Today I stand a survivor
From a young age, I was physically abused. I was beaten by a belt by my mother’s boyfriend while I was in preschool. After that incident, my sisters and I were moved to multiple different foster homes. Each foster home I was in I was met with abuse. My first foster home I watched my foster father abuse my sisters in front of me, they fed us very little, and made me do everything. My second foster home, the foster mother was mentally abusive. She was upset that I refused to call her mom and would send me to bed without food, she would treat me differently than everyone else. By the time I was six or seven, I was returned to my mother again. Within a few months of being returned, I was in the hospital with a bloody nose. That was the last time I, legally, lived with my mother. I was taken from her and placed with my maternal grandmother. During my time with her, I was mentally and physically abused by her and sexually abused by my eldest brother. When I finally told the truth about what my brother did to me, I was met with hatred and abuse from my grandmother. It caused me to move out and move in again with my mother.
For a long time, I could not handle everything that I was dealt during my early years. It became too overwhelming. When it became too overwhelming, I did one of two things: I either ran or wrote. Running became a workout to release endorphins. It allowed me to let go in a physical way without hurting myself. There were times I did not feel like running. During those times I’d turn to writing. I wrote about everything. It helped keep me calm and helped me express myself in a positive way. I also started going to counseling. Counseling allowed me to be open about my feelings and learn positive ways to cope with everything. It allowed me to speak honestly without judgment or fear of repercussions. My childhood and adolescent years were full of darkness and hate, but I was able to find the light and love in both my life and my dreams, and today I stand a survivor. Ever since the age of six, I knew that I wanted to be the person who fought for children like me, children from broken, abusive homes. They need a person who can relate and understand them. I am a product of a broken environment, I have experienced physical, mental, and sexual abuse from the hands of the people who were supposed to love and care about me; and by the age of 6, I bounced back and forth between my mother and the Department of Children and Family Services, yet I am still standing. Even though these experiences are what helped make me the person I am today, I refuse to allow them to control me. Instead, I used them to help me find my passion and help me figure out what I wanted to do in life. They helped mold my ambition and drive me.
My personal experiences have taught me that life will always present you with challenges, it will attempt to knock you down, but it is up to you to claim defeat or do something to change it. I have chosen time and time again not to allow my upbringing to affect me negatively, instead I have embraced my past and decided to use it to make a difference. My childhood has taught me to work hard for everything you have, to never give up no matter how hard life may seem, and to be truly grateful for what is presented to you. The opportunities that have been presented to me are from my poetry. I am currently working on publishing a collection of poetry about different aspects of my life. The poems are written by me and have allowed me to heal over the years. I also have started a blog that allows me to speak on different topics that are important to me and hopefully can inspire someone out there. I know that by sharing my story and advocating, I can make that difference for innocent children who are or have gone through the same upbringing I did.
What advice would you offer to encourage others?
Do not allow your abuser to keep ahold of you. When you speak about your pain, your experiences, your story, you take back your power. You let your abuser know you may have hurt me, at some time maybe you even broke me, but today and for the rest of my life, I am in control. You no longer have a hold on me.
Alesha Scott, Survivor
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