Intro:

	This letter was written to my mother at the beginning of my
'return to healing' in October or November of 1996. It was very difficult
to write this, and then to go through with sharing it with her, but I am
glad that I did. 


Dear Mom,

	It has been on my heart to talk to you about what this letter
contains, but I have always been afraid. I have been afraid of many things
but mostly afraid of losing your love. I love you so much and never want
to hurt you. This letter may hurt you, but that is not my intent. My
intent is to be able to talk to you about something that I have kept
secret from you for about four years.
	I think that you know that I am not like most people. I cannot put
something in the back of my head and forget about it. I believe that you
and dad raised me with a conscience, and I am glad that you did. That is
why I so desperately need to share this with you. I feel as if even though
you love me now, you don't really love me. It is not because of you
though, but rather me. I don't feel that you can love me unless you know
who I am and what has happened to me.
	I have cried so many times over this, but that does not fix. I
have talked about it. I have talked to counselors, pastors, friends,
relatives, and of course Brian, but I feel that this is something that I
really need to share with you. You are so wonderful to me, and I often
wonder if you would be so wonderful if you knew...me.
	Four years ago I was with Rick and Ruth, you probably remember.
They helped me through a lot of things, but now I have been left with
something that causes me to cry a lot, and it has made me anxious of a lot
of things. I have tried to just hide it and keep it to myself, but that
has not worked. It always seems to creep back. I feel that telling will
cause more harm than good and that instead of subjecting anyone to it, I
should just deal with it myself. But I can't. I need your help and love.
So, I am taking a risk. I hope that you understand, and still love me...I
will always love you.
	Rick started by just touching my hand, or giving me a back rub. I
was so deep in depression that I felt that someone really cared for me.
The things that he did, I let him do, and I hate myself every day for
that. I wish that I knew what was going on, I really don't know who I was
then.
	He then started kissing me, he said that it was okay for brothers
and sisters to kiss like that. Then one day, I was very depressed and he
came in to be with me. He took my hand and had me touch him. I immediately
began hyperventilating. I felt as if I was a child and he was caring for
me, but he wasn't. He apologized immediately for what he had done, but yet
he continued.
	He went into touching my breasts, he would come in at night and
touch me. I wouldn't say a word. I don't know what I would have said. I
don know that I didn't like it and that I did say something because he
wrote me a letter apologizing for touching me in ways that a big brother
should not touch. I keep that in my mind because I sometimes wonder if it
really happened and if it did happen, was it all my fault.
	He did have sex with me. He said that he was afraid that I would
go back to Dan, so he was happy to do this for me. I was a believer. I
believed. I stayed. I let him do this, but was it me. I know that it was
not who I am now!
	Mom, I don't have anything to say that could take back those
moments. I don't have anything that I can do to take back what happened.
It never really hit me until a party I went to with Rick and Ruth. We were
there with Don and Beth and a few others and Rick came over and squeezed
my leg. I felt ill. I went home and cried. Then I went to Randy and Krista
and poured my heart out. I told them everything, and then I wrote Rick a
letter.
	In the letter I told Rick that I did not want him to touch me,
look at me, or talk to me. I told him that he needed to tell Ruth and that
he should not be working for Marriage Encounter. He did not do any of
those things. He has had an affair before, and has told Ruth of it. This
he is keeping to himself, pretending as if nothing happened. I am trying
to deal with it. I don't know what to do, keeping it hidden is not the
answer.
	I have prayed to God, many times to forgive me. I feel that he
has. I feel that he has forgiven me for what I did, and that to me should
be unforgivable. I have not forgiven Rick, and I don't know if I can. I
feel as though he took terrible advantage of me. You may not, at first I
thought that I was the one to be blamed for it all. Sometimes I still
think that I am, but I remember that letter.
	This has effected me greatly. When I first met Brian's dad I was
afraid to hug him. I feel uncomfortable around middle aged men. Smells
make me sick, the ones that smell like Rick's calone. All of my fears have
been amplified. My normal goosebumps when I would see bugs has turned into
a frozen fear and all I do is cry. My anxiety at the dentist, and fear, I
feel is amplified. I don't believe that I used to be like that.
	Brian has helped me a lot. He has not pushed me for anything. He
lets me cry when I need to cry, and even if it is over the stupidest
things he still wipes my tears. Sometimes I wonder why God has blessed me
so when I feel that I have screwed up so badly.
	I am tired of living a lie. People think that my life is all
smiles, but it is not. I hurt inside and I need love but I feel that I
can't be truly loved by someone who doesn't know all of this.
	Mom, I hope that you still love me. I need you through this. I
want to know that you love me, to go back to when you would just hold me
and rock me. I don't want to lose you, I hope that you can forgive me. I
love you!


					Your Daughter,

						Terra

When I told my mother all of this her first words were "I will never not
love you...this is not your fault". She could have reacted many different
ways, but I was very lucky in that she understood and loved me. I hope
that if you ever take this step, you too will find someone who has
compassion. If the opposite happens, know that I am here that others who
truly know you are here and that you are loved.



Intro: I received this letter after I told Ruth or what Rick had done from me. It was hand delivered by Brenda, who was there with Ruth and I when the truth was told. Ruth gave it to Brenda so that she could read it and decide whether or not to give it to me. Here is what Ruth said... Dear Terra, I shall not expect you to have to contact me or see me any further unless you wish to. I also want to let you know that I will in no way ever attempt to contact you or your family again, unless I hear from you first. I say this because I want to do anything that I can to ease your burden. I wish to offer my most deep and humble apology for the pain that I have caused in your life when I first came to know you. I should have minded my own business-then perhaps that pain would have never occurred. I truly resolve to do better in what future life I am granted and I ask your forgiveness. I understand that I may never hear back from you, but please know that if there is anything that I can ever do to make amends to you that I shall consider myself indebted as such, so long as it does not cause any harm to anyone. I am so sorry, so deeply sorry-I did not know-thank you for telling me. Sincerely, Ruth H. I was very angry when I got this. Not at her, not at all, but rather at him. I cannot believe that she is blaming herself for this. It makes me so angry! I wrote to her back and told her that I loved her and that she did nothing to hurt me. I told her that he hurt me, and her, and that HE is the one responsible for any grief caused and that she is not to blame. I told her that I appreciated her concern in giving me privacy and that for now that would be best, but that I still hold her as a friend and that I hope that we can one day embrace each other. We both have healing, and the cause of our pain stems from him. It makes me angry that she wants to take responsibility for the sick actions or her husband. She is a beautiful, wonderful, giving, and loving person and I pray that she could only know that....I cry to think that she blames herself for this pain. Know that when I told her that her reaction could have been the complete opposite of what it was. I was prepared for anger, denial, and compassion. I was not prepared, however, for the way she did react. She reacted in shock...which is only understandable. I never thought of that reaction though so I took it badly and it took me awhile to get through her self blaming. I want you to know that if you ever decide to do this, talk to your therapist before, if not your therapist then a good friend. I did not do this alone, my therapist led me along with a support group. I had two people present, who were mediators if you will, that helped see us both safely through. If you do decide to do this, know that I am incredibly proud of what you are to do. It is very difficult, and very courageous of you....I am rooting for you!


Intro: After the letter I receive from Ruth, a lot of anger and frustration stemmed. I am not one to get angry, so it 'boiled' inside of me for me time. In the midst of going through the Courage to Heal book I came across another writing assignment. This one was to write a letter to the one who had hurt me. Here is what I wrote... Rick, I would have started with 'Dear' but that just doesn't seem appropriate at the moment. Right now the only thing that seems appropriate is 'why'. It is the one thing that I have been asking myself for a long long time.... Why did this happen to me...why did I let it happen...why didn't I see...why did I trust you in the first place...why did you do it...why didn't you stop...why didn't anyone help me....why...why...why? You know, it keeps on like that. Not every day, thank God for his love, it has slowed. But often the question comes...why? You know, at first I wanted to know the answer to that question, and I wanted you to explain it...but not any more. I have come to the conclusion...now...that I have wasted enough of my emotions and self on you. You said 'actions speak louder than words', well, Rick, your actions have displayed themselves to me. Your words said that you cared, your words said that you loved me, your words said that you wanted to protect me, your words said that I was important and special, your words...they were all just words, they mean nothing...they are void, absolutely undeniably nothing. Your actions showed that you not only didn't care about my body...but you didn't care about my emotional well being. Your actions showed me that you didn't love but you just wanted to make love to me. Your actions showed me that you weren't there to "protect" but rather violate every aspect of my being that was left. Your actions showed me that I was nothing but a piece of meat....no piece of meat is special or important, especially a piece that has been chopped up, run through the grinder a couple of times, and then left to rot. Your actions show me that they were just actions, nothing else, null and void of meaning. They were absolutely empty of anything that is to be important to me. Right now I am important to me, you can no longer take that away...ever. You thought that you had me, you thought that you could get away with this sick and perverted attempt of 'helping' me, but you aren't. I am not letting you. You are one sick asshole and I am calling it. I pray that God will hear my cry's and know just how much sickness you have. I hate you, I hate you. I hate you for doing this to me. I hate you for trying to make me think that it was me who was taking advantage. I hate you for denying it. I hate you for causing so much grief in my life and the lives of those I love and care about. I hate you for all the many tears that I have shed to get all of this shit out. I hate you for letting me in enough to love your family and friends and then for doing something so vile and degrading that it caused me to shame myself into a fog of loneliness and depression. I hate you for what you stood for. I hate you for saying that you loved me. I hate you for saying that you cared about me. I hate you for your hands, I hate you for your lips. I hate you for the dick that you couldn't control. I hate you for your mind, in all of its sickness. I hate you for making me doubt in a God who cares for me. I hate you for making me have to forgive you for all of these things. So now the question comes...why? You know, I want to forgive, on the other hand I want to kill you for the sick bastard that you are and for the sick bastards that put me into your hands in the first place. But I know that forgiveness is the way, so, is there a way to forgive and still hate? Is there a way to forgive and still have all of these feelings inside of me? Is it possible to forgive a man for causing so much torment, am I held responsible for that? The answer is yes. You know, I have been through a hell of a lot. I feel that I can use the word hell because that is what it feels that I have been going through. Maybe one of the hardest things of all of this is the forgiveness. Yes, the hardest is definitely the forgiveness. I have a little voice in the back of my head saying to forgive you for until I do that you still have a handle on me. Well, I hope that the handle is slippery because I am strong enough now to say that I am not ready to forgive you. Not yet. I know, though, that God is there to help me forgive...as he has helped me to get through this. I know that I need to forgive because God is the one who will pass judgment onto you, and I just want to say that I am glad I am not you because I know how God feels about little children and the care that they receive. I am hoping that I will find his love enough not to have these hard feelings against you. But you know what, if you hadn't done this to me these hard feelings wouldn't exist and I am going to just play them out. I will be praying...you won't have a handle on me buddy...not ever again. You need serious help, now. Don't you ever do this again, and if you do...I don't even want to think about the consequences. You don't deserve what you have. Right now I don't feel your mother deserved to give you life...but only God knows what is up. He knows the hate I have for you right now too, so I am not going to deny it or play it down...it is there and you are going to know that I feel sorry for you. You are a very sick and sad person. And, yes, I am proud to say that I hate you. I didn't send this, I didn't even sign it. There are days, however when I want to just put it in the mailbox and watch it fall through the slot. I still have a lot of hate for this man, I hope you can understand why. I turn to this letter, and when I read it I have a sense of understanding and release for my anger. It is okay to be angry...I know that I need to get angry to heal.