Reading your memory, I was touched. It evoked mixed emotions. My abuser held my hand, smiled at me, made me trust him. I'm always uncomfortable around children. I can't help thinking how vulnerable they are. I worried about what kind of father I would be if I ever became one. I couldn't picture myself hugging a child.

But last year, my four-year-old neice and nephew, fraternal twins, visited for Christmas. My sister lives across the country, and I only saw them once before, when they were two. At first, I was shy around them. By the end of their visit, I adored them. I loved playing games with them, making them laugh and contemplating their personalities.

The sexual abuse I suffered didn't wreck that. A smile and holding a child's hand can be a wonderful thing.