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“I don’t want to write about any of this. I don’t want to air my laundry, lay all of these mistakes and bad decisions out on the floor for all to see. But my grandparents are dead and I can’t let the fear of my father keep me from writing down the story of what happened. I have to write it down. I don’t have a choice. I have to keep pecking the letters into words and the words into sentences and the sentences into paragraphs and the paragraphs into pages and the pages into chapters so I don’t lose my fucking mind and I don’t forget why I have involuntary reactions to someone touching my head without warning. Or why I won’t touch Jaegermeister. Or why I won’t listen to a particular Led Zepplin album in order, though I don’t remember which one until the first song ends and the second song begins.

I am afraid of your judgement. I am afraid that you will think I am stupid. I am afraid that you will not recognize or respect my humanity. I am afraid that you will decide that I am a hysterical female. I am afraid if I admit to lying about things, that you will believe everything I write is a lie. That you won’t believe me or the story unless there was a police report or the testimony of one man or two women. That you will believe that I brought it all upon myself. That you will believe that I had some other choice. That you will believe that it was selfishness or ungodliness or the devil, and not just my flailing and desperate attempts at running from a life that was unbearably unhappy.”

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