"It’s really tough for me to relive the memories of most of my childhood. As I began writing this to add to the photo that Dennis took I was transported to the past and got caught up in a horrible panic attack. I got through it and forced myself to re-read what I had written. Doing that was empowering. However, I've chosen to not share the details here. I am really thankful, though, to Dennis and this opportunity as it’s become therapeutic. Thank you!
What I can say is that books, and music, have changed my life in the best way possible. In particular, “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret?” by Judy Blume was pivotal to my survival. Twelve year old Margaret spoke to me on a whole new level. I imagined her, quirks and all, a normal girl. She was curious and scared about the world, as was I, and knowing (or thinking) that someone else my age was going through those particular feelings gave me hope. It allowed me to cling to life. That’s what hope does for a child raised believing they’re worthless. And that’s what Judy Blume provided for me in this book.
My name is Sandra and I now spend most of my time surrounded by the things that give me hope. Now, go read a book!"