Lying in a steaming bath-tub, water lapped against my naked body. The pressure of the clear liquid surrounding me made the bruises on my hips ache, the heat made my head foggier than a dock at sunrise. This was the twenty-seventh time, yet I was still with him. I sunk under the waves and wet my hair. “Why am I so afraid to leave?” I opened my eyes and looked through the muddled water. The light above the tub shone bright, rippling shards of light scattered out of reach. Through all the haze in my brain, the one lighthouse I saw was suicide. My hands moved from underneath the steaming blanket of liquid and grabbed a pair of scissors from the edge of the tub. After this last time, all I could think of was ending it all, and reflecting on how I got here.

My mom holding me when I was a few months old, 2000.
Me, age 14.
On our wedding day.
Madi and her husband, 2018.
| Writer: Madi Hayes | Editor: Kristen Petronio; Colleen Walker|

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