Touch the magic present and tear away the wrapping…..

There’s been this child inside of me who hid in the dark shadows of my soul; lately she’s been peeking around the corner to see what it’s like outside. She feels the warmth of sunshine and wants so intensely to touch, laugh, play. She wants to check out the world and all of her possibilities. She questions leaving the safety within; she desires to live in all that ‘Trish’ has built around them.

The child given a new life, now smiling with the magic talents of Michal Madison
“Trecia Ann”

There’s something pulling the puppet strings. “Is it her? Does she want to take part now? What will others think of her?” She hasn’t stepped into the sun for over 40 years, but she’s not the same anymore. Everything about her world has changed. She’s loosened the little hands, which gripped so tightly to hold her safe all these years. I can feel her wanting to live, but she’s not quite sure how.

There have been so few moments when I’ve felt her at all. Its like when the monster snatched her up on the couch long ago, she climbed inside of this closet and did all she could to keep the light from breaking through the cracks.

She did come out to hold my children and expressed such great joy with a little girl’s giggle as she played in their lives. Then she was gone again and I’ve not felt her since. I had no clue she was still there. Every moment of the past years have been so terrifying that she kept putting layers of duct tape on the walls of my soul. She did this so she wouldn’t have to feel anything. She didn’t want to feel, nothing had ever felt safe, or good, or happy. Even the good moments when she peeled  the corners of tape back to let a moment with the children shine inside; like when she saw their faces on Christmas morning; when they woke up on Easter to seek out their baskets of candy, or when they dressed for Halloween and went racing through the streets to collect as many treats as possible. These are the moments that have sparked joy for her, but those moments have disappeared as the children have grown and moved on.

There’s been a three year span of her pulling back the heavy layers of tape from the walls. Slowly, quietly, sneaking and testing to see if it’s all really as good as she thinks.

“Has it really become safe now? Are the years of pain and torture, broken hearts and busted dreams; are they really gone?”

I do feel like they are. There hasn’t been anything to fear in about 8 years. ‘Trish’ has been able to let her feel ANYTHING again. This man has reached inside to hold ‘Trecia Ann’ and guide her to light very gently. When he sees her playing and showing through, he lights up. ‘Trecia’ can see the gleam in his eye as he looks at her.

‘ I don’t think he knows who he is seeing though. He thinks he sees ‘Trish’, but to me, he makes me feel ‘Trecia’ smiling.’

‘Does he know what it touches in me to see him smile at her, be proud of her, hold her, protect her, even guide her through to a new awakening?’

It’s like magic!! Like Santa personally handing me a present and saying, ‘It’s Ok, you’ve done a fabulous job of protecting her, but she doesn’t have to keep all that armor on any longer. She can remove those many layers of wrapping and spring to life.

Inside it feels as if ‘Trecia Ann’ is looking at her beautiful magic present but has no clue how to open it. She’s careful with this present. She’s afraid she’ll do something, anything, and Santa will take it back; sending ‘Trecia’ back into the dark shadows of her closet of safety.

I can hear her asking, ‘Can I lift off the gift wrap and see what’s inside this beautiful present?’ I really don’t know what to say to her. A part of me wants to grab and rip at the paper of this gift like the five year old excited child she is, but then the woman of me wants to set it aside like a ticking time bomb and call in the bomb squad to scan it and ensure there is no trigger wire there that might make it explode.

I feel God finally heard her plea, now He is whispering in her ear and saying, “Go ahead my child. It’s your present. I’ve been holding onto her, but its your turn now. Don’t worry you won’t hurt her. You don’t have to be afraid of her. Look into those magic eyes, see her? She wants to be part of you again. She loves what you’ve done, but she wants to come home and be with you now.”

I feel my arms reaching out to hold her. They wrap around her, cradle her on my lap and rock her safely as I hum a soft lull-a-bye. She’s looking at me with questions in her child like expression. She curious, but yet sparked with joy; she can’t stay in the dark any longer.

Although I’m feeling this sense of a magical gift, it also seems as if many don’t like this child. It’s like all, even her own children are trying to keep her in the taped up darkness, but she wants to keep ripping it away. She’s just so afraid other’s will be ashamed of all she has done, maybe she’s the one who is bad? “Is this why she hid away all these years?”

Her family only knows the ‘Trish’ who has been building these walls. They don’t understand why the walls are cracked and crooked. They don’t want to see ‘Trecia Ann’. “Is it because she reminds them of all that happened? Is it because she’s talking so much and won’t be silent like ‘Trish’ has been all these years? Did they forget she ever existed?” I’ve always felt her there, protected and hiding inside, waiting and closing herself off to the world so no one would see her.

I can’t help what’s happening now. I don’t want to lock her away any more. This man that has helped her feel again, he’s listened, he’s heard her scream, he’s put a light bright enough to shine through the cracks. The little girl is waking from a deep dark sleep and never wants to go back and think of those horrible dreams.

She hugs God and says to Him, ‘Thank you dear Lord for holding me in Your arms all this time.” With her child ways she reaches over and tenderly kisses his cheek. The spark He put into those eyes long ago is now back and its glowing like a magic ball.

I look up to Creator and ask Him if He really believes I can take care of this child now? “Does He believe I can give her the wonderful happiness and honor she deserves for being so courageous and hanging on so tightly all this time?

“Can I really give her life? Will she stay with me and help me help others now to take down their heavy tape which binds their child in secret? Will she and I really be able to feel as one?”

We must and we will help others see their child, to reach out to them and help them comfort all they are. For many, like ‘Trecia Ann’, it is as if the shattered woman who built their shell is putting the pieces together. The shell was busted by all the heavy blows from the fists, but it’s all gone now. There is a glow of light shining in and it’s really life now. The woman sees her puzzle and finds there is a child rather than a shameful monster she thought existed there.

Putting the puzzle of our life together and connecting with the reflection of the child lying in wait, this is magical, this is a present of life. It has finally found its way to me and I really hope in some way I can help others to build their castle of dreams. To see the hope that has finally been answered; to see the roses blossoming from the thorny stem. It is your turn now to climb the lattice and reach the warm of the sun, touch the magic present and tear away the wrapping.

“Do you hear the child’s giggle as she peeks outside to play?”

Enjoy her and rejoice in all she has done. Be admirable of her endurance to remain there waiting for you to see and hear her. Listen and you will hear her heart beating!!!

Patricia 'Trish' McKnight(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Author/Advocate/Speaker/Radio Host/Survivor

http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Photo Art – Michal Madison

Watercolor Artist/Advocate/Radio Host/Survivor

http://www.michalmadisonart.com

Michal Madison Art
‘The Rose Within’
by: Michal Madison

 

Published by @Trecia_Ann

Recently, Facebook locked and removed my decade long creation of work and public profile, which focused my work as an advocate, speaker, mentor, and creator of more than a few programs used throughout Illinois, but also shared nationally and some have reached international platforms. So.... let's start fresh and see where it goes! Please see the writings on this blog dating back into 2011, created after the publication of 'My Justice'. There are two specifically, which have been tagged and shared by many....."Judging Eyes" and "Triggers; what they are and how to handle them" I am a survivor of over thirty years trapped inside the silence and brutality of Family Facilitated Violence, Torture, and Child Sex Trafficking. In Feb. 2011, I chose to publish the secrets and the horrors endured; the many levels of destruction and decay which the community around me witnessed, ignored, condemned and blamed regardless of the injuries and tortures endured. It all became the learned patterns of self-hatred and tolerance which was a huge factor in my adult life. Have you endured childhood harm, or endured terroristic types of abuses? Did you feel unworthy of life, breathing, love or respect? Did you feel as if no one ever really saw you, heard you, or seemed to care about the silent cruelties of your existence? It wasn't until I honestly began a strong focus on healing myself, which took years of researching credible data and published research surrounding the lasting effects of abuse, violence, sexual harm, and human trafficking that I began to understand who I was and why there were many traits and tragedies that influenced my adult choices, relationships, the chaos deep in my soul and the behaviors used to survive. It seemed to control everything inside me and it was filled with pain, and tragedy. The research became my rebuilding journey and my road to advocacy, creating legislative changes, sitting as an active member and providing testimony in the creation of area task force operations, victim/survivor services, trauma informed awareness for law enforcement, educators, social services, healthcare and community providers. I began that research of understanding myself in 2008, wrote the memoir "My Justice' in 2010, began working to change statutes in my home state in 2013, became a Certified DV Advocate and Panel Member of DV Offender Education Program in 2015, which then initiated a decade long career as a trusted, confidential advocate, and a highly skilled and knowledgeable speaker/educator on the topic of Assessment, Family/Survivor Rebuilding, Trauma Informed Care & Response, with the primary focus on family/relationship acts of terroristic abuses and/or human trafficking. Beginning in January 2010 there have been developed programs and connected resources for men, women, children, and families who endured these same types of tragedies. Unfortunately, our human society still has barriers to seek help or speak openly about these types of tragedies, especially if it happened in our homes and families. The laws to protect from such harms were enacted for children in 1963, as an amendment to the Social Security Act. Domestic Violence was not a topic until 1995, when then Senator Joe Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act, which has since been adapted to provide shelters, counseling, protection orders, and rebuilding services for ALL persons regardless of gender or identity. Although slavery was brought to an end by the historical act of President Abraham Lincoln, we unfortunately have millions of human beings still being traded, sold, controlled and trapped in a hellish evil, which often begins by a parent or intimate partner. Legislation didn't arise regarding the term 'Human Trafficking' until the turn of the new millennium. Protection for victims of human trafficking was signed into law as the 'Trafficking In Persons Act of 2000', which with modern day social media it quickly became a new hot-topic point, which then sparked the creation of Trauma Informed Care, Rebuilding & Trauma Therapy, and thus adult survivors began speaking out about the dark terrifying reality of Child Sex Trafficking. Today many use the term, Modern Day Slavery, and we have multi-faceted task force operations and rescue resources working around the globe to end this new form of human slavery. We also have a few hundred thousand or more who are adult survivors of histories involving Parental Child Sex Trafficking. In one recent study from 2018, they found 85% of these victims were trafficked by parents in trade for drugs, family needs, or basic human survival. As I look back on the career that grew from my own personal need to understand the chaos in my head, the constant failed relationships and almost murderous acts committed against me; as I deal with increasing health problems that includes multiples of head and spinal cord traumas; the most important goal for me from day one of this extremely personal experience; the healing and rebuilding of my own children and grandchildren who were all continued generational victims of the trauma influenced behaviors and choices that resulted from the destruction enforced by my mother and stepfather many decades ago. The little girl, 'Trecia Ann', she survived pure evil as an entire community witnessed, shamed, blamed, and dismissed the visible decay and rot, stench and filth covered, battered and intoxicated body of a young girl who was publicly exploited and shared in the bars of that small town, in her home with boys she attended school with and adult men from the local coalmine. It was as if they all got a thrill from watching her respond to the ring of that little brass bell. They laughed, molested, raped, and purchased for a few bucks or a few beers the sexual use of that young girl right in full public view! Her mother held the power to stop it all, but rather enjoyed having a 'slave' to cook, clean, care for the family as well as entertain the sadistic alcoholic man she chose to marry. Today, I'm so honored and proud to have that little girl's spirit with me. It is through the use of my lived experience, along with a decade of research, and at least five certifications in prevention, response, and trauma; I've assisted a few hundred survivors through the multilevel process of rebuilding and reclaiming their voice, their safety, their freedom! I've trained law enforcement, healthcare, childrens service investigators, our school educators, and co-presented in trainings with some outstanding experts in the field. For the many I've assisted or empowered, they continue becoming thriving survivors, advocates, authors, speakers, and most important of all; they are healing their children and grandchildren! It is a truly beautiful experience and I am so amazed to have been a spark, a resource, or a friend in their life reclaiming freedom. The adult children of generations past have broken through the glass ceiling and finally there is a hint of change in the world. "A lifetime filled with daily torture, tragedy, and pain creates someone completely different than we should have been. We feel that person inside, but our lives are altered by the emotional and physical suffering. We cover it up and hide it deep inside through substance abuse, which falsely helps us believe we are doing fine. The extreme physical and emotional injuries leave our mental and physical selves terribly impacted. Thankfully there is more information and resources of help available today for all types of adverse or traumatic experiences. We have specialized therapeutic help and healthcare professionals developing new ways to identify and assist persons harmed or at risk of harm. We have so much more to do, so please help by having casual open conversations with your friends, family, coworkers, leaders, and especially our kids. Teach them early how to avoid both online and in person harms. Encourage adults and kids both to use the BDA Buddy Skills 2.0, which you will find through my list of assessments and prevention strategies. "My Justice' was written through my own beginning of acknowledging and releasing the personal destruction of the girl once known as 'Trecia Ann'. It is not an easy read, but it has opened many eyes about the reality of evil that occurs inside our homes, against those too small to protect themselves or understand what's happening. It was published to release the thick layers of trauma, sex trafficking, and disfiguring neglect. It is the voice of the enslaved child who existed only to answer the ring of 'his' bell, and the enforced burden to keep my own private terrorist alive. 'My Justice' is NOT SUGGESTED FOR ANYONE UNDER 16 years of age. It discusses the permanently wounding life and the cycle of destruction that held me in tolerating ridicule, control, and violence in my adult relationships. This truth was published to inspire others to take an in-depth look at their life and behaviors as a result of their past, in hopes they too will better understand their suffering today, the continued relationships with the parents and family who inflicted those harms, and finally breaking free from that pain so they can reclaim their voice and their true sense of freedom! We always have the opportunity to learn that we are worthy, capable, incredibly strong, compassionate, and filled with endless possibilities. It is a choice. It is a conscious decision to dig into our trauma, take ownership of our own failures, the harm our choices have caused, and the work we need to do to change it and succeed for ourselves and our families. It is such an honor to have 'My Justice' used at the collegiate level for psychology classes, upcoming therapists, and educators. Today my life is very blessed. I'm finally safe, feel truly loved, finally feeling the magic of life! Always choose to see your star and how it shines on others in your journey. My greatest power only began to show when I first made the choice to end the violent relationships and behaviors around my children; to give them something better, something SAFE!! In choosing to share my own story, I've also gone the serious extra step to educate myself through years of research, attending training opportunities, and collaborating with other advocate resources focused in human resilience and healing from abuse, sexual harm, and sex trafficking. Today there are experts digging deep to recreate help and healing. I've chosen to use my past as a way to inspire a greater good and; hopefully, somehow change the cycle of tragedy in our homes so that we empower our kids to live a more positive path. The best education we can give is healing our survivors of traumatic experiences so we understand what they felt then and what they wish they would have had available; those who could have and should have said something. We can change things for our life today, but best of all in healing our wounds, we give communities a supportive working strategy in assisting the people in our lives. One step at a time, one caring soul at a time, we can give them a path to changing our human society as a whole. This is a tell-all, which was written in the midst of my third nervous breakdown as I struggled to put all my distorted pieces back together, and help my children understand how the violence I tolerated against me invaded their well-being. My children have always been my world, but my behaviors, lack of healthy parenting and life skills, and an inability to remain stable have caused another generation of suffering for my grandchildren. This is a very difficult thing to watch and the continued tragedies that seem to keep affecting the choices in my family. Writing this book was only the beginning of trying to release all that has haunted me for so many years. I have finally removed his thick, cruel, coal-stained hand which trapped me in fear for decades. Those hands and his evil, her housemaid and caregiver; created a slave, and that slave submitted to horrific and brutal attacks but always felt it was her burden to bear. I lived with that hand holding me down, continually terrorizing and silencing, stealing my voice to protect their pure evil. Throughout decades the dysfunction caused by the chaos inside my head would affect every relationship, my children, and cast a shadow of darkness on everything good in my life. Living in the true spirit of freedom, I have now become a strong advocate against the life cycle of human destruction. If we want to control our life and achievements today, then we cannot live stuck in the tragedy of hardships and pain. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, to see what you can do and what you can achieve, to find out what is important to you. We all become adults. We all have a burden to bear. Stand up and keep moving, keep living, keep dreaming. You have two choices in recreating and rebuilding yourself. Do you stay stuck in the dark shadows of your past? Do you dig deep and find that spirit that kept you alive so that you can become the proud, strong, capable, resilient, kind human being? Which do you choose and how will that choice affect your children and theirs? We can be supportive, and provide resources and suggest help so that families suffering from addiction or past trauma can find a recovery balance to rebuild their family into a more positive life pattern. We will recover, we will rebuild, we will conquer the pains of yesterday to live in the true sense of life, freedom, and safety today. Patricia 'Trish' McKnight Author: 'My Justice' Fndr/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP Mentor/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor

11 thoughts on “Touch the magic present and tear away the wrapping…..

  1. Trish, you can look after her, let her come out of that dark place, and see the light. Tell her that she is now safe, she is protected from all harm. She is getting ready to re-appear, and she just needs to know that she is not the “bad” one, she did nothing wrong. So often that is how we feel towards our inner child, I think anyway, and I know it took me so many many years to reach out to my inner child, but as you know, she is now free, and happy. The darkness has now come to light, she just needs a little more re-assurance, and then will come out more often to play and see the new life that is awaiting her. She will become one with you Trish, she just needs that little coaxing. The monsters are now gone from her life, she is now free..Big hugs my friend..love you . ♥

    1. Mary, you my dear have created such magic with your poetry and it is how you allow your child to be heard. I too in writing allow that inner child who held on to all the darkness to live and be heard, now we are moving forward to protect others from being harmed and empower all to come out and play, thank you dear, big hugs 😉

  2. “Remember a little bit of kindness can go a long way to set forth a change in our society and stop the plague of abuse and violence that has taken over our homes and our schools.” Trish McKnight. Thank you for sharing in such a powerful way…we have so far to go in protecting our children. We need more brave people like you! The denial is hurting our children deeply.

    1. Laurie, yes a little bit of kindness and caring about another can create an entire new habit for mankind, one that will lead us all into a better place. There are so very many children who are being held in silence while being beaten, molested, murdered and tortured. Only by caring and willing to stand up for them can we ever expect to protect them. I hope that more will be part of the new Generation No More, find it on http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com – blessings and thank you 🙂

    1. thank you for your comment, was hoping it would allow other readers to feel their inner child and the new beginning 🙂 trish

  3. Hi Trish. I cried the whole way through reading this post. Am still crying. Thanks for the healing and congrats for yours. It’s huge. Tremendous. Your journey rings so many bells with mine. I think what really struck a note for me is the idea of playing. I have mourned the inability to play for decades and now, after so many years and so much suffering, I’m safe and secure… and I want to play. I don’t have anyone to play with me now, but I’m sure God will send the opportunities in His time. Big hugs and love to you!

    1. Julie, so sorry you’re crying, not intended to hurt, but to allow us to see the child and woman trapped inside, waiting for us to connect with them again. You will and are making huge leaps and bounds, it is a path to the future and you will find your perfect mate to share as I have. bless you hon, many many hugs 😉 t

      1. No worries, Trish. Crying is a good thing for me. Cleansing. It lets me know that something is important and has hit a nerve and that my soul is responding to it.

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