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BECOMING WHAT I MIGHT HAVE BEEN

 

As I passed my 50th birthday, I wondered if I would ever be able to complete some of the dreams I had carried with me for decades. So many things had happened to me. I had been sent to juvenile hall at fourteen, got myself kicked out of school by fifteen, and married by sixteen. We had our firstborn son when I was seventeen, and my husband abandoned my son and me by my eighteenth birthday. Thing went downhill from there. I experienced abuse and trauma. After a gang-rape by six young men I turned to drugs to try to cope with the emotional pain.

By the time I hit my twenties, I was seriously mentally ill. Soon I would lose a brother and three years later, a father, to suicide. I went through another abusive marriage and divorce.