Tonight's special guest is Donna (Dee) Wood from West Virginia, a verbal abuse survivor (as both a child and adult) who says she would be honored to tell her story in the hope she could help others. The devastating effects of the abuse lasted for over forty years, through most of her life. The trauma she endured through her mother’s husband brought a partial amnesia. She writes, "I lived on a small farm in a remote part of southern West Virginia. I was a very introverted child, extremely fearful of strangers." Her mother's husband, who she and her brother always called by his first name, Quentin (never Daddy or Dad), had an intense dislike of people. She goes on, "He never talked to us, unless it was to criticize, intimidate or inflict some form of verbal abuse." He sometimes administered severe belt beatings, beyond the necessary punishable offence, if it indeed was an offense. Her childhood trauma led to a difficult life. But Dee's on a better path now. "If I had known that the problems in my life were due to a term referred to as child abuse earlier in my life," she says, "and if I'd received the appropriate counseling and therapy, then my life would have been much easier and better. Yet, I believe if I had not gone through the trauma of those years I would not be the person I am today." Now she's a person who is more accepting, compassionate and understanding of others who have suffered and still suffer from different types of abuse. "I thank the Lord Almighty for answering my prayers to be whole," Dee writes. "I am still recovering, but I feel a lot more whole today."
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