Cheri Speak

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Who I Was, Who I Am

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I received some much anticipated mail today. Several weeks ago I filed a FOIA to receive a 35-year old police report from my childhood. Three days after my 12th birthday the police and DSS arrived at my Littleton, Colorado home to follow-up on a child abuse report filed by my 6th-grade teacher and elementary school principal.

I remember the day I told my teacher what was happening. The abuse I disclosed was not only happening at home by my step-father, but also in my father’s home in California by my step-mother as well as in the home of my aunt and [maternal] uncle who technically had guardianship of me since I was 3-years old.

When the authorities came to the house they separated my little brother and I as well as my mother and step-father. After what was to us kids a scary interrogation and physical exam, the authorities, with our parents, walked down the street to where my aunt and uncle lived to question them.

My brother and I stood on our front lawn watching them walk away. Watched them go inside. Waited. And then watched them all come outside and yuck it up on my uncle’s front lawn. My heart had already sunk, at that moment it literally shriveled up and died.

Nothing happened of this incident except that I became the black-sheep, the trouble-maker, shunned by most of my family and although my mom had promised the police she was not going to send us to my dad’s as she had been threatening as a punishment, she in fact did. That summer was the worst and most emotionally damaging time of my life.

I never knew what was said by any of those adults that day. I was not privvy to it. All I do know is they left me there and other abuses continued. They let me fall through the cracks of the system. I told, like I was supposed to, after enduring both physical and sexual abuse for at least 9-years and no one did a damn thing.

Opening that envelope when it arrived was a big deal. I was finally having some of my questions answered and had tangible proof-positive that this occurred. I will share the contents in another post and on the new Challenging the Rhetoric series on child sexual abuse, Sickness of Silence or #SOS soon.

I am not the same person I would or could have been, that’s true, but that doesn’t mean I am not the person I was supposed to be anyway.

Reading the handwritten police report left me exhausted and drained. I feel like I just climbed a mountain … or rolled down it, I’m not sure which … yet.

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4 comments on “Who I Was, Who I Am

  1. Corner of Confessions
    November 8, 2015

    Climbed. You’re a survivor.

    Like

  2. Alex M. Salazar
    November 8, 2015

    Love you and all your stories beautiful lady. It is an honor to KNOW YOU!!!

    Like

    • Cheri
      November 10, 2015

      Thank you, Alex. I miss you!!

      Like

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