My mother married my father, a violent and abusive man, when she was 17 — a week after she graduated from high school. We fled from him when I was 5, showing up at my grandparents’ house during a thunderstorm.
The memory of that night comes to me in flashes. I remember feeling scared and confused. We stood in their living room right by the front door, and I didn’t realize that I was trembling until my grandmother wrapped her steady arms around me.