Truddi says she was not the only person in her family abused by her stepfather. She says her half-brother—her stepfather's son—was a victim too. "You hear his screams and you hear the thwack of the belt," she says. "When you hear those sounds, you want them to go on and on and on forever, because you know when they stop it will be your turn. You have to face those things about yourself, and I guess we forgive us because we were so little, but it's not nice."

Her stepfather also sexually abused the animals on the family's farm, Truddi says. Then he would kill the animals to prevent them from doing something that could make neighbors suspicious, she says.

Truddi says one of the hardest things to deal with is realizing her mother—who passed away after the book was released—must have known about what was happening in the house. "She repressed so much, as we found out later. Tons of things," Truddi says. "Maybe in order to stay sane she had to do that. Now I don't know if we're giving her excuses."


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