This has been such a long and trying month. I've sat down to the computer a dozen times trying to let you know where I've been but haven't known where to start. I grew up in an extremely abusive home, physically, verbally, emotionally and sexually, and this has affected every moment of my adult live whether or not I've been aware of it. It has affected each of my brothers and sisters also. You think that when you grow up and leave the house that it is over, that you have finally won, that you are out and safe. Not so, not as long as I allow them to influence every step that I make. Not as long as I stay silent and watch others suffer through the same abuse that I went through. Do you realize that most children who are abused as children grow up to marry abusers and to be abusers themselves? You are what you are taught until someone teaches you better! Thankfully I realized this at a young age and had the influence of a wonderful friend and her family to teach me what a family is supposed to be like. I have a wonderful husband who would never think about raising a hand to me and has never said one disparaging word to me. My parents have guardianship of my younger sisters children due to substance abuse, neglect and domestic violence. They have been abusing my two nieces and my nephew and I have stood by. During this time I have tried to talk to my parents about their behaviour and they have refused to acknowledge what they are doing. I made an effort to help right? I tried to help right? that's enough right? I'll just love the kids and provide a safe place for them to visit. That's enough right? They'll make it through, we did, right? I don't have to turn on my family to make a change do I? I don't have to tell others what's going on do I? I was not doing enough! My husband and I had to stop it. After talking to my sisters and being told that they wouldn't help, that they wouldn't tell the truth about the abuse we had to do it on our own. We went to the state on my parents. My sisters have turned their backs on us and sided with my parents because they don't want to be embarrassed, they want their pasts left alone. Then something amazing happened, my niece and her husband stood up with us. They are a young, married couple with a 2 year old and a baby on the way and they stood up with us. My niece talked to the state, told what it is like at my parents. She is amazing - she is my hero. At 22 years old she is doing what I didn't at her age, what I convinced myself that I couldn't. She is choosing right over wrong and she is suffering for it but she is standing fast and strong. I am so in awe of her. This past month my husband and I became licensed Foster Parents in the state of NH and on December 19th one of our nieces and our nephew will be removed from my parents home and will be placed with us. We will be petitioning the court at that time to have my other niece's case reopened so she can also be removed. At the end of a long month my "family" is smaller but stronger and I can finally say that I am doing enough to stop them. This post is long and rambling but you have been so kind to me. Once this is all settled I will be online more and will post more cards and visit your blogs. Thank you!!!