The undercarriage of a diesel truck, the undercarriage of a diesel truck is my first memory. How’d I get there? My mother. My first memory is of my mother throwing me in front of a diesel truck. My next precious memory? My mother knocking me off of the couch, my father making me choke on a safety pin, my father throwing me around dislocating my right shoulder twice, the stitches above my eye my mother gave me one night in the bath…and then I turned three. The next few years weren’t too bad. I learned how to avoid the beatings, it helped that I just stopped talking. Slowly the beatings slipped away completely and were replaced with a new torture, isolation. In the beginning it was pretty bad…I use to cry in the dark, begging them to let me out of the closet…for hours I would sit there and scream until they’d finally come. But soon it became my safe haven. I began to treasure…to crave the isolation. The closet became my escape. In there I could hide away to the dark corners of my mind. I made my own world, my own reality. I told stories, stories where I was the hero, stories where I was loved, where I was intelligent and pretty and popular, all sorts of stories and life became almost…bearable. It never mattered what happened in the real world, how many times my dad yelled, how many times my mom hit me. None of it mattered because I always knew that once it was over I would be sent to the closet and I could hide away into my own world again. Then my parents got smart. They began to realize that I didn’t care how hard they beat me, how much they tortured me as long as I could go to my room afterwards so what did they do? They took that away from me too. My last escape. My last hope, they took away. I came home from school one day and my room was locked, they had put a cot up in the family room and that was my new prison. I had no escape outside of school. I use to cry on the bus on the way home from school everyday, because I knew that no matter what happened I’d be trapped with them the rest of the day until dawn broke the next morning and I was free to return to school.