January 25, 2017
When Lauren was eight years old, she was rescued from a filthy, urine-soaked 4’x9’ bedroom closet where her mother and stepfather had held her for six years, separate from her five siblings. Following their arrest, Barbara and Kenneth Atkinson were convicted and sentenced to life in prison on multiple felony counts for severely abusing the little girl.
Lauren was subsequently adopted and began the long recovery from the physical damage she had suffered at the hands of the Atkinsons. But her psychological trauma wasn’t over.
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“I can’t listen to country music because that’s all they ever played to drown out my screaming. When I hear it, it just all comes back,” says Lauren in part one of an exclusive two-part Dr. Phil airing this week.
She says it was two years following her release when she began having flashbacks about being sexually brutalized, punched and burned. She says those flashbacks continue to this day, “I hardly sleep; I have night terrors, nightmares, flashbacks. Every day I relive my past. It doesn’t ever end.”
She says the scariest flashback she’s ever had “was when Kenneth put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger, and was laughing about it.”
On Wednesday’s Dr. Phil, Lauren talks about her ongoing struggles with addiction, anxiety, depression, paranoia, and multiple attempts to commit suicide because of the trauma she suffered as a child. Lauren’s girlfriend, Janae, is also brought into the discussion. Then on Thursday, Lauren’s older sister, Blake, discusses what she knew about Lauren’s ongoing abuse, and why she felt powerless to help.
Find out where to watch, here.
This program contains strong sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.
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