Hello Dr. Laura,
I have listened to you for about 15 years.
I want to share a positive story, one in which I was finally validated by your book, "Bad Childhood, Good Life". I grew up in a very abusive home by a very abusive mother who later I found out was bi-polar. She told me a story of how I was an Rh baby when I was born, the second child she bore and didn't want me. She didn't name me until I was several days old and didn't hold me until then either. She finally did on the word of her brother who had just came back from being shot in the Korean war and was paralyzed from the waist down. She named me for him.
When I was 4, she sent me to live with my great aunt until I was 8. My brother and sister went to my grandparents to live while she pursued a singing career. She was divorced 5 times in her life. Finally, after 4 years she remarried but wanted to let my aunt adopt me. My father would not allow the adoption.
I went back to live with her and my new stepfather and siblings and was treated like Cinderella from then on. I was whipped at 8 years old every time I got the time wrong when my stepfather was trying to teach me to tell time. If I received a "D" on my report card my stepfather and mother would ground me for 6 weeks until the next report card and I could only eat, sleep, do my chores and go to school and study. I had to clean the house on weekends while my mother would go honky tonkin' and get drunk.
Bottom line, it was a horrible home to grow up in. I took on every extracurricular activity I could at school to be away from home as much as I could so I wouldn't be slapped across the room for looking wrong. Finally, at 14, my stepfather tried to molest me. I was lucky and smart enough to get out of the house and waited until my mother returned home on this particular day. I told her of the incident and she told me I was making it up. I was so scared to live in this house but I towed the line and stayed out of the way until I graduated. I felt so abandoned by her all my life.
My real father was given a piece of my mind later in life too about not coming to get me when my mother tried to adopt me to my aunt. He failed me as well. I want you to know that when I finally read your book, I did it on vacation about 5 years ago, I am 63 now. I finally felt validated that what my mother did regarding the attempted molestation was like double abuse. I knew what I went thru was not right but always felt alone in this. Thank you for writing this book; it helped me heal. Better late than never.
I am a mother of 2 sons and never let my mother near them. I lived 3,000 miles away while raising them so they wouldn't suffer negativity from her. I am glad I did. They are now good fathers and husbands. I am proud of them. I put myself in counseling when my boys were small, but your book was the best medicine in the end. I still listen to you each day. Thank you.