When I think about it, I become frightened.

I'm not sure exactly... where my memory went. If I lived there from the second semester of third grade to the second semester of 8th grade, where did all of my memories go? I can't recall anything clearly. I was living there, wasn't I? Where did all my memories go? It's all scrunched together, it feels like there was only a year of time.

At the psych eval, my aunt said I lived there from the time I was 12 to the time I was 14. But that wasn't right. "That's not right," I said. I lived there since third grade, I said. I went to this school, I remember that, and then I switched to this school, and I remember that. And I remember school well. Don't I? I remember all my friends, and I remember my teachers, and I remember the spiral.

What was I crying about at first? I don't really remember that. I remember that I cried for my grandmother. I remember being unhappy and thinking maybe that I really would've been better off being bullied at my old school. But I switched schools then, and I made my first real friends, that's how I remember that, that I met my first real friend outside of the band building waiting for my mother to pick me up and my older brother up from school. And we were talking about such inconsequential things. That was in fifth grade. But where did fourth grade go? I don't remember it. I only spent a half a year at the other school, didn't I? I don't remember.

I had the same teacher in fifth and sixth grade because she moved up a year; I remember the switch, I remember that she had a classroom but moved to a trailer. I remember we watched Holocaust documentaries. I remember walking to the band building in the afternoon to wait for my mother to pick me and my older brother up from school. I remember going to the mall in the afternoon with my friends and how they all leered around with adolescent eyes confidently declaring the Hot Or Nots. I remember my best friend lived in a nicer neighborhood and had a nicer house than me. I remember she was my best friend but I wasn't hers. I remember she dated everyone she knew but she never dated me. I remember I broke something at her house and I said, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. She told me to stop apologizing. I said, I'm sorry that I'm sorry. And so she hit me in the face and told me to stop apologizing. And I was happy that she did. But that was in seventh grade, wasn't it? I remember that. We walked to Wal-Mart at midnight and she picked up fake flowers out of the dumpster and left them on the doorstep of a boy in her neighborhood that she didn't really like but wanted to mess around with.

There was a time when my mother picked us up from school and she was in a very good mood. I remember thinking it was strange that she was in a good mood. She took us to Sonic and we got food. I don't remember what we got. My older brother got a Route 44 slushie, the biggest size. I was sitting in the backseat. When we got home my mother and my older brother got into an argument before they got out of the car. Was he fifteen or sixteen? I don't remember how old we were, then. My mother screamed at him and slammed the drink into his jaw and the styrofoam broke and this bright red slush spilled all over his clothes and he was crying. I don't remember what they were fighting about. I remember him screaming and crying, "You've dislocated my jaw, I fucking hate you, I hate you mom, you fucking hit me right in the jaw!" and that's it. I don't remember where my little brother was. I don't remember what I did, whether I was crying or whether I was just sitting there. I remember him crying that he wanted to go to the doctor and I remember that I was afraid, and I remember my mom getting out of the car and going inside. And I don't remember anything else about it.

I never got to see my father. Once every few months, he'd come by. My mother hated him. She wouldn't let him inside. I could play with our dog (an overweight, middle-aged corgi) in the yard. When I got to go see him on the weekends, every so often, during summer perhaps- I can't really remember- there was a time she roughly pulled me aside after I got home, and she pulled a single pubic hair out of my underwear that had been in the dirty laundry, and she shook me and yelled at me, " Is he molesting you?! Tell me now! You can tell me anything! Tell me even if he said to keep it a secret!" And I was baffled, I was confused. I had spent that time with my father excitedly telling him about the manga I was reading, I remember sitting at the bench of the piano I never learned to play and explaining how Shounen Jump worked, that it was a magazine with comics in it. I must've been twelve or so. I don't really remember. " Of course he's not, you're crazy, what are you talking about?" I said something along those lines. " I don't know where that's from!" In hindsight it was obviously my own hair she was menacing me with.

I remember another time I was sitting on the living room with my legs drawn up to my knees, reading Death Note, and my older brother made fun of me for having 'hairy legs like a linebacker'. And my mother made fun of my legs too. And she made me shave them. To this day she insists I don't shave because I'm lazy. I'm not a feminist, I'm not proving anything, I'm just disgusting and lazy and embarrassing to be around in public because I won't shave my hairy, linebacker legs, like a man's. I don't remember my first period, just everyone saying it would be a big deal. That their female relatives didn't tell them it would happen and they were so afraid that they were going to bleed to death and die. I guess because I was told that I was already used to the idea of bleeding and didn't see it as anything special. I guess it was something that didn't matter to me. Maybe all the other things I can't remember are things that didn't matter to me, too.

My older brother became ill, and he got encephalitis from Yellow Fever, and he came out of his room and screamed and yelled at my mother that she was the devil and we were all burning in Hell together. And I came out of my room, just waking up, and she yelled at me, " Oh my God, [deadname]! Go call 911!" and so I did, and I remember that he tried to stop me but I don't remember what I said to the 911 operator. I don't remember what my little brother was doing. I think my older brother was sixteen or so. So wouldn't I have been eleven? But I don't remember how old I was. I remember when the police officers came and took my older brother away and they asked me to fill out a statement, they told me to keep it relevant to just that time, but I wrote down that my mom hit him and yelled at him a lot and it scared me. He was in the hospital all summer, and she would spend all day away, days at a time away, visiting him in the hospital while he was sick, and I was home alone, or sometimes I was with my grandpa at his house. I don't remember it that well. My little brother spent his time with my maternal grandmother. At my grandpa's house, I spent all my time on his dial-up computer, AOL Online, waiting for youtube videos to load, playing ponyisland dot net (not the horror game- an actual adoptable website). Grandpa had roaches and I always ate with the light on because I was afraid of roaches being in my food. He hoarded cats and they had kittens and the kittens always died. I remember some of them but it's not anything I ever want to tell anyone about. I don't remember the first day that my older brother was home, or when my younger brother was home. I remember that my mom just stayed out of the house all the time and she'd return in the evening with her alcoholic boyfriend, who I hated.

My mom blamed all of it on a video game. She said it was all because of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and she wouldn't let us play it anymore, because it was about going to Hell and killing demons. According to her. She always hated video games because my older brother and I liked them. She always hated everything she didn't understand. She was going to college at some point, I think, but she quit for some reason or another, and the debt followed her around like a scented hound.

I remember once when we were home alone, my older brother got a knife out of a drawer and he started yelling that he was going to try to kill himself, and I was so scared, I took it from him and I broke down crying that we all needed him even if he spent all his time shut up in his room and not out with us, that he was important and that he was my only big brother I'd ever have and that I needed him. Another time, I remember, around when I was twelve or so, I think, I was home alone, and I collapsed myself down in the hallway and stared at the ceiling and I cried. I cried because I was lonely and empty and I knew no one in the whole world loved me, and that no one would ever love me. I was a waste of space and I was conscious of the fact that every time I drew a breath I was wasting oxygen that would be better off used by someone else. My mother came home while I was crying and she started to yell at me, and scream at me, she told me to get off my pity pot, to stop having a little pity party for myself, that I was wasting her time and that there were people with real problems in the world and that I wasn't one of them. I'm sure she thought she was doing her best to be a good parent.

Another time, last year, in 2019, in October, I woke from a nightmare in my room where a demon was chasing me, and I was screaming for my mother to come help me, screaming and screaming screaming that I couldn't move and I needed her to help me, but of course it was a nightmare so she never did. It was after my birthday, since it was in October, obviously, so I was twenty-two (I'm still twenty-two; I'm scared of being twenty-three). And I don't remember how often I had this nightmare, just that it was often. I woke up and I went into the living room shaking and crying and I reached out to my older brother, who was watching TV with my little brother, sitting on the couch with him. "I'm really scared I'm going to hurt myself," I cried. " I really want to go to the hospital. Please take me to the hospital, I'm scared," I said, and I think I fell down on the ground crying. I remember that I was holding the arm of the couch, or something like that. And my brothers were scared, I think, but I couldn't think of anything except that I wanted to hurt myself.

My mother came out of her room and started yelling at me to shut up and stop crying and get off my pity pot, that she had work in the morning and that I woke her up and that I was embarrassing her in front of her boyfriend. I tried to ask her to care about me. Please say just one kind thing to me, please just say one sweet thing to me, please tell me you love me, I tried to say. Please say you love me because you're my mother. Please take me to the hospital before I hurt myself because I'm scared I'm going to hurt myself. And she kept yelling at me that I was embarrassing her and making her look bad and that I was just acting up to make her look bad in front of her boyfriend. And she wasn't listening to me. And she yelled at my older brother to stay out of it and said she was kicking him out because he said he was going to help me and he was asking her to please try to help me. I don't know what it was or why I did it or anything like that, I don't really remember, but I dove for the knife drawer and I started trying to pick up a knife and all I could think was that I wasn't going to be a coward anymore, that I was going to cut up my arms and so then my mother would know I wasn't just trying to mess with her, that I wasn't just messing around throwing a little pity party for myself, and then she'd take me to the hospital. She took it away from me and held my arms and shook me and screamed at me, " What the fuck is wrong with you? What the fuck is wrong with you? Why can't you just be normal? I have work in the morning, I can't put up with this!" Maybe that's not exactly what she said, but I looked in her eyes and there was nothing there, no love or pity or concern, and she kept talking about herself, and I yanked myself away and I ran outside and I couldn't do anything; my thoughts were a haze. My mom was yelling at me that she was kicking me out. She was kicking me and my older brother out. I can't remember if I was hyperventilating or not. I used to hyperventilate a lot when I was a child, and when I lived with my aunt.

I remember that when I was standing outside, I begged her again. "Please just say one nice thing to me," I said. "Please just say one nice thing to me." She held my arms very tightly, and I wanted to wrest away because I didn't want her to touch me. It made my chest hurt.

" I don't know what you have against me," my mother said. " I slave away at my job every day supporting you even though you dropped out of college. You're so fucking ungrateful for everything I do for you. What the fuck else am I supposed to give you? You're just out here throwing your little pity party for yourself and telling everybody else made up lies to make me look bad."

" Please," I wanted to say. I wanted to beg again. But I think she broke me. I realized she wouldn't ever say anything nice to me, even if I put myself in the hospital. That was the moment that I realized it, listening to her talk about how much I inconvenienced her. My mother would never love me the way I wanted her to love me. So I couldn't be around her anymore. I don't remember if I even said anything else to her. I just remember I was crying. I remember my little brother looked at her, and he had this look of disgust on his face, raw and vivid, complete and utter disgust, and he said " What is wrong with you? That's your daughter." And that was the first, only time I can ever remember my little brother defending me. And she started yelling at him too.

I spent the night at my father's, and I moved in with my friend the next day.