The things that happened to me are not unique. These things happened to many more children than we will ever know because it was a time when discussing such issues was taboo. It just wasn't done.
Everyone hushed it up and children were warned that if they talked about what happened to them, others would shun them and think they were mentally ill. Parents covered up for each other and themselves. Churches covered up for their members and schools turned a blind eye.
We learned much later that the secrecy and the covering up were some of the most damaging parts of the experience. It was an excruciating and lonely journey filled with darkness and stumbling confusion. Coping mechanisms became addictions and long term depression set in.