Tonight's special guest is Nicole Decroix from Allenport, Pennsylvania, a survivor of childhood emotional abuse, neglect and maltreatment. Growing up disabled in a small cat-filled house with her mother, father and two brothers, Nicole couldn't get any food or drink on her own, and was dependent on her neglectful mother for nearly all her needs. "My father worked in the steel mills for years then lost his job," she says. "The earliest abuse I remember was being the tub and my mother would dump cups of water over my head to rinse the soap out I would feel like I was drowning." She goes on, "Being disabled, I'm incontinent, so I wear diapers. My mother would leave me in them for as long as she could. I had to learn to change myself." Nicole says the bug-filled house was filthy and it smelled like cat pee all the time. "There was also a lot of emotional abuse. She would tell me I was lazy and that if I lived on my own I would never make it. A lot of my needs weren't met. I couldn't get any food or drink on my own." She couldn't be in her wheelchair because the house was so small .. "so I sat on the floor or my bed." But in 2011 one of her brothers passed away, and six months after he died she decided to leave. "I went to live with my dad. Mom had kicked him out a few years earlier." That turned out to be a smart move. "I stayed with him a while," she says, "and then I got my own place and I am living on my own now. I cut my family out of my life." She's gaining a new perspective on her life now, and NAASCA welcomes her to the family. "In the future," Nicole reports, "I would like to start helping survivors."
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