Erik, first, a thank you for giving me the heads-up on your Where I’m From post. Somehow I missed it — probably due to long work hours and few free hours. I would have hated to miss this.

Second, now I understand why you’re always concerned about my state of mind! Damn, this was a belly-punch — hard to take, harder to accept. My breath stopped after several lines. I have no words for what you must have endured and for what you shared here.

Third, I am truly sorry for whatever atrocities you experienced in your other life. The simple knowledge that your childhood home was a place you had to escape, in the truest sense of escape, grips my heart with a deep sadness.

Fourth, I am so happy you have a new life! And, that you share bits and pieces of it here with us.

Fifth, this piece and your execution of it, the creative approach you used, are outstanding. The visual is nearly as gut-wrenching as the words. Truly a work of art.

Sixth, lean on me. I am an angry feminist who knows my country is rapidly becoming a cesspool and I cry every day for my grandchildren so far away and I sometimes wade in a small pool of depression, but I smile a lot, too, and sing sometimes, though no one wants to hear that, and I truly appreciate what hasn’t been ruined, and I am a helluva friend. Always a friend . . .

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I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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