Every time I think about my childhood, I get angry. A time that should have been filled with happy moments spent learning and growing was ruined by physical abuse. This wasn’t just spanking — it went far beyond that. Chairs, lamp switches, and sticks were used as instruments of punishment. The scars I developed went far deeper than the surface of my skin.
At 17, I'd had enough. I remember coming home from school to two angry parents. They had somehow heard I was dating someone at work. I assured them I wasn't, but I guess they didn't believe me. Before I could say anything else, I was being beaten with a stick. Rather than continuing to subject myself to that, I chose to live on the streets
It was hard leaving a two-parent home — and my two brothers and sisters — but I had to do it. I left without a dollar to my name but felt free for the first time in my life. I dropped out of high school and got three jobs just to survive. Once I got myself on my feet, I studied and earned my GED.
Once I'd gotten off the streets and gotten a place of my own, I started trying to build a life. But I still had to recover from the physical and mental abuse and the trauma I experienced while homeless. That's when the scars opened up wide. Every relationship I had — platonic or romantic — was a struggle for me. I couldn’t open up and face the demons that terrorized me daily. Eventually, I realized I wouldn't be able to find happiness until I dealt with them. Here are a few of my struggles and the solutions that helped me conquer them: