Tonight's special guest is Christine Walters from Washington, DC, a survivor of child abuse and neglect who was born in Buffalo, New York, but grew up in Fort Myers, Florida. She's author of the book "Ginny and Me: Reflections of What God Can Do" hoping to help others cope during difficult times. She says, "There are many people who need to let go of pain in their lives and seek God." The book is a deeply personal story about her troubled relationship with her mother, who lived with a severe mental illness. Ginny (her mother) died unexpectedly at Christmas season, and was buried later on Mother’s Day weekend. Abuse is damaging, Christine points out, and comes from cycles of abusive behaviors learned and repeated through generations. "In my case, most of the abuse I suffered resulted from my mother’s mental illness. For my entire life, people told me to excuse my mom’s abuse because she was mentally ill. However, mental illness does not give anyone the right to abuse you (in particular, your child)." Ginny lived in the Buffalo State Hospital through her adolescent years. When released from the hospital at 26 years old, she had Christine. Her dad was thirty years older. Her mother was white, and her father was black. "As a child, I struggled with my mixed heritage. My mom would tell me that white people did not like me because I was black." There was a lot of confusion. "Even from a religious standpoint, I was raised as a Catholic and Baptist." Christine's story is about how faith enabled her to overcome extraordinary struggles, pain, and loss. "Faith, hope, and forgiving the unforgivable through prayer and trusting in God are the keys to healing."
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