Being abused at age 4 or 5, I don’t remember what not feeling ashamed, angry, depressed and violated feels like. I don’t know what it’s like to have parents you don’t fear, to be safe in my own house, in my own room.

How different would I have been had this not happened? I’ve spent life socially stunted. I can express myself in writing, but not in words. If I could have anything on earth I’d stay home, earn a living as a writer, and not have to deal with the outside world unless I honestly wanted to.

Working, though part-time, in such a public place as a library, I’m OUT THERE for the world. I like helping people in a one on one way, like on the reference desk when someone needs something. But in the staff room? It’s full of people, so I clam up. I only speak when spoken to.

I’ve always been like that. I never once raised my hand to say anything in school. NEVER, and I mean elementary through college. Again, if asked I’d respond, but only the bare minimum. Only when I write am I free to say what I think and feel.

I’ve had a fantasy for a while now. I’d like to shave my head, leave where I live, and go join a Buddhist monastery that accepts women. It seems pretty obvious why I want to be secluded, why I want to shun the outside world and live an interior life. I honestly think if I outlive my husband this is what I’ll do. I know of a monastery in Nova Scotia that has female “monks.” That’s where I’d like to live out my life.

In the meantime, I want to be Elizabeth Gilbert. I want someone to pay me to go meditate on life, living in India, Italy and wherever else she was. Indonesia?

But reality. Damned reality. I’m married. I have a family. I have a job, a Master’s degree to finish. Life ties me here.

Would I feel this way if I hadn’t been molested, hadn’t lost my virginity so young? I’ll never know, will I. And that’s the question that gnaws at me. All those years stunted. All my childhood lost. No innocence, no safety, no ability to relate to other children, lest they find out.

And I am very, very angry.