The End of Innocence

April 30, 2012
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A cold, blank, stare, at the paper underneath my hand. Writers block… go figures. Why is this a hard topic, to put down on paper if I know exactly what I want write in my head? It’s as if my hand is resisting the thoughts in my conscious mind. But … why? Maybe because it’s like the elephant in a room… something that needs to be discussed and yet, isn’t.

You know that feeling of excitement you get, when somebody close to you tells you they’re pregnant? You look into those proud, soon-to-be-mother’s eyes and congratulate them. But what is it was an accident? What if it was just one big accident, they were hoping to get rid of? How would you respond then? Would you tell them you understand, when inside you really don’t get why they were so stupid in the first place, and so selfish for not giving that maturing fetus a chance?

See… adoption… that’s their explanation. It was one accident… a misfortune two people weren’t ready to deal with. One they don’t think they’re fit to endure… so they pass the baby on like it never belonged to them. And if that’s the next step for a couple or parent… so be it. Though, how exactly would you explain child abuse? See that one… you just can’t. You can’t explain it to a crowd of friends or family members. I’m not mature enough… I can’t afford this child… so I just hit her. And you think… what? Adoption would have just been better…

I saw her with my own eyes, a little girl darker in color with cute little braids, a purple shirt with tights and worn boots. Saw her dragged in by her mother, kicking, screaming. I thought she was sick, thought that when they entered that rose-pedaled bathroom with tan colored stalls and faint guitar music playing in the background, she would throw up. I thought her mother would hold her hair back while she bent over the white toilet seat like my mother did. Pat her back gently; give her water when she was done. So I blocked it out, blocked the sound of the gagging noise I thought I was going to hear. Worried instead of the little six year old in front of me, washing his hands. And when I helped him up to that marble counter top to dry his tiny hands, we left. Closed the door… disappeared into the crowded Pappadeaux restaurant without one glance back in the little girls direction to see if she was okay.

She was in and out of my life, in a snap of a second, or so I thought until my sister asked, “ Did you hear that?” “Yah, the little girl was sick,” I responded. “No… her mom was hitting her, telling her she wasn’t good enough. Telling her she was going to get it later.” I stood looking at her in shock, her words repeating in my head over and over. It was like I had completely blocked her out, like I didn’t want to hear it because I knew what I was going to hear.

I felt responsible, like I had been the one hitting her. It was like an “aha” moment for me, one where I finally woke up and realized what was really going on outside in the world. It came as a hard slap in the face, one that trudged along with the consequence of truth. Truth… truth about the people in the real world and how unkind, cold blooded and awful some of them were. Truth, that the world was more than my safe home and community. Hating myself for being so oblivious, I went home and bawled… bawled for a little girl who I hadn’t even known, someone I had barely seen. Cried because of my ignorant, unconscious mind that never thought about things like that. I lay there in my bed and curled up in a ball like a five year old after a hard day in Kindergarten. Wondered why any little girl or boy should have to grow through something like that. Why they at age, six, seven, or eight came home to parent’s who would hit them, tell them they were not good enough, not appreciate them. While I came home to parents who kissed me as soon as I entered the house, fed me, clothed me, helped me on bad days, and encouraged me.

So I wondered, a gun to the head, and what would you do? Scream for help, surrender to the enemy, or die? Abusive parents and what would you do, scream, surrender, or die? Scream for help and risk being hit again. Surrender… give into them like they have more power and control over you than yourself. Die… just like one out of five of children everyday. Just think… what would you do? What if you were that one child that didn’t survive they’re parents wrong doing?

“Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.” – Dave Pelzer, A Child Called It. I’ve never really taken it seriously, the fact that children get abused. Never realized it could be happening under a neighbor’s roof and I might not even notice it. I never did until I read this book, A Child Called It and saw the little girl in the bathroom. I’ve always said I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. Thought it would be fun and interesting, to fight for peoples rights in the Criminal Justice Department. Too many crime shows… I know. Though, outside the crime shows and movies, plus the various news events that pop in and out of the newspaper and new channels. How much more to I really know? Obviously, absolutely nothing… but I realized I could do something to change it. I hunger for a world… were kids come home to loving parents, parents they can hug and love and parents that won’t punish them in extremities. Homes that they’ll cherish, and adore more than the boundaries, of their schools.





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