For as far back as I can remember, I have been afraid. My earliest memories, I’m still wearing diapers. I remember sitting in my highchair as my dad (which I usally just refer to him as his first name now) slammed a bowl of oatmeal in front of me. I told him I pooped and he said I could sit in it. Something as basic as a diaper change was a thing to be in trouble for.

My parents lived in poverty, as my dad refused to work and my poor mother, pregnant with my brother, was forced to work minimum wage jobs to try to make ends meet. We did not have a car and I whould refer to our living conditions as squalor.

They also didnt have a bed. They slept on the floor in the living room of our shack and I slept on the couch. Once I peeked over the couch and saw my dads eyes were open, I was happy and rolled off the couch to cuddle him. I guess I landed on him wrong, he sprung from the floor, picking me up by my feet and beat me for waking him up. Then the endless tirade of him yelling at my mother and I all day began. I snuggled up close to my mother. She was crying and telling me she was sorry. She held my little feet in one hand and her her other arm drew me close.

I didnt know yet that my life would be a nightmare, that my mother was terrified but trapped. These are just my earliest memories, confirmed by her when I recounted them. I was 2. People say you cant remember that far back, but I think when bad thing happened, they get cemented in the brain.

Lessons learned as a child, dont tell your dad you need a diaper change, just sit in it. Never expect a snuggle when you see him awake. I learned fear as my 1st lifes lesson.

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