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I scarcely recall any era of my life when I didn’t wish to be one of two things:  invisible or dead.  Perhaps under the age of 6 before I had any concept of suicide or free will whatsoever and I was still filled with an optimism that as long as I was the very best little girl ever…someday I’d be loved and nurtured without paying a price.  Someday my mother would love me. Or my daddy would save me.  Or I’d be the babysitter’s favorite…and not just when she wanted to practice sex acts, but really her favorite, as in her favorite little girl…the best little girl she’d ever babysat.

I remember our babysitter used baby powder on her vaginal hair.  It was bitter and really bothered me…but I really wanted to be her favorite – somebody’s favorite – anybody’s favorite.  So, I never complained about the taste of baby powder or not wanting to play those games.  I was just happy I had someone’s attention, kinda, at last…and not to be yelled at or punished, but for good stuff.  This was good stuff, right?  It had to be.  These couldn’t be things she’d do with just anyone.  It had to mean I was special.  Being special like this felt really weird and gross, but at least I was special to someone at last.

Once I had a babysitter who was my most favorite of all.  He would give me piggyback rides and play candy land with me or checkers or operation or tiddlywinks.  And he never, EVER made me put my mouth places where it tasted bad.  He just did the things I thought babysitters were supposed to; he colored in coloring books with me. And played games I wanted to play. He seemed to like me just like I was and didn’t want me to do yukky things.  I really REALLY wanted to be HIS favorite.   But when I told her how much fun he was and about all those games we played, mother said t it wasn’t appropriate for a boy babysitter to give a little girl piggy back rides.  So although he was the most fun, nicest babysitter in the whole wide world, he only babysat once. The other babysitter who played those weird games would be our regular babysitter.  I don’t recall for sure just how long she was our babysitter, but it was a really long time… Up until I didn’t have a babysitter at all anymore.