Tonight's special guest is Malisia (Mia) McKinney from Jasper, Indiana, a child abuse survivor and abuse advocate. "Sexual abuse deceives a child's mind in many ways," she writes. "I often look upon it as being placed in a concrete cell with no windows or doors, packed full of people I could not trust. As the years went on the people of the cell multiplied, but the room became smaller. When I became an adult I didn't know how to think outside that cell until someone before me showed me the secret door to freedom." Mia knows what she's talking about. "I was sexually and physically abused by my mother and other family members," she says. "My mother used to say to me, 'If you tell anyone they will take you away and kill you. They will believe your evil and (you) made me do it!' I grew up thinking people would hate me if I told." Mia goes on, "When we hold the secrets of abuse it pours out in many aspects of our lives." But Mia turned a corner, "I remember the first time I told. I was shaking on the inside and wondered if my world would end. In fact, my world did end! My posture changed! I no longer had severe headaches! The world my abuser built for me came down and I slowly crawled out from the rubble. I began to grow into who I was meant to be before the abuse shadowed everything in my life." Eight years into her healing journey Mia writes, "No, it’s not going to be easy, but I promise the outcome is worth the effort." She concludes, "Remember you are not alone. There's a group of courageous men and women, survivors on the same journey, who will gladly take your hand and lead you out of that cage."
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