I took Dany’s advice, let sleeping Christian witch killers lie and hit the road. I’ll add them to the list. Maybe I can come up with an idea of how to deal with them later.
I fibbed. I actually haven’t been headed for Chicago. I’ve been headed for Gary, Indiana. The city that has been locked in a bitter decades-long death match with Flint Michigan as the worst place in the country.
I did some online stalking beforehand. Laura has a lot to stalk. I don’t talk about my past. When I do, it never feels good. Laura goes the other way. Her opinion is that sharing her story will help others with similar experiences.
She was born on a military base in Italy and her early life was spent on bases in Germany, Denmark, Libya, Ethiopia, and Singapore. She highlights positives to such a life, but also talks about the other side – introversion, depression, uncertainty, and problems with getting proper education and medical care. I never thought about that, an army base may have a medic but probably not a pediatrician or a teacher. She felt like she had to reinvent herself every time her father was transferred. That’s a lot for a little kid to take on.
Despite that, it was when they moved back to the states that things got bad. That’s when her parents transformed from being hardcases that expected a lot from her to being physically and emotionally abusive. She writes often wondering why that happened. She asked her mom about it once but it didn’t go great. She has theories but she doesn’t know.
She goes into specifics about incidences of abuse. I find this shocking. From the comments I see, other people appreciate her explicit candor. It makes me uncomfortable. I prefer for what exactly happened to remain vague. I’m sure a psychologist would have something to say about that.
When her teenage years rolled around, the abuse was progressing. How’s that for vague? Accordingly, she bailed. I listened to a book called Slouching Towards Bethlehem that had the following line “Unhappy marriages so resemble one another that we do not need to know too much about this one.”
I think you can say the same about girls that run away from home. I’m not saying that makes it any less awful or sad, but the story usually has the same beats.
- Run away
- Need money for more drugs? Prostitution
- Need something to deal with reality of prostitution? Drugs
- Feedback loop of drugs and prostitution
Laura doesn’t say anything about magic. Because she’s not a lunatic. Like me. Reading between the lines, I think whoever helped get her out of that cycle and deal with her substance abuse issues taught her magic too.
I sometimes think that learning magic was the best thing that ever happened to me. I sometimes think that it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. Sometimes I think there’s no difference between the two. Regardless, I can see how if you’re trying to get clean and you learn about magic, that could help you find purpose. It would be like a unicorn sticking its head in the window of the rehab clinic and saying “I’m rooting for you” and winking.
Magic or not, she moved past that. Now she works at a youth center, teaches night class at the community college, and operates a domestic violence shelter. Oh, and also serves as a counselor at a crisis advocacy services outfit.
I admit that reading about her makes me feel shitty. We have similar childhoods, hers was even worse than mine maybe, not that it’s a contest, and now she’s an advocate for change and helps people for what seems like 90 hours a week. On the other hand there’s me, pretend fighting in front of 40 people for a fistful of sweaty dollars three times a week (if I’m lucky) for a total of 25 minutes. I spend the rest of the time driving around and looking for cheap food. Plus I’m a convicted felon, don’t forget about that.
I have saved the entire world a couple times though, so that’s one thing I have over her.