HEALING a wounded childhood

My path from being a hurt child to a happy, healthy adult has taken decades. People I've loved along the way have given me much more than I would ever have received if I had not made this particular journey. Real progress began when the journey became a spiritual one.

From the time I was six until I was 16, my brother abused me emotionally and sexually. My brother was six years older, and I was left in his care much of the time. My father had passed on when I was three, leaving my mother to support herself and four children. She worked at night and slept during the day.

In charge as my main caregiver, my brother called me derogatory names and "taught" me that I couldn't do anything right. Any decision I tried to make, he would block, always letting me know that if I made a decision, it would be wrong. There was sexual abuse, too—not extreme, but inappropriate. That confused me because I felt I was doing something wrong, but I had no parental guidance to help me. Mother had enough problems herself, I thought, and I didn't feel I could tell her what was happening. I didn't even know what to tell her—I didn't understand it myself.

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When you are falsely accused
December 16, 2002

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