Dedication: My Foster father, Bruce
Trigger warning: Before reading this post, please be aware that it contains descriptions of repeated childhood rape and other forms of violence and abuse.
My name isn’t important. To some, neither is what I have to say. I was born in 2001 in a little town right outside of moscow. I was born to parents addicted to heroin and this drug called krocodil. We were in no sense of the word wealthy, in fact we could barely afford to live. When I was 6 years old my father was arrested for the murder and theft of a older gentleman and his wallet. I remember him grabbing both my shoulders as the police broke down our door; whispering in my ear he will come back for me. Afterwards I was put in an orphanage in Moscow because I brought a handful of needles to school. My mother overdosed five days later. It’s heartbreaking to me that I’d never seen either of them without a needle in their arm or deeply dope sick. But they were good people. It just wasn’t their time to raise a little girl.
I was brought to America shortly after my mother died. A few months maybe. I was very vulnerable and beyond star struck by this country. Everything was new, different. And I was in the center of it. But I was terrified. The man who brought me here, Sasha brought me to a broken home with a mother who desperately wanted a little girl. I thought I found my person, the home I was waiting for. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The beginning was a smoke show for child protective services. I was fed rich and delicious foods, had a comfortable bed, a television and so many toys. But as soon was the home was deemed acceptable by the state, things changed. Like the saying goes: wherever you go, there you are. My foster mother started to drink and party at all hours. I was forced to clean up her vomit nearly every day. Change her sheets when she wet them. Pour her drinks when they emptied. Men would come in at all hours. I felt like I was in a one woman brothel. To this day I am so confused. How did no one notice. I was so alone. But fortunately I knew how to take care of my parents. I always have. My foster mother Claire forced me to learn English, suppress my accent, she started locking me in an empty room during the day if I snuck food from the fridge. I can’t tell you enough how hungry I was. At 10 years old I was 68 pounds give or take. I never went to the doctor , didn’t attend school. Nobody knew I needed help. Nobody knew I existed. Until Claire brought home a man whose name I am fearful to disclose. He looked at me and knew I needed help. Claire hated the way he’d look at me and ask about me. When he was home he’d unlock my door so I could get some food while they were together. He used to tell me how beautiful I was, he’d play with my hair and hold me when she wasn’t around. Was this love? And one unspeakable day, my mother found me rummaging through the fridge, dragged me by my hair up the stairs, and threw me into the empty room once again. Only this time the man told her that he’d take care of me. Just for a few months. Take me off her plate, he said. That’s how much of an inconvenience I was. Of course she was glad to give me to him. But I still wonder how much he paid her.
I want to keep the next few years short. It’s hard for me to talk about. I still have gaps in my memory. I moved in with the kind man when I was 10 years old. I was malnourished, beaten down, and I needed a family. And he provided that for me at first. He had two “sons” . We used to watch movies together in the basement and each so much pizza even thinking about it makes my stomach hurt like it did nine years ago. His older son started to visit my room at night within my first month there. He did things to me I still can’t comprehend. Then the man who took me away from Claire started to go into my room at night as well. With and without his son. I don’t want to go into what happened but my pelvis fractured and I had to go to the hospital. Nobody thought twice when he said I fell off my bike. And I just froze. A few months after the healing process the man started to bring his friends over and they would start raping me nearly every day. The man would take me to their houses for days at a time where I was a revolving door to these monsters. I was a rag doll. I was being sold for money from 2011 to 2015 by a man who claimed he loved me. In 2013 I got pregnant. And the mans son beat me so horribly my seven month old baby died while in my body. I still feel my baby girls soul being torn from my body. I still feel the pain. In that same year I was so sad and so horrified that I couldn’t keep doing what the man wanted me to do. I started to cry all the time. I wouldn’t eat. That’s how drugs came into my life. First it was aderall, then cocaine, then Percocet, heroin and alcohol. I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that I felt absolutely nothing for the next two years. My baby was dead, and I wanted to be dead with her. In the winter of 2015 I became pregnant again. And the man looked me in the eyes, and told me I’m too old for him. That he can’t keep me anymore. and after he dropped me off in Manhattan, I was homeless, addicted to heroin, and pregnant with a rapists child. I was found months later in an alley, eight months pregnant, 14 years old, with abscesses on my arms and knees, obscured with track marks and bruises all over my body. And I can safely say from my heart that I was on the edge of death. If I stayed out one more night I wouldn’t be telling you my story. My baby wouldn’t have been born. I was found by a young man, a police officer. And from that point on I was put into a foster home with parents that loved me right. Cared for me. Helped me raise a child. But my drug addiction didn’t stop there. I kept using through my delivery, after oak was born. I’ve been to 15 rehabs since 2016 and I actually just got out of another. I haven’t seen my baby boy in 2 years. I’m actually starting to cry so I’ll wrap this part up.
I graduated from rehab a month ago. It’s 2020. My foster father is my best friend, supporting me all the way from my home in New Jersey. My little boy is safe and protected. I live in sober living. I am testifying against the man who sold me to his friends , I am testifying against his son, I am clean and I am safe now. I have complex ptsd and I am getting help for it. I still struggle. I still can’t be touched my any man other than my foster father. My broken ribs and other bones have healed but my mind and my heart will take some time. But I am alive. I am loved. I am worthy of love. And I just want to thank my foster father for never giving up on me, loving me when I couldn’t, saving my life countless times. I survived a suicide attempt four months ago. And he stood by my side the entire time. I am so grateful. I’ve learned that you can still heal and still hate what happened to you. That suffering is impermanent. That these is so much love coming my way. There is hope . This is my truth.