Dear Dr. Archer,
I am a happily married kindergarten teacher living in California, and I benefitted from psychotherapy and antidepressants. I was born in California where my mom taught at Stanford and dad was in insurance.
I was abused by my father throughout my young years, and I bonded strongly with my brother who was a year older than me. When I was 16 my dad and brother disappeared in a small plane which was piloted by my dad; the crash was not discovered until two years later.
Shortly before the memorial service, I was raped by the youth minister who was supposed to be counseling me. Mom found out and accused me of seducing him.
I succeeded in college and law school; I married my property professor and was frustrated that I was only attracted to older men who held a position of authority over me.
I gave birth to my first son shortly before taking and passing the bar exam. Things started to fall apart after that, and I never practiced law. I was losing time and having suicidal depressions.
After ten years of therapy for Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), depression, a divorce and medication, I have a productive life with no regrets. I owe it all to my excellent psychiatrist.
I am now married to a great guy who is my own age, and my two sons are healthy and successful. Life is good and I am grateful!
You are definitely a success story! Despite the major challenges and tragedies you encountered, you overcame all, which says plenty about your resilience and refusal to give up. You are a psychological survivor, as I speak about in the post, 'The Power Of Hope'.
First, let me get this out of the way. Your mother was ignorant when she blamed you for seducing the minister. You were under age, and no matter what you did, the fact remains you were 16 years old.
It was up to the minister, the adult, to be responsible and he clearly was not. Not your fault, no way, no how!. That this was done during counseling is abhorrent behavior, inexcusable and criminal.
We all have filters, which determine how we see, feel and react to our experiences and the world around us. I can tell you have the right attitude, and you also have confidence in yourself, despite your personal challenges.
You could have lost yourself and said "I can't go on, I can't do this and I can't do that," but you didn't do that at all! Your gratitude for everything positive in your life is one of your greatest strengths and it has brought you far and I'm certain will continue to do so in the years to come.
I am thankful that you found a psychiatrist, who was your guide to recovery. I say guide because no matter how good he was, you had to do the work. You persevered and hung in there and eventually thrived.
So many people give up when life throws a hard challenge their way, but these struggles are all too often the catalyst for a wonderful life, forcing us into being better than we ever thought we could be.
Congratulations on your success. I wish you all the best!