a “short” biography of elizabeth claire.

(tw: rape, abuse, drug use, self harm, eating disorder,misogyny)

I was born in 1990 in Key West, Florida to my Parents Hank and Patricia. 

I was Patricias second child, and Hanks third, (this was Hanks second marriage.)

My older sister is named Audrey, and she is about 2 years older than me. My half sister is named Natasha and she is 10 years older than me. 

I do not remember much about my early childhood in Key West, in fact, if you had told me that I was born a 5 year old, I would be easily convinced because there is very little photographic evidence of my early life.

In fact, until I got ahold of a camera, there was very little photographic evidence of my life at all. 

Hank, Patricia, Audrey and I moved to Ft.Lauderdale, Florida - about 8 hours away from Key West - when I was 4. We lived in a small apartment. Hank got a promotion at work that required him to move, so we did. 

It was decided by Hank that my mother, Patricia, wouldn’t work. That is was her duty to stay home and watch Audrey and I. While I realize that this was the beginning of Hanks oppression of my mother, these were some of my greatest memories. I spent such great time with my mother when we were young, she took us to parks, and to this vast strawberry field. These were the golden times, although they were short lived, I hold onto them. They were magical.  

We moved into a house shortly after my 5th birthday. We were one of the first families there, it was a new residential community, a nice one. We lived there as a family for a little over a year before things went sour. 

Hank has bipolar disorder, and doesn’t take his medication. Instead, he drinks. He drinks a lot. And when he drinks, he gets angry. The target of his anger? Patricia. 

I watched my father beat my mother with golf clubs, liquor bottles, vases, literally anything he could get his hands on. And when he couldn’t get his hands on anything, he hands would have to do. 

He cheated on my mother with my now step-mother, Nicole. And he would tell my mom about their sexual escapades, in excruciating detail. 

He forbade my mother from wearing makeup or using perfumes, because she was only doing those things “to attract other men.”

Hank left us right after my 7th birthday.

I did not see my father for almost a year.

I did not understand why. Nothing was explained.

He also did not pay child support to my mother.

He only paid the mortgage.

So my mother, who has been forcibly out of work for about 3 years, had to try and find a job that would support three people, in the expensive as fuck city of ft.lauderdale.

Eventually, I saw Hank again. And the same week the divorce was final, he remarried to my stepmother, Nicole, the same woman he cheated on my mom with. Awkward much? He had to live with her because my mom had no where to live since he forced her to be a housewife, although he did try and evict her.

He also tried to lie on his taxes to pay less for child support.

I should mention that Hank does very well for himself, and could have easily afforded to also pay my mother alimony, but she didn’t ask for that.

Within a year both of my parents were remarried.

My mother married a man named Mike, who seemed really nice at first, but appearances can always deceive you.

The first time Hank hit me I was 9.

I will never forget it.

He asked me to shower immediately, and I told him that I would when the show was over (it had about 5 minutes left.) He demanded that I shower, and I simply said that the show would be over soon and I would hop in then. He just started yelling irrationally and dragged me off of the couch where I was laying and began punching me over and over again. The result was multiple black and blue bruises over my arms and torso and a busted lip.

I got made fun of in school the next day for being “uglier than normal”

2 months later he broke a 2x4 over my face.

6 months later he broke my tailbone.

Left elbow dislocation.

Both hips dislocated twice.

Both shoulders dislocated multiple times.

Broken 3 ribs.

Ask me how many times Hank has been arrested.

0.

You always hear stories of those kids who slip through the cracks of the CPS, meet one.

My Mom’s house wasn’t terrible, no one was hitting me, so that was a plus. When Audrey was 12, she stopped going to see Hank, when I was 13 I did the same.

My mom worked two jobs from the time I was 10 to 17 to support my sister and I, while Mike, did nothing. He could never hold a job. And I did all the housework and cooked dinner because “that’s what women do.” 

I had my first boyfriend when I got into highschool. I also started to self-harm. By this time I had been hiding my bulimic tendencies for 3 years, but was encouraged by Hank to restrict during mealtimes. I still don’t know where the feeling to purge after eating came from. 

My first boyfriend was named John. And he is a terrible person. 

I will leave it at this:

he repeatedly raped me, and sees nothing wrong with it. 

he told an eating disordered person they are fat, and sees nothing wrong with it.

after I confided in him about my childhood abuse, he thought it was funny to hit me, because he was a trained marine. 

he once threatened me with a gun. 

and that’s all we’re going to say about John, because going into 4 years of abuse is a lot. 

When I was 15 my sister started using crack. She also started stealing money from me to buy her drugs. I started working when I was 13 so I could buy myself a car when I was 16. And I did, my sister sold me her old car (for drug money, she flat out told me) when I was 16. Now, I used this car, to get to and from school, I was dual-enrolled, and to and from work. When I was 17, she stole it. She stole, my car. For a month. Also, she used to get really hopped up on other pills and beat the crap out of me. 

Although, the cherry on this really, is when I got to watch my mom get hit by a car by her asshole boyfriend. 

And then, got to pick gravel out of my mom’s shoulder because she had road rash. Yeah, that was fucking great. 

Eventually, Hank paid for Audrey to go to a rehab facility in Orlando and after she got out she lived with my grandmother. She still lives in Orlando although she hates my mom and I because we’re just terrible people and Hank is the only one who is nice to her because he bought her a car. 

The last conversation I had with her she told me in the same breath that I didn’t have an eating disorder and to “go throw up [my] dinner bitch.” 

Lesson to learn with Audrey: bankroll her lifestyle, win her heart. 

Now, I won’t go into all of the bullying I went through. People get bullied. Lots of people. I know that there are people who have had it a lot worse than me. But I did have to change schools when I was in high school because of a group of people who started a website about me when I was a sophomore in high school. They eventually made t shirts and tried to make it into an actual club at school. 

There was bullying at the school I transferred to as well, but whatever. At least I had some friends and people didn’t know me as “the girl with the drug addict sister” or “the girl with the website.” 

I was 17 when I graduated. 

That summer was the first and last time Mike hit me. Because he learned something Hank already knew. I fight. 

We got into a verbal argument and he lunged at me and put me in a head lock, I elbowed him repeatedly in the stomach and ribs, and punched him in the kidneys. He slammed my face on the dining room table and let go seeing blood. I ran out of the house, blood dripping down my face and shirt. A neighbor let me in and drove me to a fire station. She was yelled at my the police man for removing me from the neighborhood. Apparently wanting to keep me safe as a priority wasn’t a good enough reason. 

The police sided with Mike. And so did my mother.  

The police also threatened to arrest me because he had scratches on him (mind you, we had two cats…) 

I never felt so betrayed. My mother has since apologized for this incident. And I actually got the opportunity to confront this officer, and tell him he was wrong. It was a great feeling and possibly one of the best examples of ‘speak the truth even if your voice shakes.’

That Summer I was also violently sexually assaulted by a neighbor. I cannot go into details about it. He was very drunk. It was very violent. 

Fast forward to when I am about to be 19. 

I am getting ready to move to Tallahassee Florida, 8 hours North of my current home. Mom and Mike are divorced. 

Mom and I are living in a new house. Things are pretty okay, I am alone most of the time. 

I move to Tallahassee with my best friend at the time, Brittany. She is controlling, demeaning and judgmental. Y’all would have a field day tumblr. 

We move into our 2/2 apartment and things are going great for the year until I get a boyfriend and get pregnant - and choose not to keep it. 

Brittany is very pro-life. And disowns me over this, but not to my face. In the passive aggressive, talk shit behind your back, kinda way. 

So I move out. And in with the guy who I’m dating Bryan. a few months down the road, when I’m diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bryan kicks me out. Claiming “not able to handle it.” 

So my friend Emily takes me in for a month and a half while I look for some place to live, all while being super passive aggressive and still being friends with both Bryan and Brittany! 

Basically, these were the worst few months of my life. I felt like I had lost everything. I was homeless, and Emily enjoyed reminding me of that on a regular basis. The guy that I cared so deeply for couldn’t give two shits about me. And the guy that I was seeing, told me that he couldn’t officially date me because 1) I wasn’t a virgin 2) I had too many tattoos and 3) my hair was too short. Well thank you douchelord! 

But eventually I found an apartment and left Emily’s. We never really were the same after that. For obvious reasons. 

Somehow I made it to 20, and then 21. And I was told to see a bipolar specialist. Who sat me down with a scantron looking test. I had spoken to a wonderful girl that I had met who also had bipolar disorder named Kalea, she said these things were normal. I trusted everything she said. (Even though I called her Kuh-lee-uh for the first few years of our friendship.)

I was officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder type II, PTSD, BDD, ADD and EDNOS. 

The doctor began trying me on different types of medication to stabilize my moods, I was given everything in the book for anxiety. And told that therapy would help with the BDD and EDNOS. 

K cried. And it broke my heart. 

I remember the day I was diagnosed with EDNOS, I was told that I fit the criteria for anorexia, except for the weight. My ED took that as a challenge. And I became sicker. 

In November 2011, the day I was diagnosed with anorexia, I almost died from it. 

I spent a week in the hospital. 

Then three months in rehab. No one can really tell you what rehab feels like, unless you’ve been there. I was scared, but I knew I needed to be there. 

On November 4, 2012, I celebrated being 1 year purge free. 

Someone really ticked me off earlier. In fact, people piss me off here a lot. They act like I have never had a hard day in my entire life because you think I’m white, or you think I’m healthy, or you think I’m this or that. 

There are a lot of privileges that do apply to me, and in that aspect, I am lucky. 

But there are a lot of things that people do not know about me, that I don’t talk about. 

A lot of people don’t know that I’m Cuban, because I *look* white. AND YES, I am aware that by LOOKING white I get white privilege, so if you were going to say that, shut up. You don’t get to erase heritage and identity. 

Also, most people don’t know that I also qualify for a handicapped sticker because I have osteoarthritis in both of my knees. However, I don’t apply for one because I can walk unassisted,despite pain and I was raised better than that. 

So just because I don’t TALK about it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t EXIST. OKAY? 

SO. Let’s all just be a LITTLE NICER TO ELLIE? OKAY. 

Because I am so overly fucking done with assholes. Like, yesterday. 



4 notes

  1. bostonalwaysinmyheart said: i know we don’t know each other but i sat here crying while reading this and i just had to thank you for sharing your story. you are so brave and strong
  2. sandryfatoren said: I’m crying so i’m not very articulate atm, but I just needed to tell you how grateful i am for you, and your friendship, and that you’re still here to share it. I love you and admire you and you deserve every happiness and none of that shit.
  3. doulaness said: I love you so much and I’m so happy that you are still around in spite of all of this. You have always deserved better, and I’m so so sorry.
  4. elliegreen posted this