It started when I was 2. My brother, the eldest of 3 half siblings, had a padlock and it was so very interesting to me. It's my very first memory in life-sad I know. He was standing in the doorway with it around his middle finger grinning ear to ear. I remember wanting to see it so bad I just didn't understand how it locked. His deal was, you can play with it as long as you stay quiet. The last thing he said before he touched me was, "I'm doing this because I love you, and when two people love each other this is what they do."

The next thing I remember were his cold hands pulling my pants down. It continued. A few months later, my mom found us swinging, I was in his lap. I don't remember much except that when my mom yelled at him he jumped and I fell down and mom asking why I didn't have panties on under my skirt. It stopped for a while. I didn't see him again for a few months. I don't recall each time after that, other than him saying the same thing every time, before he touched me. Fast forward to 3rd grade, there was a criminal on the loose in my town and I was at a friend’s house. I heard her parents saying all the things he had done to girls and hid under the bed.

My friend came under there with me and asked me why I was hiding. This was the first time I confided in anyone. She told me to tell a teacher at school the next day or she would. So I did, and in turn child protective services were called to my home and it stirred up so much that when I got home from school my mom was sitting on the bed crying. I told her nothing happened and she screamed at me that I was tearing the family apart. I recanted to my teachers and the police. I said it never happened. My mom stopped letting me go to his house and things were better.

Eventually he called and begged my mom to let him take me to the park, public place, people all around.... even if I had said nothing REALLY happened, nothing could because we'd be outside. She caved, I went and nothing happened. So she started trusting him again. It became that I was staying with him every weekend. It began again. Only this time he would call me by his wife's name. He began to "play" with me. Started using tools, playing "doctor".... doing really weird things like using a douche like object and putting ice cold water in it and making me hold it inside of me. If any came out he would hit me with a paddle on my leg. If any came out when he hit me, he would use whatever he could fine to "plug it up" and just watch me cry. He even made me do things with his pet, I won't go into detail there but let's just say- no shower in the world can ever get me clean enough.

I remember starting my period at his house and how disgusted he was. Now I was too old and used up and broken for him and he had such a great idea to help me make some money. I was 9 the first time he dressed me up, took me to the park at night, and told me to go take a ride with his friend with no name. I have met so many older men in my city, some of their faces I could never erase from my memories. Some of them I've seen again in passing. A couple have come into my job at the strip club (because I'm the exact stereotype) and asked for dances and I wonder to this day if they knew who I was. When I was 16 I became pregnant (by a boyfriend who had no idea and yes, a test was done) and this was the first time that he said I was too beautiful to take to the park. Instead he wanted to take me to go get a frozen coffee drink from a nearby ice cream joint.

As we're pulling up to the speaker to order, he looks at me with that stupid grin and says, "Treat for a treat? Because we love each other." In my mind something clicked and I didn't want him anywhere near my baby so I smiled nodded and waited patiently until we pulled off behind an abandoned church. When he unzipped his pants and pulled himself out I had to choke back the vomit and knew exactly what to do, I leaned down and bit him as hard as I could and held on for as long as I could even with him hitting me in the head and back. I didn't care. I just wanted to make him hurt. I held on tight as I could until I felt the warmth and I remember unlocking my door and taking off in a full sprint. Only when I got to the road did I realize I was covered in blood. His. I remember sitting down, crying, laughing, and praying that someone would find me. Someone did. I only know that he went to the hospital and had to have stitches. I told my mom what happened and this time she believed me, and I was never allowed to go back again. I survived being raped, tortured, and sold for my body. I survived being brainwashed into believing that sex is how you show love no matter the type of relationship.

I never should've been made to feel bad for coming to an adult but I was, and for that reason I will ALWAYS believe a child. No one ever knew what happened to me to the fullest. My own mother didn't know about my being trafficked until a few months ago when my brother got out of prison and tried to come back into my life. Do not stay silent. Tell someone, tell ANYONE until someone listens.

Always, ALWAYS remember you are NOT alone, and you WILL survive.