Last night, I drove into the desert with my father. It was 1987 and my telescope traveled folded in the back. It was dark and where I hoped to see Orion hunting, I found fear instead.
When writing my story, I have to take water breaks. I stop after a harsh word or phrase is chosen and I have to look away from the page. I take a deep breath, curse, grab a glass of wine or ask God for protection again.
It’s a gauntlet. It’s a bear trap I pry open with a stick. It’s a net dropped.
You must think I am a masochist of the worst kind, to walk up to that jeep and climb in. I must be crazy to lean into my seatbelt to try and discern the new path taken and why. I promise you, I am not.
I hate my story. If I could erase three years of my childhood, I absolutely would. I would abandon all of you who read this and understand all to well how promising the idea of canceling out a few years would be. I would unwrap that golden ticket and race to claim it.
Many survivors try to in their own way. I know I have.
The truth of the matter is that although it is difficult for me to rise under this weight, I am not alone. As you read this, children all over the world are being abused. Someone is ruining a piece of their life story. Someone is choosing to tear them apart and leaving them to pick up the pieces.
I will not take a golden ticket.
I will climb into every room, car or memory left. I will examine and question. I will ache and bear.
The world needs to know. We cannot allow this to continue. We cannot choose to destroy our children any longer.
It is enough. It has been enough since 1987.