Story - Valley of Echoes

Lauren is referred to the school guidance counselor after being found with lots of cuts on her chest, arms and thighs. The guidance counselor referred her to a therapist at a local clinic that deals with children and teenagers that self harm themselves.

The therapist helps Lauren deal with the abuse she suffered from her grandparents even after her grandfather died a year ago. Lauren is given a social worker and her living grandmother and mother are charged with abuse. Plus allowing Lauren to be abused by her grandfather.

Lauren father leaves her mother taking Lauren with him. He supports her as she learns to heal and know her father loves her and cares about her. They begin a new life with the support of her new friends at a catholic school and church. Plus her father’s family help her learn new ways to deal with the pressures of being under abuse by members of her mother’s family.

Her mother and grandmother are sentenced to a prison life term. Now Lauren has to learn to trust and learn to believe in what her family and friends tell her. she didn’t deserve the abused.


I took a tissue out my pocket and cleared the mist from my glasses. Once I put them back on, they misted up again. I noticed Juliet at the black iron-rod gates in her Dodge Neon car. I rushed through the playground, climbed into the front passenger seat and buckled myself in.
She turned to look at me and I smiled widely. I didn’t say anything to her. I hadn’t talked to anyone since the funeral of my Grandfather Perry. I wasn’t allowed to go to his funeral as I was told it was my fault he died. How could I kill a full-grown man? His death was a relief in my mind. Mom was adamant about blaming me for his death. She beat me till my body was black and blue with bruises.
It’s been a year now, and I’m still being blamed for his death. To cope, I found my own way. I was given a social worker, Juliet Cox. She tried her hardest to get me to talk, but I didn’t. I hadn’t said a single word since his demise. I hadn’t spoken to my parents, my friends or my Grandmother Perry.
I can still remember how he looked as he sat in his chair with his eyes closed. This was something I couldn’t get out my mind. Each night when I go to sleep, I see him looking over me as I lie in bed. Dad was the only one who didn’t blame me for his death. It was like he was there believing in me. I just couldn’t understand him one bit.
Juliet drove through town and began talking about this being my third visit to Sherry, my therapist. I hadn’t spoken to her since I was assigned to her. “Remember to talk. If you start talking, it will help let people know how you’re feeling. We’re here to help you. Remember that,” Juliet said as I climbed out of the car. The only reason I was in therapy was that I was a self-harmer.
Nobody knew I carried a utility knife and razor blade in my backpack. If people found out, I’m sure they’d lock me into a mental hospital. I watched Juliet drive off. I stood there as her car got into the distance. I turned to look at the tall building where Sherry was. Her office was on the fourth floor. I hated heights; it meant I had to take the elevator up to her floor.
“Talk and it will help”; the words rang throughout my mind as I entered the building. I counted all the steps as I made my way to the elevator and climbed in. It was empty. I pressed the button for floor four. The thought of going into Sherry’s office and talking with her was far from my mind. I shook my head and told myself no. He told me if I ever told anyone he’d come get me and take me to hell with him. I didn’t want to go to hell. I tried my best to be good and honest with all my friends.

Dear God,
                Give me the strength, guidance and help to get through this session with Sherry. I mustn’t tell a soul what he did to me. Now my Uncle David is taking his place and raping me. Every time mom leaves me with my Grandmother Martha, he rapes me. Plus, my grandmother will beat me like mom does. She put a hot poker for the open log fire on my back. I still have the scar from that. AMEN!

I walked out of the elevator and along the hallway and to the waiting room. This will be another hour in silence, I was sure. I walked through the wood-and-glass door and up to the window. I handed the receptionist a piece of paper with my name on it and whom I was there to see. I didn’t talk to anyone. “Go sit down, I’ll tell Sherry you’re here.” I turned to see a half-crowded waiting room and sat on a chair by myself.
I clutched my backpack to my chest and held it there. It had my utility knife and razor inside. I started to look around the waiting room, thinking about what Sherry would ask today. Would she want me to talk? I sure hoped not. I was too scared to talk. Talking meant letting people inside my mind, to let them know what had happened to me by my grandfather, grandmother and mom.
Slowly looking from one person to another, I noticed that they weren’t looking at me. Why weren’t they staring at me, looking into my mind, reading my mind? Why weren’t they trying to figure out why I was here in a therapist’s office? I had to figure that out. As I took a second glance around the room, I saw Sherry waiting for me. Was she trying to read my mind? I bet she was.
I had to block everyone out of my mind. Nobody must know what I was thinking of doing once the hour was up. “You ready, Lauren?” Sherry inquired as she stood by the open door. I nodded my head, got up and moved in her direction.
Just as I stood, I gazed around the waiting room once more. I had to make sure nobody was reading my mind. I deliberately closed it off. I didn’t want anyone knowing what I was thinking or planning. I followed Sherry along the corridors, around the corner and into her office. She sat on one couch as I dumped my backpack onto the opposite one. I didn’t want to sit down. If I sat opposite her, she’d try to read my mind. I couldn’t have that at all.
I paced the floor right behind the couch that I had laid my backpack on. My head was buzzing; feeling like someone was trying to get inside, like someone was trying to read my thoughts and feelings. I stopped for a minute to peek outside the large windows. It was a big room. There were tall buildings everywhere outside.
I was getting more paranoid than usual. I couldn’t let anyone inside my mind; so much stuff was in there that I mustn’t tell to a soul. They’ll come get me if I tell anyone. Mom once told me that if I told on her she would kill me. She’d go on to say God didn’t create me, Satan did.

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