by Lizzi Feaker
It started when she was twelve and her stepfather told her she had bright, pretty hair, and was becoming a beautiful young woman. She knew she was supposed to like hearing it; didn’t every girl want to become a beautiful young woman? But something in his eyes made her skin crawl.
As her mother began working more and more hours to afford the bills, leaving her alone with her stepfather who never seemed to be able to hold down a job, her uneasiness grew. Several weeks later, during one of her mother’s overnight shifts, her stepfather threw her to the freezing basement floor. She experienced physical, mental and emotional destruction that changed the course of her life and repeated in the following years.