We are survivors of the night

    I put on my pajama pants. Tie the draw strings real tight. I then
put on my second pair. Tie the draw strings real tight. Again, I  put
on my third pair. Tie the draw strings real tight. Next, I move my
dresser and chair to barricade my bedroom door. Lastly, I wrap my
blanket all around me making sure it is tight around my little body. I
am trying to survive the night.
  I am so young, so helpless, so afraid. The monster will be here
soon. He always comes. I shut my eyes and silent tears pour down my
face. This is the slumber of my childhood.
    My nightmares were alive. They hurt me. They paralyzed me with
fear. I couldn't wake up from them because they were real. My
nightmares were my shameful secret.
    I have so many sisters did they fear the night as I did? I can't
ask them. I am ashamed. I am embarrassed. Eventually we talk. The
monster demonized us all. Our nightmares are the same. The pain, the
fear, the sadness of it all is the same. We were helpless we cry
together. Why didn't our parents believe us? Why didn't we raise our
voice and yell? Why didn't we ban together to stop the monster? So
many regrets. So much sadness for our lost childhood.
   Who are we now? We are wives. We are mothers. But to each other we
are survivors of the night.
This passage was shared anonymously with JCW.

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Posted in media, op-eds, survivors-letters.