Earliest Memory

Fresh paint, new carpet, the sun shining through giant new windows.

My maternal grandfather took my mother and I to visit our new home. The house was just being finished and everything was new. My mother was able to pick the colors of the house. It was white and pea green with light green stucco outside and a green rock roof. The house was nestled in the hot California dessert. My mothers favorite colors are green and pink. The inside walls were all white and the carpet was a light pea green.

I remember being in the house, it wasn’t real hot so It must have not been summer. The sun was shining in through the large windows. I love bright sunny homes & big windows.

I walked into what I was told would be my room, white walls and light green carpet. I walked over to the window and I remember the shiny white windowsill with its fresh paint. I grabbed onto it and tried to pull myself up to see out of the window. I was about two years old. I think we visited the building site once before the house had walls. This time the house had walls, fresh paint and new carpet. I would spend eight or nine years or most of my childhood in this home.

I loved in this green home with my mother, my older brother and my grandfather ( moms dad) was often there with us. Later my brother would move out, my grandfather would pass away. My mother would marry and have another daughter.

Published by Genevieve Meyer

Genevieve Meyer always felt like a throwaway​ child - a lost cause that no one wanted to invest anything into. "When I was married off at 15 that feeling was solidified. People knew it was going to happen. I even asked for help - a place to live, someone to intervene - but no one rescued me. I was just a 'poor white trash girl' with a difficult, mentally-ill mother and no one gave my being married off to a 42-year-old man a second thought." Child marriage is currently legal in all but one state in the U.S. The repercussions of this reality are real - domestic violence, inability to complete education, lack of job skills - all leading to being trapped in the marriage. Meyer has lived in the Fort Wayne area for 14 years. She recently earned her MBA, following completion of an undergraduate degree at Purdue Fort Wayne. She manages a mental health facility in Fort Wayne which helps children and their families heal from trauma. Driven by her own story of trauma, she works to advocate and educate about the harmful effects of child marriage. She lives in the country with her husband of 12 years, and together they are raising 4 children and several animals.

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