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Abuse -- a child's perspective:

Kelly was eleven the first time she remembered the night visitor coming. Her mother was drinking and so was the visitor. Kelly was asleep the first time he came but was awake when he came after that. She learned to know when he was coming.

At first, it seemed like part of her dream, something from the depth of her fears. She started to yell, to twist away, but his hand was over her mouth and he was twisting her leg and pulling off her nightshirt.

What does he want? What is he doing? "Don't be afraid my little kitten, my little wildcat. I won't hurt you if you play with me. We are just playing and it is our secret."

She heard her clothes rip and tasted his blood as she bit into his hand. He twisted her harder and shoved more on her face. The pain and fear froze her and he gradually let her loose. Now both hands of the visitor were over her body and hurting her down there. What was he doing? He smells bad.

That was her last thought. She must have passed-out, because when she woke up it was morning and she hurt and she smelled bad; and where was Mommy?

It was hard for Kelly to open her eyes, hard to sit up on the edge of her bed, hard to face the fear, knowing he was still there, but he was not. The sun through her window was bright, her school papers were still neatly laying on her desk, her clothes were just as she had carefully laid them out on the chair the night before, her toys with which she seldom played were in their places on the shelf by her closet and arranged just right in the toy box, and she was still Kelly.

No that's not quite right. She would never be Kelly again, at least not the same innocent Kelly she was just the night before.

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Please send comments or questions to Gary A. Crow, Ph.D. GAC@GaryCrow.net