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I guess you could say I was a pretty successful real estate agent. I won my company’s annual sales award three-times. I was single, I liked to dress well, and I knew that a lot of people looked up to me. But I also carried around a secret that was eating away at me. When I was young, I was sexually abused by my mother’s live-in boyfriend. He moved in with us when I was six. He treated me like a little princess, took me special places and bought me things. When I started reading about child sexual abuse, I found out that’s what’s called “grooming the victim.” By the time I was eight, he was sexually abusing me a lot. When I turned eleven, he told me our “special times” were going to stop because I was old enough to have my own boyfriend. Now, I realize that he stopped because I was entering puberty. Despite a few nightmares now and then, I thought I was doing ok with the memories of the abuse and effects of the trauma. It wasn’t until my best friend gave birth to a baby girl that I started to feel anything – and then it was like a floodgate of emotions were released. I couldn’t sleep or eat, and started missing work. I finally called a service that offered support and counseling. They told me it wasn’t too late to report to police if I wanted to. They also said that, when I’m ready, they’ll even help me tell my Mom what happened all those years ago.