These are pictures of my past, but now have become pictures of my present day life. Yes, the Breese Journal, Belleville News Democrat, and even KSDK News 5 have all done articles or have shared video from local speaking events. Today even the FBI Victims Services & Citizens Academy have recognized what I am doing here locally (Clinton County Illinois) and as a Trainer in Human Trafficking, Certified Domestic Violence Advocate, Child Abuse Prevention Specialist, and ‘Steps to Recovery’ presenter; what I do to help others is a constant area of work for me today. It is crucial, as in URGENT we begin paying attention to what goes on in our surroundings and circles. There is not enough we can do independently in everyday concern and respect for another, which will outweigh what has been passed on throughout centuries in the acts of domination over another.
My story is one which comes from a life growing up in Freeburg, Illinois during the years from 1970 through 1980, a period of ten years as a child living in a publicly displayed nightmare of horrific abuse, child sex trafficking with community members; actually husbands and sons who were co-workers of my stepfather, schoolmates of my brothers, and directly related to some of my mother’s best friends. The actions of my stepfather were never hidden, as my mother and stepfather truly didn’t care, who did or didn’t know, about how they used and tortured this one middle child in their care. There were so many individuals who were involved with or knew about how I was being used that I can’t even remember how many hands have touched me. Many times I’ve been hit with memories and even shared some of the direct evils inflicted in the true story written in ‘My Justice’. What’s worse however is what has been triggered in my subconscious by permitting myself to travel back in time to reveal the ugly family secrets I’ve carried throughout my life. Those who know me from this town remember little things here and there. Schoolmates have contacted me after reading ‘My Justice’ and all share remorse about what they as children, didn’t recognize, but they remember how my parents used me, isolated me in family responsibilities that went as far as to answering the ring of that little brass bell. Some have contacted me and stated ‘I knew something was going on, but Trish, I had no clue how vicious the life you spent in that home really was.’ Sadly the adults who know my parent’s and, especially my stepfather,only one or two have reached out with words of sorrow or statement about any of what I wrote in being untrue.
Even my own mother, who is still alive, has asked but a few questions, the most ridiculous of those is, ‘How would you like me to talk about a few SECRETS about you?” Thanks Mother, that statement in and of itself validates everything I’ve shared about all that happened and what YOU took part in the training of your little girl whom you helped develop as his forced child whore. How dare you Mother? Do you see what you have done to your child? Do you see just how ugly and brutally neglecting you were? You threatened to SUE me; REALLY MOTHER!!! Step up and claim yourself as being my mother, the mother of all mothers who would allow such evil against one of your own children, but hell you never really cared about any of them!! All you were worried about was the fact you had someone to put a truly evil roof and dysfunctional views for your children. Why was I the only one you allowed him to target in these evil acts? Why was he not ever put in jail? Why didn’t some of your circle of ‘FRIENDS’ ever say a word, or what excuse did you give them for their questions? You probably told them you were the VICTIM. All you ever focused your attention on was what you wanted to make you happy. You knew you could make him do anything, or was I part of that bargain? I hope these questions reach you, since you will not permit me any form of concern or apology, you have given me VALIDATION and for that I guess I can do nothing but at least thank you for that.” your daughter, ‘Trecia Ann’ – Now I am a published author, now I have even developed my own source of business as prevention and awareness, support and information for all those communities today. Are you proud of me yet mother?
Today I find it also validating to hear from others who knew me as a kid, who share with me statements their parents made, such as; ‘I always wondered why that man was so mean with that little girl’, ‘I remember how he used to always take her with him out drinking and hanging out at the bars’. In truth, I was the girl their sons were not allowed to date and their daughters were not permitted to befriend. I was the girl that the boys, groups of them, knew they could come to, either one on one or together, to use in games of ‘Post Office’ where each one had a chance to see how far they could go and just exactly what I would allow them to do with me. There is one childhood friend who started reading ‘My Justice’ and when they got to the part about the one time I spent the night at a slumber party and the only nightgown I had was the see-through little cotton gown purchased by my stepfather at ‘Victoria Secrets’, which my mother permitted him to buy as a gift for me. Well, this friend had to throw the book down and was sickened by what suddenly became the reality of the girl she knew so well. At this time I was just twelve years old, it was his favorite age; the age where my body started to grow into a young woman, the breasts changing and pubic hair just starting to grow. It makes me sick as I think back on it even at this very moment.
Malcolm, ‘Walter in the book’, which I changed names to protect siblings; however, not a single sibling will even talk to me today. My brother condemned me a long time ago, at least ten years ago and has not spoken a word to me since. He only sees my stepfather’s trained whore when he looks at me, says my actions make him sick because I do not live up to the standards of his perfect little life. My younger sister, used to connect and was willing to talk with me about how dysfunctional our home was as a result of the severe alcoholism and mental health disorders in our parents unfolded. She would discuss her emotions of how it was for her after I left, when she was just nine. I say to them both, ‘Neither of my siblings have endured anything remotely close to the harm they witnessed against me.’ Its validating enough for you to discuss the raging alcoholic who was so vicious and the parties, which kept her awake all night.
Mona, ‘Shirley in the book’, is the mother who turned against her own child and abandoned her in the evil of his touch. She has read ‘My Justice’ and repeatedly tried to reach out and talk with me, threatened to sue me, and worst of all; ‘How would you like it if I went around a told a few secrets I knew about you? How about if I tell them how I used to have to go searching for you dirty clothes? How about if I tell them about the boy who climbed through your bedroom window and caught you having sex with him at just thirteen?’ She has not once apologized, she has never denied any of it at all. When she found out about the time he shut me up forever by using his favorite shotgun barrel to take my virginity while my brother and sister lay downstairs watching their favorite show; all she had to say was ‘That sounds like something that sick son-of-a-bitch would do’. She admits that she was warned by his own son from his first marriage about how evil and disgusting he was, yet she chose to marry him and allow him complete control over just one of her children, her young daughter who was just then five years old.
It was a lifetime of haunting by a monster. He would prowl around in the dark like a lion hunting his prey. He would beat me for having boyfriends, and stalk me even after I had grown up, had children, moved out and gone through my first divorce. He even hunted me down to smash my head against the truck window and dash, drag me across the very public street, call me every name he could think of as the neighbors watched and did nothing. The boyfriend I was dating, whose father’s house we were at, simply said; ‘He’s here for you, outside screaming your name. You really have to go now.’ This man preyed again when I was forty years old, had just lost everything I had due to an illness (Pulmonary Embolism), which caused me to be out of work and depend on credit only to take care of my children; well I ended up at my mother’s house to stay in her basement till I was able to get settled again. Guess what happened, guess who prowled around outside the basement shower room which I was told I absolutely had to use, because her bathroom with a lock on the door was completely off limits? She told me he couldn’t climb down those stairs anymore. The bed I was supposed to sleep in was the very same bed I had used as a young teen, even had the same yellow lace bedspread. She would not permit her granddaughter who desperately wanted to travel with me; Mother simply stated; ‘I am not responsible for anything that might happen, so don’t you start your shit’. SHE KNEW!!!! Mother has never denied a single event or action of her neglect for all basic human necessities. She never apologized and in fact there was one slip of the tongue when she stated, ‘You got the life you deserved’, ha-ha really Mother????
You see, I am the one left today with many broken parts still inside. I doubt they will ever fully be able to heal, and some well the scars are so deeply embedded there is no magic surgery from any specialist around that can give me back any sense of normalcy as I look at my reflection everyday. You’ll see in this brief video the horrifying skin which covers my body today. I am left with scars inside and out that will never be able to be erased or healed, the child they tried to destroy and the one an entire community allowed to simply rot away. You will be horrified by this brief video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rpt_oHU5NM The Rot of Abuse, uploaded by Patricia A. McKnight
We as a society continue to ignore the hundreds, thousands who are sharing stories of evil today. You can search the net and find video after video, story after story, of lives destroyed and many who are now so extremely wounded by these acts they cannot even be parents to their children. Some so broken into actual separate personalities developed to protect them from the extreme trauma they endured. I ask you all, media, literary agents, book promoters, local press, organizations who defend children or rescue them; ‘When will all of this be enough to create a society strict on its punishments and supportive in recognition of the surviving souls today?” Help share the many stories today; let no child suffer in silence and become your own defender of children. Allow their screams of mercy and rescue be heard!!!! Our children are not expendable, they are not sex objects, they are not household slaves to be beaten and tortured for the slightest infraction. They are person’s waiting for us to lead them through growing to become the next generation in charge of our society. Let the monsters be known and protect our country’s children as one united force against these types of evil. No more can we ignore their screams, their tears, their secrets being shared today.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I pray there is a path for ‘My Justice’ and the many other survivors who are finally speaking out for their freedom and their recovery today.
Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight
Owner/CEO Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery
Mentor/Crisis Resources/Speaker/Child Abuse Prevention & Steps to Recovery Trainer Member: Southwestern Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force Board Development Member: Illinois Victims Assistance Network (I.V.A.N.)
(c) Patricia A McKnight
Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery Sept. 2012
art via www.michalmadisonart.com