My mama was born in a tiny town in West Virginia. So tiny and insignificant I've never put its name to memory. Her mom, my grandma Bittenger, was a verbally abusive and hateful person. She told my mother her entire life she was ugly and worthless. My mom could not wait to move away from home. At … [Read more...]

Dear Stephanie, Stronger Than You Know

Dear ??Stephanie, The most important message I can send you is that you are stronger than you know. I also know it seems the world is crashing down around you, that life feels dismal at times, even hopeless. It???s 1983 and you feel alone, buried in your taboo family secrets???but you are not … [Read more...]

Through My Father’s Eyes

I was a nonverbal child until I was around three years old. My grandmother kept sounding an alarm, even suggesting I might be +ACI-retarded.+ACI My father pushed back, in no uncertain terms. +ACI-Laurie is fine,+ACI he said. I loved that about him. He always knew I was fine. +ACI-When I carried you … [Read more...]