I suppose I could begin with how my life came to be defined by the traumas of the past. As a little girl, I was molested by my grandfather. I barely remember any of it. Until last September, I thought those memories were neutral or positive ones. All I have are a few polaroid like clips of images of my naked grandfather. And, some sound bytes. “We don’t talk about these kind of things with other people.” etc. I never thought anything of it. Even two years after my grandmother told me my grandfather was a pedophile who had preyed on many of the young girls in our family for the past SIX decades, nothing registered for me. It hit me like a truck. I felt his hands on me two decades later. And I felt nauseous. I wanted to die.

But, alas, I was already screwed up well before I came to that thrilling realization.

My mother used to beat me when I was little. And I was really little when I was little. I’m still really little now. Anyway, yes, so she used to drag me by my hair down the street, dig her nails into me, burn me, and beat me. She lost custody of me when I was 7 because she told the judge repeatedly that she never hit me. Then she proceeded to hit me, albeit unknowingly, in front of the court clerk in the elevator. Good job, mom.

I was so excited when my dad got custody of me. I had a new little brother, a mom, and a swingset and backyard. Sadly, my father and stepmother proceeded to verbally and emotionally abuse, threaten, and neglect me. I lived in that pretty house with a swingset and green grass, and a clarinet through my door until I was 18. Apparently healthy adults don’t make every waking moment a constant reminder that you don’t deserve the air you’re breathing.

I tried to take the beatings again from my mom when I was 12. I could handle that better, and take them like a champ. I could wrap my mind around the fact that my mom wasn’t quite right and because of that beat me with the telephone in the face. But, I couldn’t quite digest that my daddy and mom (stepmom) didn’t love me no matter what I did. So I stayed with my mom for a year. Soon after my mom got emergency custody I was hospitalized because apparently when you say you’re going to kill yourself if you don’t get to live with your mom, they take you seriously. And search your body and lock you in the crisis unit. It was what my mom’s lawyer and my mom told me to do, and as always, I obeyed diligently and was too young to realize the repercussions of my words. I had no idea, but the adults in my life most likely knew. They promised they would come back and get me. And they didn’t, they left me there for 10 days. I was infinitely more f*cked up when I left than when I entered.

After the hospital I went back to being a straight A student in honors classes. Three months later I was sexually assaulted by a “friend”. Apparently he and my friend had decided that at 13 I was entirely too old to be a virgin. I almost ended up failing 8th grade after that. I sent up all the red flags and no one bothered to even take a second look at me. No one intervened, no one inquired as to what was wrong.

I moved back in with my dad and stepmom a few months after the school year ended. I returned to all the same shit that made me willing to take the beatings over the way they treated me. For me, what occurred with my dad and stepmom has had the most impact. What I learned from them has been my internal script for the past 25 odd years.

I have to rewrite my entire script. I have no other choice at this point. It’s either that, or forgo all of my hopes and dreams for my life and succumb to the pain. The pain is getting a little old now, and recovery threatens to be my last resort.