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Tonight's special guest is Mary Ann Smith from Torrance, California, a returning NAASCA family member whose last appearance was in October of 2021. Mary Ann had a difficult home life. Her father died when she was 10 and her mother, who struggled with mental illness, eventually lost custody of her four kids. At 13, Mary Ann was placed in foster care and began to suffer sexual abuse. Foster care kids are among the most abused, along with indigenous children and those living in our poorer inner city neighborhoods. About 60% of sexually abused kids are abused by their own family and and extended family (mom's new boyfriend for example) and 30% are assaulted by their own 'caregiver' community (baby sitters, teachers, clergy coaches, camp councilors). Less than 10% of sexually molested kids are assaulted by strangers to them or the community. Mary Ann had a lot of trauma in her adulthood, including CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress disorder). As children we often don't know at first just what is happening. Once we realize that the adults around us are being abusive, we often have a hard time, being heard, being believed. For many people the obsessive use of like alcohol, food, gambling to excess and sexual promiscuity, which can last for decades, can stand in the way of recovery. Mary Ann had a difficult time just remembering her previous life. But she's now reconstituted her self, and at 66 seems ready to take on this healing journey .. and we're delighted to have her as the newest member of the NAASCA family.