“Why do you always hurt me?  Why always me?  Why?” I sat on the cold cement step, controlling the urge to gently rub my throbbing arm.  She had dug her nails into me and dislocated my shoulder again.  My mother stared down at me, and sighed.

“Because you take it.  Because you… because it doesn’t affect you.  Because you can handle it.  You never react.”

It finally dawned on me in that moment.  This woman is truly evil; she may have given birth to me but in those few seconds I realized that giving birth to a human does not give another ownership of that human.  I stood up and I walked away.  To this day I remember the second I stopped loving her, or caring if she lives or dies. I was finally free.

Fifteen years of constant abuse had brought me to this place.  Fifteen years of trying to figure out what was so wrong with me that my mother would treat me in this way.  Fifteen years of those who should have protected me, who knew what was happening but who turned a blind eye to it, too caught up in their own heads to see a child who needed just one adult to be brave enough to say ‘Stop!’

All roads have led me to this place.  To this classroom.  To this time.

As I looked at the faces turned towards me I remembered the child I once was and I saw their pain, the parents who have betrayed them, the adults who have ignored and walked away from a child who needs help.  I’ve often wondered at how we as a humans can categorize those that ‘count’ and those that don’t.  I was one that didn’t; my own mother said so – I earned my abuse because to her way of thinking I could ‘take it’.  I’ve watched how we humans can choose who to save and who not to.  I have watched how people categorize others as being worthy of attention and those who can be ignored.

I call us the ‘throw away kids’.

We are the disposable children.  The disposable humans.  Not worth stopping to lift up, we instead are the ones you step around or kick.

“Who am I? and why am I here?  I’m here because I have my own story and I was saved by the gift of art.  I want to share that gift with you.”  So our story has begun.  All that I am and all that I will be has lead me to this point.  I don’t know if I can do what I have set out to do, I do not know if it is possible but they are not disposable to me, they are not worthless and I believe that if they can see the shining beauty and strength that requires no other person except them to see, then they will change not just their story but the world.

Kate Gillie
Author

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