When Avital van Leeuwen was in 10th grade, she was into skateboarding, punk rock, smoking pot and feminism. Her home life was in turmoil in the aftermath of her parents’ divorce, and even though — or maybe because — she’s high IQ, she was having problems at school. She wanted to transfer to a completion program, get her high school diploma and move on.
That plan got derailed in the wee hours one morning, when she was sitting in bed reading Bitch magazine.
“I just remember my parents coming into my room out of nowhere — both of them, which was weird… I was at my dad’s house. And they said, ‘Avital, we love you very much.’”
She instantly knew: “Something really bad’s about to happen.”