All entries are from emails sent to Cathy, however she cannot be held liable for the validity of the claims made, some of which are very disturbing. Cathy reads and replies to as many emails as she can.
To add your comments, please email:

October 2007

Dear Cathy, I just finished your book Damaged and was so sad, angry and emotionally drained at the end. I was sexually abused from the age of 11 to 16/17 by my step father. The fear of him coming into my room in a morning had me terrified. I would pray at night that i would wake up before he did so i could get dressed and get downstairs. I married at 17 and now have children of my own. My husband works night shifts and when he comes home in the morning he dare not touch me as i freeze, until i wake and realise who it is. We have now been married for 40 years and i still can’t shake that fear off. i know none of it was my fault, i just wish I’d had the courage at the time to do something about it. My step father is now dead (good riddance), i hope he is now where he deserves to be. Not only did I suffer but my son and daughter were sexually abused by a neighbour when they were 7 and 8 years old. We took him to court but he got off. He was classed as having the mind of a 12 year old (that’s how he got the children interested). People like you are extremely rare…Thanks again for writing Damaged. It made me realise how much more suffering there is in the world. If only there was a way to stop it!
Chris, UK 

Dear Cathy. i have just read your book damaged. While reading it i could compare my story to Jodie’s. i really hope that she is doing well and recovering. you are a super carer. I am a foster child but in the past i have not been so lucky with the placements. i have never found the courage to tell any one about it. i was abused in every way as a young child. i have made a statement against my father and i am now starting to do the same against my mother as she has my two younger sisters at home. i hope that one day i will be able to face all my abusers. I’m now in an ok foster home but when there are arguments it brings back a lot of memories. Because of my past i have post traumatic stress disorder. i am now on suicide watch as they are afraid i will kill myself. Some times i just don’t see the point in living any more i have tried to kill myself on more than 4 occasions but only once was i hospitalized. Maybe one day things might get brighter. Best wishes to you are your family, you are a brilliant person.

Dear Cathy, What a lady you are!!!!! I just wish i could meet you and give you a big hug!!! I finished damaged last night, sobbed my heart out! Please can you keep us updated on how Jodie is coping, i send my thoughts and love to you and your family, and especially Jodie!

Cathy, I have just finished reading your book ‘Damaged’. I was unable to put it down and found myself giving my husband an update after every chapter. I am amazed by the strength of you and your family and the work that you do, but I am also angry at the system that allows this to happen to children. Although we do not have the room to become foster carers, I am determined to try and find some way to help other children in a similar situation. I just cannot get the image of Jodie out of my head and cannot comprehend just how parents can treat their children in such an appalling manner. My husband has always said that people should undergo rigorous testing before they are allowed to have children and I am now of the belief that he has a point. I think that if everyone could be made more aware of how often this does happen to children, and if ‘the system’ could make it easier for people to report suspected abuse we may be able to go some way to stopping it happening. You and your family have my utmost respect – you are truly amazing!

Dear Cathy, it took me only 1 day to read your book (damaged), you are an amazing lady. I feel as though i know you and Jodie personally. Thanks again for a very heart felt, touching story…….congratulations.
Izzie, Kent,UK 

Cathy, I’ve just finished your book ‘Damaged’ in less than 24 hours. I just had to contact you. This is without a doubt the most moving book I’ve ever read. Jodie’s story is heartbreaking and her past haunting. It’s hard to believe what she’s had to endure in such a short life. I found your book so moving, not only because of Jodie’s story, but because of the love and dedication that you and your wonderful family offered her. You are an amazingly strong woman, and you must be immensely proud of your children. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

Dearest Cathy, I’m a 23 year old student/employee who has never really thought much about the serious issues of life such as child abuse and fostering, amongst other things. Then I came across your book and found that I couldn’t put it down. I was just so shocked to read about little Jodie and the horrible experiences that she had to encounter. “Damaged” made me realise how sick minded some people can be, and how there are people out there who are suffering but unable to tell anyone, hence so many incidents go untold. Your book has opened my eyes to the issue of child abuse and has made me more aware of how important it is to try and help others where I can. I live in a lovely house with a lovely family, and often get what I want, yet I often complain that I want the material things that I don’t have. After reading about Jodie, I’ve realised how lucky I am and that maybe it’s about time I start appreciating the things that I do have. Cathy, you have written an excellent book, which isn’t just a story, but a true reflection of reality. I would like to say that your book has given me the incentive to do something to help others, and I really hope that many others feel the same way too. Your book brought tears to my eyes but it will not stop me from going back to W H Smith’s to buy your next book, “Hidden.” Its’ a comforting to know that there are lovely people like you out there who help children. Keep up the good work Cathy and I hope you continue to inspire others, just like you have inspired me.
Aman, UK 

Dear Cathy, I have been working in early years for the last 15 years, a childminder, a network coordinator with the NCMA and now as a tutor/assessor for NVQ I have progressed and now am about to finish my degree and have been thinking of Social work. I only hope that if I do this that I will be a much better social worker the Eileen who didn’t seem to care one fig about Jodie or about you as her carer. Your book brought tears to my eyes. I teach Child Protection, and on training course I have attended I thought nothing would shock me any longer, but the traumatic life this poor little girl suffered at the hands of the people who were meant to defend her is unbelievable. I am going to continue to buy your books and follow your insights into what still goes on behind closed doors. Keep up your excellent work. I was glad to read you are still fostering but how you have time to write books amazes me
Caroline UK 

I read damaged and i was touched that you had hit upon issues that in our society don’t really take in. i was in floods of tears reading Jodie’s story. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

Hi, I’ve just read your book damaged and felt the need to say what a brilliant book it was i cant read too well but i read it in 2 days my brother and i were fostered for 8 yrs and we were lucky to get a good home i think what you do is great i would love to know if you ever have Jodie come back to live with you and how well she is doing. I was glad to hear you are still fostering. i hope in time when my children have left home to become a foster mum too.

Hi Cathy! I have just finished your book damaged! which i found was a very emotional read! i could not put the book down! you have great courage! love and understanding! and you have made a life better for the poor child! you should feel very proud of your self! i am just about to start Hidden! good luck to you and your family xxx god bless

Dear Cathy, I picked up your book after my sister (who is a foster carer) had read it and was raving about it. She said it was such a reflection on all the problems she had with communicating with social services herself in respect of one of the children she cares for. She said she was going to recommend your book is put on the reading list for foster carers. I spent considerable time defending social services ( I have been a child protection social worker for the last 7 years) I could not put the book down until I finished it! You are truly a wonderful person and thank you for staying with Jodie, the hardest part I am sure is when you had to let someone else take over, I hope Jodie does stay in touch with you as she grows up. Like a lot of social workers I get frustrated by the restraints imposed on us by the dept we work for, in particular the unsafe volume of caseloads we are asked to manage which obviously impact on the quality of service we can give to each child, it is high time the value of people such as yourself is recognised especially within official meetings. You are after all the one who is living with the child and perhaps its time us professionals opened our eyes a little more. We need more people like you around to challenge us and the departments systems and start putting the NEEDS of the child first. Quite often I feel I am trying to fit square pegs into round holes! I still do my job because if I can make a difference to just one child’s life then it is worth all the frustration I experience for those I can not help. I look forward to reading your other books and will be recommending “Damaged” to my colleagues, it has made me reflect on my own practice!
Kim, UK 

Your book brought tears to my eyes from the very onset. I have a very beautiful 2 year old little girl and whilst she sleeps i just look at her and cry when think that we are unable to protect such innocence. There is one thing we can do, and that is to call on the name of Jesus. This can bring immense inner peace. I am praying for Jodie. Regards,

Finished reading your book damaged at 4.15 this morning having read it all day and most of the night, I could not put it down. I am a prolific reader and I have to say this was the most amazing book I have ever read. It was a touching and emotional story. I cried bitterly at the end through relief. I think that this poor child who had suffered beyond belief was on the road to recovery. Without your love understanding and patience she would have continued to be abused until she most likely would have taken her own life to escape the pain. Without people like you children will continue to suffer at the hands of these evil people. You are a special and remarkable person. Thank god there are people like you. I look forward to reading your next book and Jodie will stay in my mind for a very long time.
Sue, Middlesex, UK 

Dear Cathy, I truly have been touched by your fantastic book ‘Damaged’. You’re a god send to all of the children that are fortunate enough to come into your care. What an amazing woman you are. Really looking forward to the next book ‘Hidden’. You’re an inspiration to all. Carry on the good work. Wish you and your family well
Helen, Liverpool, UK 

Dear Cathy… Oh my god! You and your kids are amazing people who managed to stick together through everything. I’m 18 and, after reading Damaged, I realised how extremely lucky I am to have had such a happy childhood and a family who would never hurt me or my sisters. I hope that Jodie is doing well and will one day be with a family who love her. I cannot wait to read Hidden and Kids in Care; they’ll probably make me cry, like Damaged did. You are a truly amazing person who has helped so many children over the years and is willing to help many more in the future.
Lois, Aylesbury, UK 

Dear Cathy, like many of your readers, I finished your book “Damaged” in less than two days, picking it up at every spare moment I had. I have never ever been so moved by a book. Many years ago (I am now in my 60s), when my own two boys were very young, I fostered pre-adoption babies – when they were discharged from Hospital and prior to their adoption by loving parents who so desperately wanted a baby. The fostering was pure pleasure compared to the harrowing, intensive care which you gave to Jodie. You are an absolute angel and your children have to be commended for the amazing way in which they coped with the many situations which arose as a result of having Jodie within your household. It is absolutely unbelievable that there are such evil, wicked people in this world who can even think about treating a child with such severe abuse – no sentence can be harsh enough for them. It is equally amazing that there are people like yourself who can take on such challenges, and succeed, as you did with Jodie. It does not bear thinking about what might have happened to that poor child had she not been fortunate enough to walk through your door. I can’t wait to read “Hidden” when it is published in a few days’ time, and I wish you all the happiness in the world – you so deserve it.
Jackie, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. 

Dear Cathy, I was in Morrisons looking for a good read when I picked up your book. I was reading the cover when a women behind me said ‘that is an excellent book but it does make you cry,’ so I thought if someone else had enjoyed it that much then I should as well. I bought it and read it within hours, I just couldn’t put it down, it was the most heartbreaking story I had ever read. I remember when I was about 6 or 7 there was a foster family a few doors down from where I lived and I was shocked with the kind of things the foster parents insisted the children did before they could go out to play. That’s what I thought fostering was but your book has changed all my views on fostering. You’re a kind, loving, gentle and caring person that anyone could have as a foster parent. I hope one day I can foster and be the sort of parent you are with both your own children and the foster children. I can’t wait for the other two books to come out. I just wanted to say how inspired I am by you. Thanks for all your time
Lauren, UK 

CG: Dear Lauren, in the past foster carers were simply left to get on with it, and to manage the children they looked after in any way they could. Sometimes when children come into care they have very challenging behaviour so the carer you speak of was probably trying to do control the children’s behaviour as she thought best. Now foster carers are closely monitored and have training to show them how best to manage the children they look after. I am sure if you go ahead you will be an excellent foster carer, Warmest wishes, Cathy x

Dear Cathy, you are amazing, the world could do with more people, Jodie was lucky to find you, i hope she is well. i read your book all one evening and finished it the next morning. I live in a small village and have passed the book around – it’s with its 3rd owner, I’ve now got a waiting list!  Your kids sound amazing too, how well they coped with it all, i really don’t think my kids know how lucky they really are. Social services have a lot to answer for, 2 years ago my husband and I went through a difficult time and he started to abuse me. The police were called and because the kids were there social services became involved and it took me 6 weeks to get rid of them! However someone I know who really couldn’t cope with her cope with her son called the social services in desperation and said ‘take him of I’ll kill him” they said “we’ll send someone round in 2 weeks”! You ask for help and you don’t get it, but you have a family crisis and you can’t get rid of them. Anyway, what an amazing person you truly are.
Vickie, Bristol, UK 

Cathy, I really enjoyed “Damaged” so much i immediately started looking for anything else you had written so i could buy it too thank you for a very enjoyable read.

Just read Damaged. Thank god there are people like you, Cathy.
Brenda, London 

Hi Cathy…your book “Damaged” is an inspiration to all, I never knew a child could incur such things as Jodie had. I am 17 years old and I was truly shocked by what I read and by the end I was in floods of tears. It moved me so much and I can’t wait until Hidden and Kids In Care comes out because then I can read those. I don’t normally read books but I spied your book,  and read the back cover, that’s when I decided to buy it and see what it was like. I couldn’t put it down, as soon as work was over or I’d got out of tech I would sit and read it with music in the background. At this minute my friend is sitting beside me reading it and by the looks of it it’s moving her also. Congrats on writing such a fantastic book and good luck with the other two.
Debbie, N Ireland 

Hi Cathy, Just went through your blog and I think you have already got all the compliments for the work on Damaged. I am from India and had tough time getting the book so gave it a last shot at one of those famous bookstores home delivery numbers in India and got it. I am glad and have been quite disturbed for week now after reading it. Honestly, in our country I have not heard of foster carers. I have not seen families being watched for their behaviour by social workers. I hope  there are some foster carer’s like these saving children in our country as well.  Great work,
Pallavi, India 

Dear Cathy, you are truly an Angel on earth, I read you book Damaged in one day I could not put it down, my heart went to Jodie and all her pain I was in tears, hoping for a happy ending, but real life is not always that way, what you and you family went through, you have some remarkable kids by the way. I hope Jodie finds peace one day, and you a saint hood. With love
Joanne, London 

Hi Cathy. I have just finished reading your book damaged and couldn’t stop crying! It is the most emotional book i have ever read but also a really touching story. It has made me realise just how lucky i was as a child to be loved and cared for. Jodie really was lucky to have a foster carer like you to be there for her, and to love her like she should have been loved from the very start. I really admire foster carers like you Cathy and really am relieved that you have carried on your foster caring for those children out there that need someone like you. I cannot wait for your new book to come out and hope there will be many more of your books.
Clare, East Yorkshire, UK 

Cathy, you have so many messages on your blog, and rightly so. Your book was inspirational, and  touched my heart. You are a truly wonderful lady and I cannot express that enough to you. Your book and Jodie’s heartbreaking story brought tears to my eyes. I am 16 and I can relate to some of what’s in Damaged and I really hope that there’s a lot more angels out there like you that can help children. I found it difficult to read through a lot of Jodie’s story but I am so glad that she came to the help of someone like you, who really did save her life. You should be immensely proud. It’s amazing how love, support and a friendly face can make such a difference to your life. I’ve always thought I want to adopt children when I’m older, but I’m now thinking of fostering too. I really want to help people, but first I have to help myself. I wish I had known someone like you who could have listened, been supportive, hugged me, and been there when I cried. You treated Jodie, Lucy, Paula and Adrian with such love and care, it makes me cry with happiness.  it must be so rewarding to see her improvement and how much everyone’s hard work has helped her. I just wanted to let you know how much I loved your book, you are an excellent writer, and how much your experiences have touched me. There needs to be more people like you because there are too many people that need help but have no-one to turn to. You are an inspiration to me. I hope you and your family are well, kindest wishes,
Emilie, UK 

Hi Cathy, I am reading your book……I only have two words to say “you’re amazing”
Feda, UK 

Hi Cathy, In just two short days, I have finished reading Damaged.  Never have I been so touched by a book.  I have two young girls, 3 and 4 years and could never imagine them going through the same torment Jodie went through.  I have not been able to help myself because all I want to do is hold my children close to me and tell how much I love them.  I am so saddened that parents can do this kind of thing to their children and it is happening all over the world.  You are a truly remarkable woman and I need to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great things you do for the little children out there who don’t have a voice. I wish you all the luck in the world for your future work and thank God for someone so special.
Tracy, South Africa 

Hi Cathy, I’m only 13 years old and have just finished reading your book Damaged. Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. It was a really touching story and after reading the book it made me think about how hard it must have been trying to get Jodie to find to trust in you. You book made me want to consider fostering. I have 2 nieces and can’t stand to think about anyone wanting to hurt them in any way. I can’t wait until your new book comes out. Hope Jodie is getting on fine. Lots of Love xx
Shannon, Scotland 

It was 3:15am when i finished reading Damaged last night; i just couldn’t put it down. I own a company which provides travel for special needs children to and from school, and to take children from the foster homes to meetings with there parents. When reading your book it made me think about the children we provide travel for and what kind of lives they have. Some of the children seem happy but a few have behaviour problems like Jodie. We never get to find out the lives they have had or what makes them this way. When reading the book it made me not only upset but disgusted that any parent could do that to their child as I myself is a parent and would do anything possible to protect and help my children. On many occasions i cried throughout reading the book, and wanted to send you this message to personally let you know that you done a brilliant job, Jodie couldn’t have done it without you and you’re an inspiration to all mothers. After reading the book i feel that you and Jodie are part of my family; you have touched my heart,and i wish i could just give you both a Big Hug that you both deserve! I look very forward to reading all your other books.  God Bless
Marina, UK 

Dear Cathy, I just finished reading your heartbreaking book Damaged.  Jodie’s case was a typical one and the damage could have been avoided if social services worked more carefully and paid more attention. There are so many of these cases happening in the UK  every year  which go undetected, and it was time that someone with you courage and  heart wrote about these victims.  Hopefully this model would serve as an example for some of the people in social services. I can imagine this book was very difficult to write but hopefully it would make society and as I mentioned (social services) work more rigorously in order to help these children. Jodie’s case really touched me,   I shed many tears. I think it will do the same to everyone who reads it, and make them realise that something has to be done for these children who have lived or are living these nightmares. Regards
Eleanor, UK 

HI Cathy, My mum gave me ‘Damaged’ when i went home last and it’s only taken me a day to read. My family are foster carers and the sad and sickening thing is, Jodie’s story isn’t alone. Only 75% of abused children actually tell someone what has happened to them. Your book ‘Damaged’ is so true, I’ve seen cases similar and i can fully understand what you felt. Looking forward to reading you next book and i wish you all the best for the future.
Vicky, Wales 

What a beautiful book about 2 amazing people Jodie and Cathy. Keep up the good work. I wish there were more people like you Cathy!

Hello Cathy, I have just finished ‘damaged’ and cannot believe how much it has affected me. I have been reading this sort of book for some time now but it has affected me more than any others. It makes me (and I am sure anyone else who has read it) want to do something to help.  I feel that I want to get involve with these children myself but wouldn’t know where to start and don’t know if fostering would be the way. I was abused physically as a child though not sexually, and the more I think about it not deliberate either.  My parents had me very young, 18 and 19, and frankly where not ready for children. I was always termed ‘a mistake’ by my Dad who treated me completely different from my sister and always bullied me and punished me for the silliest of things (which included breaking my leg when I was 2 years old by throwing me down the stairs).  I am now 33 and my Dad apologised to me last year when my child was 5 weeks old, and it was also the day of my Granddad’s funeral. Dad said he wanted a fresh start and got really upset. I forgave him and thought it was time to move on.  Just wanted to say Cathy I think you’re a really good person and the world needs more carers just like you, you did your best and you will be rewarded one day I am sure… Wonderful book and I really hope you can go on helping children the way you did Jodie. Thank you and good luck!
Tracie, UK 

Cathy,…the first few pages alone it had me in tears.  I lost my mother and father at a very early age and went to stay with my brother after mum died. The behaviour that I displayed there lead me to be thrown out at the age of 15 as he didn’t want to cope with me.  Your understanding of how a child withdraws when it is feeling pain and feeling rejection moved me immensely, I only wish I had known you when I was 13!! I have gone on in my life to become a healer and have worked closely with abused children.  Their stories they have told me have deeply saddened me.  You Cathy are “an Earth Angel.”   Your love and compassion will reach in and heal where others cannot even touch.  There are times in your book when you said that you felt like you were failing, I just want you to know that your loving intention has helped Jodie along the slow road to recovery.  The love and understanding shown by your family reflects all that you have put into them and the values you have brought them up to believe.  You are an inspiration Cathy. I send my love and healing to Jodie, I “know” that she will be ok and one day she will look back on her life and see the love and help that you gave her. Please keep up the good work with these children; you are an inspiration to us all. Love and light.
Sarah, UK 

Hi Cathy, I have never read such a moving story as Damaged. Having 2 children of my own I could never imagine how anyone could do such things to an innocent child. I was in tears many times throughout the book. You are a strong, caring lady who has devoted her life to others. I wish there were many more like you in this world instead of the evil ones whom abused poor little Jodie. May God bless you and your family, Cathy.
Claire, Northants, UK 

Dearest Cathy, I have just finished reading “Damaged”. For seventeen years I worked as a Child Protection Social Worker. I too saw the “very poor” commitment that some Social workers gave to their casework. Year in year out I worked with kids on the CP Register who suffered from the deprivation of neglect, abuse, self harm. etc etc. I also worked very closely with a number of foster carers who dedicated so much of their time working with the most damaged children. I will always remember one Friday at 6.30pm when I still had not found a placement for two siblings, both of whom had Learning difficulties and had been sexually abused by a school caretaker/foster carer which they had lived with for over three years. I begged one of our short term carers to have them on a short term basis as I could not find any other suitable carer. These children ended up living with this carer for four years! I bet that rings a bell? Sadly one of those children was very badly damaged and had very serious mental health issues as a direct result of her abuse. I thought so much of this client as I read about Jodie. As a parent I feel it is paramount to love, nurture and protect my children so much. Myself and my husband both read Jodie’s story and both cried, especially at the end when you discovered the letter Paula had helped her write. I hope that one day the work you do will become recognised as paramount in the protection of children who are in the care of the local authority. You did all your very best for Jodie and other lucky children that have walked down your garden path! Please keep up the good work for all these kids who so desperately need your support, guidance and protection. My warm regards,
Lisa, UK 

My friend gave me damaged to read and I have to say this book captured me. I couldn’t put it down. I am a mother of 2 and couldn’t imagine how someone anyone could do this to an innocent child let alone her own mother!? I found myself in tears several times reading the ordeal that poor little Jodie had to suffer at the hands of her parents and their sick friends! I did feel your pain and frustration while reading the book, but respected how professional you were at all times as I feel I couldn’t have been so restrained to be honest! I am glad that Jodie found you as you were just what she needed, even though when I wished she could have stayed with you. As soon as I finished the book all I wanted to know was hoe Jodie is doing now and was so happy to find out on your site! Thank you for that and all your hard work over the years for all the children you have helped!
Kellee, London 

Hi Cathy, I read your book “Damaged” in just one day, it was a truly heartbreaking and emotional book to read but couldn’t put it down. You are truly an angel and an inspiration, and what a lovely family you have too, so understanding. I felt so much sadness, pain, disappointment and revulsion reading it, but then there was hope at the end and I truly hope that Jodie has found some sort of happiness in her young life and that she is well, she surely trusted you – God bless her. I presume that you will stay in touch with her forever and my heart truly goes out to her, what an awful thing to happen to someone so young. If it hadn’t been for you and Jill goodness knows what would have happened, I was not impressed with Eileen who to me, failed miserably. I respect and admire you so much for what you did for Jodie and I just hope and pray she is happy. Thank you for sharing your story and lots of love to Jodie.
Eileen, Stalybridge, UK 

Hi Cathy, I think you r a special person, and I hope there are a lot of people like you out there, because this is a horrible world we live in. To think that anyone could hurt a child let alone hurt their own child, makes me nauseated and upset. Damaged was a great read, moving story, hard to believe that it’s true, I wish it wasn’t! I read it on holidays and I couldn’t put it down, and I did nothing but talk about it all week, and cried on the last chapter, so sad. I work as a nurse, and hope to train as a health visitor. In northern Ireland health visitors play a large part in the protection of children and infants between the birth to the age of 16, so I hope that I can take something from your book and keep it in mind. And if I am involved with anyone like Jodie I hope that I can help her before more damage is done. Thanks for the lesson, and I hope you continue the good work, you are a living saint. Take care,
Melissa, N Ireland 

Hello Cathy, I found your book extremely moving and so well written. How anyone can treat a child as in Damaged shows how the Social services sometimes fails. I hope Jodie finds the happiness she deserves. Looking forward to reading many more of your books. Best wishes
R.A, UK 

Hi Cathy, Words cannot describe your devoted love and care for Jodie and all the other children you have loved. You are a true saint! I’m sure I’m speaking for all your readers when I say that we can’t wait to hear how Jodie’s’ life progresses if not in a book but on your website. Can’t wait to read your other publications.
Deb, Birmingham,UK 

Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your book damaged. It left me feeling totally saddened and lost for words really. You showed Jodie so much love, patience, understanding, despite her reluctance and obvious rejection of any normal life. You stirred up emotions in me which i had kept secret for twenty five years. I was abused as a child, and displayed disruptive behaviour. I was very clever at hiding my feelings about the abusers as they were in my family. I suffered for ten years and have a lot of issues with my past. I suffer trichotilamania which involves pulling my hair out and have done that since i was a small child. I developed an eating disorder when i was in my teens, to make me look unattractive – I wasn’t aware that an abuser wasn’t bothered by body image, that its total control and dominance that they have over you. I still feel ashamed, dirty, have a real issue with intimacy, and loathe what i look at every day in the mirror. I just want others to know that although abused children do carry on with their lives, that they still live with the horrors that happened to them on a daily basis. Trust is lost and you never really believe that anyone is sincere. I was robbed of my childhood with both physical and mental abuse by people who were supposed to have loved me. Thank you Cathy, you have unlocked demons in me that really need to be dealt with. I have read a lot of books that talk about abuse, but none quite as compelling as yours. It shows the angst that a child has to live with on a daily basis and the lie that they have to live by. You have truly touched my heart.