Circle of Abuse: People battle lifelong effects after trauma

HARLINGEN – She cringes beneath the covers, pulling them tight around her neck for protection as those terrifying footsteps move toward her room.

The door opens, the shadowy figure silhouetted against the hall lights. The hinge creaks as the door closes, and the nightmare begins again.

Fast forward 10 years. She cringes beneath the covers, breaking out in a sweat as the faces pop in and out of her mind like flashcards. She seeks the liberation of sleep, but the monsters intrude. They follow her as she rushes from the nightmare into the freedom of wakefulness.

She lights a joint, snorts a line of coke, or has a drink, anything to numb the pain.

She wonders about tomorrow.

She wonders if it even exists.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families, says its website.

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