that her 18-year-old brother Nathan is not accidently crashed while falling asleep behind the wheel three months after his father’s death, and committed suicide.

In her memoirs, Nancy Hesh wrote that it was painful for her to learn how during the day her husband led a Baptist choir and while she and the children slept, he went to gay bars. He reveals that as a couple they experimented with inhaling poppers to improve their sex lives, but it wasn’t his idea. “When we moved into his business partner’s house in Atlantic City, we were given a few bottles of this heady stuff to try to liven things up between us. He looked quite innocent and I didn’t question him”, explains the mother of the actress.

After her tragic death, her questions about Anne are likely to become even more pressing. Nancy Hesch, 85, outlived four of her five children, two of whom died in accidents that raised suspicions of suicide. One of her daughters died as a child from heart failure, and the other from cancer at the age of 48. She hasn’t been in a relationship with Ann Hesh for years. She didn’t share anything publicly about her death either, as most people in her life did, including her ex-husbands and her great love, Ellen DeGeneres. “My heart goes out to Anne Hesch and everyone involved in this tragic story. Out of respect for her family, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, not a choice,” actress Didi Pfeiffer wrote.

How to recognize an abusive parent

Child sexual abuse does not always result in sexual contact. Even according to experts, it is more common to be invited to undress, to touch and caress his intimate areas, to kiss him in a sexual way and to encourage him to play with the adult’s genitals. Usually, abusers rely on the child’s cognitive immaturity and present everything as entertainment.

The moment he is able to register what is happening as disturbing or hurtful to him, they either end the abuse or resort to threats and persuasion that everything must remain secret because it will harm family happiness. As a result, some victims experience guilt throughout their lives and are never able to have normal sexual relations and lasting relationships.

Often sexual violence is accompanied by emotional. It is expressed in negative remarks, reprimands, belittling efforts and criticism of appearance. In this way, the child’s self-esteem is constantly undermined, and he begins to look for the reason for what is happening in himself, and not in the parents, and also tries to please them.

A silent attitude is another sign of mental abuse. If parents bypass or deliberately avoid talking to the child, they only force him to look for a way to fix things, even though he himself has done nothing wrong. And this in most cases is not possible, since he lacks social skills and usually in the future he feels unworthy and undeserving of love.


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