I grew up to be an amazing young woman

Dedication: My sister; I'm sorry I couldn't save you. I'm sorry I didn't stay with you. I love you. The staff of Brattleboro Retreat for sticking with me. I know I made it tough, but you loved me for all my faults.

Since a young age, I bowed down to the expectations of how others viewed me. After so long of listening to other people predict your life, you begin to believe it, too. For the first twelve years of my life, I was beaten, choked, starved, and molested. The majority of this happened when I was living with the people who adopted me and my sister. I took most of the beatings. I couldn’t let them touch her. No one deserves to be hit, to be choked, starved and all the rest. But my sister… she didn’t deserve it. The man who molested me made a deal with me- he promised that as long as I let him touch me, he wouldn’t touch my sister. He is the reason why I don’t trust people. When I finally broke free at age twelve, I went into DCF custody. I tried to get my sister to come with me, but she refused. She, like me for so many years, didn’t see anything wrong with this family. So for the past five years, believing I failed her, I battled with depression and flashbacks, nightmares and RAD. I cut myself to the point where I was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward for a better part of two years. I constantly tried to kill myself. I thought that I was no better than that family because I abandoned my sister to those monsters. I can’t pinpoint the exact date, but I know that I realized that I wasn’t the people who raised me, and never would, because I knew right from wrong. I have felt some of the worst pain and rose stronger because of it. It was because of those people that I grew up to be an amazing young woman. And I thank them for that. I wouldn’t change any of it.

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Destiny E.