"I was sexually violated so many times that as the years went by it began to feel normal," wrote the petite Mallette. "It's a strange marriage — knowing something is wrong yet at the same time finding it familiar and commonplace."
Fear, shame and the notion that she was an unlovable, "dirty girl" stretched through her life. She said the "void of having a father in my heart" led her down rough paths, including drinking and drugging to oblivion, beginning at age 14.
There was pot smoking and LSD. She left home at 16. To support herself and pay for her destructive habits, she turned to petty crime and pot dealing — and the toxic, on-again-off-again, four-year relationship she had with Justin's father, Jeremy Bieber, that began when she was 15. At 17, she threw herself in front of a truck and landed in a mental ward.
It was there that she was led to a Christian life, though her faith faltered soon after and she fell back in with her old friends. Sex with Jeremy left her pregnant. She resisted intense pressure from those around her to have an abortion: "I knew that I had to do what it took. I just couldn't abort him."
There was no returning home and she went on government assistance after Justin was born. She worked part-time jobs for diapers and rent, wondering how to proceed without a high school diploma, wondering how she could go back to school with no one to care for Justin.
With the help of a neighbor who paid for a year's worth of daycare, Mallette slowly earned her degree, followed by college training in website design on scholarship.
Meanwhile, her son's perfect rhythm on the drums, his guitar playing and singing talent, surfaced early, along with a hyperactive nature and love of soccer and hockey.