I graduated from college in 2002, worked for a year as a patient care manager then went to UNF to start grad school in fall of 2003. It wasnt the right time for me to be there; wed just found out my mom had cancer again. I didnt really like the school anyway. So I moved back to Vero in October 2003 to live with my mom and help take care of her and spend time with her.
I started working as a mental health tech in January 2004, and decided to see a counselor, just so I could have someone to talk to about my mom, issues about being back in my hometown, stuff with my father, etc.
My first visit was February 19, 2004. I didnt like him at first. He talked too much. But I continued to work with him, and it was okay.Around the same time, I started dating an older man from work. In my head, I knew it was a Daddy-complex thing, but I took it anyway. It felt so good for him to hug me. He had hairy arms and rough, calloused
hands, workers hands, just like my father. We only dated briefly. We never had sex. I think thats one of the reasons he dumped me.
Anyway, my paternal grandfather died April 2, so my father, his wife, and I flew up to Brooklyn April 4. I hadnt heard from the guy I was dating in a few days, but decided not to worry about it until I got back. While we were there for the funeral, my father was very cold toward me. I thought it would bring us closer. It didnt. He barely touched,
talked to me, anything. He talked and joked with other people though. But not me.
When I got back to Vero, I still didnt hear from the guy. Finally,after a few days, we worked the same shift at the hospital. It was Friday, April 9, 2004. After work, we went to the beach to talk, and he broke up with me. I lost it. Hed said he would protect me. I know now it was the Daddy thing. I was supposed to have had a session with my
counselor that day at 5:00 pm, but he cancelled at the last minute (hed tried to call me during the day, but I was at work). So we had a phone session instead at 7:30 pm. I talked about not being worth it and wanting to kill myself. He Baker-Acted me 4/9-12/2004; Easter weekend.
A few days after I got out, I was lying on the beach and decided to write down the crazy thing that had always been at the back of my brain. I knew it wasnt true, but everything had already been so shuffled up, I might as well. When in doubt, tell the truth, right? So I figured he could help me figure out why I was such a drama queen. I will never forget the first time I said those words out loud. I think my grandfather molested me. It was like I was sucked into an alternate reality. I can still see my hands on the wicker chair, fingers gripping and claw-like. I couldnt breathe. I was trying to push myself up toward the back of the seat.
Thats how it started.
I wrestled with the truth of it for about a month and a half before confronting my grandfather. He kicked me out of the house my mother and I were renting from him. I went to my cousins the next town over. She admitted shed also been molested by him. I stayed with her for about a month. Everything was extremely real, yet very out-of-focus and far away. I kept having more memories. I truly believed I was worthless and evil. I mustve been for everyone to know he liked little girls but still have allowed me to be around him.
I decided to kill myself. I sat on the beach and drew the metal across my wrist until the blood flowed. The sky was gray, the water was gray, but my heart was light. It was finally over. I would set myself free. I would fly away. Only the wind would touch me.
However, 10-year-old, MacGyver-style Swiss army knives are not always up for the job. I was Baker-Acted again, June 12-15, 2004. My family scolded me for confronting my grandfather (Why did you have to curse at him??), and no one stood up for me. Everything was hopeless.
I decided to run away to Virginia to visit a guy Id met at Suwannee Springfest right before my birthday that year. What Id do after that was a mystery. I wasnt planning on living for very long. I left on July 4, 2004; Independence Day.
Virginia was long and cold and hopeless and miserable. I still cantbelieve I survived that, I did that. It sounds so crazy to me, so foreign and extreme and strange. I was in Virginia from 7/4/2004 to 12/15/2004, when I drove back to Florida because my father was in the hospital for an emergency quadruple bypass.
I decided to stay in Florida. I rented a room from the parents of my high school (and present day) best friend, and got a job as a child care worker at a shelter for homeless, abused, and neglected children. I still thought I was evil, though, and tried to kill myself again, this time with pills. Though I got extremely sick, I lived. So I bought a gun. Hard to live when you have no face, right?
Before I went through with that plan, however, I was blessed to find the Womens Institute for Incorporation Therapy. It saved my life. There I learned that I was not and am not bad. That was HUGE for me!! That alone was the turning point of my life. I apologized to my inner Little Kristy for having blamed, hated, and mistreated her for so long. I told her she was not a bad girl. I told her it wasnt her fault. I told her she would never be alone again. I told her I loved her and applauded her bravery and survival.
I worked at the shelter until I came to FSU for grad school.