I’m from a family of five.
Dad, mom, sister, and brother,
with me as the middle sibling.
I’m from loving cows, elephants, and dogs; farm, wild, and domestic creatures alike.
Caring for at least three pets throughout my life,
and a vegetarian for a year.
I’m from a two story home in Pewaukee.
Kids, locked up, tip basement recliners and parents blast “I’m bringing sexy back”
and laughter along with heartache in the warm, golden yellow kitchen.
I’m from a home in Merton.
One people get lost trying to find,
and llamas a mile down the street.
I’m from changing schools.
Private and Catholic,
to public and more than one belief.
I’m from my father’s lessons.
A man wise and rich in advice, pushing for opportunity,
and saying to my siblings and me “It’s all about the options.”
I’m from summers of laughter and “just good clean fun.”
Boat rides across the lake giggling, and squealing at each spray,
campfires in the Door County pines.
I’m from bullies who prevented my happiness: “your friends are prettier than you.”
Releasing my emotions in ways of self harm, watching blood ooze from my skin,
and hiding myself in fear of disappointing and hurting family and friends.
I’m from the guidance counselor taking me in.
Calling my parents while they were on vacation,
telling them how their daughter hurt herself again.
I’m from group therapy which never worked.
To finding someone who helped,
and who aided me to be four months clean.
I’m from replacing thoughts of self mutilation with music.
Writing, singing and listening,
to stop myself from reaching for the blade again.
I’m from a life of times both smile-inducing and tear-jerking.
With a family who by my side and bringing smiles,
and friends who care about the real me.
I’m from these things.
To which none I am ashamed,
and to which all I will embrace.
For making me who I am today.