Exploited Once Twice
I was born in the mountains outside of Manila. I don't know much about my early childhood besides what I have been told. When I was three years old, my father’s legs were crushed in a logging accident. With 7 children, my mother struggled to make ends meet. So at three, my mother sent me to live with an "auntie" and that's when the horrors began.
I was brought to Manila and placed in a room with lots of pretty dresses and toys, and for 4 years, that room was my hell. Every day, Uncle and Auntie would come in. Auntie would hold a camera and Uncle would undress and touch me, in every hole, and I would have to touch and suck him. Sometimes they would just come in and beat me with cords, spoons, etc. At times, their friends would do the same things to me. They were always white men with bad breath.
I never went to school or left that room until one day when I heard yelling outside my room. A woman I had never seen with very kind eyes opened the door. Her name is—I’ll just call her Angel—and she rescued me.
I was placed in a home for children who had come from that situation. I had to go to the hospital to be examined and have minor surgery to repair some of the damage that had been done. Angel would check on me often and would take me to court to testify against Auntie and Uncle. 2 years later, they were both sentenced to 5 years in prison. But I was free.
When I was 9, I was told I was being adopted by a family in America. My new father was a doctor and his wife stayed at home. Everyone in the children's home was jealous. Within a few months, they came to bring me home. That year, Mom treated me like her little princess, taking me shopping and trips all over. But she seemed weak and getting weaker. Then just before my 11th birthday, Dad told me that Mom was at the hospital and that she had cancer. This woman that I had grown to love was being taken away from me. I was still in contact with Angel and called her to sob. 3 days after my 11th birthday, my mom passed away. I then started to get sick. My counselor at school thought it could be emotional after all the tests came back normal.
My dad decided to take me out of school and homeschool me. This is when I realized that he was not a good man. Shortly after staying home from school, I got a rash on my privates. I was so embarrassed, I did not want to tell anyone. However, one day my dad saw me scratching and asked about it. I lied and said it was nothing, but he did not believe me and took me to my room to look. I screamed as he pulled me to my room. He spoke very calmly and said he just had to check. He sat me on my bed and explained that he just had to look and that he would be quick. I calmed down and laid back. It was all red. He was mad that I had lied and said that he had to spank me. He had spanked me before, but this was HARDER than that and it took my breath away. He told me to stay on my bad and he would be back. When he left I pulled up my pants and cried in my pillow. When he came back he had some cream and told me to take my pants down again. I protested, and he quickly slapped my leg. I gave in and he put the cream on, but at one point his finger went inside me and a flood of memories overwhelmed me.
I continued to be homeschooled. I still felt ill. I now know this was a control thing and he was prepping me.
When I turned twelve, he told me that he had made me a special hospital room in the attic and he carried me upstairs as I was too weak to walk. There was a hospital bed with IV poles, and medical equipment in the room. He laid me down and I fell asleep. I awoke to pain down there and was stunned to see my dad inserting a tube into me. He told me that this would help me go to the bathroom. I pleaded with him to stop but he said it was for my own good. He came to the head of my bed and said that because I was so sick I needed to take a break from eating. I did not understand. He then held my head and placed a small tube in my nose. I SCREAMED. And he had the smallest smile. I tried to pull away, but he held me down and eventually placed me into restraints. I could not believe I was in captivity again.
He (I won't call him Dad anymore) would come in and check on me in the mornings. Give me a feeding, check my bag and give me an enema. If I had been rude, he would make me hold the enema all day while he was at work. I quickly realized that it was not worth fighting, and he removed the restraints. I was too weak to walk so I would just lay there.
One day he came in and told me that I was doing so good with the feeding tube that I would not need my teeth. My eyes almost pop out of my sockets. He placed a mask over my mouth and when I woke up all my teeth were gone. I was now perfect to him. I had lost almost every part of me.
And then the real horror started. He started using me sexually. I was like a lifeless person. Had no fight left in me.
While all of this was happening, Angel had not forgotten about me. She had called my him many times, and he always make an excuse why I could not talk. She knew something was wrong. And in April 2007, those beautiful eyes gazed upon me again. She opened my door. And as I opened my eyes to see his face in fear, it was Angel. She had come for me again. She was back in the States on break from the work she does in human trafficking and decided to come see me. She had come to the house the week before. Dad had answered the door, and told her I was not home. But she knows a predator. She did not take that at face value and investigated with my school, who told her that I was taken out for health reasons. She knew I was home and got the police involved. I was FREE.
Angel is now my mom and I live with her and her husband and little 1-month-old baby. She still is involved in trafficking aftercare with providing safe houses. I work there too and am going to college now. My father was prosecuted and sentenced to 2 life sentences. On his computer, they found video files of me as a small child in the Philippines. He had been watching me since I was young.
I would have said he took every part of me had you asked me 5 years ago. But he does not have that power. I am strong, valued, important. Though this is part of my story, it was not the end. And I am living a new beginning.