My life path has been weird. Exciting and dark. Scary and surprising… but mostly weird. I’m alright with it now—happy even—but it wasn’t always that way.

At a vulnerable 14 years old, I experienced the most transformational day of my young life. I was in a fight at school with two high school girls and suffered traumatic injuries to my body and brain, not to mention mental and emotional devastation. I sunk, isolating myself by dropping out of school… for good. I kept sinking, becoming addicted to many forms of escape and whatever impulsive behaviors that made me feel good during my recovery.

I gained my strength back, my wounds healed, and I made a silent promise to never appear vulnerable again. I kept my troubles tucked away in my journals, didn’t talk openly about what had happened. I thought I was proving my toughness, when really, I was letting these events define me.

Time passed and I followed what I thought was my dream of cleaving meat as a butcher. I found myself working at an Ohio farm, far away from my Nevada home. Then literally in the time of a blink, my whole world changed … again. I cut off my thumb. Standing in front of the band saw that just maimed me, I remember seeing my own thumb on the ground, not attached to the rest of my hand. What the Hell? How did I let this happen? This, right here, felt like the ultimate dead end.

I underwent reattachment surgery and therapy—physical and emotional. Back to healing. I started writing and it became crystal clear that the Karissa who cut off her own thumb had been living as a wounded version of herself. For years I was designing a life that could prove I was the tough girl that couldn’t be broken—not by two high school girls, not by addiction, not by shitty circumstances. I detached myself from the childhood wounds that were still bleeding … even years later.

So here I am, continuing to explore life beyond the damage, eager to connect with others who may feel defined by old wounds too. I bet your path has some interesting corkscrews, and I’d really like to hear about it and help you craft your story in any way I can.

Let’s share some shit.