In Defense of My Mother

How I Ended My Family’s Cycle of Violence and Sexual Abuse

Mom, 1984, From my private collection, used with permission/Heather Monroe

I dread questions about my childhood. Most people can whip out a happy memory to fondly share with folks who relate. Ask for their earliest memory, and they’ll usually tell you about the first day of school or a vacation.

I recall a few fond memories, too, like my grandma’s plump fingers rubbing my forehead or me, shoving rolly pollies in…