When I look back at life in the West Texas town of Odessa one word comes to mind, dysfunction. I look back at my childhood and realize the hell mixed with the dust and tumbleweeds of the Friday Night Lights and ask myself why. Why was I born into the soap opera family of abortion, alcohol, rednecks, drugs, and Jesus? I am now 28 years old, successful, miserable and a survivor of neglect.

You see, I was abused from the age of 3 to 8 by my cousin Tim. When I was 3, I told my father about it and my parents tried to do something. We went to my pastor--who said I would be okay and everything was swept under the rug. My dad continued to drink and my mother continued to co-dependently love him. My brother and I were continually allowed to be around our cousin who abused us.

I don't remember much. I remember being tied up and having things done to me that shouldn't ever be done to a human being. I also remember playing "Cowboys and Indians" and losing my sense of play altogether.

A sadness wells in my eyes, except I have forgotten how to cry. My cousin tied me up and caged up my memories as well. Through EMDR, I am slowly unpacking things. My cousin is dead after being shot, yet his actions live through me. I want to be free.

I want to be pure.