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Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher recently revealed a painful secret that has tormented her for years. Like one out of four women in the United States, she endured sexual abuse as a child.

Teri says that the abuse damaged her self-esteem, and her mother also played a role in her emotional development. "[My mom] was very self-sacrificing...but almost to a bad point," Teri says. "She just never took anything good for herself, and that was kind of my role model and sort of what I ended up doing."

Her mother's selfless nature inspired the title of Teri's book, Burnt Toast. "It was an expression that came out of my mouth when I was doing a Barbara Walters special," Teri says. "I was explaining what I do, you know, that I eat the burnt toast. I take what is last, and I learned that from my mother."

When Teri celebrated her 40th birthday, she says she began to reevaluate her life and how she wanted to live it. "I thought, 'I don't want to do this anymore. There has to be a balance between taking everything for yourself or taking nothing...and in the middle is the golden buttery brown toast,'" she says.


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