Courtroom Tug-of-War

I’ve lived two lives. The for­mer was one rid­dled with despair, wor­ry and con­stant frus­tra­tion. The begin­ning of adult­hood for me was a bite much big­ger than I could chew. Just 22 years old, a new moth­er of twins fin­ish­ing a BA at NYU, I found myself in the mid­dle of a cus­tody bat­tle with the father of my children.

It was the sin­gle worst year of my life count­ed against oth­er years: my father’s bat­tle with can­cer, his sub­se­quent death, bouts of unem­ploy­ment and roman­tic rela­tion­ships gone sour. In that year, thoughts of sui­cide were ram­pant. I for­got to eat and my weight dwin­dled down to 90 pounds. My clothes draped over my bone-thin frame like I was play­ing dress up in my mother’s closet.