When I read this horrific story last night, I wasn’t going to write about it. The primary purpose of The Laughing Stork is to, well, make people laugh when possible. And this story sure as hell is not funny. However, this is also a community where we discuss significant issues that families face — and, as we all know, those issues can include incest, unfortunately.
For those who have not yet heard, actress Mackenzie Phillips reveals in her cathartic new memoir, High on Arrival, that she had a 10-year affair with her father, musician John Phillips of the ’60s band The Mamas and The Papas.
Just writing that sentence makes me sick to my stomach.
“On the eve of my wedding, my father showed up, determined to stop it,” writes Mackenzie, who was 19 and a heavy drug user at the time. “I had tons of pills, and Dad had tons of everything too. Eventually I passed out on Dad’s bed.”
“My father was not a man with boundaries. He was full of love, and he was sick with drugs. I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father.”
“Had this happened before? I didn’t know. All I can say is it was the first time I was aware of it.”
Mackenzie goes on to claim her sexual relationship with her father, who also allegedly injected her with cocaine, became “consensual.” She writes:
“I was a fragment of a person, and my secret isolated me. One night Dad said, ‘We could just run away to a country where no one would look down on us. There are countries where this is an accepted practice. Maybe Fiji.’ He was completely delusional. No, I thought, we’re going to hell for this.”
Whoa. While Mackenzie turned to drugs for comfort, I usually turn to food. However, all the ice cream sandwiches in the world couldn’t expunge the sadness of that admission, of Mackenzie’s reality. So…
I’m just going to hug my daughter now. And not let go for, oh, thirty years or so.