Tonight's special guest is Yolanda Cruse from Summerfield, Illinois, a survivor of child abuse and NAASCA family member who's telling her story in public for the first time. She says that sharing and making new friends in our Facebook groups has helped a lot, but that now she's looking forward to using her story to help others. And she tells quite a story! "I don't know how old I was when it started," she writes, "but I remember my mother laying me down for naps, doing things in front of me and making me do things to her as well. My father abandoned us my mother remarried and brought my step dad into the abuse." She goes on, "I lost my virginity at nine years old. This all went on until I was ten and told my cousin. The only reason I told was because they were going after my little sister. After all came out we went to live with our grandparents." Yolanda may have thought that would be the end of it .. but it wasn't. "My grandma had cancer so at ten yrs old I was a 'house wife' who took care of grandma and tried to raise my sister, take care of the house and care for the animals. Grandpa would yell at me and take his bad days out on me." Yolanda was forced into acting like an adult far too early. "I never got to be a child. I had a nervous breakdown and went to live with my Aunt and Uncle. My Aunt beat me everyday, until I finally went to states care until I was 18." Yolanda recently wrote a long 'letter to her family' as a post on Facebook. She hopes revealing her past will help others. "It has taken a whole lifetime to build the courage and gather the right words, and I don't feel any guilt about it. I was so young and innocent."
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