shame

‘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.”

‘This will be the last time we see each other,’ she said, tears in her eyes. I looked at her, puzzled. ‘Don’t be so dramatic.’: Woman overcomes years of emotional abuse

“On my wedding night, she grabbed me by the shoulders. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow at the house.’ Little did I know, these words were going to be our last. She decided to go out with a bang, turning what was supposed to be a joyous day into a painful one. She couldn’t bear to see me happy.”

‘This is weird, but I feel like I know you.’ My heart dropped. ‘Were you adopted?’ Yes. ‘How old are you?’ 40. ‘I gave birth to a child 40 years ago.’: Woman gives son up for adoption, runs into him 40 years later at supermarket

“The mutual dreams. The age. The feeling. It all seemed to align by some inexplicable magic. He didn’t speak. He only sobbed, my tears flowing with him. I was never a believer in miracles. But this? This felt like a miracle of the utmost kind. The universe brought us together. It’ll take an army to tear us apart.”

‘If it makes you happy.’ My son begged to wear a dress. In our house, kids explore who they are, no restrictions.’: Mom embraces ‘atypical’ son, ‘kids deserve to be happy and free’

“At first, it was little things. Nails, glitter, flowers, pink and purple. Then, one day, he came home crying because he wanted to wear a dress SO badly. He decided upon his sister’s light pink frock. I could see the pure joy on his face and how beautiful he felt in it. The next day at school, I heard parents snickering as we walked by. But Levi didn’t. He was far too joyous to even notice.”

‘My dad wanted to be cremated. Then he died, and I didn’t know how badly those ashes would haunt me.’: Daughter ‘appalled’ by father’s ashes, keeps them ‘hidden away’ in plastic bag

“The idea crumbled me. Knowing he was at the crematory, and knowing it’d be his turn. Was I eating lunch when they loaded his body in? Was I nursing my twins? Even talking about this is so shameful. His ashes sit in a cupboard. I know they’re there. But I don’t want to see them.”

‘I felt something hit my butt. ‘Do it again,’ I heard someone say. They snickered.’: Woman feels guilt over pressing charges after sexual assault, then demands, ‘I’ll see you in court.’

“Less than a minute later, I felt someone slowly run their fingers over my right butt cheek from the bottom and squeeze. I was wearing a long, velvet skirt – I could feel it all – and the heat of his hand. I pushed him backward and screamed, ‘Don’t you ever touch a woman like that!’ He gave me a dopey face and put his hands up in the air, as if pleading innocence. ‘Come on, it’s a compliment.’ I was hot with anger.”

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