“Look around. This is your life. You are where you are as a culmination of all of your choices up until now. If you don’t like this life, you are accountable. Make better choices.” - Anonymous
I sat on the floor of my walk-in closet holding four handwritten journals in my lap; all different in size, color, and cover design, but they were the same in some obvious ways. They were old, dusty, and filled with memories and feelings of days past. They were also the key to unlocking things that I had buried deep within the recesses of my mind and tried to forget over the years. I contemplated as I sat there holding them if what I was planning on doing was the right thing. If anything, I knew that it would be therapeutic for me in order to heal and move forward with my life, teaching myself that I am not crazy, that I am loved, and everything that led me up to this moment wasn’t fate or destiny, but the shaping of who I was becoming.
It didn’t happen overnight. My decision to walk away from my family didn’t happen because I woke up one morning and decided that for no reason whatsoever, I would walk away. It was more than that. This decision, as difficult as it had been for me, had been building up for well over ten years, if not longer. I had just finally had enough. I was tired. Tired of the lying, the fights, the negativity, the drama, and always being blamed. I was tired of being the black sheep of the family; the scapegoat.
I wasn’t looking forward to the walk down memory lane. I knew it was going to be painful and cause all sorts of emotions to come flooding back in, but I was determined to focus on my energy and will to transcribing all of these journals - and not just the journals, but emails - for reference. I was going to write a book, one that could help others who were in similar situations, fearing that they were going crazy, that they were terrible people because those around them continued to lie and tell them that they were when they’re not, for those who don’t know what to do or who would believe them if they told their story; this was for them. If by chance, this book could help someone realize that they aren’t the ones at fault, know that someone else out there was going through or had gone through similar things, then maybe it would make them feel less alone. If I could help even one person with my story, then the pain of marching down memory lane would be worth it.
So I stood up and carried the books to my computer. I flipped open each one, looking for dates so that I could organize them. Once that was done, I began looking at the entries of the first journal. What better place to start than the beginning?