It is not easy looking into the complex eyes of an adult man who preached the word of God only days before, who was invited as a cousin to the family dinners; who drove you to and from high school. The trusted fellow, he helps your mother with maintaining the household in the absence of your father. You want to believe that he means well because he is an adult; he knows better. He would not hurt you while your mother is at work. Besides, she trusted him to care for her 14 year-old, precious daughter. However, you will find yourself for two years silently praying for salvation from the predator the community deemed a “man of God”. Forced to give up your birthed innocence, you decide to pack your favorite book bag with your best clothes, pictures and Michael Jackson CDs. You will believe that when you step out of the front door of what should have been a safe home, your demise will end.
You will carry the weighted burden of silence for an additional two years. That baggage will become increasingly heavier to hold and hide as the weeks pile on. Your mental state will decide to finally put the bags down and reveal to your father a secret that a child should not have to articulate.
You are a bottle of soda that has been shaken for years.
The pressure has become too strong and the bottle cap has finally blown off.
You feel accomplished, armed with the support of your father. The authorities will contact your mother, the woman who was charged with your protection. She will declare you a liar, and you will be devastated all over again. The bottle of soda, violently exposed and uncontained, has continued to splash its acidity over your thoughts, your belief of family relationships, and how you will interpret social life for years to come. Even after the soda’s acid levels become flat, its aftertaste remains soaked and stained within all crevices of what you call life. You now seek refuge in a different bottle. You swallow all of the pills hoping that you never awake, pouring your soul and all of your soda down the drain.
You transition from being flat to flat-lining. You still recall a section of time that you were once bubbly and sweet; flavorful and uncompromised, even for a shortened season. You no longer want to be stained with the stench of old acids. You must be cleansed, and eventually you purify others who resemble you. In time, you will learn to refill with freshened content; you will have to refill with a second supply. The challenge will then become how to share your recipe of self-rejuvenation with others, teaching them how to wash themselves, and preparing them for a proper refilling.
Your process will require much repair. It will hurt while healing. You will shed cleansing tears while simultaneously injecting better liquids.
You will first survive; then you will conquer.