Everything just feels so empty without her. She was more a parent to me than my birth parents were. She took me in, fed, dressed me, but most importantly, she treated me with respect. She taught me that my abilities were nothing to be ashamed of, nothing I should try so hard to deny. She convinced me that what I had was a gift-not a curse- and that I shouldn't let other people's narrow minds and fears determine how I love, what I do, or how I perceive myself in the world. She actually made me believe that in no way, shape, or form did their uninformed opinions make me a freak.