Born into poverty and violence, Lora’s early life was one of extreme vulnerability. She was prostituted for the first time at the age of nine and suffered unspeakable treatment from those who should have protected her. Early trauma led to her institutionalization soon after she started college, an incarceration she would not have survived but for a courageous nurse who fought for her release. Fifty years later, with an advanced degree in clinical psychology, a long career as a successful mental health professional, a leading educator and sought-after public speaker, Lora revisited the grounds of the Illinois state mental hospital where she was once kept in inhumane, degrading, and life-threatening circumstances.
This profound and compelling memoir traces her life as a survivor of child abuse, sex trafficking, illegal pharmacological drug research, and institutional abuse. Lora’s experiences illuminate and validate the power of love and the strength of the indomitable human spirit that lives within each one of us. This is her story.