The sound of the screaming 30 feet away, will always be a vivid vocal memory. Chills that stopped me in my tracks as soon as I approached the trauma. My heart sank and my body froze. I could not move. I was stuck from any sudden movement. All the hair on my body was standing up. Anger filled my lungs and emotions in my eyes.
Still stuck my body clenched as I lifted my hands to cover my ears. It was still so loud. The thumping and banging along with the screams of a little girl and older woman. She hollered in Spanish yells of anger and aggression, and the little girl just screamed. Thump after thump and bang after bang she contained to scream.
Louder and LOUDER.
Shorty never brings his gate key when walking Cookie. So this afternoon was no exception. The two identical units that sit right next to each other were quite as we walked up. The trauma unit was facing the back wall of his building. A grey stucco sound propeller that echoed the screams of unit 8.
Do I blame the wall for making the sounds louder or do I fight back urge of my wrath from the abuser inflicting fear and physical pain? This was the kind of noise that you could not ignore. You could not turn your TV up or ask Alexa to play your go-to playlist at full volume.The screaming and yelling and loud thumping and bumping was still there.
Both buildings occupied about ten units. Each filled with family from south of California. As I took shorty’s hand and walked all the way to the back of both buildings to loop around to our destination, every step was painful and more anger grew. By the time Shorty had opened the door for me and Cookie to enter first, he knew I was uneasy. I had given him a look as I took every step to our upstairs identical unit. The same one the younger girl was being abused in the next building over.
I took a shot of whiskey.
Shorty made a comment amongst the small talk allowing me to know that this was not the first time. I took another shot.
Why doesn’t anyone called 911?
How THE FUCK CAN YOU JUST IGNORE A LITTLE GIRL BEING FUCKING BEATEN IN THE NEXT apartment!
I verbally took flight. Crying and Cursing. I asked him why the fuck doesn’t he call one of his homies to come take her out, clearly irrational. I couldn’t believe that he did nothing about it then and there. It’s as if he was totally fine with what was taking place. His response was “I don’t want to be responsible for breaking up a family”. I walked away in emotional anger so he count see the tears run down my face.
I tried to suppress the memories of 3pm, all day. I numbed myself from flashbacks of my own personal abuse and being mistreated as a child. Nighttime made it no better because I could not sleep. I tried to push the screams out my head but they were still so vivid. Every time l closed my eyes or tried to go to a peaceful place I was reminded of the screams, the terrifying wales of a little girl being beaten what sounded like half to death to me.
I am a survivor of child abuse mental, verbal and physical. What I experienced and heard as a child, I am not suppose to be as enlightened as I am. I’m supposed to be on pills multiple times a day and as needed. I am supposed to never love or trust another human again. I’m not supposed to have beautiful, healthy child, nor am I suppose be completely healed and FEARLESS.
Just the night before, I couldn’t sleep to save my life. It was after 11pm, closer to midnight and it was quiet outside. Just the sounds of the city like the 10 FWY nearby and cars passing. There’s a club nearby and I still heard no one walking by with turned up voices. With everything inside of me I could not escape the screaming of a little girls voice.
As I lifted my head off the pillow it was completely silent. Not a wind or a dime drop. I looked around, scratched my scalp with my almond shaped nails and just looked with my eyes wide as space. Nothing. Silence. As I got closer and closer to the pillow to relax my neck, the high pitch young voice of a child got louder. With my ear just grazing the light purple pillow, the screaming was loud as if it was in my ear, or in the same room.
It was so loud and so clear. I could here an adolescent child screaming at the top of her lungs. Never asking for help just pure loud fresh lungs screaming. The process repeated itself for over an hour. I popped back up immediately. Still nothing. I was asked what’s wrong for the 50th time. At that point l just sat straight up in complete silence and stared at my partner.
My heart was in my stomach. My chest started to hurt and my head as well. I really felt crazy at that point. I know what it sounds like to hear something. I also know what silence sounds like and for the life of me I can vividly hear the difference as I moved closer to my pillow and away from it. Shorty was not asleep but he was able to lie next to me and hear nothing. At one point, I do remember him mumbling something about screaming.
I felt like I was a patient loosing her marbles hearing something nonexistent in “American Horror Story : Asylum”. The entire season is what I thought of. How do l explain to someone that I can hear a tiny human screaming for her life ONLY as l lie my head on the pillow NOT when I was sitting straight up. I was completely sober so there was no underlining cause to my illusion.
Even the unit next door that shares the same bedroom wall was quite and asleep. When l tell you no one was there and the silence was so loud, I am playing no games.
You better believe that night I could not sleep at all. I sat up all night after shorty went to sleep. The sound made me terrified to go to sleep. I was afraid if I was able to somehow sleep I was sure to have a vivid dream where maybe I could even see her.
The day after what happened in Unit 8, I walked to Starbucks with Cookie. Fresh in my mind after waking up from what felt like a cat nap, I had to leave the apartment. I seen a table of little girls, a second table of younger girls, and the third table with four woman ages ranging from 16 to about 46.
As I look at all these ladies I stared at their ankles, arms and neck area. I looked in their eyes as they don’t notice me giving them a safety physical.
At one point I stopped and asked myself, was I being a cheap? Then quickly assured myself of my pure intentions. The part that hurt me was when I asked myself, “Okay so if you do see a bruise or a black eye or busted lip? What are you going to do about it? What will you say. How will you approach the women or young women. What can you personally do for them right in that moment?”
Calling out abuse is a very delicate situation. A neighbor can call 911 and 10 mins later the cops arrive to check on the situation. By this time, the mom or guardian has cooled down and the home looks perfect as the cop ask questions. As soon as the door shuts and 15 mins have passed, the abuse can begin again… but this time to death. Til parts of your skin come off as well as trust and self respect and self worth. In more severe cases children have died. In other severe cases the survivors struggle with long-term mental health issues.
This is something that I never want to happen again to anyone for any reason at any age. I want to personally assure it. To figure out how to be accurate when dealing with child abuse. Some cases the abuse disguised as discipline comes from an ongoing family cycle. In which case no excuses valid.
I am the perfect person to start a new charity or non profit origination or a law to make sure what I heard can NEVER be an excuse for discipline. Some kind of nationwide parents and guardians conference that teaches you hands on proper and legal ways to discipline your children. To let parental figures know what abuse is and how it affects the human brain and characteristics and traits of abused children in adulthood. All warning signs with yourself or others to prevent you from abusing your child or children.
There is no excuse to be made on the parent or guardians end as to what justifies the abuse; bad grades, talking back, unexcusable behaviors, teenage hormones or this is how my mom or dad did the same in such manner. Any excuse can no longer be a reason. The mental and physical unstabilization of a child can no longer be at the hand of child abuse mental or physical. Discipline will no longer be the front for abuse.
We need to educate and heal the victims to prevent the generational second nature. No one should be subjected to experience or inflict trauma; mental or physical pain in the form or any kind of abuse, not only to children.
Singing “Triggered” by Jhene Aiko in my head.