Yesterday Daughter asked me to tell her what happened in her birth family. She said she'd been having nightmares.
"Is Oldest Brother calling you again?"
"He's not calling me on the phone, but he's calling me in my dreams. I need to know what happened."
I wasn't sure how much I should or could tell her. I told her what I knew of her birth family and the history of abuse in it. After sharing some general background and gauging her reaction, I finally told her that OB had forced her to perform oral sex on him. "I was just a baby! I didn't know how to do that!"
I told her that what he'd done had been very wrong. We talked about how frightened she had been as a young child. We remembered the bedtime ritual, and how I had to tell her she was safe and nobody would hurt her every night before she went to sleep. We remembered all the times she had awakened, screaming. She listened intently. I told her she was doing a good job of using her voice to keep herself safe, and we talked about some of the recent incidents at her program. There are several men she won't allow to sit near her now.
This morning she woke up around 6 and announced, "I slept through the night."
I am impressed. I guess she did know what she needed.