I was 14 years old when I lost faith in everything. The year was 1998, and I had already been thrown in the psych ward, sent to adult prison, force-fed antipsychotics, and subjected to a bona fide exorcism from my own mother. The watchful eyes of God, my family, and the Lisle Police Department were so cruel and unrelenting that I felt like a captive even when I was free. I was spiraling into sex, drugs, and self-mutilation, and as the days went by, I started to believe that my mother was right; maybe I was the Antichrist.
How I Learned to Hate Myself is a case study on the roots of my trauma. It is a roadmap through the cause and effect nature of abuse and mental illness. It is a collection of my most vulnerable childhood memories, and a journey through the ways that they changed me.
Sometimes the only way to become whole is to break yourself apart and reassemble the pieces. Writing this book was a way for me to gather up the wreckage and turn it into something that felt like strength. If you find this book and you know what it is to feel broken, I hope that these stories will help you to do the same.