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This is not my story. I didn’t grow up in a trailer with rusted hinges on the only door and a perpetual creaking noise every time the wind groaned outside. I never had so many clothes that they only fit in one drawer, a drawer with no runners or tracks, a drawer without even a dresser. A drawer that would lie on my bed when I wouldn’t and sit on the floor while I slept.

In all of my choices, the bad ones were kind to me. I can tell of blackouts and poisonings, sickness and day-long sleeps only through hearsay. But of rehab or arrest, I yet cannot begin to tell the story. I have none of those stories, none that are mine. Of the loneliness of being without siblings or without the care of parents, I cannot tell nor can I imagine empty days such as these.

Never did I live only with Mom. Never for more than a few weeks, maybe months. Never only with Dad. Never did I fake love for one or the other for years. My mom didn’t leave me, fight for me, leave me, make the front page of the newspaper for sins too deep to share, an affair, leave me once more only to welcome me home with unassuming arms.

No turmoil of this degree built messy character in me. This is not my story.

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