I was looking through old photos this evening and came across this one. Unfortunately it doesn’t bring back good memories.
The last time I wore this uniform was the day I watched my father get beaten to a pulp with weaponry at eight years of age by a man in blue, in front of all of my friends and their parents. I was then sprayed directly in the face with pepperspray and thrown into the back of a car. They also took my brother away in handcuffs for disrupting the peace after watching our father bleed to near death on the curbside. They wouldn’t let me touch him.
It was the only cheer event my father ever made it to.
This tiny little innocent face went from a star-struck Sailor to a premature adolescent with a huge chip on my shoulder and anger in my heart. I never cheered again. I never felt the same about being a child. I never trusted a person in uniform again.
I had nightmares for years. I feared being alone or leaving my home.
I was kicked off the team for school humiliation. I still have the letter stating why I didn’t belong. This situation was the only time my family ever made headline news. Thank God my Mother moved me away to Charlottesville. Even after leaving my hometown and not returning for a decade, I was still remembered as the little girl screaming “Don’t hurt my daddy,” in the paper.
I didn’t see my father for months except behind bars and in court rooms.
Innocence as I knew it, was dead.
I’ll never understand why that cop did what he did to me and my family. I do know I had to forgive him and I did many years ago.
It has taken me 21 years to move forward.
What I do take positive from this though is no matter how scarred I was publicly and internally, I am still free.
No matter how much shame I spent my entire childhood fighting, I am still loved.
No matter what damage I have done or others have done to me, I am still whole.
God completes me, not human acceptance.
And while this was one of the hardest things I had to face as a child, I have met many who had it way worse.
Never let a circumstance keep you from your destined purpose of greatness.
Hopefully someone will be moved from this. I know I was. Be blessed.