It is a shame that families are so dysfunctional and are so filled with secrets and “justified anger” at really nothing. We waste so much time with our petty disagreements, never really talking it out. Life is so short and it is such a shame that we never see the goodness in our family members until it is too late. When I was a child, I loved my mom so much and I distinctly remember sitting on the couch, holding her hand while I watched TV. I used to wrap Readers Digests up and give them to her as presents and she would act as if it was so wonderful. I don’t know when I started to distance myself from her and the rest of the family. But, I think an incident that happened to me when I was 8 laid the framework for the distant relationship I had with my parents that lasted pretty much until they died. I’m not sure why I never even trusted my parents to share a molestation as an 8 year old which happened on the way home from school during lunch. Looking back I’m sure part of this was due to my dad being hypercritical, telling me I was stupid every day so I guess I assumed he would blame me. I was so ashamed as if this was somehow my fault. I knew better than to go into a building with a strange man, but I did it anyway, because I thought I was being helpful showing him the mailboxes. I thought my parents would be angry so I just stuffed it and let the pain and sickness wash over me until I could push it far enough into my subconscious mind that I could function again. I never told a soul about this and that was a very heavy burden for an 8 year old. But there was a cost in that I suffered from the same nightmare every night. I would dream that I went out to the bathroom but when I looked down the long hallway to the dining room, I would see “something” on the wall and start that loud moaning that marked my nightmares. To make matters worse, I had a shrew of a 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Habatkin, who I was warned about. She literally hated me and made it her mission to harass me and make my life a living hell. Couple this with the molestation and I just simply stopped doing all my homework. Each morning she would come around the room to check our workbook and mine would be blank. She would then put a big X or a 0 on the top of the sheet into which I would then draw faces but never add anything to the actual contents of the homework. This went on day in and day out so that I was eventually referred to the school psychologist named Miss Mack because, at this point, I was in danger of being left back. I was allowed to leave my classroom each day early and go to her office where she would talk to me in her quiet measured tone, while I played with the dolls. She was my savior and I’ll never forget how she would tell me to never mind Mrs. H, which in turn gave me hope. However, I never once divulged my deep, dark, secret to her lest she tell my parents. I think that set me up for lots of depressive and drinking issues later in life. It is a shame that I never felt that I had anybody to confide in and didn’t even give my parents a chance. Whether or not they would have loved me or ridiculed me, I will never know.