Dear dear Manuela:

What an amazing journey you and your daughter have been on. It is almost inconceivable and tremendously wonderful that your daughter's love gave her such determination. You must indeed be a very wonderful mother.

Sadly my son did not have your daughter's determination; maybe he didn't feel he had so much love to lose if he told. He did not do well in school for the most part although his intelligence has never been in question. He eventually dropped out of high school but then went on to college--got good grades; made dean's list one semester; had the third lead in the school play (Shakespeare) and then dropped out. Then went back. Then dropped out...on and on for years. He has never held a job for a full year; usually sleeps all day and is up all night. It's very very difficult for me to function when he can't. (I'm a teacher too)

Your advice is excellent--I need to "do things" in order to get past the guilt. My problem is that I am totally clueless about what to do. Before I knew about the abuse, I often thought I should practice tough love--kick him out, force him to function. Now that doesn't seem like a choice at all. As for the abuser--I can't confront him unless my son wants to and so far he doesn't. And feeling bad definitely makes my son feel really bad but I just can't seem to stop. Much of the time, I feel as if it is hopeless and THAT FEELING IS TOTALLY WRONG FOR HIM. I feel desperate and so very very worried about his future. How will he support himself? Who will hold his hand when he is tormented?

So what is it I am supposed to do? Because I so yearn "to do for him," I came here seeking advice. I've found WONDERFUL SUPPORT and some hope but I still DO NOT HAVE A CLUE WHAT TO DO FOR HIM.

May you and your daughter continue to be strong and determined and continue to heal. May whatever gods there be bless you with "light and love."