Why would you just stand there and watch me die?

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~~~~~


©Patricia A. McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’              mj-2_thumb.jpg

Advocate/Speaker/Writer/Blogger/Talk Radio Prod & Host

Survivor/Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery




Cycles of Abuse–Stop Whispering by triciagirl62

Thank heaven Miss Carrie Underwood says it clearly; ‘Blown Away’ Official video

Official video ‘Blown Away’ by Carrie Underwood



16 thoughts on “Why would you just stand there and watch me die?

  1. “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 want you to know that I see that person too, and I only know you from the internet and the radio interview a while back. Having felt like this, I can tell you that you can never mold those pieces back together into the wonderful, happy child you should have been. All you can do is decide who you want to be, take what was and what is, and decide which memories/lessons to throw away and which to keep based on which are good and which are bad, and based on who you want to be. It will take a while and a lot of effort for you to truly see yourself as being beautiful. At the very least, you’ll be able to like who you are, accept that others think you’re beautiful as a result and you’ll be able to appreciate their respect/admiration as you make a difference for others. This is where I am now. What you described is where I was for a while several years ago. Know that you can always count on me and I completely agree with your therapist: the whole of Freeburg should be required to read your book.

  2. Trish, To me the town were wrong, so wrong, they should be held accountable for ignoring what was happening to little Trishia..That was so so wrong. The saw the sores, the bruises, the filthy clothes the rotting teeth, and yet they chose not to get involved. Back in our day, often this is what happened. And sad to say it still goes on today. If ONE person, took it upon themselves to help that little girl, then maybe just maybe they could have saved you from the horrors of the abuse that you went through. The teachers, OMG!!!! if we saw that today, it is our duty, the law, to report it to the officials. I have had to report 2x on bruises and what a child said to me..and if it was nothing at least it was checked out. But to not say anything, to let that little girl be tortured, sexually abused beyond belief all those years. They should all go to prison, because it is like them committing the crime themselves. I hope and pray that they hold their heads in shame, and I hope that it bothers them so much that they could ignore the plight of such a young little girl, caught up in a world that she should never have known. I will NEVER be silent ever again Trish, I would never allow another child to feel even a little hurt, a little pain, Never be silent again!!!!! Fight for the children that are our future, they deserve to be heard and we will help them, and never let them feel the pain that little Trishia felt inside..She suffered in silence because no-one cared, no-one wanted to get involved. A town that went to sleep ignoring the abuse that went on.. A silent town…xoxoxox Love you Trish and I feel your pain so much….

    • Dearest Mary, sweety you, George and Michal have all beautifully given ‘Trecia Ann’ her life back again. It is magical to touch that spirit in many ways, but also very tragic and painful. Yes, I would love for my writings and my book to actually make them think, make them remember so it never happens to any child in our society again. We can only keep talking, sharing, urging others to get involved and do their duties. It is hardest to know the first madated reporting laws were put into effect in 1963 and by 1974 all 50 states in the borders of the US had mandated reporting, still, this was during the years the abuse was the worst, so I don’t understand why it was still ignored. I probably never will. We can never let our guard down and must emplore the world to see that anyone can be a child predator and abuser. many hugs of thanks, love, and tons of happiness your way. thank you dear friend, trish 🙂

  3. I really want to help educate and ask everybody to help us to to explain what CHILD ABUSE REALLY IS, AND THAT CHILD ABUSE REALLY DO HAPPEN TO INNOCENT CHILDREN, and when a child is not feeling right, scared, very nervous, break out with NERVE WEPS, IT IS NOT A DISEASE IT IS A POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, IT IS IN THE NERVES BECAUSE I DEVELOPED BAD NERVES, OTHER WISE THE SEVERE CHILD ABUSE I SUFFERED, NEARLY CAUSED ME A SERIOUS NERVOUS BREAK DOWN, we are all fighting to live as people with human feelings, and I thimk it is wrong to place children as second and third class citizens, and to neglect the children that you bring in the world is really a horrific and a very wrongful act, your children depends on you for everything, including love from you, their care, safety, and guidance. For the so called parents who SMIRCH THEIR CHILD’S REPUTATION IS THAT REALLY YOUR CHILD? HOW CAN YOU DO THAT TO AN INNOCENT CHILD WHO DID NOT TELL YOU TO TAKE THEM HOME?

  4. I am truly sorry for what happened to you. I will share this blog on my facebook and twitter accounts. I’m sure I speak for many when I say I stand in awe at your courage, endurance, and resilience. It is painful but it is also an honor to learn of your story. You truly are a remarkable woman. May God bless you.

    • Dearest Tambre, just wanted to send over a very huge thank you and a big hug for your beautiful comments and support. I continue to be in amazement of the wonderful people who connect with me, read ‘My Justice’ and share the many writings and more. Dear may you be blessed in many magical ways, shining always in the glory intended 🙂 trish

  5. Hi Tricia, thanks for sharing your story. I would like to share your youtube video on Facebook – your message is so strong and so inspiring. I run a start-up in Australia that gives parents an easier way to teach their children about sexual abuse (many parents seemed think it’s too dark to bring up), how to talk about, what is it, how to speak up if they suspect something is wrong with another children (children know things that parents don’t). Thank you again.

    • Whitney this is a wonderful comment and yes please feel free to share the YouTube or any of the information to help educate and give our kids the power to protect themselves. This is the reason I do what I do and why many others as Independent Advocates give their drive and strength to protect and end the crimes against our children. Thanks so very much, have a truly wonderful day 😉

  6. Dear Tricia, does it help to know that I am crying for you? This apathy is such an evil. I became the ‘crazy’ mother who interfered, and the other mothers despised me for getting upset when I saw a child being abused. And when it wasn’t laziness it was slave mentality – I found that someone who sided with a perpetrator had been abused herself and actually chose to side with him in order to spite me for disturbing the peace of her denial. I don’t know what to say about such things. And with all I’ve done I still find it humbling to think that at first I missed some opportunities to make a difference. I became bolder with each move. I hope I would not have failed you back then. I wish so very much that I could have helped you. So very much I wish that, but now all I can do is cry. I hope you have all the happiness in the world. May God bless you for the rest of your life here and for all eternity.

    • Dear Shelagh, wanted to thank you very much for your kind words and so sorry this has made you upset. It is not about what happened to me but instead how we can learn to better protect our kids today and give them a safer world tomorrow in all communities. I pray you are well and strength your way, take care and believe that all things are possible. My best to you, trish

    • Nicky, so sorry I haven’t been on this site lately to comment back to you. I am truly so sorry for what you’ve gone through, sweety it’s alright now, we are greater than the pain they all caused. We are STILL HERE despite the neglect, abuse, violence of others. I am here with you always, trish 🙂

  7. […] I don’t know about you, but as being one of those forgotten rotting children, it absolutely disgusts me that so many powerful adults are only willing to do so much to help those abandoned and throw away children, but if it is a child in a home; rather than provide a way to get help, we all just turn away because it is the way it’s always been. I believe it’s time to change what we are used to accepting as our normal. I believe that if WE do not take on this responsibility, and all we do is talk about the outside dangers against us, then our children will grow up asking; ‘How in the hell could you just simply stand there and watch me die?” […]

  8. Dear Trish,

    I think that what you have to share is for EVERYONE. YES, your family, friends, and community where you lived as a child need to hear this. They need to ask some tough questions – of themselves, and of others. However, we both know how far your circle of influence can reach. This definitely does not just need to be limited to that one community. You know the depth of which these horrible atrocities extend in our world.

    I see you. I hear you. I’m listening – with my ears, my mind, and my heart. I’ve heard that if you can’t speak it, you can’t heal it. I think that is very true. I’ve also heard that when you tell your secrets, they lose their power. I don’t think, for sure, that means that they never hurt anymore. I just think that getting those secrets out is one of the pivotal steps to healing from any trauma/wound. To some extent, I think that the healing will be a life long journey. Your power was taken from you, and there was nothing you could do about it as a child. However, it’s a different story now. I believe that the power at this point is in what you are going to do with the remnants – the fragments – the shards – and you, my friend, are showing incredible grace, strength, and are doing a beautiful thing. You are touching so many lives. No, this is NOT something you should have had to go through, or would ever choose to go through. There is absolutely NO excuse for the atrocities that were committed against you. When dealing with my own pain, I have learned, though, that NOBODY will fully understand the pain another is going through – unless they have already seen, felt, and lived in that same darkness. YOU will relate to, help heal, and be a blessing to so many that many others cannot reach – because they have not lived it. Does it make it right? Absolutely not. Does it make it easy? Nope. I just think…that it gives you a place to put it – a healthy place to put it – where the hell you have been through does not keep you down. It does not kill you. It does not keep you from moving forward – whether in leaps and bounds, or in tiny increments of progress.

    No matter what we are healing from, we will have surges of growth, and times of struggle and introspection. I think it’s kind of a cyclical thing, but hopefully, the times of darkness will, over time, be less frequent and less traumatic. YOU now hold the power. Each day, for those of us living in freedom, we get to turn a new page in our life. We get a fresh sheet of paper – a new day – a new chance. I think there is value to going back through the old pages – digesting, purging, healing, processing, releasing, healing… However, there is also great value in that new, clean, crisp page – a fresh opportunity. What do we want to write on our lives and hearts – today – and each new day. Little by little, page by page, tear by tear, prayer by prayer, conversation by conversation, we CAN continue on a healing journey – for ourselves, and then for others. You are a woman of STRENGTH. Those who have been where you have been need someone like YOU to get them out of the dark!!!!! Your value to them is unfathomable. I’ve learned in some of my own very difficult times that one of the most painful things is not knowing anyone like you – someone who has not suffered in the way you have suffered. YOU can be their Aaron and their Hur to hold up their arms in battle. And person by person, day by day, month by month, year by year, I pray you will continue to HEAL – and to help others do the same. Not many can do it the way you can. Just keep…moving…forward.

    I hear you, Trish. I can hear you now. I BELIEVE IN YOU – AND IN THE POWER OF WHAT GOD CAN DO IN AND THROUGH YOU. Now, go kick some BUTT in the way only you can. Always feel free to reach out if you need us. We’re here. We care. You matter. – Love, Libbi

    “Can Anyone Hear Me Now” – Anthony Mossburg

    • Hello Libbi, I’ve been searching for your comment since you posted. It finally showed in my other email. Thank you for the inspiration and encouraging words. Indeed every person having endured childhood trauma knows how it changes and might even destroy part of who we are. However, like you I believe that taking back our power finally begins to blossom when we find the courage to face one horrible event at a time. We learn to get stronger and stronger,which becomes the rebuilding staircase in honestly living in our own values, beliefs and strength. In finding my safety I am able to climb up, hoping to give as much empowerment to others so they can live in their own freedom, their true identity and sense of personal development and growth. I am so grateful to make any difference I possible can. Love, light and happiness always. Trish

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