Amy is born with a life-threatening hole in her heart that must be surgically mended at the tender age of 19 months. Though it leaves her with a long, deep scar, she feels no different than anyone else and her innate curiosity and outgoing personality allow her to make friends easily. That is, until she turns 13.
Hundreds of miles from her childhood home, having moved from an upscale, private day school in the southern city of Lexington, Kentucky to a public school in a tiny town in the middle of Pennsylvania, she starts eighth grade with high hopes of finding friends. But within three weeks she finds herself an outcast. And not just any outcast. Students who were once embroiled in a decades-long class war between The Townies and The Farmers drop their letterman jackets and backhoes and unite against her in an all-out, school-wide bullying frenzy that lasts two years, spreads to include others in the town itself and even includes adult bullying of her mother.
Amy goes from a happy, outoing child to becoming a coward and a shell of a person, darting through hallways and down side streets with her eyes downcast. This town changes her, and her lovely mother, who’s also become a mirror image of Amy—depressed and neurotic, a captive in her own home—for good. Amy attempts suicide to escape the pain, and then finally flees to an fancy, all-girls boarding school, where she hopes she’ll find relief, a new lease on life and her old, happy, light-hearted self. Instead, in this breeding ground for lost and damaged souls, where she herself arrives deeply damaged and without any inner compass to guide her, she falls further away from her heart, and into the shadows, and ignites decades of pain, numerous falls from innocence, a mis-marriage and substance abuse.
In her thirties, a near death medical experience results in weeks of hospitalization and forced reflection that is the catalyst to her healing, and her realization that the love she needed was there along – within herself. And then, once she learns to love herself, her Prince Charming appears and whisks her away on European adventures to castles and vineyards, declaring her the love of his life.
This ‘Mean Girls to Cinderella” debut memoir will expose the long-term consequences of bullying, and the suffering and desolation that can spread well into adulthood. But more than anything, this is the author’s story of a transformational journey of finding love again and forgiving the world that wounded her, all while creating a life that all of us is worthy of living.
Amy is currently raising funds to produce a book about her experiences via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. She hopes that it will raise awareness of the long-term consequences of bullying. Her story is one of sustained, sadistic harassment, but has a happy ending, as she eventually found love and peace of mind.