How “Buffy” Saved My Life

She may have thought letting people molest her kids was normal, but that just shows how much more messed-up her life was. You know how Faith had the twisted mayor? Well, my aunt’s son loved to rape kids, and he raped my sister. So, he qualified as a great babysitter when my dad was out truck driving. After my aunt’s husband died, she kicked my great-grandmother out of her house.

Anyway, back to my dad. I pressed for him to get psychiatric help instead of jail time. Well, on the drive to school with my dad (it was court-ordered for him not to be alone with me so, of course, I’m alone with him), who at this point is still a completely-crazy person. He is yelling and screaming, and all I can think is that “this is not the conversation that I want to be having on my death day.”

He grabs the wheel because I’m not listening to him, and to prove a point, pulls the car onto the sidewalk, nearly hitting two teenagers. I slam on the brakes, and the car is mere inches from the kids. I pull up the parking brake and run into school with my dad chasing me. Yes, like a big bad scary monster who is so mad he may just kill me.

I run to the counselors’ offices and order them to keep that man the hell away from me. I have the court order to make it happen in my file. They put me in a room in which I start slicing my wrists to stay sane because, well, everything else is insane, and it helps me to focus. I am locked for hours in this tiny room while they deal with my dad.

Eventually, someone comes in and sees my wrists all bloody. The person, being normal, takes away my pretty, sparkly paperclips because, apparently, bleeding all over school property is wrong. When they ask why I am cutting myself with paperclips, I tell them because my bag of paper and pens is not here, and I need to stay sane somehow. So I am given my own paper and pen and am chaperoned for five minutes while I write and write. You would be amazed at how much a school cell can look like the Initiative when you are locked inside it with a big scary monster on the other side of the door. My dad, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The school counselor suggests that I go back to live with my mom. She won’t take me, so I am moved to her sister’s home. This aunt is everything you could want a mom to be, but there are just a few problems. My cousin can’t stand the attention her mom gives me or my sharing of her room, and my uncle decides he wants to play doctor. My little cousin walks in on me laying down my uncle’s fingers up inside and me not knowing if being quiet is right or if trying to stop him will make things worse.

So, my aunt gives me an hour to find a place to live, or I’m on the streets. Buffy’s mom dies… me… everything I’d ever wanted in maternal affection, I’m given for a few months only to have it torn out of my life. I end up in a home for runaways, and after two conversations of “How are you doing? Do you like it here?” – I’m put back with my mom.

So, in only a week, Mommy Dearest attempts to hit me with a car and does other bad things. Remember the episode “Gingerbread” in which Joyce starts MOO? It was all kind of like that. My dad, Jekyll Dad (Giles’ dad) breaks the law and comes to see me and then reports to the Department of Children and Family Services. I am put in a college apartment for my senior year of high school. Can we just say “target put on forehead”?

Okay, this is running a little long. Let’s just say that I went to five high schools each with their own versions of Cordelia, Jonathan, and so on – and each one I’m fighting off the demons alone. Even when I had friends, they couldn’t understand. Most people looked at me and saw “power” – no curfew, no rules, and no limits. They didn’t see a girl just trying to survive.

After high school – well, remember the “Buffy” episode “Living Conditions” (season 4, episode 2)? Well, I had a roommate like that. I would put stuff away, and she would put it back out. I thought I was going crazy. I would take phone messages, and she would erase them. After our other roommates banded together, I got kicked out. That however wasn’t enough for her, she tried to get me arrested and kicked out of school. It took a few months, but eventually the truth came out. I was very relieved to find out that I wasn’t crazy. The other girls came and apologized – happy ending! – and this was while I was still in high school.

The point is while I’m not mentioning all of them, each episode was my life in one way or another. I couldn’t do college – my divorced parents both claimed me on their taxes. As far as “Hush,” who hasn’t had his or her voice stolen because either no one will believe them or the truth is just too horrible?

I have a few small super powers, sort of. I know evil when I meet it – smiles can’t mask demons from me. I’m super brainy (well, sometimes!), and I see the future a little. And I have a happy ending.

I live in the jungle with money, maids, and a castle. I don’t have to clean. I very seldom leave my home, and I have an armed guard to keep me safe now. My army is online on the Internet, fighting for freedom, liberty, and Ron Paul. I’ve turned into a rebel browncoat, and my poodle is the cutest “watcher” ever.

My dad, well, he is back to only half crazy. My mom, I spoil her because I pity her, and I pay people to make me food, comb my hair, paint my nails, or give me a back rub – all the love and affection I need. Most people, they would have ended up dead or in prison. I didn’t get a criminal record – I got a therapist. I stayed strong – even through chemotherapy, even through a crazy stalker who abducted me, and even through another rape that left me in a pool of my own blood. Yeah, the story keeps going – the love of my life dying, and everything. I did my best and survived it – and, well, that’s what Buffy did. I’m not saying I’m all that special, I’m just saying “the hardest thing in this world really is to live in it.”

But becoming a model and having money definitely helps with overcoming the whole high-school geek trauma. I retired at 26, and I’m here because I had to fight, because it wasn’t easy, and because I saw every episode of everything that Joss (Joseph Hill) Whedon has ever done.

When I had no one else, I had “Buffy.” She is where I went when there was no place else to go. Someday I will meet Joss, and I will thank him. I don’t know if it could ever be enough – but even if I can’t do for him what he did for me, I do keep paying forward from paying for a few life-saving surgeries and buying shoes for a small village (among other things).

I do what I can, where I can, and there is still so much debt left to pay forward because despite the monsters and demons, there were those who, with their kindness, saved me. A teacher brought me toothpaste and a toothbrush when I couldn’t afford them, and there are so many other kindnesses that I want to continue forward because this world needs them.

And if we all do our best to be like Buffy, the world really will be all different.

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