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Tonight's special guest is Judy Cagnemi from Suffolk County, Long Island, a child abuse survivor and blogger at One Woman's Adventure Through Life and Recovery. Today she says describes a beautiful life, and is grateful for her family, home and career. But, she writes, "For most of my life, I didn't see things this way. I was filled with rage and self-hate." Her mother, bruised and battered by Judy's father, turned up on her maternal grandparents doorstep when Judy was an infant. She continues, "My mother made it clear she never wanted me. I suffered neglect and emotional abuse from her." She was physically abused by her grandmother, " .. and much later on I realized I was sexually abused by my grandfather. When my mother remarried and took me to live with her and my stepfather, the emotional abuse got much worse. I was a victim acting out for decades by abusing myself with alcohol, drugs, engaging in physically and emotionally abusive relationships and making incredibly bad choices." As an adult Judy was in therapy for over 20 years for depression and emotional child abuse and neglect before uncovering the sexual aspects of her trauma. "The door that kept the memories locked behind it was opened when I found out that my perpetrator raped a child," she says. "Since the door was opened, memories have been springing forward and it feels as though they are happening now rather than 30+ years ago. It's a strange reward for being in a better mental state." She goes on, "My mind must feel that I am finally able to accept the memories of what happened and recover from it." She concludes, "Along the way, I turned from the victim I was to the survivor I am today. I look forward to sharing how that miracle happened for me."
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