This is me at 4 years old. Like many little girls, I had my hair combed and twisted into ponytails – often accompanied by tears – and I remember how much I loved to play with my dolls. I look at me, and I see that innocence, the same as every other child. I see eyes that don’t yet know judgment, hate, cruelty and it’s aftermath. Those eyes that do not yet know that innocence will soon be taken away.
It was a rainy day – the whole day had been cold and wet and gray – and I had looked forward to being picked up by my mother. I was in Middle School, maybe 11 or 12, and was eager for the sight of her blue Cadillac. I waited for her. She never came. A neighbor saw me waiting, and was upset about me being there after school, out in the rain. She offered to take me home. The scene plays quietly in my mind still, there is no sound, only color. Me, walking through the front door, then the hallway, then opening the door to my mother’s bedroom. Him, beating her, savagely, unrelentingly, hatefully. There was so much blood. My neighbor had somehow come to her rescue just in time, because if she had not picked me up when she did and if I had not opened the door when I did…He stopped, and we were left to live with the blood, the bruises, the helplessness.
Darkness came and I did the best I could with chaos. Some call it excuses and I understand. There are those among us who are more perfect than me, who saw trouble and steered clear. But for me there always was trouble and then I got into trouble and trouble was slow to disappear.
If you are interested to know who I am and how I came to be, if you are curious and open, I have stories that I will tell. Stories that, rather than excuses, are insight and an explanation. They reveal me, the truth about me and all that I am. I have stories I will tell and when I tell them you will see more of me in you than you know…