child abuse

‘No one has ever wanted you here. If you find a family that will actually love you, go be with them.’: 26-year-old adopted after years of childhood trauma, abuse, says you’re ‘never too old to need parents’

“At 17, I was put into foster care. ‘We would adopt you!’ Tears flowed down my face. I’d never thought I’d hear this as a 26-year old, aged-out foster youth, and a formerly abandoned child. The judge wiped away tears, pausing to thank us for letting him finish his week with us. As we were ending, he declared, ‘This is a happy day!’”

‘Candice, you’re an orphan now.’ I was pulled out of class at 8 years old to be told my dad had killed my mom, then himself.’: Woman loses parents to domestic violence, finds ‘peace, healing’ 21 years later

“Earlier that day, my mom had stolen my father’s gun and packed our bags. She knew she had to get us out before he killed us all. Soon, the police called. ‘Return the gun.’ She begged the police not to return it to him after he threatened her life, but they did it anyway. I was dropped off at my friend’s house. She was supposed to pick me up at 5 p.m. Never would I have imagined that I’d never see my mom or dad ever again.”

‘My brother molested me as a teenager. Later in life, he became a youth pastor.’: Woman’s harrowing journey overcoming sexual abuse, brother’s resignation from church

“I finally mustered up the courage to tell my friend. She and her husband worked with my brother in the youth group. ‘I have to tell you, I’m not surprised by this.’ She said she had seen red flags and strange behavior from my brother and always thought there was something off. Eventually, he confessed.”

‘It was a long time ago. Get over it!’ I was the victim. I thought my family would hold me. Instead, I was blamed.’: Woman admits brother’s sexual abuse, ‘forgiveness doesn’t mean you must have a relationship with your abuser’

“I sent my brother an email. ‘I was a wake last night.’ He never came into my bedroom at night again. When it came time for my wedding years later, my mom insisted I do things ‘her way.’ She wanted my brother to stand beside my husband. We danced around it, but nothing worked. I had to tell her what my brother did to me. ‘How could you do this to us? You’re tearing our family apart,’ I was told. For years, I tried to navigate this deep, dark pit and find light. She threw me back into the dirt.”

‘I love you. It’s not your fault,’ my mom said, crying. I screamed, trying to keep her awake until paramedics reached her.’: Daughter says losing mother to suicide was ‘the most painful experience I’ve ever gone through’

“A friend of my mom said, ‘Look, your mom came to make December beautiful again.’ It’s so true. My daughter is the light of my life. It’s emotional raising a daughter without my own mother alive, but I understand now I would not have the beautiful life I have today if she hadn’t passed.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

‘I BEGGED my mom to get my stepfather out of my bed. He would just ‘fall asleep’ there. How convenient for him. I started thinking my mother knew, and just didn’t care.’

“In third grade, we moved. I thought it was so fancy! Surely nothing bad can happen in the suburbs. I slept over at my friend’s house one night, and was woken by something startling. I froze, I didn’t know what to do. I started to silently cry. ‘Why isn’t my friend waking up? If she wakes up he will stop.'”

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