Author: M. A Moorer
Shh…don't tell-these words, spoken by her father, mark the beginning of a cycle of abuse that darkens the author's childhood and teen years.
The men in Michelle's life were supposed to love, guide and protect her. Instead, her father, Jacob, a heroin user and alcoholic, begins molesting her when she is just a small child. Once he has gone, her mother's alcoholic and verbally abusive boyfriend, Brent, finds out about Jacob's mistreatment of Michelle and begins abusing her as well.
To add to the hurt, family members ridicule and demoralize Michelle and her siblings as they grow up-punishing them because of their mother's past. Most devastating of all is betrayal by the one person whose love should have been unconditional: Michelle's mother knows that both her husband and boyfriend have abused her daughter, yet she ignores the situation.
The abuses go on for years, making Michelle feel embarrassed and ashamed of herself, as if it were her fault. She loses her self-esteem, becomes depressed, and even has thoughts of suicide. Like many girls who have suffered from abuse, she also has sex at a young age.
Shh... Don't Tell
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