To an outsider, Vilma "Billy" Ileana Cordero's childhood would have seemed relatively normal. Born the seventh of twelve children, she had two loving parents who moved the family from Puerto Rico to Chicago in pursuit of a better life. Her father was a chef, while her mother stayed at home tending to the children. All was well. Life was good...except it was a lie.
Behind the familial façade lurked a dark and destructive secret: Billy was being sexually abused by her father, and no one was willing to stop it. She was four years old when her father sneaked into her room late at night, silencing her voice and stealing her innocence. The abuse continued for years and was perpetuated by her mother. Billy's pleadings for her to intervene were met with anger and derision. Billy was convinced she'd brought it on herself and was coerced into accepting her father's molestation.
During a time when speaking out was considered shameful, Billy was forced to suffer in silence. But now, decades later, she has finally found her voice. In this emotional and compelling account, Billy reveals the scars of her childhood and how she overcame a lifetime of trauma.
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About the Author
Vilma Ileana Cordero was born the seventh of twelve children (five girls and seven boys) in Puerto Rico. At an early age, she moved with her family to Chicago and hung around mostly with the boys. She's fluent in both Spanish and English.
For twenty years, Cordero owned a hairstyling business. She also spent several years working as a licensed real estate agent. A widow, Cordero was married for twenty-three years before her husband passed away. She has three grown daughters.
After facing numerous obstacles in life, Cordero has found peace while maintaining her sense of humor. She remains close with her children and sister.