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I am a woman who was physically and emotionally abused by her mother from the time she was born until now. I am 22 and still suffering. I was sexually assaulted once before and it happened again this past Saturday. I must admit I am at a low. I am a very intellectual and academic person but somehow cannot connect my brain to my heart and soul. I know the reasons behind what is happening to me but I cannot connect them to the rest of my spiritual self. Any suggestions? Carolina

I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to you---throughout your childhood and this past weekend. I'm sorry, too, to hear the unnecessary guilt and blame in your note. You are blaming yourself for something that you had no control over. Your brain is connected to your heart and soul--if it weren't, you wouldn't be writing a letter expressing these feelings nor would you be able to even make this connection in the first place. The problem is that at an early age it sounds like neither your heart nor soul nor brain were given the attention and respect that they needed and deserved from your mother--that is not to say that there wasn't someone else giving that to you, which I hope there was. The common experience of women who are abused as children--is that they go on to be abused, because we don't learn to value ourselves. The common experience of men who are abused as children--is that they go on to abuse, because they are given enough so-called "power" and therefore want to take this power away from others the way it was taken away from them.

I hope that you value yourself enough--despite what your mother said and did--to know that you don't deserve to be treated this way again.

You might want to contact RAINN for further guidance and information. Sorry I couldn't be of more comfort or assistance--good luck.


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