This is not a story of chronic or dramatic abuse and neglect. It is a sad little story of a normal child, born to normal parents, and of one event that affected her life forever, robbing her of the life she could have led, robbing her parents of the relationship they should have had with her both as a child and an adult.
Names have been changed and locations omitted but the events themselves have not been disguised – it stands as a true story. The subject has chosen not to tell her parents her story of why they had the child they had. She does not want them to know the emotional traumas she endured and the losses they experienced as a result. She says it is too late: they are too old for the suffering and trauma to be of any benefit to their lives. Rather, let them live in peace.
Karen’s story has been shared therapeutically and permission to reproduce it here is given. The only request is that if, by the tiniest chance, you recognise enough of the stories told here to identify Karen, please respect her confidentiality and decision not to share this with her parents, should they still be alive.
Karen was not abused or neglected. The parenting she received was normal as far as normal can be described. But something happened when she was very young that was to affect her emotional development. It was a common enough event but one that produced an abnormal reaction. This is the story of how Karen, as an adult, came to understand what happened, her childhood reaction and the long term consequences. It’s a story that might scare parents; it’s a story some might recognise from their own experience as children; it’s a story that might throw light on the behaviour of some children who are in foster care or known to social services, although that was not Karen’s fate.