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|More than Magic - Page 3|
Terr chronicles a range of turnaround points in her work with Cammie. They shared rituals, like having real tea parties, with real china cups and Mrs. Field's cookies. Terr's staff also attended. These celebratory get-togethers helped Cammie start choosing civilized behavior over base, animal aggression. Eventually she realized that the predatory wolf she'd initially admired in the story of Little Red Riding Hood was just "weird." As Terr summarizes this development, when faced with a choice about how to be in the world, the youngster began to choose the normal over the bizarre.
Other moments of change followed. After a visit with Cammie to her baby sister's grave, Terr writes, "From that time on, she chose good over bad." A temper tantrum at age 10, when she was in the third grade, led her to prefer being attached to others, rather being a loner. Later that year, she found herself pursued by an overly aggressive playmate. It started with the comment "Let's get married," though that soon changed to "Let's have sex." Cammie was both enticed and bewildered. So Terr had to tell her about the "facts of life," and the distinction between forced sex and love. Terr then discussed with Cammie how to deal with the annoying boy. The boy's mother was brought in, and the nonsense stopped. All told, Cammie started to learn a central lesson: she wasn't a confused victim, but an active agent in her own life.
Cammie's last magical moment of change occurred when Terr convinced her to write a letter to a judge against her brutal father (who, in the meantime, had been released from prison and had killed another child in Oregon). She was frightened of this diabolical man and with good reason—in addition to his horrendous treatment of her as a baby, there was some evidence that he was stalking her. In writing this letter to the judge, says Terr, "she gave up believing she was a prisoner of her genetics and chose, instead, her environment and her Ôwill' as the most important factors in her future. This put a new positive direction to Cammie's quest for identity."