I keep seeing so many posts about rape and exploitation, so these old journal entries really were difficult to type out, and publish. My heart goes out to the many feeling the pain of shame. I found some old writings from when I had a massive bout of amnesia.
I woke up on a mountain across the ocean in Puerto Rico. It was a total of 12 miles down the slope. There I discovered that I lived in a shared small apartment, next to an adult entertainment club. A former boss had sent my information to some agent , that I never met, and I was shipped overseas at the age of 19.
The events that unfolded were often unspeakable, but the island was a beautiful oasis. It took me months to make my way back home, but while I was there I explored the most amazing hidden treasures of Mother Nature. While continuing to recover my body, I am so grateful for the healing of my mind.
Waking on that mountain, I can first only remember the foggy and wet field of grass, and my head pounding with pain. My throat tightly clenched with thirst, though my mouth was unable to generate one drop of saliva, to feed the fire of thirst within, I am beginning to feel my body. Breathing out, all I can smell is a formaldehyde type of stench, like in those death houses where they display bodies.
I must have found a spot to earlier to quench a different kind of thirst, that at times seemed to nearly consume me. I know that I will be judged harshly for what I have done, but wait! What have I done and where am I? Who in the fuck am I, I cannot recall my name!?!? I feel some vague connection within but there is an iron wall keeping me locked outside, away from the information. Some strange intuition tells me that this has happened before, so just breath, stay calm, and think! What is my name?
Regardless, I cannot just sit here in the small field where everything is foreign, beautiful, and terrifying. I hear a strange voice calling out to me through the fog, their face blurry, they are in a realm that I cannot seem to reach out and touch. I cannot talk, but I can hear them, though not able understand what they are saying. I remain locked behind some invisible force field, where there are no words for speaking, I cannot respond. to them. I want to ask them “where do I go from here”? It is time to move, I need to get up and walk, though I have no idea of what direction to go, I instinctively head downhill.
I feel like a zombie with an absent mind and heavy legs, I need water!
I can feel my breath hot and trapped, as I walk down a huge hill on a small paved road, the view is stunningly beautiful. I am grateful for a glimpse of the majesty of nature. It comforted me to know that though I had some big problems, I was just a small part of the landscape. The enormity of feeling lost had nearly put me into a cold panic, but I could feel the sun beginning to beam its morning light. I could tell it was going to be hot. The edges of panic clung to my mind, I needed water! I had to remind myself to just breath, stay calm, and keep moving. I walked on softly repeating a familiar mantra, “Strong, Healthy, Vibrant, Alive”.
I was lead into a small neighborhood, with a few scattered homes, a covered pavilion to the right of the road, making up its center. Set off to the left of the small road, where sand met the black top, sat a small white building, with light blue painted trim, and a cross hanging outside the main doorway. The sounds of the gathering people reminded me of ladies gathering for church service back home, “now where exactly was that”? I questioned myself, still searching for the information. What is my name?
Their eyes were piercing me with the same questions that raced through my mind. I was unaware of how I got here in the first place. I felt their confused glances asking me if I was a dangerous stranger, a lost little girl, or a whore walking down from the top of their little mountain? Judging by my scantily clad attire, I could only imagine the worst, so perhaps I was a little of all three, I surmised? My mind flashed with the memory of some ladies at my home church, holding down my shoulders to rub holy oil onto my head, commanding the evil spirits to leave my mind and body. I remember wondering, “What evil did they see when they looked at me, was I marked in some peculiar way”, what was the sickness within, and could I escape it”?
I tried to imagine what I looked like to these gathered strangers. I could not tell them where I was from, or where I was going. I wanted to stop and ask for help but I saw it in their eyes, they feared my presence could potentially shatter their calm morning. There was no welcome here, though at the moment I did not even know my name, I knew what that look meant…. Move on now, just keep moving.
I paused having spotted a container filled with plastic bottled water in their outdoor pavilion. The drought within must have looked every bit as desperate, as the blood coursing through my veins. I needed water! I could feel the temperature rising
quickly, giving me more of a sense that I was in some kind of tropical area. My senses in survival mode, know that I can spare no fluids right now, but I can barely suppress the urge to cry. Out of the haze a hand offers me a small, cold bottle of water. I drink it down in a few deep gulps, my body further shocked as the water hits the back of my throat. Gratefully I try to offer a small smile, the tears still stinging the corners of my eyes. I look at the long road ahead and wonder “who am I , and just where am I going”?
The only thing I am sure of is that my only choice is to breath, stay calm, and keep moving. I whisper to myself, “Move on, now just keep moving”!
*Art painting by Elizabeth Caffey of a redhead woman with three faces