I woke in the middles of nights, rattled by recurrent dreams (me stabbing him, her stabbing me). There was betrayal, low altitude flight, and a lardy dullard hugging me to an accidental death. Awake, I stared at a ceiling blackened by paint and night, explaining these things to an imagined therapist and waiting to fall asleep again. Eventually I wrote the reasons why I was how I was: the things a stepfather did, what a stepmother said, what my real mother couldn’t do.

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