Turn on the Dark

The time has now come for me to face my demons.

It wasn’t like I had been abused by my uncle and aunt, but still, depriving a child of the right to live a decent life is still child abuse. I should know, as I had survived nearly nine years of this unnecessary experience and I could write a tell-all book about how evil my relatives were to me.

But that’s not this story.

I was sitting in a room at the Harrison Creek Children’s Psychiatric Ward in Harrison Creek, Oregon, seeking treatment for my issues. The doctor who was questioning me about my early life was taking his notes and adding things that could decide my fate. I needed to think about what I was going to say next.

I say that it’s time for me to turn on the dark. It’s time for me to see what life was like on the dark side. I have to stop pretending that all the years of insults and pain didn’t hurt me. I have to face the pain that I had tried to ignore for many years. I need to experience sadness, grief, pain, hate and depression. I need to go through this so I could recover and seek closure.

Very soon, the doctor said to me, “Miss Bennett, I understand that you are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was brought on by years of abuse. Did your uncle and aunt abuse you because of your faith?”

“No, my mother was not a practicing Muslim,” I said, “and even if she were, she would have stopped immediately after the 9/11 attacks.”

“I also understand that your uncle has on a number of occasions threatened to marry you off to a man living in an Amish settlement if you refused to do whatever he said,” said the doctor.

I shuddered at that memory and said, “Yes. That has happened before.”

The doctor also said, “What we need to do is to have you scheduled for counseling sessions three times a week and some group and theater therapy. No child should have to endure this type of abuse.”

I nodded, but immediately thought about Bailey and Connor. How were they going to take care of themselves? Sure we have our cousins, but I wondered if any of our other relatives were going to step up and get Bailey the help that he needs and the father figure that Connor needs.

For now, I have no choice but to face my demons and turn on the darkness that is inside me.

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