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Genetic Attraction- Reuniting with a Toxic Father

Updated on August 20, 2012

The poster child for genetic sexual attraction

It’s strange to be known as the girl who fell in love with her father. Of course that doesn’t really sum it up well because dealing with adoptive reunions and GSA is like peeling an onion. One layer of an onion is paper thin and hardly flavorful. Bite into the whole vegetable and your mouth explodes. GSA is similar. For those of you who are new to the concept of incest among reunited relatives, it is simple in theory and highly complex in real life. Two people who’ve been separated for their whole lives don’t bond properly. When they reunite, the need for attachment tricks the brain into feeling sexual feelings for the family member. Layer number one.


For many adoptees, this is where it ends. You reunite and feel a rush of excitement, intensity, emotion, and joy. You obsess about your new family members and look for reasons to be with him or her. You harbor some secret fantasies briefly that never leave your brain. With time and space, your emotions calm down and you either integrate into your new family or grow apart.

Genetic Sexual Attraction affects all types of people, but incestuous relationships born from GSA affect the broken. Worse still, those with deep-seated issues, addictions, and/or mental illness can become absolutely toxic when GSA hits. The damage is devastating when these feelings become an excuse for illicit sexual behavior.

I was in layer one of the onion. I felt the rush, the intensity, and even had drifting emotions and thoughts about my father that were not what I considered “normal”. I rushed myself right into counseling and poured my heart out to her, hoping to gain some clarity.

My father however was blind to his own weaknesses. He felt those stirrings of GSA and launched a relentless campaign of seduction, manipulation, and abuse to lure me into his delusion of love and intimacy. Because I was broken by early abandonment and rejection, I took the bait. I bit that whole onion and felt the overwhelming flavor of abusive and heart wrenching feelings that accompany toxic and exploitive relationships.

Dr. Drew interview
Dr. Drew interview | Source

So when I joke about being the poster child for GSA or mutter that "reunions are complicated", I recognize the absurdity of the media’s portrayal of “falling in love” with my Dad. If it were only so easy to discuss such a sensitive subject with a few words. I’ve remained largely silent about my father’s toxicity out of loyalty. It is misplaced loyalty for sure and after a year of struggling through the nightmare, I hold no such whimsical notions.

I also was afraid. Afraid of the backlash and punishment from him and his family. Tortured by his quiet whisperings and slimy insistence that I keep my mouth shut. But I am stronger now. Stronger than I was in the media interviews with Dr. Drew and ABC. Gaining strength every day that passes.

GSA is a natural response to a broken situation. But incest because of GSA is dangerous, toxic, and incredibly destructive. The problem is that no two situations are alike. Siblings, half-siblings, fathers/daughters, mother and sons, each person comes to the table with a unique set of personality strengths and weaknesses. Day after day I receive emails from people who are silently struggling through eerily similar situations- yet I know that the cocktail of personality traits, motivations, and issues can be vastly different from my own situation.

The Future

As time goes on, I will become more outspoken about the abuse and subtle manipulation that plagues parent/child relationships, whether reunited with GSA or not. For those who are considering a reunion with a family member, please do some homework and research. Education and emotional preparation are necessary before jumping into a reunion with a long lost family member.

-Julie DeNeen


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thank you for your beautifully written article. Its helping me in my healing process as a gsa with my dad survivor

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 

      6 years ago from Canada

      As you phrased it, some of us are new to this concept. I had never heard of it. I agree with krillco above, this really is an enlightening hub.

    • vespawoolf profile image


      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      I'd never heard of GSA before, but I admire your courage and honesty. What's important isn't the past, but what you've learned from it and how you've moved on. Voted up! Keep your chin up!

    • Julie DeNeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Blurter of Indiscretions 

      6 years ago from Clinton CT

      @chris- thank you so much. It's a hard topic to go public with, but I figured- if I don't who will? My friend Carly and I have designed a website, blog, and forum for people struggling with adoptive reunions. The situation with Mistie is very sad. She abused her son, even if she did have feelings of GSA- that's the problem, people get so taken over by their emotions, they think the law doesn't apply to them. It's so destructive. I appreciate your comments tremendously!

    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 

      6 years ago

      I just read an ABC article about you. You're obviously a woman of integrity, strength and kindness. I wish you the best.

    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 

      6 years ago

      I'd never heard of GSA before last week. Then I heard of it in connection with a woman who was sentenced to prison for having sex with her underaged estranged son. I think the lesson is, if you're unsure what to do, then follow society's conventions or at the very least obey the law. I think that's why we have customs and laws, to guide us when we are adrift. They can be a comfort and a safe harbor. I hope you fully recover from your own terrible experience.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You must be very bold to publish this Hub. Good for you. I sense a go-getter :)

    • CarlySullens profile image

      Carly Sullens 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Thanks Jules!!!! You are a cursader and I am proud to be there right next to you.

    • Julie DeNeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Blurter of Indiscretions 

      6 years ago from Clinton CT

      Thank you! For the comment and the advice. Gotta check that!

    • Vigilant Chef profile image

      Vigilant Chef 

      6 years ago

      Hi Julie, FYI - your Interested in HubPages link doesn't work. Cheers. BTW - tough topic, I admire your openness.

    • Julie DeNeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Blurter of Indiscretions 

      6 years ago from Clinton CT

      @krillo- thank you. It was a bit nerve racking to post on hubpages because I've kept all my writings about GSA elsewhere, but I was feeling a moment of empowerment :)

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 

      6 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Very good and useful Hub; enlightening.


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