Gregg says the abuse finally stopped when he was 11 years old and he and his siblings were removed from their mother's home. "I spent two weeks stealing money from my mother's purse, running down to a corner store and using a pay phone to call an older sister," he says. "The best I could muster, generally weeping, I would choke out the words: 'You need to come get us. Come save us.'"

After two weeks of these calls, Gregg says his oldest sister came and physically removed both them from their mother's home.

In the years between when he left his mother's home and when she died in 1996, Gregg says he always worried about what she thought of him. "My relationship with my mother was still one that I worried very much about her and loved her very much. I wondered if she was okay," he says. "Certainly I avoided her; I was still deathly afraid of her."

Gregg says he's even blocked her out of memories from those years entirely. "Recently, a picture was shown to me from my college graduation where my mother is standing next to me. I honestly don't remember my mother being there. I completely shut her off from my life. I certainly didn't communicate with her. I was still very much afraid of her, even as an adult."


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