This blog takes me deep into thought and I wonder about even publishing, but to heal I must see the reality of my world.
You all allowed this to happen!! What the hell did I ever to to you? Then you have the audacity to turn away and abandon not only me, but my children. My family actually damns them because of what our parents created in me. The town of Freeburg, Illinois watched for NINE LONG YEARS as I rotted in the hell of my world. Not a single one of those 1500 citizens ever questioned or urged someone to get involved.
‘Why would you just stand there and watch me die?’
‘My Justice’ is a cold hard look into what you all watched or took part in throughout those many years. Sure there are those who were only children, as I was; still many of those young men enjoyed the whore this man created and shared or encouraged others to play with; still everyone ignored her existence every day.
It is not possible for me to complete my healing until I have processed all the emotions I was forced to bury. The tears I was forced to swallow, the madness I’ve carried and the pain I felt. There was not a single day that I didn’t pray someone would help me. There was not a single night that I didn’t ask God for His mercy to take my out of my nightmare.
‘How am I supposed to deal with all of this now? Should I look back and say they didn’t know what to do? How can I blame them for what my parents did?
What would you do if it was you?’
Is it possible that you would see the reflection I see and feel no pain or sadness? My skin is covered with the scars of the rotting infected sores. You remember, the ones you saw on me and made sure your children didn’t associate with me because of what they might catch or what they might be lured into doing? You blamed me and judged me, shunned me and saw a young girl as the village whore. The one your sons were never to date. The one who might infect your child with some skin eating disease. You remember me now? How would you feel if it were you? Would you have allowed this to happen to any other child? How do you see your moral standards now? Is there any remorse for your ignorance?
‘Why would you just stand there and watch me die?’
‘Do you understand what happened and just how serious, almost deadly, these grievous attacks became? Believe me, Mona and/or Malcolm committed or silenced me in servitude and protecting my personal terrorist?’
To the school officials and teachers who I had contact with every day; those from Carl L. Barton Middle School during the years of 1974 ‘til 1977 and those of Freeburg Community High School. Although I started school and moved to your town when still a very young child, entering third grade with Ms. Boyer; it wasn’t until I was around 11 that things really started getting deadly in my home.
Was I really that transparent that you didn’t notice me at all? Seems a bit funny to me since the P. E. teachers and kids would not only avoid any and all physical contact with me, but you made sure to shame me in front of the others. You stared at my filthy unwashed uniform filled with the stench of my unwashed body. You glared at the scabs and flesh eating sores that covered my arms and legs. The girls who I changed clothes with in the gym locker room for six years stared and whispered about the rumors and bruises that often cover my young body. These are my memories of you and I cannot erase my reality.
To the law enforcement; you knew of his alcoholic rage and perverted behaviors. You knew, around 13 years old (1975 – 1980), that our home was constantly the party house. Almost once a month these parties consisted of one grown man, one young girl, and at least 5 young boys. You heard all the rumors about the pot that was smoked or the girl offered out like candy. You definitely knew from the kids wandering around inside and outside, each holding cups or cans of beer; the loud music and traffic that concerned the neighbors, but you did nothing.
In my eyes, none of you were not brave enough to do your job and check on the children of this home. When you stopped me out on the street, to either talk or question me, you saw the rotting teeth and in our roasting hot summer days you saw my arms filled with filth and huge sores. You did nothing!!
You knew either by rumor or being told by the bar owners, that he was so dangerous when drinking my mother warned all of the tavern owners to ban him from whiskey completely. However, since they too were afraid of what he might do, they watched his fury grow, then sent him home; knowing there were young children. Remember the little girl who came in to get her mother a pack of cigarettes almost daily? Remember the man that charged his beverages and never paid you back? Remember what you thought of the man?
‘How could you just stand there and watch me die?’
For the adult men and family friends who came through my life; you supported my mother and felt pity because of her husband. You looked at her and said, ‘Poor thing, she’s got to put up with so much hell from that man.’ Do you know he would have crawled naked over fire for her, not once did he ever threaten or harm her, she had the power to stop him and chose to pretend there was nothing wrong with it at all.
The adult men who knew me, watched as he first began exploiting at just 11yrs old at JB’s Tavern. You all got a great thrill out of feeding me Vodka & Orange Juice, or Seven & Seven. You enjoyed watching me ‘shake my a**) as he ordered me to play the jukebox, entice you all to buy him drinks. What about those who came to our home on those late Friday night’s smoking joints & groping a child as you passed her from lap to lap as you watched ‘Debbie Does Dallas’; have any of you ever thought about that child? Did you even pay attention to the filth, the broken teeth, the sores on her body? Your kids all shamed me about it in school almost daily. Eventually it became just the way I was and this is when the mothers prevented their kids from hanging out at our house, friending me, or permitting their sons to date me. Did any of you ever wonder for a moment about that young girl?
‘How could you just stand there and watch me die?’’
I write this and feel the anger boiling in my soul. I know the mix of emotions racing about trying to figure out who to forgive and who to blame. What would you do if it was you? Was I not human? Was I not a child? Do you see the many torturing wrongs you allowed by your refusal to intervene? Do you see that when you chose to ignore the screaming, crying child you watched get beaten in the street or passed out like candy, how you abandoned her and deepened the belief she was his object instead of a little girl?
‘How could you stand there and watch me die?’
‘Why did you shun and abandon me?’
‘What am I supposed to do with these memories now?’
Comment about ‘My Justice’ from my therapist; ‘The entire town of Freeburg should be required to read your book so they can see what they allowed to happen to this beautiful little girl’.
My therapist tells me how wonderful I am, how the horrific childhood didn’t destroy the good loving soul within. She tells me to see the beautiful person she sees, but how do I do that? The pieces of me are torn apart and thrown around in the wind as if merely dust. My heart lies on the side of the road as if a pile of shit left by some creature! How do I grab these pieces of me and mold them back together to see the wonderful, happy child God created?
I feel her strength in me. The child who held on through every night of his disgusting, horrifying, brutal crimes has finally come to the realization that she is a human being and more importantly that she matters. That little girl has found her voice in the midst of all those swirling particles of madness and she speaks to anyone who will listen.
‘Please look into the world of the children around you. Look deeply, through the many silent screams; is there darkness or evil around them?’
There are millions of children who are still being harmed today; in this country, right at this very moment! Do not judge them, shame them, abandon them, blame them;. Rescue them, help them, support them, encourage them, inspire them!
Or, Will you just stand there and watch them die?
Perhaps one day my voice will be heard. Perhaps one day it will matter. More importantly perhaps one day this story will empower you to save the life of a child today!!
~~~~~ Never to be silent again~~~~~
I AM HUMAN! I AM WORTHY! I AM ALIVE!!
©Patricia A. McKnight
Author: ‘My Justice’
Advocate/Speaker/Writer/Blogger/Talk Radio Prod & Host
Survivor/Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery
Thank heaven Miss Carrie Underwood says it clearly; ‘Blown Away’ Official video