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Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) - 2423

  • Broadcast in Self Help



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Tonight's special guest is Maryellen Spoonhower from Berkshire, New York, New York, a NAASCA family member who's telling her story with us as a 'special guest' for the first time. She shares, "I grew up with 5 siblings. I believe if you were to ask them to describe our upbringing, they would tell you a story of life in the country with many happy experiences, and being raised by our father who loved and cared for his children and was admired by many in our community. My story is quite different. It goes more like this... As a very young girl my mother drove away leaving me to the hands of the man who ripped my childhood from me and tore at my soul with years of sexual abuse. I lived in fear and shame." She goes on, "I do not know what causes a predator to choose one child over another, but I do know that as a child I internalized it as: 'There must have been something wrong with me.' I thought that I must not have been as valuable as my siblings and I was not deserving of being loved or protected." Through many years of counseling, education and her own experience, Maryellen shares the long-term effects of Child Sexual Abuse CSA). Her list is lengthy, and not limited to: depression, anxiety, abandonment, relationship issues, grief, eating disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and a life of constant vigilance. She relates, “As an adult, I often find the strength to get by in the eyes of my four beautiful children. Now as young adults, they and their children continue to be my greatest blessing. … I can share, too, the fact that I am a survivor and my dream is to impart hope and a sense of strength in others! I have a voice and I will share my story.”