Leslie Kenton describes herself as a writer, nutritionist, broadcaster, lecturer, shamanic teacher and social activist. You might know her from any of her books, TV appearances or through her work on the Origins skin care range. However she is also the daughter of Stan Kenton, the talented yet troubled (aren’t they all?) post war American Jazz musician.
Love Affair is the story of her life, her relationship with her adored father, and how at the age of 10, he raped her and began their sexual relationship which was to last for several years.
It is not an easy book to read, but it is written with intelligence and courage, refusing to shy away from the entanglement of love and horror that coalesce in incestuous relationships. Leslie describes how both she and her father lived with this secret through dissociation and ponders her paternal grandmother’s tendency to “loose time” as evidence of generational trauma. She talks eloquently about the strong, but at the time, misunderstood affects on both her physical and mental health and how this has influenced her work in holistic health care.
Although Stan Kenton was an early and enthusiastic adopter of the new psychotherapy he ultimately did not benefit from it; Leslie’s own memories were unlocked by the experimental use of therapeutic LSD, which although not condoning she recognises as beginning the process of piecing together events which allowed her to understand and take control of her life.
As a therapist I found this invaluable in the insight it gave me into the complex wounds inflicted by incestuous abuse, and would recommend it for anyone working in this area or who has suffered in this way.