Friday, November 5, 2010

My Favorite Me.

I had always wished for something big to happen. Hoping that one day the planets would align so something or someone would save me, and my life could be changed in an instant. I fantasized that I would accidentally save the president's life, or bump into a famous director in a Wal-mart and win them over with my personality, or maybe  find a winning lottery ticket stuck to the gum on the bottom of my shoe and use it to change the world. I wanted nothing more than to be rescued, though I had no idea from what, because everything around me just seemed normal. But the truth is there was not much about my life that was normal, safe, or encouraging.



I was raped for the first time when I was just six, too young to understand the effects and the horror, but old enough to remember every violating detail. Over the next six years I was molested by a family member, and had to change schools more times than I can count.  I eventually dropped out of school at fifteen and that's where my "time line" ends. The years blend together beyond recognition but the next three years will be, etched in my mind forever.



Now there is no doubt that I made a lot of mistakes. I worked, hung out with friends, every once in a great while at a party I would smoke pot, and sneak beer or wine from the parental units, but soon it would turn into more and I would try meth. I got hooked quick and went down hill fast, but it was short lived, maybe six or seven months.  I had seen a lot in that short time, that really perpetuated my so called "maturity" level. I checked into an independent living home for teens, and really started to get back on my feet, I was in a safe and stable place and I blossomed. I worked, went to school, got active in the community and I also gained confidence. Which helped my decision to move back home to my mom's to help her work, and continue my journey.



While working with my mom I met an amazing woman, so I thought. She was about ten years older than me, but so were most of my other friends, and she really took me under her wing. She was my best friend and I considered her my sister. I watched her kids, loved her parents, and adored her. Looking back I can see every aspect of her manipulation and how easy I made it for her. All she had to do was love me, make me feel important and my broken soul was hung on her every word.



Eventually, after about eight months of grooming me, she sold me to a pimp. It came out of nowhere, she invited me to a friend's one morning and that's where I stayed. That summer, I know it was summer because of the heat otherwise I cannot account for anything else , felt like a lifetime. I do know, in that time, I was lost within myself. I remember sleeping behind a couch, not being able to eat and at one point being so sick I thought I was going to die. At first I was taken to men's houses and then I forced to work in a massage parlor.



At one point I was brutally raped when the owner of the massage parlor sent me across the street to grab some money for him. This was the first time in my life that I fought back, and it did me no good. I kicked and I screamed and I even tried to run for the first hour or so but eventually I lost my fight. I'm not sure exactly how long it was but I know it was at least three or more hours. When he was done he handed me a check for 800 dollars made out to the owner and since I had left the massage parlor, my pimp raped me again that night as punishment.



The police started to investigate the parlor and when word got around, they let me go so there would be no evidence. I was to ashamed to be at home and quickly went on a drug binge for a few months, but wanted more so I moved out of state with some family. Once again I did great. I was working, going to register for school and had my life on track. I put everything behind me. One night one of my family members got really drunk and attacked me in a hot tub, held me under water and forced her self on me. I ran away back to my state and went on yet another binge. Every time I pulled my self up, someone would push me back down. This time I dove head first into the drug world, started shooting up. I was the walking dead. I only weighed 78lbs and was scrounging for change off of sidewalks, selling stuff from dumpsters and breaking into abandoned vehicles to keep warm.



Though it seemed like a lifetime, I was only on the streets for about a year when a series of events occurred that would change my life forever. I started to clean up after my grandmother passed away. I had promised her I would. About two weeks after she passed on October 30th, 2003, I went with a family friend to help him with a mural and sitting in this tiny bookstore was the reason I am here today. My husband, my life, my best friend. We talked and laughed for hours that night. We both fell hard, i sobbed when I had to leave him that night. We couldn't stand to be away from each other even for an hour. The next day, our first date, was taking his beautiful baby girl tricking treating. I could not imagine leaving them and my heart ached at the thought. I literally moved in with them that night with the clothes on my back. I have no idea what he saw in me. I was maybe 80lbs wearing clothes that did not fit, someones borrowed bowling shoes that were three sizes to big, and had recently had a tweaker fit where I chopped off all of my hair within an inch or two of my scalp.



That was seven years ago almost to the day and we are still together. Where I am today is nothing short of a miracle. I am the very proud mommy of four amazing, smart, crazy, loving kids. My oldest is in the national honors society, plays the violin, participates in NEHS student council, sings with the honor choir, and truly advocates for the underdog. She is amazing and is going to change the world. She wants to be a Pediatric Oncologist and at 11 reads Shakespeare. Our six year old is in the gifted program where she placed in the 95th percentile and is the wittiest thing in the world, much to big for mommy. Our three year old is Special Needs and she lights up our life with her imagination and character. We recently, FINALLY, had a little boy who has more personality than I know what to do with. His joy is infectious. They are my life and my anxiety, they bring me to joy and sometimes to tears, but by far the best things to have ever happened to me.



My husband and I both go to school full time. I am currently working on my Bachelors' in Social Work and Art Education. I was recently awarded the Nina Mason Pullium Scholarship and I am the President of Teachers of Tomorrow, a student club at the college I attend. Believe it or not, this high school drop out holds a 3.8 GPA. I have without a doubt regained my identity that was ripped away so at such a young age, plus so much more. I have a long way to go, with many challenges, joys and sorrows. I will never quit moving forward and I will do it with a smile on face and my head held high.



People keep asking me, why are you sharing so many intimate details and putting yourself "out there" like this? The truth is what has happened to me is nothing new, this has been going on as far back as we can account, and the reason it has got so out of control is because no one would talk about it. In the last 10 years we have made remarkable progress. We are finally at a place where rape isn't a woman's fault, where child are precious, and we are standing up as one to make a difference. I am not ashamed of a single event in my life because I would not be who I am today with out them.



Over the past eight months I have been working with an amazing organization called www.mendingthesoul.org which is the sole reason I am able to share with you today, because just 8 months ago, my family didn't even know what happened to me. I honestly cannot put into words how much healing I have done, what it has done for me and my soul. Now that our curriculum us 99.7% finished we have a lot of big things coming up! Including my big dream for Homes for the Heart where we will establish real family homes for victims to stay with no age limitations. We are working directly with victims through a highly developed mentor program and in my opinion this is the best way to work with them. They all have the fire, we just need to give them the fuel!



I have a lot to share, if you have any questions, comments or need clarification on anything please ask. This is why I am here. There is a lot left out in this introduction and I will be elaborating on everything in future posts. I have started this blog to share with you my experiences, mistakes, revelations, many opinions, my life and my love. I feel through education and love we can truly make a difference.

I always knew something big was going to happen, and I am so glad it's this!

14 comments:

oo_tinker_oo said...

You are a strong and brave women! I have been through many struggles in my life and after reading this i feel they are mute compared to yours. You have come a long way and this totallly makes me see you in a different light. Being strong is a choice and im glad you took that chance and ran with it! Youve become a beautiful mother and a very important person in your life. I look forward to reading more :)
Angel

Jennie Joy said...

I'm excited about your blog, Savannah. :) Thank you for sharing, and I am thrilled for how far you've come. I believe there are many beautiful roads ahead for you - and I trust that God will use your life to be a massive blessing in the lives of others.

Damita Watson said...

OH SAVANNAH! I'm so PROUD of you! I'm sorry that you had to go through that, but I have to believe that God had a purpose for your life. To share your experience with others is a BLESSING! You're going to be a positive influence in the lives of so many people! Again, I'm glad to have crossed paths with you and I will support you in anyway I can.

Nikki Junker said...

beautiful...I think you hit a key word here.. Identity... that is what we need to give these girls...an dientity that doesnt include selling themselves or being abused...good for you....

projectseelife said...

Thank you so much for sharing Savannah. Your strength is truly inspiring. I love that included the "where are you now" - I think it is so important to show what a beautiful person and future can still emerge out of such horrors.

Amira said...

@angel Oh Hun Thank You so much!But please do not feel that your struggles are mute. I have not come here to make any ones experience less than mine but to give strength to those with every type of background. All struggles need to be dealt with you can't just push them down. xoxo Beautiful Mama!

~Savannah

Amira said...

@Jenny Thank You! Its been a bumpy ride but I have came so far in just the last year and cant wait to where this road takes me. I have big dreams =) One thing I have learned this year is with out a doubt anything is possible -) Thank you for your support and love for life.

Have you been to Africa? I think I'm going this summer to work with prostituted women in a compound in Uganda...

Amira said...

@Damita Thank You so much for your love,and compassion. I would be lying if I said it doesn't effect my daily life, but as each day passes I see how much good is coming from it and the pain gets a little less. Very soon we will be releasing our healing curriculum and would love your help getting it every where it needs to be. Its been designed to be incorporated in any safe house or for any group that works with sexual abuse or slavery. For all ages. Its really amazing.

Damita Watson said...

SURE SWEETIE! It's the least I can do; just stay in touch through Twitter or email me at damitawatson@aol.com. STAY FOCUSED! And post some of your photos; I'd love to see your work!

Amira said...

@Nikki Than You! I'm so glad we connected I know were going to do great things together. Much love.

Amira said...

@projectseelife Thank you. Sometimes Im greatful for what I experienced because I dont think I would be nearly as enlightened as I am. But it has been a long road.

Carol said...

Thank you for being the strong soul you are, Savannah. I wish I would have known what you were going through as a young girl in my 2nd grade class. I would have done something then. You are an amazing person, and I respect you for what you are doing for others.

Mary said...

"We are finally at a place where rape isn't a woman's fault," I know we are moving in that direction but my experience as well as those I have met would disagree. It is utopia, it just isn't reality yet. Thankful to those like you, and Mending the Soul, who are working to change this!

linakali said...

...i want to say thank you, i feel as if you just told my life story...

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