The first time I ever went to any kind of counselor was in third or fourth grade. My fingers had started developing callouses because of how hard I used to press the pencil to write. My teachers and mom thought it was because my dad used to yell and hit my mom. To be honest, I can’t remember much at all from before I started kindergarten and even the majority of events up until now are hazy. The real reason for my stress was my third grade teacher. She used to yell at me all the time and “lose” my work. I never told anyone because they were always busy and I could tell when they were stressed enough to not want more on their plates.

Almost everyday I had to go see this woman, Mrs. Hall. She always tried to talk about my childhood; before my mom moved my siblings and I from the country to a town. Most of the memories I managed to hold onto were actually good though. They involved getting to roam around for a long ways and exploring the rundown old house behind ours.

The one clear bad memory I have is from when my sister fell and hurt her arm. We shared a room at the time, and one night, she wanted her favorite koala bear, but it was in the top shelf in the closet. She decided to climb up to retrieve it herself. I knew she was probably going to fall so, using a child’s logic, I put some soft things on top of a crate full of hard toys and hid on my bed. When she did fall, she wouldn’t stop screeching until our parents had gotten to her.

After they took her out of the room, I knew that she would say I had been at fault, so I hid under my covers and just shook. My mom and dad both eventually came back. She took my sister’s pillow while they both yelled at me. Eventually, one of them tore the blanket off and my dad beat me with a belt. It was painful.