My Testimony; Never Judge a Book By Its Cover

            I was born into this world not having a clue about the many trials and tribulations I would encounter, but I am still here. On May 24, 2003 at the age of eight, I lost the only person in the world who put me first, the only person who was going to love me at no cost and that was my mother. I lost her to a disease called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, also known as AIDS. Though I was relatively young, I was never told what she had died from until my junior year in high school.

            Living in a single parent household with four girls to raise was not an easy task for my sister. I watched her struggle as a housekeeper in order to put food on the table for us. I even watched her get into an abusive relationship that left my nieces and I scared. We were always moving from one place to the next. Maneuvering from place to place, we found ourselves living with a man we barely knew. I was told he was a guy my sister knew when she was in college, but truth be told she never went to college. The place we were staying at was not a place to call home. The front door was never locked so men would come in and out anytime as they pleased. One day my aunt called my sister to check on us. She told me she knew where we were staying and that we needed to make sure we were locking the doors behind us so that no one would come into our room unannounced. Not knowing why she told me this I reassured her that I would do it.

            A week later we all came home from school and decided to take a nap. While I was sleeping, my nieces left the room without locking the door behind them. I woke up to a guy over my head asking me for a pair of black socks. I was really confused because out of all people he came and asked me. I responded, “No”, and that he needed to leave the room. At that very moment, he forced my hands to go above my head, but I kept fighting it. I kept telling him he needed to get off of me and that I was only thirteen years old. Thinking if I said that, he would stop. Nothing stopped him! I was crying and in my head I’m thinking, “God, please help me! I don’t know what to do!” Once he left the room, I sat up and kept blinking my eyes, praying I would wake up from that nightmare. Well, it wasn’t a nightmare. I remember questioning God; I kept saying, “God, why me?” At that moment, I felt like my life was over. I felt alone and empty. I even contemplated suicide, because at the time I felt like I wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. I was really scared and I wanted to tell my sister so bad, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I felt like if I would have said something the owner of the house would have kicked us out and we would not have a place to stay. Another reason why I remained quiet was because I did not want to put my nieces through that, so I said nothing. When going to school I pretended and acted as if everything was ok. I always laughed and took pictures with all of my friends, but little did they know I was raped just a few nights ago and I was contemplating suicide.

            It wasn’t until months later when my sister was able to get her own apartment that my dreams started to get worse. I would wake up in the middle of the night crying my eyes out scared to go back to sleep because I didn’t want to feel even more useless than I already was. One night a cousin of ours moved in with us and she heard me crying. Once I told her how much those dreams were haunting me, she said I needed to go and tell my sister and that it would somewhat help me from having those nightmares. I got up in the middle of the night and told my sister. I remember her hugging me and asking me if I was ok. Days later she came home and started beating me with a phone charger. She told me that I was lying and that the guy said I was coming onto him. I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. Just when I thought I was going to get help the opposite happened. From that moment on, my sister and I’s relationship went downhill. As time passed by I felt like my sister couldn’t look at me the same. She started calling me all types of names. I was told that I was going to end up pregnant sleeping under a gas pump and would be doing nothing with my life. She even told me to leave her house, but I didn’t because I knew she said it out of anger and didn’t mean it.

           Once my sister told me to leave the house I called a cousin of mine and I asked her if it was ok for me to live with her if my sister really put me out and she said yes. It seemed like my time was up. My sister came home and told me to leave her house; she threw some of my clothes on the ground and said, “LEAVE!” And that’s exactly what I did because she meant it that time. I left with tears running down my face not knowing how I was going to get a hold of my cousin. I saw some strangers and called my cousin and she picked me up from that location.

            Now around this time I was ending my seventh grade year in middle school and going into my eighth grade year. Living with my cousin, I slept in a very little closet. Though while in that closet, I prayed and worshipped God. During my eighth grade year, I never wanted to go home because at school I was able to eat daily and be where I wanted to be. A best friend of mine introduced me to other girls and one of them, I became very close with. One day I broke down because my family had told me that my dad, who was in Haiti, died from the big earthquake that had occurred. I cried telling her everything that I had gone through. The only relationship I had with my dad were two phone calls. I felt like him being gone took the chance of me really knowing who he was. She then went and told her mom everything without even telling me. Later on that night I went into the closet and went after God trying to get an understanding as to why I was constantly going after Him, but then bad things kept happening and I was slowly fading away. It was at that moment I heard God tell me that I was not going to go through it much longer.

            As time went by my friend invited me to come and stay the night for the weekend since it was her birthday. I asked my cousin if I could and she said, “No.” I was really frustrated as to why she wouldn’t let me go, so I got on Myspace and posted a status saying that I hated my life. My cousin saw it and told me I could go. While hanging at my friend’s house with her family and friends, I felt at peace. It was really fun and I didn’t want to leave. I called my cousin and asked her if I could go to church with them the next day, but she said that I needed to come home. I remember crying because I did not want to leave. I got home and my cousin and I had a discussion because she felt like I only wanted to go to church for friends, which wasn’t the case at all. So she told me that if I wanted to go to church I could go with her in morning. No one woke me up the next morning and they went to church without me. When my cousin returned home, she said that since I overslept and did not go to church, and since I was grown because I just turned 15, I needed to leave the house. I was devastated because I never talked back nor attempted to act as if I was grown. She proceeded to put my stuff in a black garbage bag, placed it in front of the door, and told me to leave. I sat on the stairs looking at my bags, crying, begging God to help me! We had a next door neighbor who was a Pastor, and he asked me what was wrong he said if I needed a place to stay I could stay with him, but he also had two sons so I told him I couldn’t. I asked if I could use his phone to call my best friend and he did. When I called her she was at church I told her my cousin kicked me out and that I had no other place to go. She said she was going to tell her mom and that they were going to be on the way. Once they came, I remember my best friend, her little sister, and cousin took my bags and I ran into her mom’s arms and cried the entire time.

            I am proud to say that on June 16, 2011 I was adopted. My best friend became my sister, I gained a younger sister, and I have a mother who loves me at no cost and a very supporting and loving family. Currently, I am a junior at Florida State University, majoring in social work with a minor in communications. As you’ve read, my journey leading up to this point was not easy, but no matter how much I wanted to give up, God was still there. No matter how useless I felt, he was still there. No matter how low I felt, He was still there. I am happy to say that those dreams don’t haunt me anymore! I’ve been able to wake up from them and slap the devil in the face by reading scriptures my mom had me post all around my room and go right back to sleep. The process was really hard to be honest, but if I can do it, so can you! If the Lord saw me through, I am certain that He will see you through as well!

June 16, 2011

I leave you with this, “Keep pushing! God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.”                       

 

Dear God, I know she is proud

     IMG_1053 (2)Always on my mind, forever in my heart

12/12/51-5/24/03

For a long time saying that “She is proud” was just something, I was saying to get by. In the back of my mind after saying it, I would question it. Like is she really proud? Was I making the right decisions or what would she say if I did this or that? But after so long I can finally say it and truly know that deep down in my heart she is proud of me.I want to dedicate this post to my mom who I lost at a young age. If you haven’t read my earlier post about the things I had to endured, I think you should. I promise you-you will not regret it. Though I will be talking about my mother, I’ll give you some of the ways I’ve been able to grieve over the loss of her and hopefully it helps you in some sort of way.

Going down memory lane

     Growing up with my mom being around was everything to me. I remember the early morning getting ready for day care, the long walks to the hair salon and the random moments she would cook and have the entire neighborhood come over for a plate. She loved me and took care of me the best way she knew how. When my mother got, sick, she played it off. It isn’t until now I am able to look back and notice the signs of her being sick because for a long time I thought she was ok. As the only child in the house, everyone just kept telling me she was sick but little did I know my mom was diagnosed with AIDS.

   The lost

     One this day 14yrs ago we received the call about the passing of my mother I heard my sister screaming and crying. She called me into the room and said: “Estimen Mouri”(In creole) basically my mom had pass. I thought it was a lie because just a few days before I was on the phone with her and she kept telling me everything was going to be ok. Months went by, and I still didn’t believe she was gone. I just knew one day she was going to come back and get me. Well, that didn’t happen…. It did not hit me until I was getting beat for something, and I started to cry, but I wasn’t crying because I was getting beat I was crying because my mother was gone. I then went and locked myself into the bathroom sat on the floor and cried for hours.

I sat there with millions and millions of questions running through my mind like:

Why did she leave me?

Why isn’t anyone telling me how she died?

God, why me?

God, what did I do?

God, how am I going to get passed this?

God, I don’t understand…

It was harder than I thought my life was not getting easier. I would cry every Mother’s Day, whenever I seen my friend’s run to their mothers when they were being pick up from school, and I cried every single night and replay the times spent with her.

      The healing process

     To be completely honest at that age so much was happening every year that I was not healing properly. I was constantly taking punches after punches without my bruises getting healed. Everyone healing processes is different, and though now I am able to cope with it I still have my days where I’ll cry when I think about her or just get sad because I want hug from her, little things like that still happens, but I must say it has gotten better.

Here are a few things I have done to heal:

  1. Writing

Sometimes the thoughts in my mind can become so overpowering that I would feel like I could not breathe. So one way for me to get everything out I would write. I wrote a letter to God every single day just so that I could get the thoughts out of my head.

  1. Praying/Worshipping

God is my go to. Just know that If nobody is going to listen God will. There were times I was mad and frustrated with him, but no matter how upset I was, or how much I doubted him he was right by my side.

  1. Accept it

I had to accept the fact that she was gone and that everything was going to be ok.

In John 16:20 it said, “You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”

     Lets be real “Everything is easier said than done.” Of course, in the beginning, it will be hard to believe that grief will turn into joy because for me that was the last thing on my mind, but that is why you have to have faith during the process and trust that God will turn that grief into joy.

     Before I end this post, I do want to say that it is ok to cry no one will understand the pain you are feeling until they have experienced it themselves. But do not allow what happen to overshadow your life because if anything that mother or loved one you have lost wants you to do the things that they couldn’t do. They want you to be better than who they were, and most importantly they want you to be happy.

Sincerely, I know you are proud.