When did the past become the present?
Since 1992 I have done everything in my power to learn from my mistakes and keep the past in the past. When you leave home at 15 because of horrendous sexual abuse and noone is there to protect you, you are not equiped to face the world. Add a gender challenge to that mix and you are broken mentally and physically. I emancipated from my family at 16. What 16 year old do you know has the tools to live life and be self sufficient and productive? Even if they had none of my baggage I doubt that it would end well.
It seems you are going to read things about my past that I have never discussed publicly. I have zero desire to discuss them now, but seldom in life do things go the way you hope. I did what I had to to survive and build a life for myself. I am not proud or ashamed of those decisions. In 1999 through the help of my pastor and my church family at Faith Assembly, I worked really hard to become the person I needed to be to marry what I consider to be my first husband, Leroy Matthews. (I don't recognize my life as Paige really in any way) I have put myself through school on my own without student loans or family help. I faked it till I made it in business and built quite a successful resume in the business world. I received awards and accolades along the way. I have been invited many times through my career to be a keynote speaker on various projects. I worked really hard to create the life I always dreamed of as a child.
My first marriage ended after physical and mental abuse and infidelity. Since then Leroy has apologized to me for all he put me through.
After 9/11 I proceeded to relocate back to Florida after being laid off. I was in a horrible accident that derailed my life for two years and left me with tons of debt. In 2005 I was working three jobs and had over a million dollars in medical debt from my accident. I filed bankruptcy and made decisions to get myself out of the hole I was in once again. By the end of that year I was back in school again to become a sign language interpreter. I paid for school out of pocket until my final semester when Patrick came back into my life and we fell in love. Once again I wanted my life to be perfect for my husband. I took out student loans that final semester and worked as a server at BJ's Brewhouse to accomodate my school schedule. I got engaged during the Super Bowl February of 2008 and married Patrick in March of the same year. We had a great life together for the most part and I finally felt like I had the fairytale. I was married to my first love, the man I wrote in my journal at 12, that I would marry someday. Unfortunately fairytales are not real life.
I have spent the better part of the last twenty years doing everything in my power to live a normal life outside of the public eye. After my brutal rape and trial I legally changed my name in 1994 to once and for all sever ties to my horrible, tragic past.
It is really easy to sit behind a computer and judge me and say how you would never do any of the things that I have done. I was molested starting at the age of 2 years old. I remember vividly as a child whenever I had to go to the bathroom hiding somewhere sitting on the heel of my foot to stop it because it was going to hurt so much. I was too young to understand that only made it far worse. I went through sexual abuse till I was twelve, then just as I thought it was over it started again with my uncle as the abuser. My mother died when I was 3 months old, I felt abandoned. My father chose not to raise me, but raised his other children, I felt abandoned. I grew up with a grandfather that loved me conditionally through money. Nothing I ever did was good enough and whenever I achieved anything it was because of their money, never my skill. After his death I had a love hate relationship with my grandmother. I wanted her to acknowledge what her son did to me. I wanted her to take responsibilty for not protecting me all those years from sexual abuse. The first time I attempted to kill myself in 1987 at school was because Patrick had returned to my life and in trying to remember him I remembered the sexual abuse I had blocked out after a breakdown when the abuse ended. I went on to think suicide was the answer to everything. There were times where I wanted people to understand I was dying and hurting inside and other times where I truly wanted it all to end.
I am a product of my upbringing and turbulent past. I learned how to adapt and become whatever people wanted me to be to protect myself. I lost any chance of finding out who I really am in doing so. The things that people have done to my body and the things I have allowed people to do to my body I am for the most part numb to. I don't feel love, affection and intimacy like a normal person. At the same time without it I feel void and like I am nothing.
When you read things about me in the media and eventually hear the whole story in my biography this summer I hope you can take into account how I started out in life. I lost both my parents at 3 months old, I came to learn I had a body at war with itself, I went through decades of physical and sexual abuse. I have never felt safe and secure a day in my life. I have never trusted love or someone liking me or wanting to be with me. I let down all my walls with somone in the end of summer 2014 and we all see where that got me. Once again it was all based on a lie.
It seems so easy for so many of you to hate me and distrust me when you truly know nothing about me. When you finally hear the reason for my DUI 3 months after my 18th birthday, see how easy it is for you to condemn me then. I wrote a check that bounced that years later came back as an arrest warrant for a misdemeanor. Extortion, that story will never be told in its entirety because to many people will still be hurt. I took repsonsibilty for my part, but what you see on paper is far from the truth and the whole story. I had just been raped in jail, in a relationship with one of the men in my cell that turned out to be a multiple convicted murderer and we had the same attornies representing us and they let me go due to conflict of interest. I married the third inmate in that cell who had ties to the mob to secure my life and protect myself from the underworld mess I had gotten myself tied up in. My father-in-law was murdered 6 months after I married his son. I packed two suitcases and ran to Florida following my new love Clemmie as he got stationed from Portsmouth to Kings Bay. I was in a tail spin and everything that happened after that is a direct result. So when you read the things that it looks like will come out about my past, please remember what I went through. Remember everything that brought me to this point. Remember I am still somebody's daughter, sister, couisin and friend. I am still a person with feelings and you have no concept on God's green earth all I have been through and survived to be here today.