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Hello everyone. I greet you and share my love and support for your pain and your suffering. I recently discovered my poor child had been abused by a family member. It has been hell in that the abuser has passed away, and there is no one to talk to. Last night I stayed up and wrote this poem about my experience. I share it because I need to get my feelings out, but I hope that in some small way a shared experience may help someone else. I'd love to hear any thoughts or advice on how to help her. (She is getting wonderful counseling). Beside the Fire Beside the fire I set my baby down to drive back the chill the black night was cold and I bade her stand still I turned my back on her and the vicious red coal A split second was I gone - then her cry pierced my soul I've never felt fear like I did on that night I've never felt numb and burned by such fright I cursed myself a fool as I plunged my hands in to the place where, her tiny body had been desperately searching her small form for the pain where the cruel heat had scorched in the fire where she'd lain Desperation and relief waged a war deep inside But finding no harm I hugged her, and cried. Through the years I've watched my lovely girl grow and often I've thought of that night long ago when careless and reckless and thoughtless my act could have changed her whole life with tragic impact Through school and religion and oft times indecision We did the best that we could taught her to act as she should for life to be happy and carefree and to brush off a scraped knee I thought her life was serene but the truth was obscene I plucked my baby from the arms of the fire and placed her in the hands of my very own sire though she was free from the fires painful embrace dangerous and sinister and dark was the place where I trusted my baby for comfort and care but instead to my horror, found the devil was there Now I see wounds too painful to mend, the pain in her eyes, the despair without end Oh God above; why are you so cruel? this child was my life not for your whim just a tool To he whom I loved from my beginning to his end with my whole heart, my father my friend I know you loved me but it felt like you lied after I mourned you the truth felt like *I* died And now left to wander, feeling lost and alone in the garden of her life dark seeds have been sown.