Speak Up and Don’t Shut Up

The Day The Colonel Cried

They granted him permission to record an audiotape for his Dad and I. All the while he was held captive and gravely ill. All of which they caused through neglect and lay the blame at our feet.
We rushed to retrieve the brown paper package from the post office. Wrapped up like a school book he may have carried to class, had he gone to school that day, that year. We drove around Dale Carlia Corner to the KFC parking lot to listen together to our lost boys voice. The voice we hadn’t heard since he’d been stolen away from us eight weeks earlier.
In his treble he sang out under the sign of The Colonel as we listened. While we trembled. He spoke of bellyaches, force feedings, solitary confinement, vomiting and J tubes. He spoke lovingly of Ejama. He spoke of missing us and love and longing to come home.
“But the worst thing is Mom, my most horrible fear is that I’ll grow up before I ever see you again and you won’t recognize me anymore.”
He, still in his boyhood, locked behind bars in Boston Children’s Hospital, far beyond our reach.
In Wakefield, RI my husband choked. Pummeled both fists into the dash.
Through his tears The Colonel grinned for appearances, ole’ boy that he is.
It is said, “You only live once.”
But how many times do you die?
As for me, I lost count.”

Trauma changes you. Processing it often triggers reliving it.
For this very reason, my loving son and I travel a long, hazardous road to recovering one another.
He has been lost for so long in so many ways but we are going home.
A BIG forever thank you to a rare validating life force, an advocate, teacher, healthcare educator and revolutionary and dear, dear friend, Joslin Leasca, RN, MSN, Ph.D.
I am eternally grateful to God that my beautiful boy is still alive.
And that I am here to say it.

I know that you don’t know what to say anymore. That is okay.
But I was silenced, in seclusion and in a state of shock for many years. This is called oppression.
I hope I’m making some sense here.
Whether it be bullying, intimidation, assault of any nature, verbal abuse, physical violence, or any form of abuse of power over a more vulnerable being,
Speak Up and Don’t Shut Up.
Advocate. Advocate. Advocate because maybe no one else will.
I’ll never be silenced again
and
neither should you.

2.27.2020

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