Karen Answers Irena’s Second Question

Comment by Irena on August 13, 2008 11:07 am

Dear Karen,

I think a lot of people will deny the facts and refuse to believe that immature, disfunctional and sadistic adults permit themselves to hurt children (young girls) in mainstream American cities, hidden in mainstream American culture. Would Dennis and his like be so incredulous if your story came out of England? or Egypt? or India? or China even? Children are bought and sold (filmed, assaulted, abused) illegally in the modern world because there is a market for it and your father and friends just took what was there. You are spot on in your reply and I’m sure many women have felt angry at the question I refer to because it’s exactly the head in the sand attitude that allows this kind of horror to happen in the first place. America is a country of plenty, of anything goes, permissiveness and porn included, founded on a puritanical framework of Christian morality that often denies rather than faces the darkest aspects of human behavior. Dennis ought to think harder about those men and the “weirdness” of the 60’s because it is not ok to just dismiss it as “spirit of the times.” People get hurt, and you’re right, Karen, children are all adults’ responsibilities, not just their parents’, and in a way young people in our society belong to all of us.


Dear Irena,

Thank you for understanding and articulating what I, too, feel. I hope Dennis reads the responses left by you and Azkadelia. It saddens me to hear adults’ ignorance and disbelief about children who are abused; this is why they often have no one to listen to them. I believe it’s up to all adults to be aware and take notice of anything that appears suspicious. How different my life would’ve been if only one adult would’ve stepped in and helped me.

Thank you, again. Your comment will definitely make a difference.




  1. Dear Karen,
    you see, I still feel protective of you, and the little girl you were. I am still in tears from time to time over what you endured and would never allow any child that was mine or not to suffer alone if the slightest sign were given me that she needed to be helped or protected. It’s exactly why in civilized and even tribal societies there are laws that protect minors, and I’d hope most responsible adult citizens take that personally.

    When I was a teenager I had a very close friend who could have been you, Karen, but she never let me close enough to help. By the time we were 18 our lives had split in different directions – I felt that she was deeply ashamed of herself for what her father had used her for and intuitively I knew this is what limited our friendship and ability to evenly share like friends do. She had talked of her father a lot, we both feared our dads although mine was physical and alcoholic, he never crossed the line, but hers took it all. She had several younger siblings that she was excessively protective over and responsible for – her little twin sisters especially.

    Underneath her overwhelming sadness, shame and painful shyness she was extremely cool and smart – we shared a passion for David Bowie and books but not enough to keep us growing together after high school. In her mind, there was just no comparison between us and our gapingly different personal lives, yet I was the closest person to her, at least that’s what I felt at the time.

    Then I heard of her death, by her own hand a year after leaving high school. How misguided was I to not intervene? I think the revelation of her story while she was alive was an impossibility to her – just could not happen. I wanted to tell teachers and adults around me but in an all girl’s catholic school I remember feeling like the information I was carrying just wasn’t wanted by anyone around and was going to be dismissed as slanderous and damaging and I’d be punished for it. In any case, she’d have denied it vehemently if it went public. Nobody wanted to know.

    I think most children don’t survive because they can not bear their own memories. Without good memories, how do you grow into a mentally and sexually healthy adult? This is why your story is so important and so needed. Dissociating saved you, that is clear. Thanks for explaining to the skeptics out there and suggesting they ask themselves a few questions. They obviously are drawn to, and need to read this book and ask the questions they need asked.

    good luck with the paperback launch. I hope more people find it “light weight” enough to purchase. You’re going to keep inspiring people for the rest of your life. I have never fully realized the pain of losing my friend until now – it all connects. Thanks.


  2. […] Karen Answers Irena’s Third Question Comment by Irena on August 18, 2008 4:47 am […]

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