picture perfect

‘I’m too scared to go back,’ I told my mom. His voice paralyzed me. I lived in fear he’d kill my mother.’: 23-year-old adopted by stepfather who ‘never ceased to fight’ for her during childhood trauma with biological dad

“I lived in 2 different worlds. Five days a week I was in a picture-perfect home with a beautiful stay-at-home mom. But the remaining 2 days, I was in survival mode. I remember watching the clock tick by, counting down the time I had left in my safe haven before I’d have to get in the car and enter my second world. My biological dad had trained me well, so I kept his secrets. I’d stare at the window in my bedroom, hands on the frame, trying to build enough courage to slip out of it and run.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: