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I was born in Midland, Texas to a young couple. As an infant, I was taken from my mother and father and placed into the foster care system for about a year. I was blonde haired and blue eyed; very adoptable. My parents did not give me up. As a toddler, I was adopted out, placed into a middle-class, godless, alcoholic, and very violent home. The father figure in the home was a devout and open atheist. The mother figure, a sadistic and very cold narcissistic type. Financial security for a time is all these two had to offer me. These individuals had no business taking me into their home. Adopters are presumed to be held to a higher standard and yet they are not. And when stories like mine unfold, I find that the common theme is that it was never the adopters fault unless the children are killed or the adopters are caught torturing these children. They did not parent me but rather exploited me for their own selfish gain and although I've cut off all contact, the mother figure still exploits me and my daughter to this day. They did not raise me, instill morals, teach self-respect, good will to others, they did not encourage healthy boundaries, and they did not prepare me for life.

At around the age of three, I began being molested by much older children, friends of the family. From the time I can remember, drunken physical fights were the norm and firearms were pulled out during these fights on a few occasions. The aggressor was typically the mother figure. I was close to the father figure at a young age, close to their son who was 10 years older than me and had close relationships with a couple of other family members. The mother figure was cold and distant towards me my entire life. She was degrading and abusive in psychological ways when I was a child. By the age of 10, the mother figure began to transfer her transgressions onto me. It started with her busting my nose into a bloody mess and it escalated to almost daily physical and verbal attacks. If she perceived a challenge to her authority, I was attacked. If I used her nail clippers, I was attacked. If I looked at her or didn't look at her, I was attacked. The father figure had a duty to protect me but instead he willingly allowed me to be the target and often participated in the attacks. Any closeness that existed between me and their son and me and the father figure ended at this time. From the age of 11 until I finally got out away from them at the age of 16, I was tormented. My first suicide attempt was at the age of 12. I was sexually active and began drinking heavily by age 12. Cutting my arms became a form of relief during much of this time.

The school counselor in junior high was very concerned about me because I came to school with physical marks. One day, after the father punched me, this counselor saw my cheek swollen and bruised and called CPS. CPS came out to the home and shut the case down as soon as it began. This agency that put me in this home did nothing to help when these people became a threat to my safety.

The mother figure continued to abuse me in many ways over time until I became educated in what was happening, learned about cluster b personality disorders, the patterns of abuse by individuals with these types of personality disorders, and I found that many others had been through the same thing. The psychological torture is worse than the physical abuse. I was raised to hate myself and to have no self-worth. I was told on a regular and constant basis in more ways than one that I would never amount to anything, that I was no good, and I was shown in more ways than one that I did not belong and that I would never be worthy. I was thrown out to the wolves with no life skills, with no guidance, and as I got older, my weaknesses were exploited by this family despite the fact that it was this family that created the weaknesses.

Today I recognize these things. I prefer to refer to these abusive types as being possessed by wicked spirits. There’s a spiritual aspect to the abuse that takes place that cannot be measured by psychology. This woman criticized me at the age of 12 for being saved at a church revival. She mocked and ridiculed my choice to wear boots and wrangler jeans. Every aspect of who I was and what I chose to do was put down, good or bad. I turned to alcohol like they did. I smoked cigarettes like they did. Pornography was left laying around the house from the time I can recall. These two walked around nude around me from the time I can recall. The mother figure did other sexually abusive things that I will not even go into here. I was not raised to respect my body or my soul. I was not taught that I had value or to know that my body was God’s temple and to keep it pure. When I say this home was Godless, it was in every sense of the word. It’s a miracle that I did get to know and accept the Lord Jesus Christ.

The general public assumes that children are adopted into good homes. They assume they are entering a home with parents that are committed to loving them like they are their own. However, I cannot tell you how many times I come across stories much like my own and ironically, often, the abusive adopter is the mother figure. Today, I know who I am and I know that these individuals are not and never were my mother or my father. The presumption that by altering facts on a birth certificate and switching out the parents' names can make these adopters a child's parents is nothing more than a fallacy. - Tracie Lashawna