Lisa’s mother finally was able to escape the home and call police. The girls were taken into protective custody and wound up in foster and group homes. Lisa ran away, only to be victimized later by her father and others who took her in, she says.
To this day, she said, it’s difficult to watch television shows that depict loving and functional families. “Children who don’t get that love suffer with a lot of issues,” she told me.
Lisa has struggled with relationships and is now divorced. She gave up custody of two of her three children, she said. It’s been difficult to hold a job. It was only a few years ago that Lisa received her PTSD diagnosis and began therapy.
“I think I’m in a position where I can help people,” she said, citing statistics from Childhelp.org that more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States annually, involving 6 million children. Lisa’s website Into-The-Rainbow.comhas a section linking to numerous organizations that advocate and bring awareness to this issue.
Her parents are both dead, and Lisa has tried to understand how their own stormy marriage, difficult upbringing, substance abuse and mental health issues caused them to be abusive.
But her focus now is on healing herself and helping others.
“If you’re reading this and someone is hurting you,” Lisa writes on her website, ” you need to understand that person doesn’t have any right in hurting you, no matter what they’re telling you. And that person hurting you needs to be stopped, no matter who they are to you.”