Content warning: This article contains descriptions of substance use disorder and violence. I remember staring at the ceiling of some waiting room of some hospital that I can’t remember the name of. I had spent the previous night riding with my uncle down from Cleveland, Ohio to Johnson City, Tennessee.
I think often of my walk back home from my bus stop after school when I was younger. I was often shaking in fear, with my eyes stinging with tears at the thought of what I might come home to—either an empty, quiet trailer to finish my homework, or an angry, drunken mother who would take her frustrations out on me and disrupt the rest of the evening.
Content warning: This article contains descriptions of child sexual abuse and of mental health difficulties following such experiences. Sometimes, when my mother was gone, her boyfriend would come into my room. He would always knock on my bedroom door the same way, a sound that still creeps into my thoughts from time to time to this day.
Content warning: This article contains descriptions of alcoholism, domestic violence and verbal abuse. I will never forget the thumping. I find myself on the ground, my head spinning so haphazardly that I can’t stand up. I lay on the floor of my kitchen and stare at the ceiling above me; it falls in and out of focus.