I see now that they also had to put on a mask, to pretend, to hope that no one asked deeper questions.
This need for clarity and understanding and precise language stretches far beyond explaining sexual orientations to children.
At 16, no longer willing or able to endure any further abuse, I ran away from home.
As I testified, I could see the hate in his eyes.
The way it should be.
Over and over, I needed to recount memories of the abuse in order to accept and let them go.
For the first time, my tears began to flow.
Locking bathroom and bedroom doors, out of fear that someone would attempt to enter and violate me, was common.