My name is Alex, I am 19 years old, and I cannot remember I time I was not struggling to overcome abuse. My mother was on her own and had a toddler when she met a man finding someone who could love her and child was a blessing. Her wedding was beautiful, I had always wanted to be a flower girl, and everyone knew the flower girl was the second most looked at person in weddings. My dress was so pretty and white, just like my mom’s. I was so glad she was happy. The man she married gave me two beautiful siblings to play with. I grew up covering their eyes, holding their ears. Drowning out screams, a man so angry, we must really be that terrible. A phrase I will never forget. "The oldest knows better." The blunt end of things were never my friends, but it kept the swings away from bubs and sis. Strongest. I will always be. Time kept flying. Second grade felt like on top, the big kid finally. Making friends, we talk, about all the time before us, how no one understands. They have so many memories. But thinking back. There’s not much. A mostly clean slate. Logic, that’s wrong. I can remember to the T what I wore three Sundays ago. I find myself thinking. Harder. Trying to paint a picture of a past I’m not sure is there. Slowly fading in. A fuzzy picture. A trailer. Before our house. Before my siblings. Before I got so cool. It’s a weekday, I am inside. Mom is gone? I want to watch the new movie, lion king 1 and a half. We just got it. I shouldn’t open it. It’s in the new package, I walk outside, slamming the white screen door behind me. "CAN WE WATCH THE MOVIE NOW" this is clearly not the first time I had to ask. The man slams the hood to the blazer and comes at me like a storm. A fist has my hair, and my head meets a wall. "No, but we can play a game" the man says with my mane in his grip. I know what’s coming next. A black shirt is secured around my eyes and head. Blinded. I am dragged, but stopped at the fridge, it was opened. Drug to a halt, forced to me knees. "We can play hide and go seek but first I need you to eat some chocolate syrup. Lick your lips" He says it’s on his fingers, but I know the feel of those cracked dry hands.
I am back on the playground. Away from a glimpse of nightmares lurking. Months pass, and memories I’ve never seen play before me while I try to sleep. Not even then, dare I disrupt my mother’s dream.
A Psychotic break did. One night. The man I grown to love as my father, then suddenly realized I should be scared of, broke. Told my mom some things. There wasn’t enough time to tell it all. The voices in his head had pushed him, some karma. He spent 3 days in jail and in three days I saw a three story house and years of work all packed and stuffed away. Just like that we were gone. For the first time since I was barely 700 days old I was safe.

A. Sebring