November 14, 2009

My Childhood (graphic)

I wrote about my father in a previous post (you can read it here). I have been re thinking my blog and there are things I want to get out that are hard for me. Since I don't know any of you personally (as in face to face) I feel more comfortable sharing. Except for the stalker that person creeps me out. I need to get it out though because recently I have been bombarded with story after story of abused and neglected children as well as my own memories and I have reached a boiling point of emotions. (I am already crying)

Ok. SO brace yourself this is heavy stuff. I need to give a warning to those who have been in a similar situation like I was and it is difficult for them still to stomach what I am about to say. If you are one of those people you are included in my duas and things DO get better. So in the next couple of days I am exploring my past. I am not sure if it is healthy but bottling it up is not healthy and it has ramifications for my son. I DO NOT want what that jerk did to me to affect my boy. It would break me if his abuse affects my son. So I am going to grit my teeth and start exploring some of my suppress memories. You are invited.

After I lost my father I was in a daze. I missed him so much because he spoiled me and I was daddy's little girl. To make up for the loss my mama Santos aka Mama flor (I wrote about her before as well in the above post about my dad) spoiled me even more. Up until this point I thought she was my REAL mother. I ate what I wanted when I wanted. I was reading by the age of 3 so they were very proud of me and loved to show me off to whoever would listen. I would eat chips and a soda for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whatever I wanted. Soon I started getting real sick and I was sent to see a doctor. They diagnosed me with childhood leukemia which didn't mean anything to me. My Mama Santos was devastated and she came home crying, hugging me and apologizing the whole time back.

This is when an angry call from the USA came and my biological mother demanded I be removed from Mama Santos care and placed in the care of Niña Julia. Side note: in El Salvador we used 'Niña' (little girl) as a title of respect for an elderly lady we use 'Don' for a man. They came in a pick up truck one day and I was told we were going somewhere and we would be back shortly I knew that they were lying because my Mama Flor was just bawling. She could not stop crying and I saw my clothes being put into bags and placed in to the pick up truck. I panicked. I cried and clung to my mama Santos. They took me anyways. The reason: I could get treatment in the capital that weren't available where I lived and the daily trip of nearly 3 hours by crowded bus meant it would debilitate me further. The soldiers were also pillaging and raping anyone they came across and it was known that they would stop buses to pick out the pretty girls.
This bus is actually from Guatemala but nearly all the buses in Central America look the same
This is what the inside looks like but more crowded.
Once I arrived in their home everyone was fussing about me. They were so kind bringing me trinkets to calm me down as well as sweets. I was 3 years old after all. I hated it there, I was used to going out in to the fields and see the bunny rabbits hoping around and going to the stream and swim without problems. Even though I was the only girl I had a TON of boy cousins my age I could play with. Some of whom I no longer remember. :(

I had all the mangos and fruits I could ever eat because it was a farm and there were trees EVERYWHERE. Here it was concrete shacks. The family I stayed with was better off than the other families because they had about 9 children (all of whom were either adults or in their mid teens) 2 of whom were in the USA and Canada. My mom sent me to them because they had helped her a lot when she was growing up and she trusted them. In short they were a close family friend and the Don Martin was close friends with my grandfather.

I don't know when the abuse started because my memory is pretty hazy from that time. What I do remember CLEARLY is the sleeping arrangements. The wife and husband weren't sleeping together. You see the husband was known to be a womanizer and had slept with more women and paid to sleep with more women than anyone could remember. He was also known to be a pedophile of little girls. They were Catholic though and divorced was not permissible or an option. Instead they led separate lives and slept separately as well. So guess where I had to sleep? in HIS side of the room. You see those closets? those were very tall almost 6 feet tall and they were used to divide the room. My bed was the old coiled springs kind that when you sit it makes a lot of noise. She later claimed to my mom that she had NO idea I had been molested. BULL. She practically fed me to him. How could you not hear? She must have been 55 at the time and he 60 and did not have hearing problems. Out of sight out of mind I guess.

I remember that once he started abusing me I lost track of time. I remember looking up at the sky and it was new year's eve and everyone was throwing fire crackers (tradition of ours). I then remember the next night looking up at the big beautiful dark sky and it being new years again and me being shocked that a whole year had passed. I mean a WHOLE year. How could I go through 365 days without any memory of it? SubhanaAllah.

I wish I could show some of you my childhood pictures so you could see the drastic change but I don't want a face associated with my story plus my hubs would freak out. I was a very outgoing child and not to toot my own horn or nothing but I was a very beautiful child. (toot toot?) During the time I lived with my Mama Santos and my dad I was smiling in every picture. Some of the pictures would only have like my hair, a foot or an arm because I was in the process of trying to get in to the pictures. I was happy and I had a very high self esteem and sense of self.

Once the abused started I am not smiling in any pictures and there are fewer pictures of me. There was a complete change in character. Instead of playing with the kids I would be hiding in corners. Any one could have seen the drastic change and yet no one did anything to help me. I looked and behaved like a shell of a child.

I started to steal money from all the members of the family NOT to be mean or anything but because I WANTED to get caught. As punishment they would make me sleep outside in the courtyard's hammock. I loved it because he couldn't touch me. I would go to stores and buy stuff and hand them out as I was walking home.

It got so bad that I was in the second door (the one used for garbage) and I was telling his granddaughter that I was going to escape. She asked me where are you gonna go? and I told her to my grandmothers house. I had no idea how to get there plus we were at war. The stories of what the soldiers were doing to the women and girls were everywhere. I knew what would happen to me if I got caught but I felt I could make it. Someone overheard the conversation and called me in to ridicule me. They then called my mom to let her know what an ungrateful little girl I was.

They did everything to discredit me and by 'they' I mean Niña Julia. She told my mom that I was a liar, a thief (this was BEFORE I started stealing), an ungrateful child and that I should not be believed. When I finally reached out to the voice in the phone aka my biological mom and told her that he was hurting me, she didn't believe me. What a way to start a relationship, I hadn't even met her yet and we already had trust issues.

I spent 3 years with them. During those years I remember a couple of incidents. Sunday was market day. The women get their baskets like the one below and head out to the farmers market and start buying produce for the whole week. Sunday is also the day where we make large amounts of soup so that they can be eaten during the day and later on in the week.
Almost all women have a bag made out of strong plastic like the one this lady is wearing
I remember Niña Julia going out to do her shopping and me realizing that I was the only one left in the house with him. I quickly grabbed on to her skirt and started pleading NO. BEGGING, for her to take me with her. She said NO and slammed the door on me. Do you know that is the last thing I remember? subhanaallah. Him sitting on the couch, my dread, my fear and the darkness once the door was slammed shut. I know it sounds dramatic but it really was. You see since electricity is expensive (plus a luxury) it is turned on ONLY at night. During the day the light coming in is via the open doors or the windows. Since the living room was sandwiched on both sides by neighbors there were no windows so the only light coming in was via that door.

Alhamdulillah I don't remember what he did to me that day. My memory only goes as far as that. Another incident I remember was one night around 1 or 2 in the morning and there being raucous in the streets. Everyone in my house came out with lanterns and there was wailing everywhere. We all assumed the soldiers had arrived and they were pillaging.

He came to my bed and took me out of it and placed me in hers. I remember him asking me questions about what he was doing. I DO have recollection of what happened that night but I don't know when it ended. I think the reason it stuck in my mind so much was because in the morning I found out what the commotion had been about. There was a teenager two houses up from us (we were on an incline) who had dropped (on purpose) her newborn from the second floor. The child sadly didn't survive or maybe happily didn't survive? I mean the damage would have been so great the child might have been in soo much pain.

The whole town suspected who the father was, Don Martin. I don't know the fate of the girl I just know that he was somehow involved in it. I felt sorry for her and I ached for the baby who had died.

During this time another abuser attempted to molest me too, his teenage son Toñito. He took me to my room and then tried to get me to touch his nether regions. I refused and he forced my hand in. He then asked me how it smelled and I said HORRIBLE. You are nasty! That was the first and last time he ever touched me. He would also torture me when I was sick by wrapping me tightly in bedsheets leaving just my head. He would then leave me in this cot for sick people and turn the tv on to unsolved mysteries in the DARK. I must have been four or five. I was so terrified of that show and I ACTUALLY remember the show. The scene that is engraved in my mind is that of a corpse covered with a white sheet behind a tree inside this huge forests.

First Niña Julia claimed that NOTHING had happened. That I was some crazy girl who made up stories to feel important. It wasn't until I was 12 years old that my mom believed me because don martin had also molested his youngest granddaughter at the time she was 4 years old. I mean if he did it to his own family what would stop him from doing it to me? a kid that had no blood ties with him? NOW when that little tidbit was out Niña Julia changed her story and claimed she didn't know ANYTHING had happened. She said that there was NO way of her knowing. Thats bull. Total BULL. My mom was sending so much money to them during this time that everything was done for me. Niña Julia would wash my clothes and slowly she started making me wash my underwear. She would still wash the rest of my clothes though. I remember going through my underwear and sorting out pubic hair. eww and GROSS. I think she was doing that and didn't want to see it. Out of sigh, out of mind. You can see the sleeping arrangements there is no way NOTHING is going to happen when a pedophile is sleeping with a young girl

My other memories are broken ones that started to make sense nearly 15+ years later and they are slowly emerging and freaking me out. I didn't realize the extent of my abuse until I was in my first year of college. I had this memory of my childhood where I am in this huge concrete sink and someone is washing my lower half. I remember that it HURT and it stung so bad. I also remember asking the person washing me (it was odd as I would shower alone) why does it hurt. They responded: because you used too much soap. So all throughout my childhood up until I was 18 years old I have been using soap sparingly as to not cause that same amount of pain.

As I was showering in the communal bathroom dorms of my college I got that memory as I was washing my nether regions and I was overwhelmed with more memories and I collapsed. I must have spent HOURS in that shower just sitting and playing that memory in a loop. while the shower was still on. I believed all this time that he had just groped me but no he had raped me. I don't know for how long he raped me but I do know he had access to me every day and night. I also know that he did go to my bed every night. Another odd thing about my childhood was that during the time I lived with them I had MAJOR vaginal infections. Like the type of infections promiscuous adult women tend to suffer from.

It seemed that if I wasn't going to the doctor for my chemo I was going for strange vaginal secretions that warranted medication. All these infections miraculous stopped once I moved back to my Mama Santos house. I still was having chemo but no infections. Interesting.

Now that I am older and more mature my memories seem to be 'unlocking' and I learn a little more about what happened to me. The memories are terrifying and I am slowly overcoming them. I have so much more to get out but I am going to stop here as I feel emotional exhausted.

19 comments:

.::Tuttie::. said...

I do, however, have clear memories of my time in school between 7-to 3pm. I can tell you LOTS of stories about that. I just have a vacuum of memories after that time.

NeverEver said...

your strength amazes me mashaAllah

subhanaAllah the human memory is an amazing thing...

i love you my Tuttie, even though I don't "know" you

Love and Sugar said...

SubhanAllah...
I dont know what to say after reading that...but all i want to do is hug you!!

Kiddy said...

Thank God you got healed of the Leukemia,Tuttie.But have you healed from the sexual abuse?

Anonymous said...

sad story .. but keep stong . keep faith in Allah.

Ma Vie & Etc said...

I'm sorry...I'm so sorry. That man have no fucking right to do that you. You were just a child for God sakes! I hate when people think it's perfectly okay to make someone suffer whether you are a child or an adult. They don't realise that mental, emotional and physical abuse play a big part in how a person grows up. That shit was unacceptable and everyone who hurt you is gonna get there. I am just like you...my memory is fuzzy but I can just pick out bits and piece of things that have happened. But Alhamdoulilah, Allah (swt) has blessed you with a husband and a child.

Verily, after hardship comes ease.

muslim convert / revert said...

Masha Allah your v inspiring and v strong may Allah s.w.t help you to work throught this and bless you with the highest heaven.

Janny. said...

I don't know what to say. Honestly, when I read the warning, I thought I could handle the story. That was terrifying reading it,and I could never imagine living through it. I just don't understand how people could be so evil. People who know terrible things that are happening yet don't stop it are just as guilty in my eyes.

You are the definition of a fighter. Allah loves you and so do we.

By the way, was this happening in South America?

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

I can hardly believe that you survived this along with leukemia at the same time!

I trust that God has huge plans for your life since you've made it through so much already.

SubhanAllah you are an amazing woman.

In another note, why didn't the docs suspect anything when a little girl comes in with recurrent vaginal infections?!

AlabasterMuslim said...

oh my god tuttie, it makes me feel like crying. I love you! Keep your faith in Allah (SWT), they will surely be punished, and they should be. I pray that you are able to heal and to continue to heal (especially when new memories resurface!) ameen!

Jaz said...

I agree with Stacy. Look how much you've gone through and how far you've come. You have a husband, a child and god has made it so that you become Muslim! You are very strong * hugs*

NtN said...

SubhanaAllah Tuttie. *massive, enveloping hugs* You are so brave and strong, mashaAllah. May Allah SWT help you in unlocking the secrets, but also easing the path beyond them so that you may live in the dunya and the akhirah (Jannah, inshaAllah!) without feeling psychic pain or the phobias associated with them. May Allah SWT give you the strength to endure the process of remembering, give you and your family the deen to use to fight the shayatin, and may He punish accordingly those who torture the innocent, ameen.

(I just hugged the computer as a hug to you. InshaAllah you felt it and know that you are surrounded by love by all who meet you. You are a very special individual, mashaAllah.)

Maryam said...

SubhanaAllah.

I was reading this story with unbelief.

Your strength is a motivation for us all. MashaAllah. I really want to meet you in person; I really want to talk to this strong Muslimah face to face.

Thank you for sharing you story. Thank you.

I mean this in the most unstalkerish/creepy way; I seriously love you tuttie.

Hijab Chic said...

Your post left me completely speechless. What a strong woman you are, you've gone trough so much.

May Allah give you strength and ease your pain.

mari said...

sis,

i just stumbled on your blog and read this post--i teared, i must admit. sis,i don't know you but here's a ((hug)) for you. may Allah keep you strong and ease the pain...you're in my dua's.

Nizsha said...

Assalamalikum sister,

Firstly, mashAllah you're a strong woman.I heard in a lecture by Dr.Farhat Hashmi about sabr/patience.She runs an institute in canada called Al Huda.When Allah SWT wants people to do great work inshallah, he tests them and gives them patience like our beloved prophets.They had more sufferings than any of us can imagine.
inshAllah I'm sure you're headed to achieve great things for this life and hereafter inshallah.
May Allah SWT bless your family and help you recover completely from your past.

While reading your journal, I coudln't even imagine the extent of the damage that guy has done to you.A 3 yr old having to live witht tht.inshAllah khayr.May Allah guide us all.
I'm soooooo mad at him I dont have words to express myself.
I will remember you in my duas sister inshallah and you do the same.We all need duas inshallah.
love you fe Allah

Freckle said...

Oh Tuttie, I couldn't even read most of it for fear of what I would find. But what I did read was just horrendous. And I think that now your memories are unlocking because you are in such a safe place. I studied psychology and we learnt that memories are often suppressed when terrible things happen, to allow us to continue with our lives better. Painful things are hidden because to acknowledge them they would cause us to fall apart. You are fortunate to have gotten through the situation and come out the other side as you have now.
As for these men, I want to be sick just thinking about it. To put a young girl through this horror, to make it part of your everyday life. My biggest hug to you xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Sister,
Your strength amazes me and you are a STRONG Muslim women. Others would not be able to handle the pain and suffering like you are. I know what suffering you have been through but Allah (STW) knows it much better than I. HE has always kept you close. The scars will always remain but with Allah (STW), all things are possible, positive and loving. Just know that you have many Muslimahs praying for you. Please keep writing. You have no reason to be ashamed of them because YOU did NOTHING wrong. Release these nightmares from that part of you that has been hiding for so long. Free yourself from this. You are not THIS, but rather, a mine of gold inside. May Allah (STW) heal you and bless you always, Sister!

Lady of the Ozarks said...

Wow, you are so brave to write this. I wish you healing from this horrible ordeal.

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