Friday, July 17, 2009

When Justice Fails the Children, UPDATE INFORMATION FOR READERS of Kristy's Story by Debra Sanders


Before I go on with Kristy's story, I want to let reader's know of some things which have transpired in the last twenty-four hours and which may be of comfort to those of you so touched and horrified by Kristy's story.

In the state where I first worked with "K," and where I was under investigation for sexual assault of a minor, there is no statute of limitations for prosecution of felony child sexual abuse, sodomy, rape or object rape. I contacted the lead investigator in my case and shared my information with him. He, in turn, talked with the chief of police who has turned the information over to the state troopers cold case investigative unit.

I spoke with the attorney general's office directly, wanting to know if they would be the ones to whom I would turn over my evidence. They indicated that they do not receive evidence and confirmed that it is the state trooper's cold case investigation unit that collects the evidence and decides whether to investigate; and then, whether to turn it all over to the A.G.'s office for prosecution.

So, while I feel very hopeful at this moment, connecting with the cold case unit does not ensure that an investigation will take place, nor does it guarantee that the right things will happen now that they know of the case. This is, however, a start. It is a very, very solid start; and I choose to believe that when all is pared down to the bare bones, good prevails over evil and justice prevails for victims.

Several avenues could be pursued at this point and I will keep you abreast of information as it comes to me. What might happen?

The troopers could accept the information and put it at the bottom of what might be a huge list of cold cases to investigate and not give it priority since it happened so many years ago and the alleged perpetrators no longer live in that state.

The troopers could give it priority, but do a poor job of following up on the many leads and not gather the evidence needed to see it through to prosecution.

The troopers could give it priority and pursue an investigation with the kind of passion and intelligence we hope for and put together a strong case that will go to the AG's office.

Or, I suppose, they could tell me outright that nothing can happen; that they will not pursue this case.

Our job will depend on where this goes from here. We may need to do little other than wait, watch and support them in whatever way possible while they intelligently go about their investigation. On the other hand, if sloppy or no investigative work is pursued, then collectively we may need to generate the kind of outrage and pressure which will cause priority and quality attention to be given to this case.

So, keep reading the blog to find out more of Kristy's story and as I find out information regarding possible criminal investigation, I will let you know.

Thanks for you support and kindness, and most of all, thanks for your outrage and compassion. On Kristy's behalf, I thank you. Your words and responses help to lend balance to the horror of this story. There are a lot of good people in this world; you are among them.


ps To find the story part of this post, scroll down past parts I-VI.

The story part of Part VII will be posted before Monday morning (July20,2009)

Monday, July 13, 2009

When Justice Fails the Children: FAQ and SYNOPSIS, Kristy's Story by Debra Sanders

When Justice Fails The Children:

Quick Synopsis, clarifications and answers to FAQ

What readers have learned thus far:

1) In 1992, while working as an educational psychologist, a 13 yr. old student named Kristy (not her name at the time) came to my attention. She was extremely oversexualized, acted out in extreme and inappropriate ways and was identified as "emotionally disturbed." We connected quickly and easily and her behavior rapidly improved.

2) As she grew stronger, her parents behavior became increasingly bizarre and hostile toward me, so much so I began to fear for my safety (and I am not easily rattled). Finally, they pulled her out of school and said they were going to home school her and she effectively disappeared from the community.

3) Two years later, she resurfaces with an accusation that I sexually molested her in my office during the time we worked together and this was followed by an intense three month investigation which ended with the case being closed due to provable documentation that her claims were false.

4) Again for two years there is no sighting of her in the small community in which we lived; however in 1996 I, the police and the school district received a handwritten letter from her painfully asking for my forgiveness and stating that she was forced into making that accusation by her parents. At the time of this writing she stated they no longer lived in XXX, she was pregnant with her father's child and had been removed from the home.

5)Twelve years later, in the summer of 2008, Kristy finds me via my then-just-set-up website and tells me that she has been looking for me all these years. She tells me that she suffers tremendous challenges due to the years of extreme abuse and that she is identified with a Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Ten "others" in addition to herself live inside her, ranging in age from infant to forty two. Kristy herself is twenty nine, about to turn thirty.

6) The girl that I had worked with is known as K (name changed for legal liability purposes)and Kristy explains that due to intense abuse that only got worse after she was pulled out of school (she never did receive any schooling after that) K "disappeared" at the age of sixteen and that is when Kristy took over as the main "host" or personality.

7) Kristy had written a brief autobiography of her life up until the age of sixteen (actually K and Kristy wrote this together) and it is included in full in PART IV and painfully describes the details of her childhood.

8) When Kristy first contacted me last summer, she told me in a very early email that she had been working hard with a therapist and hoped to "integrate" (i.e. merge) the personalities as she wanted to prosecute her parents (whom she chose only to refer to as, "the Assholes," and not by name. At the time of this writing she had recently moved to another state and had not yet found a therapist who was experienced in DID (multiple personality disorder), but she was looking for one.

9) I explained to Kristy that because she was contemplating prosecution of the parents at some point, it was imperative that all, that every bit, of our communication be in writing. This was for her protection as well as mine so that in no way could her testimony be discredited by the parents stating that I had coerced her into making these accusations in retaliation for what occurred fifteen years earlier. For this reason, all of our conversations took place either through emails and/or through Instant Messages.

10) I have, now locked away in an attorney's office, several hundred pages of her written testimony and feelings about the pastor and his wife who adopted her at age four and proceeded to ritualistically, systematically and continuously rape, beat, isolate and intimidate her.

11) Part VI of the story ended with the emergence of the personality I am referring to as S, who has commanded me to stop corrupting K and Kristy, stating that they need to learn to obey and honor thy father and thy mother.

Answers to the most frequently asked questions to date:

I don't get the multiple personality thing. I mean, did she live alone? Was she able to ever work or take care of herself? I am confused, is K the same person as Kristy or are they two different personalities/people?


Dissociative Identity Disorder is a complicated and elaborate defense system that is occasionally developed in very intelligent individuals who have been subjected to ongoing and extreme abuse. While it differs from person to person, it seems that a common thread is that there is an "inner system" that has been established. In some people they are not aware of the others (sometimes called Alters). In Kristy's case, there is a levels system which is about to be explained in the next part of the story.

Prior to moving to the state in which she was currently living, Kristy had worked two jobs--one at Walmart and one at a brain and spine rehabilitation facility. Over the years she had lived both alone and with a partner--a woman she was still very close friends with, but no longer involved with in a romantic way.

Kristy's stability and ability to manage this disorder varied greatly, and was highly dependent upon her having ongoing therapy with a skilled clinician. Because she had no such therapist in her current living location, she was in and out of the hospital due to severe self injury issues. There were some of the personalities which were very punitive and Kristy's body bore not only the scars of her parents abuse, but the scars of her own. The picture you see on the video is of a self-inflicted burn on her arm.

The next chapter will identify her various personalities and the system within which they functioned. One thing I will say here, that no doubt I will repeat with frequency, is that while Kristy most definitely suffered from a mental illness, in no way was she crazy.

As you will come to see, there is a stunning difference between someone being crazy and incapable of functional living, thought and patterns of thinking and acting and someone having to manage an emotional disorder that challenges the way they live, but does not necessarily mean living a relatively normal life is an impossibility.


How come all those teachers just disappeared? Why didn't anyone help her?


Well, I can't answer this question definitively, but I can make some educated guesses. These were very, very intimidating people who seemed used to getting their way. The reason, Kristy wrote me, they hated me so much was because I was the first person they could not intimidate-- that would not capitulate to their demands, and who stood strong as an advocate for her. I can certainly see how each time a teacher started getting close to Kristy, how these parents might raise threatening issues and demand that she be removed from that class and placed in another one--one with a less compassionate or less personally involved teacher. In Kristy's words, they referred to me as a "nosy c..t that they were not about to let land them in jail."

Another important thing to keep in mind is that all of us over the years--all the teachers, the psychologists, the principals--all of us had been introduced to the children of this family as children that the pastor and his wife had rescued out of a ritualistically sexually abusing cult situation and told that this is why not just Kristy, but all the children, were so disturbed. We had no reason whatsoever to question this. These cults exist; as educators and psychologists, we knew this (much as we preferred to wish otherwise). That Kristy would be terribly damaged from having been raised her first four years in such a setting seemed a reasonable explanation.

Even though I so strongly suspected that she was being abused in the pastor's home, it never once occurred to me that they in fact, might be the ritual abusers and that the kids had not come out of that situation, but rather had been adopted into it. It wasn't until I started hearing the rest of the story (beginning last summer) that this hit me.

I do have many questions myself as to why she was not removed from the home prior to the age of 17 (as did she), however, only a competent and very thorough investigative reporter will be able to unravel that part of the story. I have all the names, dates and places of the various teachers, social workers, psychologists, mental health workers, etc that filtered through Kristy's life. It will take an investigative reporter who has a passion for the truth and for justice to do the digging and the interviewing and the questioning that needs to be done to really understand how it is that this child remained in the home and the parents remained untouched by the law.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When Justice Fails the Children: Kristy's Story by Debra Sanders PART I


Let me tell you the story of Kristy, the girl who called me "mom". This is a painful story, but it is a story that must be told because it is a story that needs to be heard.

I can't tell you the story in one sitting--it's too complicated for that. But stick with me and you will get the basic story. And as you follow this story, I hope you will write me your thoughts. I would like to hear what you have to say. I would like to hear your opinions and your suggestions. If nothing else, I would like to hear your outrage.

Kristy would have been thirty-one this September. That she lived even this long is testament to the power of the spirit, the creative intelligence of the mind and what surely must have been her deeply innate will to survive. I say this because the abuse rained upon her in her lifetime would have killed most people a thousand times over; and the repeated failure of the justice system to protect her would have crushed most of our spirits long before we even hit puberty. Not so for Kristy.

At least not before now.

The middle of six children, at the age of four, Kristy—along with at least four and possibly all five of her siblings—was adopted into the home of The pastor and his wife. Kristy’s life intersected with mine nine years later when she was an out of control, over-sexualized, clearly disturbed but incredibly enchanting thirteen-year-old and I was the school psychologist in her middle school. As you read this story, I imagine you, like me, will find it hard to believe that there is not some Universal or heavenly hand involved in the intersecting of our lives.

Kristy, who was not called Kristy back then, and I easily established a powerful working relationship. Her behavior was getting under control and her relationship with me was quickly building into a trusting and effective partnership. Oddly enough, the stronger Kristy got, the stranger her parents appeared. Their behavior was so odd and disconcerting in fact, that I talked with both my principal and the district superintendent about some concerns I had for my own safety. The pastor and his wife subtly, but clearly, expressed a nearly palpable hatred toward me, which no one understood (least of all me) since Kristy was making progress and adored me.I wanted it on the record that I felt inexplicably threatened--that is how terribly strange their behavior was toward me.

The pastor and his wife told school personnel that they had rescued these children from a satanic cult which had ritualistically, sexually abused all of them and this is why they were so disturbed, especially Kristy. The oldest boy was so damaged--we were told--that he was institutionalized, where he would probably remain for the rest of his life. The good pastor and his wife placed all the children in counseling, but oddly enough, each with a different clinician and each given a clear directive that we were not to communicate with one another. Ever. Neither the pastor nor his wife would, no matter which clinician requested it, sign a release of information so that we could confer with one another about these very complicated children.

A not terribly long period of time passed and the pastor and his wife told the building principal that I looked like the birth mother of these children and was triggering Kristy who, though greatly improving in her school behavior, would get home and go completely and ballistically out of control.For this reason, they explained to the principal, they were pulling Kristy out of my counseling program and would no longer allow her to spend time in my office or talk with me.

Kristy had been instructed not to talk with me at all in school, and she was an obedient, but resourceful child so she started writing me letters and slipping them under my door. I saw no reason not to respond in kind and so although she never came to my office again and we never again had direct contact, we did exchange several letters. Sadly,the pastor and his wife discovered the letters and they pulled her out of school entirely.

“She’s too disturbed,” they told the principal. “We are going to home school her.”

For two and a half years, I never heard mention of Kristy, though I often worried for her. I had been quite sure she was getting very close to the point of disclosing important information to me when she was whisked away and as far as anyone could ascertain, hidden from view. It was a small town, not even 3000 people, yet she was never seen anywhere.

Then, one evening more than two years later (1994), I was called into the police station interrogation room and informed that this girl, Kristy, had made an accusation that I had sexually molested her in my office when we were working together. Although my head reeled and my stomach rebelled with flashing images of my ruined career, all I could think of then (and later) was, "Dear God, what have they been doing to her all this time to make her say such a terrible, terrible thing?"

TBC. Read of the letter Kristy wrote me, two years after the accusation, when she turned eighteen, explaining it and asking for my forgiveness.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

When Justice Fails the Children, PART II, Kristy's Story by Debra Sanders

Part II
Kristy's Story: When Justice Fails the Children

The investigation into the allegation took place over a three month period of time, during which I agonized over what surely must be happening to Kristy, secreted away in her parent’s home, and stressed over what was happening to me as the investigation lingered on.

I am eternally grateful to the detectives and police involved. They could have leaked information to the press and innocent or not, my career would have been history. They did not do this however, and although I was cautioned to discuss the accusation with absolutely no one (except an attorney), life went on in a sort of normal fashion. True, I was not sleeping well, weight was dropping off rapidly and every time I heard a siren, my knees would buckle in anticipation that I was minutes away from an imminent arrest. But I continued to work, enjoy friends and family and carry on with daily chores, while always wondering to myself, “What has been happening to that girl that would result in her making such an accusation?”

I had secured a criminal attorney and because Kristy had identified scarring on my breasts, I went to a plastic surgeon, was photographed and a letter was written attesting to the fact that I had no scarring or other marks. She had also said that I made two boys watch, and she apparently described the boys in detail to the investigators. When these things proved false, the case was dismissed and closed. I always figured that Kristy’s details were her small way of protecting me.

The police never provided any details of their investigation to me. I did not know how they investigated, what they uncovered or what they thought. All I could hope was that the investigation would somehow uncover the abuse I had always been sure was being perpetrated in the home and that something good would come of the whole ordeal for Kristy. But I never knew one way or the other.

In 1996, my father was diagnosed with cancer and I found myself flying between his home and mine as I helped him navigate the terrain of chemotherapy and radiation. I was no longer working for the school district, at that time I had my own intervention practice, so I would go to my dad’s for two weeks, return home and work for three and make the return trip to Colorado while my dad received ever increasing amounts of the toxic chemicals and burning rays we were hoping would save his life.

It had been two years since the case had closed and never once during those years did I hear about or see Kristy. I remember saying to a friend, “I swear to God, one day when that girl is about thirty, she will track me down and tell me the story.”

Kristy didn’t wait until she was thirty to contact me—she waited until she was eighteen and out of the home in a psychiatric hospital, where her pregnancy was revealed.

Her letter arrived while I was at my dad’s, It was dated 10/31/96 and in part, here is what it said:

“Dear Ms. Sanders, I hope you read this and will forgive me in the end....there's times I wish I would of died instead of hurting you. When my parents told me to say that about you, I never thought I would but they had a lot of control...Well daddy kept up raping me and now I'm pregnant....I no longer live at home so they have no control over me anymore... I wish I could make things better for you..."

My heart ached to read those words. Did they pressure her all that time to make such an accusation? What transpired in that home in the four years since I had last seen her? What would become of this child? What would become of this child that was going to give birth to a child? I shuddered to imagine answers to those questions.

I wrote Kristy back a very loving letter, although I did not ask any of these questions. I wanted to communicate to her that I never, ever blamed her; never for a moment had believed she had made the accusation for any reason other than she was forced to; and that I was never, ever angry with her. I wanted her to know I cared about her, believed in her and that whatever had gone on in those intervening years, they were in her history now and I believed in her ability to move forward, to survive and to heal. But I did not, at that time, want to engage in an ongoing letter writing relationship and so, I did not put a return address on the envelope, knowing it would be postmarked Colorado.

TBC. Read and find out how Kristy found me--after looking for twelve years--and what I learned about the truth of her life as a child, a teenager and a young adult.

Monday, June 15, 2009

When Justice Fails the Children: PART III, Kristy's story by Debra Sanders

Part III:When Justice Fails the Children
Kristy's Story by Debra Sanders

It had been a long time since I had told the story of Kristy and of her impact on me personally as well as professionally. Only when someone was involved in my life in a very intimate way did I find myself talking of those years—of my anguish when Kristy was hidden away, my fear for what was happening behind the closed doors of her house and of the incredible sense of powerlessness I felt at not being able to do anything to help her when every fiber in me screamed that I, and the system, were failing her. Only when someone had entered into the most sacred and trusting of relationships with me, did I talk about Kristy or reveal the extreme shock and anxiety that came with being investigated for the very crime I railed against on behalf of the children I saw every day.

And only once did I ever tell the story publicly. Though I hadn’t planned to reveal my experience with Kristy, I found myself telling my story of being investigated to an audience of over three hundred teachers who were attending an inservice I was giving on the teacher’s role and responsibilities with suspected child abuse cases. There had been a comment from a participant regarding the fact that as teachers and educators we really shouldn’t be hugging children anymore and I found myself telling the story of being investigated, of the fear and the anxiety it caused and of my concern throughout the entire ordeal that there was a girl being abused behind closed doors and I was helpless to do anything to help her. The audience was spell bound…riveted into silence by my descriptions of this incredibly bright, sparkling and yet damaged child. I distinctly remember ending with this:

“I tell you this story, the first time I have ever told it publicly, for a reason. Two reasons actually. First, I want you to know that this sort of thing could happen to you…it happened to me and yes, it could happen to you. But secondly, and more importantly, I tell it because I want you to know I still hug children in school and I always will. Children are affectionate by nature and they hug those that they love. If we are doing our jobs as we should be, then our students often associate their love of learning with us. And often the most vulnerable children love us simply because we are kind to them, because we do not abuse them. And they hug us, sometimes they even cling to us.

I, for one, will always return that hug and I will continue to place my hand on a child’s shoulder if it is appropriate to do so for reasons of control or gaining a child’s attention. And if a young child takes my hand on the playground, I will happily let that little hand rest inside of mine. I will never let the fear of a false accusation interfere with my providing treatment, education or kindness to a child and especially for those of you who work with elementary aged children; hugs are one of the ways that children communicate.

That said, I will tell you that I do some things differently now, and I take precautions and preventative steps that I would have never thought to take prior to this happening to me. For one, I will never again agree to work in an office that does not have a window in the door, nor will I cover the window if there is one. I will make sure that if I am seeing a child alone that the time spent together is well documented; and if I have a particularly high risk student like this again, I might consider videotaping all the sessions. I would advise that as teachers you think about what precautions you can take as well, but I urge you to please, not make one of them the removal of physical affection to the children under our care. We didn’t enter into our jobs in education only to educate the minds of our students, but to embrace all aspects of them and to help them learn to trust in and navigate their way through the world. Sometimes, more than any lesson, conversation or lecture, a hug is the most powerful tool we have to give.”

And indeed, for the next decade (plus) of my career, I continued to give and receive hugs from students without hesitation and without regret. I never told the story publicly again, and as I said, though Kristy remained actively alive in my thoughts, I rarely spoke of her, though I was frequently known to tell many funny and tender stories of my many other students over the years (without violating confidentiality of course).

It had been years since I had told the story of Kristy either privately or publicly, but for some reason last summer, I told the story to Merrilyne—the one who calls me OM or OMmie, for Other Mother. I don’t even remember right now what prompted me to tell it, but I did—it was the night before she left to head back to graduate school in Montana.

To my utter astonishment, two days later, the following email shows up in my mailbox:

"I realize you might not want to have any contact with me, but I just wanted to write and thank you for all the help you gave me. I miss you. Love, Kristy"

To say I was stunned is a significant understatement. I was absolutely blown away. I mean, how strange is that timing? I speak of her for the first time in probably ten years and within 48 hours I have an email from her. Not write her back? Unthinkable. Of course I wrote her back.

And thus began what grew into one of the most remarkable, purest, most incredible relationships I am ever likely to have on this earth.And indeed, when she wrote this time, Kristy was about to turn thirty and she wanted to tell me the rest of the story.

TBC. Read on to find out some of the things Kristy told me. Of the torture she endured in order not to make that accusation, the child she became pregnant with and was forced to "throw in a landfill," and the multiple personalities she developed to cope with such extreme abuse.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

When Justice Fails the Children: PART IV, Kristy's story by Debra Sanders

When Justice Fails the Children: Kristy’s story
Part IV

At the time that I received Kristy’s first email, I had not been a practicing educational psychologist for several years. Officially, “retired” due to the head injury and its ongoing ramifications, the final version of Panache was just heading into print, with a scheduled release date of November 18, 2008. My world had become a quiet one, with pecked out words as my companions and the daunting task of having to learn the business end of writing a book, despite the fact that remembering any new information seemed a monumental,and quite possibly impossible, task.

About a week before I heard from Kristy, my website went up and although there are many Debra Sanders out there, this time when Kristy performed what I was to learn was her ongoing search for me, the website was the first to pop up on Google. Clicking on the link, the first thing Kristy saw was my picture and she realized, “Oh my God, I found her. I really, really found her.”

And so, through the contact me box on my website, Kristy sent that initial communication and at 3:17 in the afternoon on August 24,2008 I responded with this:

"Kristy, all I can say is that for the first time in several years, I spoke about you two nights ago...That you would out write me out of the blue less than 48 hours later, is simply astounding to me. Please write and tell me how you are, where you are.

Kristy’s response, composed as rapidly as I had written mine, told me she was living in XXX, having moved there from XXX a few months prior. "The hardest part of living there", she said, was that she was "in a very rural area and there were no therapists who specialized in dissociative disorders". She went on to say, “I still have a LOT of problems cause of the abuse. I am diagnosed with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and I have 11 different parts.” Kristy went on to explain that in the last state in which she had lived, she had an excellent therapist and had been functioning well enough to hold down two part time jobs—one at Wal-Mart, the other as an aide in a head and spinal rehabilitation center.

I found it almost as surprising that she had been working in the area of head injuries as I found the simple reality of having been contacted by her.

As is common when two people reconnect with an interim of fifteen years between contacts, there was an initial flurry of emails, with Kristy filling me in on some basic aspects of her life. She did not know what state her parents were in, refused to refer to them by name, but rather simply called them the “A**holes;” and she had gotten her GED at nineteen. “How I did it I I have no clue since I left *** middle I never did any school after that. During that time the abuse got worse since there was no school to escape to and that's when K.left being the core part.”

Kristy went on to explain that no therapist had ever been able to help her integrate (merge her independent parts) because K. had not resurfaced since disappearing fifteen years earlier. One of the reasons they had been looking for me for so long, Kristy explained, is that she thought maybe K would emerge in order to talk to me and if they could stabilize their mental health, she was thinking about prosecuting her parents for the abuse she had endured.

“I told K.I found you since she mentoned you a lot when we were younger and I knew you too since I watched her but she seemed scarred maybe you and her can work stuff out. But its up to you.
I want to get her your book do you think that's a good idea?”

Almost immediately, I received an email from K:

“Ms Sanders its K. are you mad at me for being a bad girl? i sorry i was bad when you knew me. i only did what daddy an mommy told me to do. They were so bad to me i sorry i didn't tell you what they all did to me i wanted to but i was afraid to i knew it would never stop. i miss your letters you wrote me in school even though mommy always found them i tryed to hide them but when you have to strip as soon as you get home she'd find them. i hope you dont mind i told kristy about you. i dont want to be out in this world anymore i like being safe inside. you will like kristy shes not like me shes brave. after i left school daddy moved into my room and he became my husban he told me noone would ever protect me so i better not tell another person. mommy became meaner to and she started hurting me too. i cryed for you when they were not around which was very seldom and then id go inside and cry to kristy i couldnt keep doing it so kristy took over. i wanted you to save me but i knew you never would why would you when i was so bad. kristy told me she found you and it scared me cause how could you still like me after what i did. i protected mommy and daddy instead of you and you never hurt me they did. did you ever know how bad it was for me i remember you tryed to get me to tell you before mommy got in the way then you tryed to get me to write it to you. i couldnt i hope you know why. although i wanted to so bad i dreamed of telling you and you saving me but id wake up with daddy having sex with me so i knew i could never tell. im going to go back inside please dont tell mommy and daddy i wrote to you”

I received this email at noon, August 25, 2008—not quite twenty-four hours after the first contact.

OMG, I thought. Holy, holy shit. Is this for real? Clearly, I need to establish parameters.


Now my head was really spinning.

TBC. Read on to find out what else K and Kristy wrote and how I established a non-therapeutic relationship with her, while wrestling in my head with the ethics of continuing written correspondence.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

When Justice Fails the Children, PART V, Kristy's Story by Debra Sanders

When Justice Fails the Children—Kristy’s story
Part V

After K. wrote her email to me, I quickly clarified with Kristy that in no way could I be their counselor or therapist…to do so would not only be unethical, but illegal, as I was only licensed to work with school children through the age of twenty-one. I did tell her that I could be a supportive friend, but that if she thought there was even a remote possibility that she might someday press charges against her parents, then every single bit of our communication must be in writing. She must never, ever call me and I would not call her. We could use Instant Messenger or email, only. Later I would amend that to include text messages, which--if needed for documentation purposes--could be retrieved.

Initially this parameter was a bit difficult for Kristy to understand, until I explained it in these words:

"Kristy, I will never offer an opinion as to whether or not you should pursue charges, although I can assure you that I will support you in whatever decision you make. I think it would make sense to make that decision while working with a qualified therapist, once you find one. And here’s the thing…I know your parents well enough to know that if you press charges and they discover you have had contact with me, they will do two things in a courtroom. One, their attorney will first discredit your testimony by making you out to look completely and totally unreliable as a witness, due to the dissociative nature of your disorder; and two, they will try to convince a jury that I coerced you into pressing charges in retaliation for what happened fifteen years ago. So, as long as the idea rests in your mind that you might move forward with this, please know that it is for your protection that I am setting this parameter. As long as every single contact between us is documented, I will not worry about our having ongoing communication. It really is to protect us both." (august 25, 2008 email)

This Kristy understood, although even with all communication archived, she never stopped fearing that The Good Pastor and his Wife would somehow know we were in touch and harm me in some awful way.

“Kristy. Listen to me. I am not afraid of them. They have no power or control over either of us. First of all, you are an adult and they cannot hold you hostage ever again. And I am an adult, Kristy, and I no longer even work in schools—I am a writer, for God’s sake (or trying to work toward being one!) There is nothing they can do to harm my reputation or cause me pain. So that is one worry you can let go of, ok?”

Throughout all the months of our daily correspondence, that was one fear Kristy never completely released. Always, in her mind, these people held some sort of supernatural power that would allow them to find me and when they did, they would kill me. While, as I mentioned in an earlier section, fifteen years ago as the educational psychologist involved, I did indeed feel an inexplicable concern that The good pastor and his wife might cause me harm, I have to admit that when I read how accurately I had called that, it had a shocking, unnerving effect on my system. Shocking, yes, I wrote to Kristy, But that still did not mean I was afraid of them.

Kristy began telling me her history in two ways. One was through her emails and our instant messaging conversations, of which there are some one thousand pages archived. The other was through a book she told me she had started writing—her life story. Did I want to read it, she wondered?

“If you would like to share it, Kristy, then I would like to read it.”

So here is Kristy’s story (up to the age of 16), in her words and exactly as it was emailed to me.

***Prior to reading this, please be aware that it contains very graphic material and language. If you are easily triggered when reading reports of abuse, or if you are uncomfortable with reading graphic detail as offered in the first person, please do not expose yourself to the following reprint. As with all directly quoted material, no changes have been made to Kristy’s words, spelling or punctuation. With the exception of keeping my name as it is reads in the text, all other teacher and educator’s names and identifying information have been changed.***

“The Begining Early Childhood

I was only 4 almost 5 when my dad started raping me. I went by his room and the door was open he had just gotten out of the shower and was naked. Being a curious kid I asked him what the thing between his legs was and he asked me if I wanted to touch it. I walked over to him and touched it then he asked if I wanted him to show me what it was used for. I was very curious and really wanted to know so I said yes. He took me to my room layed me on the bed and told me to watch daddy make it big. Daddy stated playing with it and it did get bigger I laughed thinking it was so funny how it could do that. Then daddy asked me to kiss it I thought that was kinda funny too but I did it and daddy said it made him feel real good but he'd feel even better if I put it in my mouth. He told me every girl does that with their daddy so I did. It was way to big to fit in my mouth and it hurt my thoat but daddy just told me to relax and breath though my nose. Daddy rubbed my head and told me what a good girl I was and I was so happy my daddy loved me. Then daddy said you want to know what else I can do with "our toy" and I was so excited to be able to play more I said yes. Daddy told me to talk off my clothes and lay down so I did and then he put our toy between my legs and rubbed it their and it tickled so I laughed but soon it started hurting daddy told me it only hurts the first time and to relax again but I couldn't relax it hurt so bad when he was done I saw the blood and I wondered why our toy would hurt me like that. I tried to get up but couldn't daddy just walked out. Mom came in later and sceamed at me for being a bad girl and making such a mess she put me in a really hot bath and washed in between my legs really hard. I told her it hurt and she hit me and told me good.

After that mom would hit me a lot and dad would touch me and have me touch him. One day I crawled into bed with them in the morning and both mom and dad played with my privite area. When I was 5 mom hit me with a cast iron skillet and broke open my head the first of many stitches to the head I would recieve while living with them.

School Age

I first went to a school called XXX at 5 since after the rape I stopped walking. Noone could figure out what was wrong with me at first they said mentally retarted then they agreed I was just distrubed. I learned how to walk again while I was there and my behavor was normal so the next year I went to public school to kindergarden. That is were I met my first angel Ms W. She was a very nice teacher who cared deeply about me. I still would wet my pants so she always had a another set of clothes so I didn't have to go home everyday. One day I was in the bathroom while the other kids were at recess and Ms W didn't know I was in there and she walked in she saw the blood in my underware and just scooped me up pulled up my pants and held me on her lap. She never said anything just held me. I loved that teacher she was kind and gentle. The next week I was told she would no longer be my teacher that Ms J was my new teacher. Ms J never took any inserst in me and sent me home every time I wet my pants. I saw Ms W outside but she would never talk to me. The last day of school Ms W gave me one more hug and told me someday things will get better.

My first grade teacher was an older old fashon teacher named Ms T. She still paddled kids for misbehaving and I got it a lot. I took the blame for other kids and I never sat still. One day I spilt glue on the floor so Ms T sent me to Ms H the principal who called my dad. Dad came and gave me a spanking and I threw a tantrum I torn up every paper I could find and fell on the floor screaming. How could they not see what was a normal spanking would turn into a beating when I got home.

My second grade teacher was Ms S. She knew I had issuses and put my desk in the cornor away from the other kids. I was pretty quiet that year and just fell into myself. Kids teased me constantly because I smelled for I hardly bathed since the soap stung so bad on my wounds. That year I started special education classes and met my 2nd angel Ms P. Ms P was a younger teacher who really liked me she started washing my hair so I would look better. Of course when it was time to go home I put dirt in my hair afraid mom and dad would get upset and Ms P would leave. I saw here all the way though 4th grade till we moved and it was so hard to leave her.

My 3rd grade teacher was Ms R. She was like Ms S never took an instrest in me unless I was caught. I started stealing food from kids lunches for I was always so hungry and mom and dad would "forget" to make me a lunch. I also couldn't do homework at home so I would errase kids names off their work and put mine on it. When I got into trouble instead of going to the principal I was sent to Ms H who would then give me a talk and send me back.

My 4th grade teacher was my 3rd angel Ms L. She was very kind and took a special instrest in me. She made kids be nice to me and I felt smart in her class. She let me do homework wile the other kids went to recess and I got my first A in her class. One day while we were alone there was a pumkin on her desk and I was playing with it and by accident I broke the stem off I was certain she would hit me for that and she just said accidents happen and she glued it back on. I never got to finish the year with her as we moved to X but she gave me a book and so did Ms P. Ms P gave me Where the Side Walk Ends by Shel Siverstein and I treasured that book till mom took it and burned it.

I finshed out 4th grade in 2 different schools. First the church school that my dad was the pastor at but I never did my work and I was still stealing food. Now thats not ok for a pastors daughter to do so mom and dad took me out and sent me back to public school. I spent my last few weeks in that class.

My 5th grade teacher was Ms C she was to retire at the end of the school year and she didn't like me at all. Things were real bad at home that year I came to school with black eyes a broken colar bone and my nose broken. The resource teacher my 4th angel Ms C asked me if my mom and dad did this to me. I just nodded my head yes after school I heard my mom yelling at Ms C and Ms C saying she would turn them in. After that day I wasn't allowed to see Ms C anymore. I don't believe she ever turned in my mom and dad though.

The next year I was moved to a new school district. My 6th grade teacher was Ms B. Ms B tried to take a instrest in me but I started drugs and alcohol. I would ditch school every chance I had. Now where we lived was a upscale nice area but just a few miles away was getto. I would run there and hang out with some pretty tough kids. It a wonder I wasn't killed or kidnapped. Ms B tryed to get me to stay in school by having me hang up the flag at school in the morning. She told me how that is an honor and a privilidge and if I didnt do it the flag would not go up. That year the flag was hardly hung. The class was going on a camping trip and I almost didnt get to go because I ditched so many days but Ms B decided to let me in the end. I hated it while I was there nights were hard wondering how the other girls could sleep didnt they miss having sex with there dads? The 3rd day I acted out enough to get sent home. Ms B called my parents and then we had a talk. She asked me if everything was ok at home and if I was ever afraid? That really ticked me off how could she ask that doesn't she know what happens to people who get invovled with my family life. I started screaming at her and throwing things I got so worked up I wet my pants. She just sat there never got mad never told me to stop just sat there with a look of concern on her face. The next monday I went to school and saw her in a new light I started staying in school and working hard. Then the news broke we were moving again this time to YY. Once again loosing a teacher who cared. I finshed out 1 month of the school year in a class in YY. They also had a camping trip I went on but this time I was well behaved.

7th grade was very new to me you had several teachers and only for 1 and a half hours. That is were I met my 5th angel Ms G. She was a guidance counselor who didn't even have me for my name ended in T and she only had A-M but she took a special instrest in me. Home life was hard my sister was removed and made a ward of the state. That sister and I had gotten really close as we were my dads favorits. When she left things got bad at home the beating worse and the rapes more often. I was put into a class for emotionally distrubed kids. A half day class where we were always away from the other kids. I went home on the small bus. A lot of times I would hide from the bus hid in the bushes and when school got out I'd get on the big bus and go home. Any time I could spare a few hours from the home I would do it. Ms G started getting me from class and waiting with me for the bus. When she wasn't on time she would find me and take me home herself. One day she kept me at school and took me to the nurses office we sat on the cots for hours and she said if I needed to tell her anything I could. I told her what happened to Stephanie wanting to tell her what was happing to me but I couldn't find the words. She had me start seeing the school pyscholgist Mr H. One day I had had enough had to much I started running though the school looking for Ms G she was in a classroom in a meeting and she wouldnt talk to me. I slammed the door several times and then ran though the school the called the police and the paramedics and I ran outside. The paramedics finally got me and they took me to the hospital and checked to see if I was high on drugs. I was never allowed back at that school they sent work home for me to do and then it was sent back. I wish I would of trusted Ms G enough to tell her what was going on.

8th grade I changed school districts again and met my 6th angel. She is the one who truley believed and got involved. She never lost faith in me and always loved me no matter what she went though to try and save me. Her name is Ms Sanders. She was the school psychologist who saw me regurally until she was ordered to stop. However she wouldn't stop she knew in her heart I needed her so we wrote back and forth. I could ask her anything and she always had an answer. This was a lady who wasn't afraid of mom and dad and wouldn't leave me. I believed in my heart she would always be there I would have dreams that I would finally be saved and I'd live with her. I didn't know much about her just that she was kind. Her office was small and safe. Sometime we would just sit there and just look at each other we didn't need to talk we just need to see each other. I asked her once if she wanted to have sex with me she could and she didnt get mad she didn't say ok she just told me adults don't have sex with kids. Just when I was about to tell her what was happening we had to stop seeing each other and then she gave me my first letter. I might of wrote first I don't remember but I remember getting her letters. I don't remember what they said I just remember thinking this lady isn't going to leave me. Mom and dad hated her like no other she wasn't going to run scared from them and they had never seen that before. They told me that she would pay they told me that they would kill her. One day in school I had enough again I don't remember what triggered it but I wanted to die. I went into the bathroom and cut my wrist a janitor came in saw me and told the guidance counsolor Ms L who got me and called mom and dad I was sent to the first of many pyschatric hospital. A month later when I got out I wanted to go back to school and tell Ms Sanders all about it but I was told the school didn't want me back. Another angel lost. I never did go back to school after that mom and dad said I was in home school but they couldn't make me do the work. Mom did it for me a once D and F student I was now getting all A's.


After the hospitalization ending up at home 24/7 was pure hell. My dad moved into my room and there was no time I was safe. My brother was coming of age to where sex instrest him and he started in on me. The word no was never allowed in that house so I never even tried to stop him. I never blamed him as it was something he was taught from an early age that it was ok to use women and girls anyway he wanted. I looked at him as a victim too.

I still thought about my angels often more so my 6th angel. I was told every day that she would suffer and I believed that one day dad and mom would kill her. However I couldn’t get her out of my mind was she thinking about me too? Did she have any clue what I was going though? Did she even care? Why couldn’t I let her go? Every night we had to pray to dad for he told us he was a part of god. I was very afraid of him for that and I just knew it had to be true. He could tell me how I was feeling before I even said anything since god told him. One night I got tired of praying to him and I prayed to my angel Ms Sanders. I asked her to help me I knew what I was doing and the results it would cause but I hoped she would come in and save me. The results were painful I was tied down to the bed legs spred I was already naked by that time clothes were not allowed and my privites, breast and stomic were beat with a belt. When dad was done hitting me he raped me once again. Later that night I guess an hour later maybe two the kids and mom were made to come in with a rope in all their hands and they also took turns hitting the same spots. My angel Ms Sanders never came maybe she just didn’t hear my plea. That went on for about a month till I gave up she never came I never saw her she forgot about me.

Dad decided exactly how Ms Sanders could suffer he would make me tell a lie about her that even to this day I have never forgivin myself for. He told me I was to tell the school Ms Sanders molested me. Later he decided the school wouldn’t do anything so he said we would go to the State Troopers office. I was locked in the bathroom givin pencil and paper and told I could come out when I had written what she had done to me. Day one nothing writtin. I was let out of the bathroom to get beat and raped and put back in. Day three nothing written. That went on for 1 week 2 days. Mean while when someone had to go to the bathroom I had to get into the shower so that they could go on me as a punishment. I dared not turn on the water for fear they would hear that and they never told me I could so I knew better. I drank water out of the toilet and was forced to eat feeces. By one week 2 days I smelled so awful I was getting sick a lot. So I wrote Ms Sanders made me have sex with her. I cryed the whole time I wrote it knowing that crying could cause a beating but I was to worn down to care. I just wanted it to stop. That was good enough for dad he let me take a nice long shower let me have two pieces of bread and I got to sleep in the bed again.

At that time I was seeing a psychiatrist named Dr M. She was nice but I never trusted her. Before I went into her office mom would go in and when I was done mom would go in again. I knew nothing was kept from my mom so I told Dr M everything my mom wanted me too. The letter was taken to Dr M and she believed it right away. Every week I would have to come up with more lies to tell Dr M to satisfy mom. I started telling her things mom did to me just using Ms Sanders name instead of mom. I started feeling good about telling finally someone was lisenting to what was happening what was the harm saying Ms Sanders instead of mom I could tell my story and not have to go though more than I already was. The more I told the less the beatings got.

I thought it wouldn’t hurt anyone till I was told it was time to go to the State Troopers Dr M told mom she felt I was ready. No I screamed don’t make me do that what if they don’t believe me hoping and praying they wouldn’t. I had said the no word and after it fell out of my mouth I knew I was in for it but I just couldn’t go to the police. Once again a beating and I was locked in the bathroom. The beating was so bad I didn’t have to go to the police so I kept that up for 3 months. Finally there was no warning this time mom just took me. I didn’t have a chance to say no. The office was small there was a desk and a chair next to it. I saw the window and knew from tv it was a two sided window which ment mom could be watching me. The state trooper was neither kind nor mean just to the point. “ So Debra Sanders molested you”? “How did it start”? “What was she wearing”? “What were you wearing”? “ Did you notice any idinifying marks on her body”? “Scars Tattoos”? “ What color was her pubic hair”? “Was anyone else involved”? “Did you say no”? Questions just thrown out and I couldn’t answer them I sat there in silence. It lasted for two hours till the trooper told mom I did well and needed to come back again for more questioning. He said most kids don’t open up the first time. Now we knew the questions they would ask I was made to go over and over the questions with suitable answers. We went back a month later and I answered the questions. “She was wearing a dress can’t remember the color”. “I was wearing jeans and a shirt cant remember the color”. “She had scars on her breast”. Doesn’t everyone from getting whipped so hard it breaks the skin? “Her pubic hair red I mean brown maybe black I don’t remember”. “She made 2 boys watch”. “No I don’t know who they were never saw them before or after” “No I never said no are you allowed to say no”? Anyone should have been able to tell I was making it up. After that I never heard what became of it it was good enough for mom and dad they were two steps ahead once again and I knew finally that now there was no chance my angel would come back to save me. I was all alone in a world of darkness I wanted to die.”

That story was written by Kristy. On August 25 I received an email from K. and in her words,

"ms sanders you know why i said you had scars on your breast cause mommy put scars on mine with the cane i was hoping the police would know i was talking about me but they never did. i wanted so bad to be rescued but i knew mommy and daddy wouldnt allow that. mommy even put a hot curling iron in me after she was done with me cause i had a orgasim im sorry i did that mommy would hurt me if i did daddy would beat me if i didnt never could i be safe i couldnt do it anymore so others helped me. V is the fighter she can fight good she gave mommy a black eye a few times shes not sorry either. i never talk to anyone eles and please dont make me. i know kristy wants me back out but i dont like the world i dont want to live in it but i do want to talk to you. please dont tell mommy and daddy i talked to you love K.

At this point, I wrote Kristy and repeated that while I could support them and care about them, I could not be their therapist. In my own mind, I was questioning whether it would be somehow unethical of me to extend myself in friendship toward them; and soon thereafter, with Kristy’s permission, I did consult with her social workers and counselors to get their opinion on this matter (they supported our contact fully). My heart wanted to continue listening as Kristy told her story. My soul wanted to wrap itself around her in a protective embrace that would protect her from any more hurt in her lifetime. And the once-professional side of me nagged a little bit that fifteen years ago she had been my student and I her educational psychologist. Was there an ethical dilemma here?

I decided to put my trust in the fact that my intent was unclouded and that somehow I would know very quickly if there was a conflict or dilemma. What I knew for certain at this point was this: once again, I wanted to offer kindness to a girl whom I had long wondered about and often worried over. I had no illusions or delusions of rescuing her or “fixing” her anymore now than I had back then; but I did want to understand her story and I did I want to offer her my support and friendship in this unconventional written relationship we seemed to be developing. It had been several years since I had practiced professionally, and unless a miracle occurred that fixed my addled brain, it was highly unlikely I would ever find myself working as an educational psychologist in a school again. So, with the support of her social worker and open communication between all of us, I took a deep breath and allowed myself to continue to get to know this now-young woman, Kristy and the much regressed version of the girl I knew fifteen years ago: K.

I wondered how their system worked. Did they talk to each other?

TBC. Find out how Kristy managed this remarkable “disorder,” and how their roles had changed over the years and were changing once again. Read on to find out more about Kristy's life and to meet some of the "others" who lived within her.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kristy's Story, continuing by Debra Sanders

Part VI will be posted tomorrow. I am sorry that I have gone two days without continuing Kristy's story. You know, despite my absolute commitment to telling this story--for her, for others like her--this is a tough, tough story to so many ways--not the least being that I am rereading our emails and Instant Messages in order to get things in sequence properly and in order to choose a few to share with you. I want you to feel Kristy's spirit and her resiliency--her indomitable hope that despite incredible horrors,she could believe in, and find, mother love.

Be patient with me. I will try to post every day, every other day without fail...but obviously there are going to be those days when the best way I can cope with her death is not to write about it at all, but to spend 10 hours hauling bricks and rocks and pulling weeds and spending my time on my knees in my garden and breathing in the scents of lavender and lemon balm, tomatoes and basil, mint and thyme. In those moments, my heart is not quite so heavy....

Tomorrow I will write.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When Justice Fails the Children: PART VI Kristy's story by Debra Sanders

Part VI: When Justice Fails the Children-Kristy’s Story

The emails continued to fly back and forth with a kind of frenetic intensity and within a week’s time nearly a hundred emails had been exchanged. K had so many questions for me: Did I still live in Alaska? Did I smoke? Did I have others that lived inside of me the way they do? Did I remember Ms. M, one of her favorite teachers? Did I know how old she was? The questions came in a flurry, as I suppose they would from a person who woke up to discover that fifteen years had passed in spite of the fact that to them, it had only been a few days.

K wanted to know if I still worked in schools; was I married, was it bad for her to be mad at her parents and was I scared of them like she was scared of them. She wanted to know if I was aware that her parents wanted to hurt me and did I have my own mommy and daddy and were they nice. And then on August 28, she writes that Kristy had showed her my website and that she does not “like big dogs daddy made one have sex with me now I scared of them.” She ended this particular email telling me she felt kind of weird and wondered, “am I asking to many questions well I better stop I love you in a good way K.”

The lack of punctuation and immature spelling came to be a trademark “K” characteristic and although Kristy did not use much punctuation (specifically, she never inserted question marks), she did write on a much higher level than K was writing and in a very different "voice."

If my head wasn’t spinning from the residual effects of the accident, it would have been spinning from the volume, intensity and content of these emails. I was grateful that I had gotten the sanction and support of her social worker, and wanted to make sure that nothing I said or mentioned would be in conflict with whatever therapy she was receiving. I was shocked and sickened by the information provided and in my worst nightmares had not imagined abuse of this magnitude. I did not want to express my outrage in a way that would trigger her or cause a defensive reaction, but I could not just ignore the information given to me.

Is it possible that such atrocities truly exist in this world…that people could be so cruel…so sick, so intentionally destructive of a child’s life?
It was almost more than I could wrap my mind around and yet the context in which things were said sounded real,--not imagined and not made up. There was the ring of truth to the content of those emails, whether they were written by the nearly thirty year old Kristy or by K—who although was supposedly fourteen, really came across more like a six or seven year old in terms of her thinking and “speaking” abilities.

Quickly I found myself getting the stress-related headaches so common since the accident—the ones which came when my brain was simply overloaded with too much information, too much stimulation. The ones that produce a brain freeze that could shut me down without warning and send me into narcoleptic sleeping bouts that might last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Kristy, I discovered, was extremely sensitive to and concerned about me overtaxing my brain. I was enormously impressed by and fascinated by her own nurturing approach, not just to K and the “Littles” (as I was to learn she referred to the younger others), but to me as well. In an early email I had mentioned,

“I am struggling with a nasty headache today...partially from spending so much time on the computer the last few days, partially because that(as you probably know from working at the clinic) is just a function of a head injury. I always have to be careful with how much I "think", and right now, I am spending many, many hours every day writing and getting ready for the book release. I only tell you all this because if you don't hear from me, it’s possible I fell asleep! That happens alot if I overstress my brain....I just...conk out. Know that I willl be back as soon as I am able.”

Kristy’s emails often initiated with a bold faced warning to "...NOT READ UNTIL YOU FEEL UP TO IT", and she often expressed concern that the communication was too much to be good for me. Even so, although Kristy and K did talk “inside,” they were not always aware of each other’s whereabouts and doings and although Kristy was very respectful of both my time and energy, she was not always aware of just how much information K and I were exchanging (this was soon corrected by a folder system that Kristy—with K’s permission—initiated so that she could catch up on the email exchanges before contacting me). This helped lessen the number of emails substantially.

All the information and questions were coming in incredibly fast and it was impossible for me not to respond with equal rapidity. I had wondered for so many, many years what had become of this girl and I was both so horrified and drawn in by the information she was giving me, but I knew I needed to moderate my number of replies—for both our sake. Although K and Kristy seemed like two very distinct individuals, they still were coming from one body and this had to be exhausting for Kristy as well.

In my responses I was concentrating hard at not seeming therapeutic and I worried that I might not be able to hold the line as just a concerned and supportive individual in Kristy's life. I soon realized however that the utter compassion I felt and the kindness that I extended through caring words could not help but be somewhat therapeutic in their response. To make sure that no boundaries were crossed or inadvertent damage done, I got Kristy's permission to share the emails with her social worker so that a clear loop of communication was in place.

Following is an email sent in response to several of K's questions to me:


Well my goodness, K, have you saved all these questions up for all this time???!!!!! Well, don't feel bad about asking so many of them--I did the same of Kristy when she first wrote!

Let's see…why was I in an accident? Well, not for any good reason that I can figure out! Actually, it happened on the way to work very, very early one morning...about 6:00 a.m. I was living in a real rural part of Utah then and was going to a meeting at a school quite far away...and I am not good with early morning driving because I am always sleepy in the morning. I am always most wide awake at night and usually I don't schedule meetings early and far away for this reason, but this was an unusual circumstance, so I agreed to it. It was on a Monday and I had to go to my office first to get stuff set up for the week, so I had to get up around four in the morning and be at my office by five so I could be on the road by 5:30.Unfortunately, I feel asleep driving there and rolled my truck. I didn't even hit my head, but because I was on cruise control at 55mph, the velocity of my brain slamming into my skull was quite intense. Not very smart of Ms. Sanders, was it??!!!

Yes, my dogs are big (well one is really big, one is actually kind of small by comparison) but both of them are very, very gentle. And neither one would have participated in anything like sex with a human person. Ever. Dogs have to be trained to do that, K and I am so sorry you experienced that.

Lets I still work in schools? Not now, no. I did for a long, long time, but the head injury creates some problems that make it really although I do some training of teachers and counselors and I speak to groups who ask me to come talk to them, I am not working in a school like I used to do.

Am I married? Nope. I am on a solo ship on my own little sea and I have a really nice life, with wonderful friends and my two boys (that's what I call my dogs a lot of the time).I was married when you knew me, but we were divorced many years ago., is it bad to be mad at your parents? My own opinion on that is no, it is not bad at is normal and healthy to be angry when someone doesn't treat you kindly or doesn't take care of you the way they are supposed to. Parents are supposed to protect their children, not hurt them or scare them or make them do things that are not healthy to their development. And K, I don’t think there is anything bad about you at all. I think the hardest part is over And you know what? I think the hardest part is behind you and such pain will never find its way into your life again.

As to my own parents, both have died, K, so I guess technically I don't have a mommy or daddy anymore. At least, not on this earth. But their spirits still are within me, so I kind of always feel like they are near me when I want or need them to be. Were they nice? In most ways they were, K. Like all people they each had their "issues" and sometimes those issues got in the way of their being good parents, but they were not abusive and they did not lock me up or frighten me or make me do things that would end up damaging my ability to trust people. I am grateful for that and wish it could have been so for you.

Yes, Kristy did tell me she is a lesbian and I think that’s great as long as she is in a relationship that is gentle and kind and that gives her support and love and that she can return the same to her partner. Most important to me about any relationship is that people treat each other with kindness and respect.

You know what makes me feel so happy inside, K? Hearing you say you love me in a good way...because that tells me that you know there are good kinds of loving in this world and that there is loving that doesn't hurt and that isn't confusing or full of drama.That there can be simply...loving someone. And believe me, there is nothing better, nothing healthier, nothing to treasure more than loving somebody (or a pet) in a good way and being loved back in the same sort of good way.

Know that you are cared for and loved back in that good way and not just by me, but by others as well.

Well, it’s almost 9:30 my time and I have tons to do before I go to I better start doing it or I will be up wayyy too late. One thing about my life now is that I go to sleep a whole lot earlier than I used to. And I take naps too! As long as my brain gets a LOT of quiet time and rest, it does okay in most ways. So I shall say good night for now, K. Thanks for writing and talking with me. It’s so nice to "hear" your voice.
Love, Ms. Sanders

To my surprise, the following email showed up in my box at 6:30 in the morning:


Whoa. Holy Smokes, I thought. Now, who is this and what the heck does she mean by all this?

Before I responded, I definitely wanted to talk to Kristy. Could she just come up if called? I mean, if I sent her an email would she see it or would it go to this S. person first?

I’d worked with kids identified with more than one personality and in one case, I had worked with a boy who had a very violent, aggressive part that would surface and not be remembered later. My good friend is a functional “multiple,” and I have long been aware of her “others,” although I have never interacted with them personally. Still, even with these experiences in my background, I had a feeling that nothing in my personal or professional experience had prepared me for what was going on within Kristy.

Could I handle this or was I getting into something way too complex, way too disturbing and way too demanding for me to be involved in?

TBC. Read the conversation which soon transpired between S. and I as I find out about this particular "alter" or ("other" part)--the one who had assumed the religious fervor in their household and complied with all that was demanded, while silently holding tremendous anger and rage.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009