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First of all, I'm sooo proud of you that you got the courage to write this all out. That's huge, especially when you've only told a couple of people about this, and their reactions were not helpful.

I want to agree with and emphasize what Miscortes and Alison said. THESE EVENTS WERE NOT YOUR FAULT.

I put that in all capital letters because I really want you to know that no child who has been molested can ever be held responsible for it. Adults who molest children prey on them instead of protecting them. It doesn't matter what any child does or doesn't do -- molestation is not OK. It is illegal and immoral, and it hurts the child so much. This clearly has been your experience. I'm so very sorry you went through those things. Your gardener did something unforgiveable. And the pastor, well, don't even get me started on him.

Of course you don't trust men. How could you? Your entire body and brain know otherwise, from experience. Your entire body and brain have learned that it is better to be suspicious, because that way when something bad happens, it won't hurt as much. You won't be surprised. You have just learned to protect yourself, and protecting yourself has come to mean "don't trust men."

But that thinking can be changed. It just takes some therapy and some time. You need to do this for your child, too, so that you can raise him or her to have healthy relationships. You are young enough that if you start talking to a therapist now, you can change a lot of things about your future.

Do you know how to find a therapist? Do you have any insurance? If you need help finding someone to talk to, please write back and let me know where you live (city and state).

October 12, 2009 - 9:31am


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