I don't have any excuse for what I allowed to happen to my children. It is decades later and my daughter, especially, still suffers from the abuse she endured. I can't imagine how it happened that I, a normally sensitive and loving parent, drew a blank and allowed myself to be convinced that I was doing the right thing. In the face of the obvious fact that "the Program" wasn't working, I persisted in sending my children back when they ran away. In the face of the obvious fact that things were not right, I, an intelligent, educated person, stood in parent groups and "shared" and listened to things that should not have been shared nor heard. I saw the anguish my children were feeling and somehow convinced myself that this was going to save their lives.
I know that my children, who have children of their own now, understand on some level that I was just as duped as they were and that I meant only to try to help them, but I feel a personal sense of shame. I am guilty because I was the one who made the decisions. I am glad that, in spite of the horror of Straight, that both of my children have survived.
The only thing I did right where Straight was concerned is that when my daughter failed to 7-Step after years of ups and downs and after a period of doing as well as she possibly could considering where she was, I said, come home, enough. I am only sorry I didn't do it the first day I walked through the door of the Building.
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