I currently live in Spokane Washington, but as a child, it felt like we never stayed in one place too long.

My mom met Bob when I was two months old.  He is the father of my two younger sisters.  He was physically and verbally abusive towards all of us.  There were times I couldn’t even go to school because I had black and blue marks on my face and my arms.

Going to school was no relief from the abuse going on at home.  We didn’t have a working washer and drier so I would never have clean clothes to wear to school.  All the children would make fun of me.  

About every six months, we found ourselves living somewhere different and I would always be changing schools.  There was no stability.  

There was also violence and chaos in the house.  One time my Bob and my mom were really high on meth and he pulled a gun on her.  She was able to grab him by the neck and slammed him up against the wall this way he wouldn’t kill her.

There was also violence against me.  I am autistic and my grandmother was a registered nurse and kept telling my mom to go have me tested so things like school would be easier for me to handle.  She never did and when I acted out she would slap me around so much that she drew blood.  

I remember being woken up in the middle of the night because something had happened.  My mom was naked and she just had a blanket wrapped around her.  The police were called. 

We moved and my mom met Flint.  There were times where she left and didn’t come home for months on end.  I wasn’t even ten years old yet and I was on my own.

We had a neighbor who was a boy named Sam and he also had two younger sisters the age of my sisters.  He also had a rough life.  His parents would have sex in front of him and make him watch.  One day he told me how much he loved me and had a surprise for me.  We found an abandoned apartment and went to hang out there.  His surprise was that he raped me.  He then explained to me this is how people show their love.  Eventually, he was removed from his parent’s care.

Finally,  I was eight years old I was put into daycare.  Here I was sexually assaulted.  I was raped repeatedly.  Later on in life, this memory was blacked out.  I didn’t remember it.  It never surfaced until I remembered it before I attempted to kill myself.

We then moved in with my Aunt.  My two cousins ended up raping my little sisters.  I remember when I was about twelve I had a friend from school ask me to come over and play.  My Mom told me I could go.  

It was dinner time and I was eating my food.  Then I noticed no one else was eating.  I thought this was weird so I stopped.  When the mother noticed this she encouraged me to finish my meal which I did.  I asked to go sleep on the couch and the mom said yes so I did.  

I woke up naked and tied to a bed.  There was a camera set up in the corner of the room.  Then her parents told her to do stuff to me and she did.  Her mom then stabbed me in the leg with a syringe and I passed out again.  I woke up around three-thirty in the morning on my front lawn with a blanket wrapped around me naked.  I knocked on the door.  My mother starts flipping out on me for waking her up.  I was crying and she didn’t care. 

At around twelve years old we moved again to a small town.  There were only seven kids in my class.  They were also extremely mean and picked on me.  This was an extremely tiny town where everyone knew one another and they didn’t have room for outsiders.  There was a time when I got into a serious fight with someone.  During the fight, I grabbed the other kid and pushed him out a second-story window.    Then I took a desk and grabbed it and threw it out the window at him.  I was arrested by the sheriff’s department.  I openly admitted to what happened.  I had an attorney who had proven that I was mentally ill and I got out of this.  I got a slap on the wrist and I’ve never been in trouble with the law since then.  

After that I was no longer allowed to go to school there, I was expelled.  My mom left for eight months and just disappeared.  Flint was never around unless he was coming for our food stamps.  So we never had enough food to eat.  I remember we just had canned fruits and vegetables in the cupboards and turkey necks in the freezer.  I still remember Clint’s turkey neck soup.  He would just take all the vegetables and beans in the cupboards and some turkey necks throw them in a pot and just boil that and that was his turkey neck soup.    

My mom was still away in Spokane with a friend she she was trafficking women, selling drugs, and got hooked on meth and shooting it up.  She met her now-husband during this time.  

The father of my sistersBob wanted to see my sisters.  Part of the court order was I had to be there to supervise.  As soon as we get there he sends me to a babysitter because he wanted to be alone with m sisters.  I wasn’t allowed to stay with my sisters and he told me not to tell my mom.  He tried to bribe me with cigarettes and things like that not to tell my Mom about what was going on.

During this time I developed an anger problem.  I also had a problem with apathy.  I had no feelings for anyone or anything.  I would have fits of rage and blackout and hit my sisters.  I eventually had a mental breakdown and for the first time, I self-harmed.  I took a stick and hurt myself so bad I need stitches which I did myself.  It took seven stitches.  I hid this by wearing a bandana over the cut and did this for about a month while it healed.  I tried to kill myself and I survived.

I continued self-harming.  It was a way of me taking back and having control.  I continued to manage to hide it.  It was a coping method.

One night my mom’s boyfriend was in a rage and I got in between him and my mother and threatened to kill him if he touched my mother.  He actually got a bit scared and then went outside.  My mother then flipped out on me because she knew once I left she was never going to hear the ned of this.  She told me “why don’t you go kill yourself.”  I went home and took every single pill I had from all my prescriptions.  I took all 168 Risperidone that I had.  Obviously, I survived.

When my sisters were 7 and 8 my mom smoked marijuana with them.  We eventually went into foster care.  My Uncle Mitch then got certified to be a parental guardian for us.  We went to live there.  I had a mental breakdown I locked myself in a room.  I was screaming, stabbing the walls, and cutting myself.

I eventually calmed down and opened the door.  I wanted my Uncle to come in and hold me.  He said he was done with me and he called my caseworker and said I have to be placed somewhere else because I was a danger to my sisters.

School was terrible I was bullied and harassed.  People threw garbage at me, put gum in my hair, knock my school books out of my hands.  All types of mean stuff.  

I remember I was given an MP3 player.  It was my lifeline.  It was my only coping method at this time.  I was still also cutting myself.  Then my MP3 was taken from me.  It was awful.  I couldn’t drown out the kids making me on the bus or drown all the other terrible things people were saying to me.  Now my ears were wide open.  

I went and stole back my MP3 player and I got caught.  This time he took away everything.  My MP3 player, no drawing, no music, no books, I wasn’t allowed to go outside, no television, and I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone.  I just laid in my bed looking at the bunk bed above me with nothing but my thoughts.  Thoughts I had been suppressing for so long.  I felt I was going insane talking to myself.    It got to the point I had split personalities.  

My other personalities are stronger than mine.  I would talk to myself with these other personalities when I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone.  But this other personality is stronger than mine and deals with the pain better.  I think that’s why  I develop these personalities 

Sometimes I would blackout and hit my sisters, or be super childish, super happy, and just have different personalities.  It’s not the same me. 

One day he called my caseworker again and said I needed to be removed and they unexpectedly showed up and just removed me from my home with no warning.  I was being separated from my sisters.  We were extremely close and not being able to see them was killing me.  I barely got to say goodbye.

I went back into foster care and just went from family to family.  In one family we worked on a farm.  We were up before the sun working in the hay fields.  Picking hay and making bales.  I remember having to stack them six or seven high.  

Going forward I was going to be aged out.  First I was homeless and then I moved in with my grandma.

She was the craziest lady I had ever met.  She and my grandfather used to pull guns on each other and sell drugs for the cartel to do all types of drugs.  On the weekends she would kick me out of the house and I would be staying with friends because she wanted the house to party in.  I remember on Fridays having to bring everything I needed with me to school because I wasn’t allowed home till Monday 

TO would need what I called my “weekend bag.”

Eventually, I started doing drugs with the wrong crowd I even took pills with my Grandma!

I was hanging out with these guys down in the park and doing drugs with them all the time and drinking also all the time.  At one point I was snorting so much cocaine a hole was I guess you can say burned a hole in my septum.  I also really enjoyed my alcohol.  

I was 21 and I had a drug dealer that I actually became close with.  We would talk about all types of things eventually were leaning on each other for support.  I was completely homeless and sleeping in a park bathroom.  I would get there a  certain time at night and lock the door.  

Eventually, my life changed.  I applied for a program called “100 youths in 100 days” where I got housing.  

I met someone named Tom.  I felt like he put me under a spell.  I was mesmerized, he was so captivating.  His spell must have done the trick because I sat there and watched him as he grabbed my phone and text my current boyfriend are relationship was over.  He just put himself in my life.  He said I’m his new boyfriend and he was going to take care of me.  I’m young and naive and I believed him.  Also, my mother taught me if a man says he wants to take care of you you let him and also give him anything he needs.  

He moved into my place.  He was extremely abusive.  He pushed the stove into me and knocked the refrigerator on me.  Breaks all the dishes and my family heirlooms.  He even threw alcohol all over my clothes.  

Finally, I broke up with him.  I made him leave the house.  I went and fell asleep.  It ends up I forgot to lock the door.  He broke in and tied me to the bed and put a belt around my throat and would choke me out until I would blackout than he would let go of the belt and I would regain consciousness.  He would also rape me while he was doing this.  At one point he had his fist inside me trying to rip out my cervix.  I was scared for my life.  I still have scars.

Eventually, I got lose and hit him over the head with something that was next to my bed, I forget exactly what it was.  I ran into the bathroom and put my back against the door and called 911.  When he heard this he fleed and went to try to get away by bus.  The cops ended up picking him up there.

When they brought him back it sounded like they were believing him and having a laugh at my expense.  Everything going on was very embarrassing, to say the least.  

They asked me if I needed I needed a ride anywhere and I told them absolutely not.  I was wrapped in a blanket and walked to my mother’s and when she opened the door I just started crying.  She was so disappointed I could see it on her face.  She told me to come inside and I cleaned myself up.  I asked if we can go to the hospital for a rape kit and she said yes.  

At the hospital, one nurse had the nerve to ask me “what did you do to make the man so angry?”  I immediately flipped out on her and shoved her and then walked out of the hospital.  

My mom took me in a while and then eventually kicked me out.  I met a great drug dealer.  He always was straight up with me, never overcharged me, and was just a nice person.  We ended up becoming best friends.  At that time I had another friend who hung himself.  It ends up my drug dealer knew him also and we saw each other had the funeral.  We were outcasts there because we were active users and everyone else there was sober.  

Eventually, there was a party afterwards where we got absolutely wrecked.  He said he was going to try to get us home.  He wanted to be safe.  We bump into another one of my friends to asks for a hug and when I do that he starts chewing on my neck and choking me.  The drug dealer comes out of nowhere and saves me.  

He takes me back to his house and takes care of me, watches me, and held my hair while I threw up.  In the morning he walked me home.  We stayed together but were both active addicts for the next two years.

We were now together three years and one day I decided I was going to get sober.  I went and told him if he wanted to stay together he would have to also get sober.  He said he would but he needed some time.  I agreed.  He went from a needle to smoking dope then from smoking dope to nothing.  It worked.  We’re still together and sober.  

He was always there for me even when we were addicts.  Life is now so much better than I imagined.  

Nowadays even when hard things happen, there is always a morning after a night.  That’s the way I see it.