The first time I had to put my big girl panties on was when I was 3 years old. My mom left me alone in our apartment in Astoria, Queens. I woke up to white noise blasting from the TV.

The lock to our apartment was super high to prevent crooks from picking it after a string of robberies in our building. I remember vividly putting the chair up to the door, putting the alarm clock on top of that, then a box of Apple Jacks, then the milk container. After climbing my make-shift ladder, I still couldn’t reach the lock. I did however have a floor filled with milk, the white noise continuing to blast in the background — that sound still creeps me out today.

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Remembering the Past

It always blows my mind how you can remember traumatic events when you are so little. Moments from my childhood are so vivid it’s like I’m right back in it. Back to that apartment, back to that feeling. Our minds work overtime to protect us and that inner child from the unresolved issues of our past, but some things still slip through. I know everyone has had that experience in one way or another.

Of course, my mom did eventually come home that day. I remember looking at her, noticing how unbelievably gorgeous she was — flowing long blonde hair, bright blue eyes, legs for days in daisy dukes. I smiled, but that moment I started looking at her differently. How could you leave a three-year-old alone?

My childhood was a lot different than most. There are so many stories I could share. Though I could not repair the relationship with my mom, I’ve been working my whole life to heal the inner child within myself. It’s a full-time job, but so worth it. Self-love, self-peace, patience, it’s changed my life.

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Changing the Future

I am currently writing a book and this chapter on my childhood has been very difficult for me to tackle. Reliving what no child should ever experience or see is not easy, but it’s been a huge part of that healing process for me. If I can face it, I promise you can, too.

Even at three years old, I knew this was not how childhood was supposed to be. I knew that I’d never want my child or anyone else to feel the way I felt that day. I may not be perfect, but I will never let my children feel abandoned, ignored, or unsupported. Though it was a truly tough way to grow up, it gave me the clarity to raise my kids differently. That cycle of neglect ended with me. In this house, everyone is seen, heard, and loved. And if you suffered from trauma in your childhood or early life, I see, hear, and love you, too. It’s a long road ahead, but keep putting your healing first.

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