I Tried to Kill My Sweatshirt

I found myself sitting on a large rock recently, reminiscing of a similar situation over ten years ago.  Both times I was perched there, the sky just past dusk, slight rain filling the air, sensing the sounds and smells of nearby water rustling around mountains.  I held a pen to my journal and surrendered to tears sliding down my face… I’ve never been much of a crier but in moments like this, where your very soul is screaming, the tears almost seem holy.  It’s as if God himself is holding your heart and squeezes until the pain of life runs out in beads, expelled through drops from your eyes.  Yea… those kind of tears.

Perhaps the most lighthearted similarity in these two situations were the sweatshirts.  The first sweatshirt was heather grey, the second was yellow gold.

The grey sweatshirt:  I wore a grey sweatshirt while I attended a camp as a teenager.  This camp was, without exaggeration, a sanctuary to me.  It was the only section of the year where I was allow to just be — no walking with my back to the wall to prevent my father from sneaking up on me; no rushing to meet a guy for another disgusting blow job.  This was the first place since I was 7 that I felt like I could inhale deeply and catch my breath of life back.  One of the biggest differences is that here I was able to be an actual kid and I knew I was cared about by those around me.  There were countless evenings that I sat alone, or with one other person, and sobbed as I remembered every abusive touch and longed for freedom.  I must have wiped an ocean’s worth of tears onto the sleeves of this grey cotton comfort.  I was so incredibly desperate for the feeling of love, for a real family and for a real mom.  Grey… everything was grey then.

The gold sweatshirt: I recently was brought to another camp, this time for a conference.  I found myself in yet another camp sweatshirt, sitting on yet another rock with yet more tears over the same topics.  More than a decade later I’m still mourning those years that I felt no love.  Specifically, I was mourning great pain related to the “mother ” issue.  I’ve been processing through and healing from a lot of different parts of my trafficking story over the years but I’ve consistently tried to put mother topics on the back burner.  She more than aided in my trafficking situation and there’s a lot of ache that derives from her neglect.  Now though, I know that I am in the season of healing… in a season of gold… and I must press on to deal with even the most wounded pieces of what makes me, me.

After I return home from the conference I tried to dispose of my old grey sweatshirt.  Practically speaking, I never wear this piece of clothing and I feel it’s excessive to hold on to things that aren’t used.  It provides no warmth anymore as I’ve worn it literally transparent in certain areas.  The pockets fall out and the ends of each sleeve is slightly hardened from salty tears and who knows what else.  But I just couldn’t do it.  Preparing to dispose of this ratty grey cloak I felt like I was preparing to commit murder.  This silly piece of clothing just simply holds too much life within its threads.  And so, still they both hang… in my closet the grey of my past, and the gold of my new beginnings.

May this blog serve as education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

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5 Comments

  1. Nik Marvin

     /  October 4, 2011

    AS A ADULT MALE I’M ALL TOO AWARE OF THE DEPRAVITY OF THE MALE-MIND OF OUR SPECIES AND OUR TREMENDOUS WEAKNESS, WHICH MANIFEST ITSELF AS “CHOICE”, TOWARD JUST ABOUT ANYTHING SEXUAL, FOR THE TRUTH IS, “BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THERE GO I”.

    ALL I CAN SAY IS, AND CERTAINLY NOT TO TRIVIALIZE FOR I’LL NEVER GO THROUGH WHAT YOU HAVE, I’M SO SORRY FOR THE SUFFERING YOU’VE EXPERIENCED AT THE HANDS OF NOTHING BUT PURE EVIL. BUT GOD IS SO GOOD, AS YOU ALREADY KNOW, AND HE WILL SEE YOU THROUGH THIS. I HOPE WE’LL CROSS PATHS IN HEAVEN ONE DAY. YOU ARE WITHOUT DOUBT A MOST COURAGEOUS YOUNG WOMEN. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY.

    Reply
  2. Stacia

     /  October 2, 2011

    I applaud your bravery for sharing your story. May you be blessed for your willingness to allow your experiences to bring hope to others. May God wrap his arms around you and bring you peace. So many need to know they are not alone and that their value doesn’t come from how another person defines them. Thank you for this!

    Reply
    • Thank you for your encouragement Stacia — and for your prayers! God’s arms are definitely big enough to wrap around me and my circumstances… even when sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. 😉

      Reply

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