It wasn’t until that foggy morning of February 2001 that everything changed. I was in my middle school counselor’s office and for the first time, someone was asking me to tell them the truth. I took in a hasty breath, a tear making its way down my cheek. My knees knocked as fear rushed through me. “Now dear, tell me what happened.” She leaned her petite figure in, her gentle face peering into my eyes, brown hair falling forward. I could sense her concern but still I hesitated. Silence. “How’s your life at home?” she questioned. Silence. “You can trust me.” In that instant, I mustered up the courage to look up at her. Something about her sincerity soothed me. I sensed something unfamiliar, trust. The floodgates holding my pain were bursting at the seams, and I could no longer hold ground. It was then that I told my story for the first time and from that point forward, my life was never to be the same.
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