Tonight's special guest is Donna Mickens Sylvester from Atlanta, Georgia, a returning member of the NAASCA family and a Licensed Practical Nurse who's been in the health care field since 1985. Donna will be telling here story on our show for the second time. She and her older sister were both sexually assaulted by a cousin as youngsters. Donna shares. "I can remember vividly how my abuser would come into my room, put a pillow over my face and rape me," Donna shares. "I suffered in silence for years and when I told family members they said I was lying .. until my sister confessed that it happened to her, too." Donna got married secretly at 18 to escape her family and their home, where her molester would visit. She barely knew her new husband, and certainly didn't love him. Hers was a marriage of convenience. He needed a path to citizenship and she needed to get out of her parent's house. Donna was overprotective of her two daughters, in constant contact with them even after they'd grown older and went off to college. Donna says her fear of them being assaulted or raped caused an unfortunate distance between she and her kids. But, she reports, there's been no love lost with her own birth family. She goes on, "I have hated my blood relatives for years and still do. I have been treated wrongly by this family." Many who share with us describe a disappointing reaction and lack of support from those from whom they'd most like to get it .. their family and closest friends. Fortunately NAASCA members provide a new 'family' through which we establish a new support system. Donna explains, "I call myself the invisible child. I was, and still am, an introvert. I have alot to say. I also went through a period of depression in my early adulthood. But, she concludes, "I have a strong mind and will."
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