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‘Your makeup looks like you worship Satan. Your entire appearance disgusts me.’: Abuse victim proudly says, ‘I am so much more than she said I was going to amount to’

“She would break out the large stitching needles and sit on my tiny form, peeling my fingernails away from my flesh. It didn’t matter what it was, she insulted it. ‘You will die alone,’ she said when I mentioned being in love with a girl. ‘I should have aborted you,’ when I talked back. Once puberty hit, it was game over for me. I couldn’t win no matter how hard I tried.”

‘I was pregnant at my college graduation ceremony. Ready or not, we were parents. We were young and dumb.’: Mom realizes she ‘needs to slow down’ as her children grow older

“‘My entire adult life, I’ve been a father. Now I am not sure who I am without them,’ my husband said, sitting across from me at the restaurant. I wasn’t ready for this. I failed to anticipate this. ‘Slow down. You are fast-forwarding,’ you might say. And you would be right. I need to slow down.”

‘I’m sorry I couldn’t provide a good Christmas those years,’ she cried through tears. She didn’t tell me until she was diagnosed with cancer.’: Daughter reflects on childhood holidays being a child on ‘one of those angel trees’

“She told me she cried herself to sleep one Christmas because she saw the way my eyes lit up when I opened the Princess Jasmine pajamas. She was so happy for me, but she knew she didn’t get them. She wasn’t the reason my eyes lit up – it was because of a stranger.”

‘Yes, I post photos of my kids online. As a mom, there’s bigger things to worry about than some hacker using them.’: Mom defends showcasing children on social media, says photos are ‘meant to make people smile’

“‘Is that me? I’m a baby?!,’ my 3-year-old asks as we swipe through a photo album on social media. ‘That’s you when you weren’t even 1 yet!’ He’s intrigued. Growing up, my mom took pictures of us only at special events. Over the years, those photo prints became scarce. The existing ones lived in a box somewhere, lost or damaged. I want something different for my children.”

‘There was a young family at the airport. Only one set of luggage though. He was freshly shaven, 3 large bags. They called for boarding, he picked his daughter up and kissed her goodbye. She didn’t want to let him go.’

“We got to our seats on the flight and he pulled out his phone. He was doing what we all do. He wanted to take photos for his wife and his daughter to keep them, but he was too embarrassed because of all the fancy businessmen who might see it and judge him.”

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