Eighteen-year-old Geraldine looked me directly in the eye: “My mother shouldn’t have had children.” I looked back at her, unblinking, stunned. She wasn’t saying she wished she hadn’t been born. She was making a clear observation about her mother who discovered, after she had Geraldine, that she liked the idea of children much better than the reality. Geraldine had been explaining to me why her mother had been so violent with her when they had lived together, why she had slammed her face down on the table so hard, when she was 9 years old, that her nose was broken. Geraldine’s father had come home, seen the blood and the deformed nose, and had beaten up Geraldine’s mother. Afterwards, Geraldine’s mother had been terribly remorseful, tearful. She didn’t hate Geraldine most of the time, but there was no one else to blame for the premature loss of her freedom, her youth, when she was 19 years old. Actually, the “father” who beat up Geraldine’s mother turned out to be a stepfather. Geraldine had always wondered why no one else in the family had her last name. It was not until she was 14 that she learned, from a cousin, that her father was someone else. This cousin offered to introduce her to her father’s family, and eventually she met her biological father.