First Degree

This is me. 2015. 7 years ago I was preparing to deliver the commencement speech to my graduating class. Before this day I had a 9th grade education, 7 children, and a lifetime of abuse and trauma.
When I started college I was the least likely to succeed. My kids and I had been hiding in a homeless shelter for Domestic Violence survivors. I had 4 young children. Two were toddlers. One was still nursing.
I know most of y’all had no idea. Well, there’s so much more to my journey. I’ll share more with y’all when I’m ready.

Trying to hide Kai

Trying to get my group to take a “normal” photo may never happen. Every photo we take has a story, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

On the day I took this photo, Kai had been playing with my granddaughter, Charlie Beth, next door at my daughter’s house. When I went to pick Kai up we discovered she had located the Little Mermaid dress and put it on. I tried to wrestle that dress off of her. She crossed her arms and grabbed a hold of as much fabric as she could and threw herself on the floor. A big pile of two-year-old defiance mixed with cries to please, please, please let me have the dress.

We couldn’t get the dress off of Kai without a horrible meltdown and I needed a quick picture for something (don’t remember what) so we tried to hide Kai in the back so no one would know she had on the dress. After the photo was taken I wrestled the dress off of her and her little spirit was crushed.

I know I knew that her attachment and need for all things girly was not within the norm. I just hadn’t understood yet that she is a girl.