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When I was 7 my dad fell off a mountain and nearly died. He was in the hospital for months, his head was bashed in, his arm broken, internal injuries. He was out in the middle of nowhere and he crawled 5 miles to the campsite and fell asleep all bloody and broken in a trashbag in the dark until the rescue helicopters showed up and carried him off to the hospital. They let me visit him even though you had to be over 12 to go in Intensive Care.

When I was 10 my mom left my dad. She didn't tell me that that was what she was doing, and I was young and dumb and didn't realize that there was something wrong after I'd been living at my grandma's house for a month. My heartless cousin told me. I can't believe my mom lied to me about that.

When I was 11 my mom's friend's 16 year old son took me under a gazebo and tried to kiss me. He was dirty and he made me feel dirty.

When I was 15 I fell in love with a 19 year old. We had a secret romance for several months before my parents made us break up. My dad took all the love letters he'd sent me. That was the first real pain I'd ever felt.

When I was 16 my first true love of 1 year broke up with me because he said I felt more like a sister than a girlfriend. I loved him so completely and so blindly. I thought things were perfect. I have never gotten over him.

My grandpa shot himself.

My parents took all the books, letters, stories, tapes, cds, movies, and radios I owned and forced me to live in an empty room because they were terrified I was going to hell.

My first true love got a new girlfriend. He's still with her.

I went to a party and got drunk. The DJ and his friend offered to drive me home. On the way home they stopped on a deserted road in the dark and parked the car. They both got in the back seat, one on either side of me. One of them pulled out his dick and made me suck it and the other one finger banged me in both holes. I was so drunk, and scared, and crying and in the middle of no where and no one heard me yelling. They dropped me off on the side of the road when they were done.

When I was 17 my boyfriend forced me to have sex even though I wasn't ready and I'd only ever done it twice before. He convinced me that it was natural. I wasn't ready, he made me bleed.

My boyfriend beat me up. Bruises all over my body. He went crazy chasing me around the house. I don't remember how it ended.

I lost my job, and my apartment. I was homeless, living in a park. I stayed the night at a friend's house and I passed out drunk on the floor. When I woke up his brother was sticking his dick in me. I was too depressed to do anything but say "use a condom" and lay there until he was done. He fucked me like a train and then left me there and went back in his room and fell asleep.

All of my friends went on a trip to Lake Havesu and left me behind. I had no one to turn to but a scummy pervert who offered me a line of speed if I'd suck his dick. I lived with him for a week, I fell in love with him, and he threw me away.

My boyfriend's mom told me I was nothing more than a hole for him to fuck. She screamed at me, telling me I was dirty and smelly and stupid and worthless. She wouldn't let me in the house so I had to come in the window. I couldn't use the bathroom when I lived there so I peed in a Big Gulp cup and rode my bike to the bathroom when I had to shit. My boyfriend called me a cunt every day and he hit me and treated me like trash. He fucked me in unthinkable ways and I didn't stop him because I thought he loved me.

My boyfriend went to prison. I had nowhere to live. I spent the night sleeping on a bed of concrete under the sattelite dish behind Marie Calendar's. I woke up in the morning, stiff and sad and cold and shaking, with ants crawling all over my body.

When I was 18 I got a new job, a new apartment, a new roommate, and my best friend lived with me. My roommate hated her and he called her a bloody tampon and dumped beer all over her and dragged her over the couch by her hair. I tried to stop him but I couldn't do anything but stand there and watch. She cried and said "Sara, why is he doing this, why don't you stop him?" And I just watched.

I was addicted to speed. I did it every day for a year and a half. My nose constantly bled, I slept 6 hours a week. I spent hundreds of dollars on it every weekend. I confessed to the scummy pervert that I loved him and had always loved him since he let me stay at his house, and he told me to get the fuck out of his room. So I fucked his roommate to get back at him. He never talked to me again. I went home and smoked an 8th of chemical hits by myself, locked in the bathroom. I nearly overdosed. I passed out hugging the toilet.

I quit doing speed.

Incredible happiness for the next 3 months. Trips to San Diego, great parties, true bonding with my best friend. And then out of nowhere we got in a huge fight, I kicked her out of the house, and she died.

Crystal is dead.

When I was 19 I fell in love again. I was scared to get close, scared of death, scared of being left behind. He left me for a weekend and broke my heart and I hated him. So I destroyed his heart.

When I was 20 I fell in love again. This time for real, for good. Life is wonderful, things are beautiful. I turn 21, everything is working out, I have a car, a beautiful boyfriend, great friends, fun, and happiness.

And my boyfriend's best friend -- a close friend of mine -- dies. I thought I was over it, I thought things were looking up.

Dan is dead.

When I was 14 I looked at the world with an innocent wonder and joy and happiness that I thought would stay with me forever. I saw such beauty and love around me.

At 21 I'm old. I'm weathered. I'm hurt. I realize what ugliness lies in people. What secrets we have, what pain we can bear. How ugly the world can be.

Imagine where I'll be at 30. If I make it.

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