There was a mentally disabled boy in the network, whose innocence was unaffected by the abuse.

There was a mentally disabled boy in the network, whose innocence was unaffected by the abuse. On the set of Real Women Real Stories in New York, I spoke about the sex trafficking bill, and also shared more about my story. There is always something rising to the surface, to be worked out more fully, to offer deeper understanding. The mentally disabled boy had been on my mind. I loved him. He was maybe seven years old, and I was nine. I wanted very badly to protect him, his innocence and sweetness, which I thought I had already lost. I seemed so much older and more in control. He didn't survive. In honoring that boy's life by telling his story, and feeling that pain, I also reclaimed my own child self. Yesterday a friend acted like an aggressive boss. My survivor's guilt would have overlooked his offensiveness in the past, but a new boundary is up. I give everything in my power to help others in gaining self awareness, but I'm not a substitute mother there to receive a little boy's unresolved anger through the adult man. Not anymore. If a man can't treat me with basic respect, I lose nothing if he disappears. This is what empowerment looks like.

M Becker