The Trail of Hope
STOP PUNISHING THE VICTIMS! -- The Trail of Hope
"Oh, B, I am so happy to see you, dear. I didn't hear you come in. Let's go sit down so we can visit."
"Grandma, my teacher asked us to pick an older woman we admire and ask her if she could give a name or title to her life and what would it be and why. What title would you give your life Grandma?"
"Well, let me think a minute. Hummm. I think I would call it The Trail of Hope."
"Why is that? Is it because your life was always happy?:"
She laughs. "Oh, no, no, no. Not at all. My life had many bad times, sad times, angry times, crying times just like a lot of women."
"Then wouldn't you call it a Trail of Tears or a Trail of Hate?"
"Yes, Honey, I did that for a very long time. But you know, if I constantly look back on my life experiences and the people in them as "bad" like I used to then in my mind I bring that past experience into my present moment of thinking about it." (WHAT WE FOCUS ON EXPANDS. WHEN WE BRING THE PAST INTO THE PRESENT CONSTANTLY, ALL WE GET IN THE FUTURE IS MORE OF THE PAST.)
"Huh? I don't understand."
"I'll tell you a secret. Nobody who is alive now knows this. So this is just our secret now, OK?"
"OK." I lean in closer.
"I was just 8 years old when my father came in one night and said, "I owe Mr. S more money that I can ever re-pay. Mr. S said he would take this child instead and cancel the debt." My mother screamed "NO!" and I cried and begged "No, Papa, please, no." Papa said I had to go. If I didn't I would bring shame and starvation on our family. (FAMILY "HONOUR" IS A SYSTEM OF MASCULINE CONTROL THAT NOT ONLY PUNISHES THE VICTIM BUT OFTEN KILLS HER. SELLING CHILDREN OFTEN COMES ABOUT WHEN PARENTS SEE NO OTHER OPTIONS. LET'S CREATE OPTIONS.!)
The next day Mr. S came and took me away. He had a big house. I wasn't allowed outside. (THE WORD "ALLOW" IS A WORD OF BONDAGE USED FREQUENTLY BY VICTIMS UNDER TYRANNICAL CONTROL. LET'S ELIMINATE THE WORD "ALLOW.")
I never went to school. I had no friends. I slept on the floor in the kitchen with no pillow or blanket. I worked from early in the morning until dark. Dark was the worst. He would take me in his room and have mean sex with me over and over. He beat me if I cried. I learned to become hard with hate to cover the pain. (TYRANTS BREAK EVERY ARTICLE IN THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD!)
When I got older and started to bleed once a month, he came in one morning and threw acid on me while I was cooking. He said I was a disgrace to the human race. I screamed so loud. Never have I experienced such pain. I screamed and cried for days. I felt destroyed. I wanted to kill myself so many times. I don't know why I didn't I felt there was nothing left of me. (DESTRUCTION OF THE BODY OFTEN EQUATES TO DESTRUCTION OF THE MIND AND DESTRUCTION OF ONE'S SPIRIT. PERHAPS THE BODY IS JUST THE OUTER COVERING FOR THE BEAUTIFUL PERSON STILL INSIDE.)
"Oh, Grandma, I feel so sad for you!"
"It's OK, baby 'cause then a miracle happened."
"Really? What?" I smile.
Mr. S sold me to a woman named Mrs. F. I thought my life would be the same as before but it wasn't. She was nice. I didn't trust her for a long time but eventually I came to know what love is and I loved her. She bought me clothes and hugged me a lot. I began to remember my mother's hugs. She let me scream and cry over all I had been through. She said I was still a beautiful person. She said I was probably about 13 years old. I felt like a real person. I learned about keeping clean. She even taught me to read a little and write my name. I stayed with her a long time.
At first I wanted to be around her all the time. I wanted her to hold me and hug me until I could feel safe. She had a lot of patience.
When I was 16 years old I told her I wanted to find my mother. She said she would help me. Several weeks later she told me she found her. She said my father had died and my brother was grown now with a family. She took me to my mother. I was so happy to see her. We both cried with joy. I was surprised how old my mother looked. Still, I stayed with Mrs. F until I met your Grandpa.
"Were you happy with Grandpa? Was he good to you?"
"Oh, yes,. We were very much in love. By then I had learned how to give and receive unconditional love. He didn't care what I looked like. I also learned about forgiveness."
"How is that, Grandma?"
"I learned that if I keep holding on to the anger and rage I carried for so long against both Mr.S and my father, I would still be angry all the time. Would they care if I was still angry? Hell no. They are both dead now. My anger would hurt only my own body, mind and soul. The only one I would really be hurting is myself. So, to answer your question, I would call my life The Trail of Hope because without all the bad that happened to me, I wouldn't have found all of this hope for love and goodness and peace of mind. And every night I pray for all the women in the world who go through what I went through and more. I pray they find their Trail of Hope --- and smile.