My young childhood was mostly good. My mom, who did 80% of the parenting, died unexpectedly when I was 10. My dad attacked me from ages 12-15. My younger brother and I were in and out of the foster care system (we got sent back to him). Mercifully, we were kept together and we remain extremely close. We can finish each other’s sentences. In the fallout of foster care, my father stole any money my mother had left to me and my brother. The government says they are looking into it, but he is a millionaire with a superb legal team. We will not see any money from him, not even in child support that he can certainly afford. I am 22 today. I work out every day and eat right in hopes that I will be strong enough to never have to put up with that from anyone else ever again. I’ve gotten through college without any student debt thanks to scholarships and grants. I have an average GPA of 3.65. I am applying to law school. I have friends and I go on dates. I am, by all appearances, doing well. My brother and maternal grandparents think that it is all behind me. They believe that the parade of state-ordered counselors and years of success have washed away the most of the hurt from those cruel years. But I am still so angry. Exercising daily provides a small outlet, but at night or when anything goes wrong (a failed test, for example) I feel so close to snapping. I want to end it all so badly. I don’t want to remember this anymore. I struggle to get through every day. I can’t quite bring myself to end it for three main reasons. I will admit that I am a bit scared to end it. I do not truly believe in anything after death and the unknown is disconcerting. If there is a heaven and a hell, I am not certain that I will wind up in heaven. I do not want to see my mother again, though she was a good mom. She left us defenseless against a monster. Additionally, I can’t do that to my grandparents and brother. I know they love me and losing my mom almost killed my grandfather. I am angry at her for that – why did she get to die while I am stuck here, angry and depressed and shouldering her responsibilities?
I hope that my brother, who is doing exceptionally well in his university on a physics scholarship, finds a woman who will be his other half, rather than me. I hope my grandparents pass on soon so I can follow them guiltlessly.
I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I don’t want to live with this rage and shame and bitterness anymore, but I cannot let go of it as, ironically, it keeps me going. I do not know how to let go of what was done to me, as it has become such a large part of my current identity. I’m lost and hopeless.
— Survivor, age 22