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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • An open letter to Emporia and Newton

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  •  I am not going to get an invitation to the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the class of 1967 with this letter. But, you know, I’m 62 and don’t care so much what people think of me, and rejection would certainly be no worse than it was in high school.My maiden name was Nolder, although I can barely say it even today.I was an abused child, from my earliest memories until I was 16, and attempted suicide. It stopped for three years until just before I married at age 19. The memories were repressed for a lot of years, until my mother was near death, and were coming back until my father died, six months later. Then the flood gates opened, and some of it has been difficult.From corresponding with a few people, I have learned that I was not the only one, by any means. It was rampant among Santa Fe Railroad families, but not restricted to only them, in the 50’s and 60’s. If anyone would like to come forward and discuss your experiences, share our experiences, if you think it would help heal, I’m offering this opportunity. Complete anonymity, if it concerns you. I don’t live there anymore, but I respect the privacy of those who do. To put my heart a little further out on a limb, I will say that some of these experiences were not one on one encounters, but groups. Hard to believe, except for those of us who were there. If no one responds that’s fine, but I felt very alone for a lot of years.My current husband and my children have been here to support me. Even my ex-husband has been supportive. I ache for those men and women who have felt that they could not share these experiences of abuse with anyone, or who were too ashamed to talk to anyone. We have shared some awful times, things that children should never have had to endure. I realize some people are still in contact with their abusers and I am not advocating confrontations of any kind, perhaps just a release from the secrecy among ourselves.If you feel that you’re doing fine, I’m happy for you. For myself I know I was deeply and permanently damaged, and those feeling the same way are the ones I want to share with. My email is nhumbarger49@gmail. I currently live in Texas. — Nancy Humbarger, TexaS 
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