Hello, my name is Maria and i am 16, i just wanted to let you know that your new book Invisible Girls has helped me so much. When i was 5 my step-dad started sexually abusing me and didnt stop till i was 15, he is now in jail, yet it only has been 10 months since i told, so its still been really hard for me...after i told, my mother didnt believe me she said her husband could never do a thing like that even though he admitted to some things, after a while she told me i deserved what happened to me because i am so selfish, i couldnt take the way she treated me and i had to get out so now i am in foster care. and its so hard dealing with what my step dad put me through and now moving from foster home to foster home. its hard to talk about my abuse i feel dirty like i could have stopped it so many times yet i didnt...life is just so confusing...i know that one day things will get better and the memories of the abuse will fade but right now i just feel like i am reliving it all over again. I have dreams about my step dad hurting me i also have flashbacks that seem so real it feels like i am going crazy. i just wish it will all end. i like reading your book because it reminds me that i am not alone...so thank you.
Dr. Patti responds:
Wow, your story really touched me.... I am soo so sorry that your mother did not stand by you. As I say in "Invisible Girls" that is the most painful for all girls to deal with. It does sound as if you are safe now and that your step father can not get near you. Keep reminding yourself - He can not hurt you any more. I have known many kids in the foster care system, and I would tell you to be very careful about sex abuse with foster siblings. Remember you have rights, you can tell when anyone touches you in a way you do not want. You do not deserve this. But you sound really bright. It would be great if you could keep up your grades in school and then you could get a scholarship to a college. You are not alone, there are many girls who have been through terrible abuse and they are doing great now. You will too!! Thanks so much for letting me know how "Invisible Girls" has helped you. Keep it close to your heart, and when ever you feel alone, read the girls stories and I hope you will know that you will be fine eventually and you won't have the nightmares or the flashbacks. And by the way, of course you could not have stopped him. You were trapped with out any support. Please stop blaming yourself for any of your abuse! None of it is your fault, none!!
................................Much Love, xo dr. patti.