I asked Middle Boy to talk to me.

He had opened the door to discussing past abuse with the discussion about being punched in the stomach.

I asked him if there was one memory of abuse that comes up more than others.  One constantly present.  He whispered "fire".

I asked what about fire.  There were four distinct stories about fire...sadistic stories about fire.  One of them haunts me.  His mom's boyfriend lit his shirt on fire and then hit him with newspapers to put it out.  He is VERY SENSITIVE to having his back touched.  I asked him if he thought that was why.  He just cried and said "it hurts".

I gently touched his neck and he shrunk back.  I asked if I had scared him.  He told me he had been choked with a chain dog leash and sometimes having his neck touched flashed him back there.

He is so concerned about "hurting me" with what he has to say.  I explained I want to help him carry his burden.  I want to help him turn it over to God.  I want to help him erase some of the fear and confusion.

I reminded him over and over he is safe in my home.  That I would never physically hurt him. 

He finally fell asleep...exhausted, but right before he drifted off he said thank you.

That, my friends, makes this worth it.
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