A Trafficked Child’s Account

Voices of the Present and the Future would like to bring to attention the human trafficking industry on this last day of Mental Awareness Month.

There have been millions of women, men and children around the world who have been and who continue to be subjected to forced labor, domestic servitude, or the sex trade at the hands of these human traffickers. It’s a form of modern-day slavery, the inhumane practice of human trafficking that takes place here in the United States as well.

Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes investigated by ICE. In it’s worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. They are forced into¬† prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts-often incurred during entry into the United States.

One story from a child who was trafficked:

“I was 17 around when I met ‘Robert’. It started off with me and my friend meeting him for social purposes. It just went on for about nine months and we were living in different hotels the entire time and I don’t even remember how many men there were. I was a runaway and wasn’t living anywhere stable, so since I was underage most of the time, I sort of needed him in order to get hotels and move around.

I had already been a prostitute since I was 15 and I think I just didn’t even know what was right or wrong and how I should be treated. Towards the end, he held me against my will in a hostage situation and forced me to prostitute and took all the money and just beat me severely.

The last time I saw him, he was just beating me until he was absolutely tired. I was covered in bruises, my face was completely disfigured and it’s causing me issue with my back to this day because of the way he was beating me and torturing me. That was probably the worst. There was a client in the room and he was having issue with something I couldn’t do because I was all beat up. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to do anything. He wanted his money back. When Robert and him were talking I ran out of the room and somehow was able to run faster than him.

I didn’t tell anyone. I kept it to myself until I got a call from the FBI that he’d been arrested for something else and asked would I talk. Having to go face everything and realize how serious everything was. For the longest time I didn’t even think it was that serious.

At the trial, it felt empowering to look at him the entire time. I’m sure it drove him crazy. He can never touch me but he had to look at me and listen and it made me feel good.

I had to learn that if I don’t at least have some kind of love and value for myself, no one ever will. My advice to other girls would be to let people help you.”

Empower yourself and help empower other writers, leave comments, follow, subscribe or just hit the like button. If you have a similar story to share we would love to hear it. Let us know what you have to say here at Voices, past, present,and future.

Mental Awareness Month

Good Morning friends. It’s been a few days for me, but now that the holiday weekend has now come to an end, graduations have come and gone (pre-K and First Grade for me), the graduation parties, the holiday barbeque’s, we can now fully dive back in to work. I devoted some long deserved time to my reading, so that I can return some books to the library on time, and worked on my short story course. I wasn’t fully off duty.

If you’re anything like me, your house is never television free. Somewhere there is always a TV on. As Stephen King say, “Television is on of the worst things you can have as a writer.” For me, THIS IS SO TRUE!

I was also trying to work out some of the kinks in my first draft. Where I want to take this character, what situation I would like to put this character in, and does this character really need to be in the book? Reworking the outline persay.

As the month of Mental Awareness comes to a close, I look back on some of my past articles/posts and I urge those of you who struggle with anything to seek help, be it a friend you can confide in, a pastor (preacher/ any religious person whom you trust), a family member, a spouse, or doctor. Don’t cheat yourself out of the life you deserve and the happiness you deserve.

Take a moment and love yourself today. Support your friends and fellow writers.

EXCITING NEWS

Hello my faithful followers and future ones! I want to provide you an update on my future book “Small Town Facade”. If you have not yet had the chance to go into my pages and check it out, now is the TIME! I will be providing you updated chapters and they are doosies!

There is more than just a kidnapping going on in this town my friends! AND…..Someone else will go missing!

Don’t cheat yourself out of a great read, especially on these rainy days, mother nature is providing us to get caught up on our reading.

I look forward to reading your comments and also listening to your input on what you think should happen. THIS IS a first draft.. and you WILL find many mistakes.

As a beginning writer, we all look to our fellow writers for insight and communication, and advice on how to make ourselves better writers.

Support your fellow writers. And look for those NEW chapters later today!

Just One Cup

I answered CBKCreative.com post # 283 and I wanted to share it with you.

The prompt was: A mom wakes up and makes a cup of coffee, then spends all day trying to drink it.

I padded along the cold, wooden, floor into the kitchem and put a pod into my Kureg machine. Eyes still blurry, I went into the kids room, and rustled the little one’s awake. Once I was sure, or at least I thought I was, I turned on some cartoons and began to make their breakfast. Forgetting that my coffee had brewed, piping hot, steam traveling up and around the machine, I went once again to gather the little one’s for a hot meal before school.

As they gather at the table, wiping away what is left of the sandman’s mysteries and begin picking at their food, the way little one’s do, the telephone rings. Meanwhile, my coffee becomes mildly warm, the steam dissipating, and has yet to be sweetened with cream and sugar the way that I like it.

I answer the phone and listen to a friend who is in desperate need of a favor, as I begin to pack lunches and shush the little one’s , urging the kids to stop bickering, and please finish up and go get ready for school. I passively agree to my friend’s request in an urgent need to see that the children are moving about. My coffee sitting there, chilling, long forgotten. The caramel color of ideas but a mere dream.

While I’m checking that little teeth have been brushed, and styling little heads, I look into the mirror only to find that I, myself, am still a shamble. I sit the kids on the couch and dare them to move, running to my room to change. I put on a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and pull my hair back. I brush my teeth and run out of the room grabbing my keys, rushing the kids to the car.

When I look back, making sure I turned off the stove, I see that little cup of heaven still sitting there, and a tear falls down my face as I turn, shutting and locking the door behind me.

STRUGGLES

Ok guys, I had a week long full of family struggles. I’m sure you all have been through the same. We are a community and we should support one another and not forget to reach out and be there. I found a short story I wanted to share with you.

THE BUTTERFLY

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Until it suddenly stoppeeed making progress and looked like it was stuck.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, although it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man didn’t think anything of it and say there waiting for the wings to enlarge to support the butterfly. But that didn’t happen. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with tiny wings and a swollen body.

Despite the kind heart of the man, he didn’t understand that the restricting cocoon and the struggle needed by the butterfly to get itself through the small opening; were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings to prepare itself for flying once it was out of the cocoon.

MORAL:

Our struggles in life develop our strengths. Without struggles, we never grow and never get stronger.

BLACK SHEEP

I saw a snippett of Gayle Kings’ interview with Will Smith (which will air Sunday), and it truly hit home for me. Will Smith said, “Whatever it is that you are going through, or have gone through, was perfectly designed for you.” He states that life is the curicullum to teach you. He used his life lessons and what he had gone through at an early age to shape him into who he was going to be and who he is today.

I took a sip of my coffee and thought long and hard about that statement. It was as if a lightbulb had gone off, and I realized what his words represented for me.

I experienced, at a very young age, things no child should every have to experience, and as Smith stated, that was my lesson, life is my curicullum. I allowed these experiences shape my teenage years as well as my 20’s and 30’s. Through more trauma, of a different kind of nature, it shaped a period in my life where I was determined to give up on these life lessons and throw in the towel completely.

It was only through closing many, many doors and letting the negative people in my life go, that I actually began to see who it was that I was truly meant to be. I am very proud of myself for where I am today and the mother and grandmother I am.

Trust me, just that one step of illiminating peole, and figuring out that I didn’t and don’t need them in my life was a journey that broke my heart into so many pieces. I went through an apology phase, when in all actuality should have been the other way around.

I am picking up one piece of my heart at a time, still today, and although I have always been considered talented, I am seeing colors I haven’t noticed before. Ideas are shaping, doors are opening up, and a creative ability is shining taking me to the next level.

I look in the mirror now, not ashamed of who I am, what I have been through, or that I am considered “The Black Sheep”. I only need to accept myself. Of coarse, I could have gone further if this realization had come to me earlier, but it’s never too late as the saying goes.

I do wish things could have been different and relationships didn’t have to be dissolved. To have the only thing I ever wanted (acceptance), and to be pushed to be more than I was, intested of falling in line and being just another one of the gang; to be told, “It’s going to be okay. WE are going to get through this and I will always be there for you.”

To be called, “THE BLACK SHEEP” doesn’t seem quite appropriate at this point in my life. I like to consider the term, “THE BRIGHT AND SHINING SHEEP”.

My advice: It may take a while, a long while, to figur out who you are and who you are meant to be. You may have to let people go to get where you are going. Sometimes, you have to let something go to get something.

There IS greener grass on the other side for some of us. Remember, there was a reason we were put where we were in that time of our lives. To overcome, to achieve, to defy the odds, to inspire, or just let others know, YOU CAN RISE ABOVE IT ALL!

Let who you are and your life’s experiences drive you to unimaginable feats!

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