this is truly beautiful, Peter. painful to read but shining with compassion and hope. i don't have answers to your questions, but it sure sounds to me like a measure of healing has taken place in your heart from the compassion that is glowing through these words.
"the scariest thing about abuse of any shape or form, is, in my opinion, not the abuse itself, but that if it continues it can begin to feel commonplace and eventually acceptable."
- Alan Cumming, "Not My Father's Son"