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‘My dad was married and had an affair with my mom. I became the product of their affair.’: Woman overcomes childhood trauma, addiction, proclaims ‘I wear my story with pride – all of it!’

“On the outside, we looked normal. But behind closed doors, dark secrets hid. My younger sister woke up while it was happening. She said, ‘Daddy can you do that to me like you do to Shannon?’ He told her, ‘No it’s only for her.’ I was only in 4th grade and it tore me apart. I still hear and feel him breathing down my neck.”

‘In 2 weeks, you will meet the love of your life. And when you do, you will know it.’ But then came a warning. ‘You must do the right thing, or you will be cursed.’ He winked, and walked away.’

“That’s when our eyes met. It was like time stopped. It was like the music on the dance floor silenced, and all I could hear was my own heartbeat. I still remember what the room smelled like. I couldn’t look away. I was frozen. This was him. I knew it, and felt it, from my head to my feet.”

‘An overwhelming feeling came over me. I put my car in park and ran upstairs. After 20 seconds, a faint line appeared. Suddenly, I am bawling. I told myself to calm down.’

“The timer went off. I patted my belly. ‘You did it! Well done!’ It was time to take the first step in doing what I’d been thinking about for quite some time. When the nurse walked in with those papers, I went straight to the bathroom and sobbed. I walked toward the dreaded exit. I had to say goodbye.”

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