2012-02-20 / Letters

A life-saving story

To the editor:

I write in response to the Feb. 7 article about Phippsburg Police Chief John Skroski, recently honored for his life-saving heroism, (“Skroski speaks out on childhood abuse”).

I am confident that the choice he and his sister made to share their childhood history was not easy. I want them to know that their courage in coming forward will undoubtedly help save additional lives.

I am a psychotherapist who has been working with adult survivors of childhood abuse for many years. The long-term impact of the kind of trauma they suffered can be devastating. Unfortunately, we more often hear about the offenders who claim that it was their childhood abuse that is responsible for the harm they have committed.

We don’t hear about people like John Skroski or my many clients who are determined to end the cycle of abuse and do whatever it takes to do so.

We don’t hear about the legacy of shame and damaged esteem that they often live with because they were led to believe the abuse was their fault in some way.

We don’t hear about how they lie awake at night either afraid to sleep or plagued by nightmares if they do.

In my experience, the majority of childhood abuse victims grow into strong, caring and sensitive adults. The lingering harm is often in the form of emotional and relational difficulties.

Fortunately, the understanding of the impact of early life trauma has increased considerably in recent years. More than ever before, there are therapies and resources to help adults with abuse histories recover and heal from these early wounds.

The same strength and resilience that allowed them to survive can be successfully applied to their healing.

Thank you to John Skroski and his sister, Alicia Skroski Khlass, for sharing their story. I trust it will inspire others like them to begin the healing journey.

Linda Heller, LCSW,


Return to top