Saturday, February 06, 2010

You Are Not Alone, Carmen's Story (Blog-a-thon Post 18)

Dear Survivor,

Carmen wants you to know you are not alone. Here's what she has to say:

I was born in post-war Germany, and I just a couple months old when my parents, were divorced and gave me away to be raised by a poor welfare couple who lived in a three-room hovel without running water or electricity. While this might sound awful, it was ultimately a good thing because looking back, I can see that, had I been raised during my formative years by my natural mother who was an alcoholic and a prostitute, I probably wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

But, what I thought was a “perfect world” came to an end just before I turned nine when my natural mother married an American soldier and together they tore me out of my happy foster home because Mother couldn’t leave Germany unless all the children that she had given up for adoption, were legally adopted. The Neumanns couldn’t adopt me because they were welfare recipients, and so Mother was basically forced to take me back. It was the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me – until, my adoptive father, Austin Forrester, a well-respected Army First Sergeant, began to sexually abuse me just months after my “abduction.” Luckily, my mother divorced him when I was 14, because I’m not sure I would have survived after I began to fight his endless advances. Austin actually put me in the hospital with internal injuries once when I was 14, after I threatened to tell on him. I was so terrified of the man, I lied to the doctors about my bruises, swearing I’d fallen off my horse, into a rockpile...

Suffice it to say, my entire childhood was hell. Life with my mother was an endless barrage of turmoil. By the time I graduated high school in 1969, I had attended 14 different schools and lived in a dozen different places. Whereas Austin had been physically abusive, my mother was mentally abusive, and so, to get away from home, I joined the Army, which was the best decision I could ever have made because it culminated in a very successful 22-year career as an Army journalist with a college degree and a business college diploma. But my personal relationships never got off the ground until I found my way to God at age 44. These events are all outlined in my book, “Rags to Rabbi” which can be purchased at Amazon.

Groups like this one are so very, very important, because they not only help us to find the courage to speak out BECAUSE of the moral support of others, but they let you know you aren't alone in this. When I was a child victim of mental and physical abuse, I honestly thought I was the only one these things were happening to. Well, today, I am NOT alone anymore - thank God!

Stay tuned... more survivor stories will follow.

Watch the live UStream broadcast of this blog-a-thon by clicking here.

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