Content Notice: This story contains references to trauma, physical and emotional abuse, drug use, addiction.
My trauma story started at birth. I started life knowing more and seeing more than any young child should. I was born to a drug dealer and someone addicted to drugs. My parents’ relationship was not meant to last, and eventually, I would find myself part of a complex custody arrangement. The duel homes were like night and day with my father slowly building a new life and a new family while my mother slowly burned her life to the ground. It wasn’t long after the arrangement was made that the physical abuse by my mother’s hand started. She had won primary custody out of spite and a desire to hurt my father more than out of any love for me. Hitting me was just another part of her revenge. For over 10 years, I lived under her tyranny, the violence progressing. It wasn’t until I almost died at 17 that things changed, and I was moved from one hell to another.
People often wondered why I stayed with my mother for so long. They wonder where my dad and other family were, where the school was, the police, the doctors. They wondered how I could have lived in that hell for 10 years with no intervention. At first, I did fight. At first, I did speak up. At first, I did ask for help. The problem was no one was listening, at least, not to a kid. My mother was a master of manipulation. She blamed me, calling me violent, claiming self-defense, and people believed her. My own stepmother believed her and used this belief, plus resentment for me, to keep others from helping. Eventually, even I started to believe her. Something had to be wrong with me, or I had to deserve it in some way. Slowly I stopped fighting and focused on surviving.