The photo at the top of this page shows my father and me, waiting for my transport on the first medevac flight.
This photo shows me on the C-17 over the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between Germany and the States. I remember only a few seconds from the medevac (medical evacuation) flight.
Mom and I took a selfie in the children's hospital.
Backtracking now: This is me with my big sister, Valerie, when we were little. We grew up very close, and Valerie was the leader in our games.
This is me, Mom, and Valerie the spring after we got to Germany. I lived in Germany for seven years, from right before my twelfth birthday to right before my nineteenth.
Here's another view from a hill near our house.
This is Val and me in our boarding school uniforms. Fortunately, we didn't have to wear them to class, just for special occasions. We went to a German girls' school (a Gymnasium) for about three years. This photo haunts me because it's about a year before the rape, and I still look goofy. That goofy, completely happy smile goes away after the rape. The goofy, completely happy girl goes with it.
This is Val and me in our boarding school uniforms. Fortunately, we didn't have to wear them to class, just for special occasions. We went to a German girls' school (a Gymnasium) for about three years.
This photo haunts me because it's about a year before the rape, and I still look goofy. That goofy, completely happy smile goes away after the rape. The goofy, completely happy girl goes with it.
Here I am with Valerie and our Dalmatian, Chip, a little over a year after the rape. I still look happy, but now I'm just pretending to smile. I got better and better at doing that, until you almost couldn't tell the difference.
This is why. Valerie self-harmed extensively during my sophomore and junior year in high school. She spent six weeks in a psychiatric hospital in England.
People would gasp and stop talking when they saw Valerie's hands. I took these photographs for a class presentation I did on self-harming during my junior year of high school.
I have hundreds of photos from high school, but they all have my friends in them along with me, so for privacy reasons, I won't post them here. We went everywhere in a big group. I loved it, but my anorexia drove me relentlessly to succeed at everything and never to waste time, and of course to eat as little as possible.
After Val ran away, I refused to speak to her for two years, but we made up while I was in a freshman at college. This is the two of us at that reunion.
Mom and Dad took Christmas photos that weekend with Valerie and Clint
This same year, Mom rescued a little Maltese-terrier cross and named her Genny.
Genny joined the animals we already had: Simon...
...and Tor. Chip had died of a mysterious ailment--possibly cancer--during my senior year.
Shortly after my neice, Gemma, was born, Valerie moved back home to live with Mom and Dad because Clint was going through basic training and tech school in the Air Force. Here are the three of them at Clint's Air Force graduation. But I wasn't there for a lot of that time because I was in residential treatment at Clove House.
While I was spiraling downward due to my eating disorder, Valerie was building a happy life. Here she is again with my neice, Gemma.
Four years later, here I am with my husband, Matt, shortly after saying our marriage vows. My recovery is something I work on every day.