Straight from the Heart

As a young girl growing up, my life began with the "normalcy" of being sexually molested by my step-dad, waking to the sounds of seeing him beat my mom, waking my brother and I up (he is 4 years younger than myself) and making us watch as he ripped clothes off my mom, breaking her nose and blackening her eyes. 

However, my life’s journey actually started on January 29, 1961 in Clayton, Missouri. I was born to a single mother. In those days it wasn’t made known if you were an unwed mother. If so, you were definitely looked down upon. However, love and family prevailed. My mom and I lived with my maternal grandmother. My mom often worked 3-4 jobs to make ends meet and to assure I had everything I needed. If my grandmother babysat, my mom diligently paid her for doing so, after being raised to always pay her way.

To read this blog in its entirety, click here.

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Hey Ma

Gabriellasmami19's picture

Ma, i didnt know all that has happened to you. Just know that God is always bigger than anything in life. Im here for u and i hope u already know that so if u need someone to talk to im here! And im always going to be here for you. I dont tell u this enough but i really do appreciate everything you do and have done for our family. I love farther than the moon and back.
Love you,
Sessels

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Lesley, you and our family

6kiddles's picture

Lesley, you and our family are what drives me to be the best I can be. I would give my life for any one of you. Life's experiences are what make us who we are today. My goal is that others will learn from my mistakes and I can encourage them to always have hope...no matter what obstacles they may encounter. Our family has been through so much, but other people have their own stories. I savor the moments when people choose to entrust me with THEIR stories. Love you Sessels.

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Judith Auerbach, Ph.D., is a public sociologist, independent science and policy consultant, and adjunct professor in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to helping women with HIV.

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