Inside a Child's Mind
“Lauren spent five weeks in the hospital. When I saw her, I thought she looked like a 3-year-old child, and her walking and her motor skills were like a 3-year-old child,” Sondra remembers. “My specialty is play therapy. She began to play out her themes during the play therapy sessions. She acted out pain, and suffering and asking for help. When she showed anger, she would take this baby doll, and spread the legs apart, and scream, hit, and punch the vagina of the doll and say, ‘You hurt me! You hurt me! Stop it, stop it, stop it!’ She began to have what Lauren called visions — memories of what her stepfather had done to her. Lauren would describe how her stepfather would invite his friends over, and they would have sexual activities with her too. She had to have reconstructive surgery, because from her vagina to her rectum had been totally scarred, torn open, and she had to wear a colostomy bag for three months. The thing that was the hardest to watch was a little child acting out bleeding, and moaning and begging for help. And I realized during those sessions that she had to heal herself for six years. The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that a mother and a stepfather could be so evil and cruel, and take pleasure out of so much pain.”

Sondra has been working with Lauren, now 18, for the past 10 years. “She has made great strides,” she tells Dr. Phil. Sondra says they knew that Lauren had been abused physically but weren’t sure of the details until she began to act out in play therapy.

[AD]“You said she would repeatedly lie on the floor and draw blood spewing from her mouth?” Dr. Phil asks. 

Sondra says that while using a piece of paper and a red marker, Lauren would draw blood next to her face. “She would moan, and she would say, ‘Help,’ and she would say, ‘Call 911, call the ambulance.’ And she would do this repeatedly, session after session, and that’s how I knew that a little girl was vomiting blood and bleeding, and for six years, no doctor ever looked at her, and she healed by herself,” she says. 
“We’ve now learned that she was forced to eat fecal matter. She ate parts of the wall, the floor, the bowl, so all these inanimate objects were impacted as well,” Dr. Phil says.

“They were. They said if they had not found her and cleared her out, she soon would have died,” Sondra says.

Dr. Phil asks about Lauren’s uncommon vocabulary for someone who was isolated from 2 to 8.

Sondra says it was from a radio tuned to a country music station that Lauren learned words. “She had a lot of words, but she didn’t have a lot of understanding. She didn’t know what grass was,” Sondra says.

[AD]“They had this radio playing so people wouldn’t hear her,” Dr. Phil says.  

“Right, to buffer her sounds,” she says. “And they would leave her for several days at a time, so this radio was going non-stop, 24/7.”