I Wanna Know Why
With everything that has happened, my mind wants to know why. As a child, I was in a type of prison. Fear. Longing for love. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. At a young age, I experienced a traumatic rape by many boys and many objects forced inside me. I withdrew from life and slowly blocked it from my memory, but the pain never left me.
I questioned every day: WHY was I born? Day after day, my brother and I heard Mom and Dad yelling, throwing, hitting, pushing, crying. I remember in the middle of the night we would get in the car and drive sometimes as far as my grandma’s house four hours away. I never knew if we would go home. I often wished we didn’t have to go home.
As a child, I would pretend that all was OK because I was fearful. I prayed that someone would see the pain in my face, but no one did. I would see other kids playing, other families smiling, people full of love, and wish I had that. I could see beyond the walls of my prison and know there was more, though I didn’t know how to get it. I remember looking in the mirror, wondering what was wrong with me and WHY all this was happening. I remember looking up at the clouds and hoping that there was more to this life.
The sexual abuse ended when I began dating. One boyfriend and I dated for almost two years. We had so much fun together, and such great times with his family! It was a normal, loving family. When we broke up, I missed his family as much, if not more, than I missed him. I found myself into drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and promiscuity.
At 19, I lost my best friend. We did everything together. She was the only one I trusted to stay overnight. We wrote poetry, listened to music, wrote out song lyrics (before Google), danced, played jacks, roller-skated, watched the clouds, and giggled. We were like sisters so we fought, too, but she held a piece of me and I held a piece of her.
If you have lost someone, you know how hard it is to live without them. I lost her piece of myself. My heart. My memories. My trust. My love. All gone. She knew about my prison and chains and experienced some of it with me. I literally and figuratively did not know how to go on when she died. My mind went into deep depression. I even tried to commit suicide, twice.
I was adopted when I was 22 days old and used to dream about my biological mother. What would my life have been had she kept me? I dreamed it would have been magical with all kinds of love around me! I dreamed she would come find me and save me, but it never happened. The worse my life got, the more I blamed it on my biological mother. If she hadn’t given me up for adoption, none of this would have happened to me. Then, when I was 27 years old, I met her…
I have learned that I relate to stories of girls who were kidnapped and abused. They all escaped and were brave enough to share their stories. WHY? To help just one person. And I believe they helped me. If they could live on, then I surely could.
We all feel that hope played a major role in our survival, along with defense mechanisms that our minds utilize to block out the trauma. I quote Frank Ochberg, a psychiatrist and trauma expert: “It can be very risky to tell your story to people around you. They don’t believe you. Or they pity you. Or they get angry with you. When a survivor has a sense that enough people understand that this did happen and that she has dignity and deserves honor rather than pity, anger, or disbelief—when she finds enough people who can give her that kind of reflection—she can heal.”
That. Is. What. I. Need.