Family Secrets: A Reality Sequel

FAMILY SECRETS: A JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL was published over four years ago and has received favorable reviews as noted on both the Amazon and Facebook sites. My purpose in writing this blog is not to promote or market this book but to share with my readers the “sequel of reality” surrounding this publication. Most of my blogs have been highly clinical and informational and it was noted, by my dedicated readers , that I do need to become more personal , divulge my feelings and expose my heart for all to see as well as  switch hats from clinician to survivor. My recent mentor, Alan Eisenberg, Bully Recovery founder and a podcaster of Health University invited me as a guest on his podcast and encouraged me to share my heart and voice in this internet interview on the topic of bullies and in this  published  blog.

FAMILY SECRETS was a therapeutic tool for me to revisit my past as well as to reach out to victims of discrimination and the bullies in this world that inflict deep wounds and effect the life of their victims. There are many forms of bullying such as wife abusers, parent abusers , workplace bullies, members of the KKK, past and present political and world leaders as well as the school/playground bully. My own wounds are deep, painful and still throbbing in spite of the number of decades that has passed and the clinical knowledge and expertise that I do possess. Yes, there are many kinds of bullies in this novel which has contributed to my quest to diminish “bullyism” by shouting the logo, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!  Sharing my own story may enlighten victims to become survivors . The following blog is an unfinished sequel to a story of abandonment, racism, and the pain inflicted by bullies upon victims with the belief that they  ” have the power to hurt those who appear weaker”, a broad definition of bullies and tends to apply to anyone who is suffering at the hands of uncaring perpetrators who lack  a conscience .

Let me begin to share the history of my book and how it still haunts me now and deepens the wounds that were inflicted so long ago. Only two weeks after this book was released by my publisher, I received a message on my office phone answering machine from my long lost sister, Susan, a major character in my book. She fled from my life and family upon a very brief visit to America over forty years ago. FAMILY SECRETS does provide information on her reasons for this visit and her emotional resentment of her biological sister,  the father who abandoned her as well as the paternal grandparents who could not legally adopt her. She did find me, once again, by searching my professional ( psychological) associations membership guide and reached my office number, leaving an urgent message that our mother had just died. The lyrics of ” The wicked witch is dead” ran through my mind and may also have echoed into my sister’s as well. This significant event did result in yet another reunion which resulted in a most joyful two weeks with me and my hostessing of Susan’s two half siblings and her niece whom she had never met. Instantaneous bonding resulted and treasured memories were created from this family reunion with genuine tears and strong hugs upon Susan’s departure at the airport. Immediate plans were made for a reciprocal reunion  the following summer in London to meet her immediate family. Within days of firming up plane reservations and accommodations, an email was received from Susan directing that all plans should be canceled since this reunion would not occur. Of course, I was stunned,  emotionally devastated and quizzical as to the reason for this decision and I proceeded to call, email and send letters to her looking for a reason for this yet another abandonment of me, replicated by a mother and a father early in life.

It has been almost four years since this traumatizing incident with phone calls,  letters and emails also sent to those other siblings who participated in that joyous reunion begging for support in providing answers to this mysterious rejection. It was learned earlier that my half sister had joined Susan on an number of Alaskan cruises and Susan  flew into my country and over my home state to participate in sibling family events without contacting her biological sister who professed her love and confusion about her decision to abandon me. I have since declared my emancipation and rejection of  this family and those who chose to abandon me in my quest to find an answer to my burning question, WHY? Time is of the essence in my life as a seventy plus woman,  a three time cancer survivor and, unfortunately, I will have to wait until my time comes when only the Lord will give me the answers to this family secret as well as the unanswered “family secret” described in FAMILY SECRETS: A JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL.

As I always conclude in my blogs with the request that you please do let me hear your voice and your feelings regarding this topic, this most personal story of my life.


Treatment and Prevention of Child Sex Abuse; Knowledge is Power!

As reported in my last blog articles, the statistics are frightening in the number of children that are sexual abused by pedophiles. I did report on these numbers as well as the dysfunctional behavioral patterns exhibited by the victims of this horrific crime. Sexually abused children may develop the following behavioral dysfunctions;
– Unusual interest in or the avoidance of all aspects of a sexual nature
– sexual acting out on other children
– Unusual disclosures focusing on their genitals
– Depression and withdrawal from friends and family
– Excessive anger, rage and oppositional behaviors
– Soiling or wetting problems
– Sleep problems and nightmares
– Seductiveness or sexually abnormal behavior
– Resistance to school and a decline in academic performance
– Excessive masturbation

Sexually abused children and their families as well need an immediate professional evaluation and treatment of the assault. A child therapist can provide the much needed treatment for this wounded child and help to minimize the effects of the abuse, recover and heal and eventually overcome the trauma. Recovering the child’s self esteem, coping with their feelings of guilt with the ultimate goal of reducing the risk that the child will develop significant dysfunctional behavior as an adult are reasons for treatment. A treatment strategy called, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy has been used to treat the depression associated with this sexual violation and is short term therapy lasting from 12 to 16 sessions. Individual sessions with the child and with the parent is a focus with relevant joint sessions. During this therapeutic intervention, psych-education is provided about the impact of the child’s trauma as well as relaxation training and, importantly, parental skills training. Cognitive processing or changing perceptions of negative thoughts are provided and importantly the child is given the opportunity to verbalize this tragic experience. The key to successful treatment is the therapists skills and ability to tolerate discussing and understanding the child’s sexual violation. A safe, nonjudgmental environment is crucial for this therapeutic intervention to be successful. With compassion and support, well seasoned clinicians can facilitate the counseling goal of learning to cope with the grief that the child is experiencing along with anger, fear and sadness.

Family involvement and support is crucial in the treatment of sexually violated children. Treating a child in isolation is not productive and the outcome will not be successful. Parents need therapeutic support as well and, most of all, knowledge will give the parent the power to understand the impact of this sexual violation of their child and how they need to react and nurture. An emotionally damaged child usually only spends one hour a week with their therapist but then must return to the family for love, support and appropriate parenting the remainder of the week.

What can we do to prevent this vicious crime and lessen the chance of sexual abuse happening to our own little angels? I will attempt to provide some proactive strategies for review;

*Heed very close attention to your child. Learn to understand the “language of their eyes.” Pay attention and become an expert in your capacity to recognize your child’s reaction to unusual events such as when they are frightened or hiding something and when they need assistance but are fearful in asking for help.

*Do not over-react to situations because you might increase your child’s reluctance to reveal when something is frightening or shameful.

*Plan on checking in on your child’s events, lessons, sports practices, play dates at unexpected times. The rationale for this suggestion is that if there is, indeed, a predator in that environment, this person will be most conscious of your presence and will not risk getting caught doing anything inappropriate . As described in an earlier blog article, pedophiles do “groom” their prey or victims quite skillfully.

* Do tell your child, in age appropriate terms, that “If someone tries to touch your body and do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, say No! to that person and immediately tell me.” Make sure that they know that they will not get into trouble and the truth is safe with you.

*Do teach your child that respect does not mean blind obedience to adult and authority figures. Instruct them that if they are told to do something that does not feel good to immediately report this to you.

In essence, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs should be provided in all schools and community organizations and parents should promote the existence of such a prevention approach to reduce the number of victims of this horrible crime. Pediatricians and Family/Primary Physicians should also work towards the promotion of these programs for parents and children. In addition, parents should be cognizant of the behavioral symptoms outlined in this article as well as in previous blog articles on this site. If there is any suspicion of child sexual abuse, parents should seek a psychological consultation to rule out the occurrence of this incident. Knowledge is Power!

Please do let us hear your voice to this blog since I do so want to know your feelings.

Child Sex Abuse: A Hidden Epidemic? ………KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!………..


As promised in my last article, CHILD SEX ABUSE: PLEASE DON’T BLAME THE VICTIM! which was widely read, I am now providing the statistics or numbers on this sexual epidemic as well as the emotional outcome to the child.  If this were a medical rather than a psychological incident, sexual abuse would be officially labeled an epidemic and people would be using masks or seeking vaccinations. The use of the term “epidemic” is not relevant  if merely one child is violated however, it is an epidemic in the eyes of the victim as well as the family.  Indeed, child sex abuse is a widespread problem with statistics of one in four girls and one in six boys who are violated sexually before the age of eighteen. It has been reported that up to 80,000 cases per year do occur in our own country.  Unfortunately, the majority of sexually violated children, only one in twenty cases, are identified and reported to law enforcement agencies. These hidden victims or children are not provided with mental health support, legal representation and bear lifelong emotional scars. These scars are exhibited as a disruption in child development and significant anxiety, depression (related to Post Traumatic Stress Depression) and future drug and alcohol addiction to anesthetize the profound pain and trauma.

When silence is exhibited by the sexually abused child, the pedophile may be someone the child trusts and admires and has difficulty perceiving that person in a negative way. The child tends to blame his or her self and could be fearful of the threatening actions of the pedophile to harm the child or the family if disclosure occurs.

This horrific violation of a child’s body and spirit provokes feelings of powerlessness in the child and precipitates a belief of having little control over the actions or outcomes. The abuse of the child in being used as a sex object to satisfy the pedophile’s psychotic needs is a casual factor in the belief of the child that he or she  is worthless, devalued and these feelings result in lifelong dysfunctions in the establishment of intimate relationships as an adult. Sexual abuse causes children to believe that this violation of their undeveloped bodies is their fault and they tend to blame themselves for this hideous crime.

Child sexual abuse not only robs children of their precious childhood but can have long term emotional effects that are evidenced when they reach adulthood such as; depression , anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, self destructive behaviors such as cutting and the probability of being sexually re-victimized as an adult.  A young victim may become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults or become overly sexualized , overly aggressive , a fixation or addiction to pornography  and finally, suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The causal factors of these dysfunctional behavior patterns is the attempt to exhibit some control over their life, self hate, anger at the world that doesn’t protect them, anesthetizing their emotional pain and escaping from the reality of sexual violation.

No child is physically and  psychologically prepared to cope with repeated premature sexual stimulation and survive without prominent and destructive outcomes. As noted in the research, even a three year old child, who barely knows that sexual activity is unnatural at that stage of development, will display  dysfunctions as a result of the inability to cope with the over stimulation.

It is hoped that these words and statistics will enlighten and provide a deeper understanding of this epidemic of child sexual violation. In my next article on this topic, I will be providing readers with research and information on intervention and prevention of child sexual abuse. Please do let me hear your voice and opinions which may also help others who could be directly or indirectly effected by this epidemic. There is no mask nor vaccination to prevent this criminal behavior inflicted on our “little angels”, only  the use of the motto,  ” Knowledge Is Power”, our only weapon to defend and protect our children.






Please do not call this beautiful, tearful victimized child a slut, a pervert or a sex object, names that fathers,  bullying classmates and others have labeled children who are the sex objects, rather than human beings, of pedophiles. I am basing this blog on a real victim of this horrific sex crime that occurs regularly and society blames the victim unless she has been bruised, bloodied and batterer by her predator. This victim was not violently attacked but “Groomed” by the pedophile, a well practiced technique to capture their prey. In my next blog, you will be provided with astounding statistics on the frequency of this crime.

What is this thing called “Grooming” ? Pedophiles will locate a site such as a school yard and observe and target his next victim based on his  innate sense of observing behavioral  clues indicating patterns of loneliness, peer rejection and, of course, sexual attractiveness and appeal. This victim, of which I speak, is an exceptionally attractive, mature,  very young teen with a warm and trusting behavioral characteristic.  During the grooming process, the pedophile will befriend his victim as well as those who surround her but keeps his “eye on the prize”, the victim.  Fake trustworthiness is developed in which he  secretly ,subtly and gradually escalates to a level of intense trust and friendship with his prey. Boundaries  are tested and risks are taken in moving in for the kill by entering her social circles such as crashing a social event amongst other befriended children. The introduction of drugs and alcohol can be another weapon in capturing his prey and provoking uninhibited behavior. It should be noted that a pedophile, who maintains the appearance so close in age to his victim and her peers, utilizes this as distinct advantage and may precipitate a romantic relationship in order to seduce this child into a new and inexperienced world of sex. A youthful, attractive photo of this particular pedophile has appeared in an earlier blog on this topic after his capture by the police. Indeed, a mature man is seducing a child with a brain that is not completely developed to understand and formulate the judgement for such actions.

In addition to the introduction of drugs and alcohol to a child, pedophiles may use pornographic materials, love messages, photos and  enticing notes for his victim. Ultimately, this perpetrator had captured his prey, introducing  sexual experiences and most of all , used his emotional weaponry , using bullets of fake love, social acceptance, compassionate understanding and ego enhancing strategies to debilitate his prey. Most children who are victims of child sex abuse are desperately  seeking the love and support that is not provided within the family. They are hungry for someone to adore them, listen to them and provide them with total attention and  ego validation that they so need but are denied. This pedophile did fulfilled all of these dreams with insincere love , sexual attention and excitement into an empty and lonely life. Now, this pedophile will go in for the kill and capture his prey, one of many that this primitive hunter has  destroyed.

This story does not end happily since the child instinctually feels the discomfort of this unnatural relationship and the pedophile uses his ultimate bullet to destroy the victim. He uses his weapons of guilt, fear and threats to “bullet proof” his crime. In this story, the victim appears to have suffered from the “Stockholm Syndrome” in which an innocent  prey tends to identify with her captor. She begins to develop strong feelings of false love and attachment and the need to obey his directives related to his self protection if ever discovered by the authorities. This perpetrator did have a history of serial sexual abuse since the prior victim was a ten year old, male family member and, hence he  understood well the consequences of being captured rather than  that of his prey.

Due to the love and support of a devoted mother ,as opposed to a father that displaced his  rage and anger on his daughter in labeling her “slut”, this child did find the courage to assist the police in locating and arresting this pedophile. She, indeed, protected potential victims from this evil demon who, as clinical research documents, will repeat his crime and hunt for yet other victims. Unfortunately, our legal system protects the perpetrator and not the victim by sentencing this criminal and rapist to under two years in prison with a lifetime of emotional imprisonment of the victim. Yes, he will be released  shortly and begin his hunting and grooming activities once again. Parents, do beware! There are thousands of demons just like this sexual hunter in your child’s world.

In my next articles on this topic, I will share with you the symptoms and suffering of children who are victims of sex abuse as well as share my research on the  statistics of this crime and, importantly, the  prevention of this horrific crime. Do share your feelings on this blog and let me hear your voice!