You Can't Have Me Anymore

Hello, my name is Crystal Anitta Davis. I was born in New Haven, Connecticut on January 11, 1968. I’m a single mother of two, Robert my son who died in my arms eight hours after his birth, and Tocarra my 21 year old daughter. My story is a story that is by far too familiar, however, distinctively unique. My story is of “Me” an innocent little girl with pig tails in her hair, and a missing front tooth, whose soul was murdered at the age if five at the hands, and male genitalia of a sexual molester.

There was no home going service for me. There were no songs sung for me. Nobody brought flowers. There was no wreath on the front door of my family’s home to alert all who passed by that a death had took place; that those who lived in the home was in mourning. No one in my home was in mourning. There were no tears shed for me, other than those of my own. No food was brought to the house for my family, and for the crowd of people who came by to tell my mom how sorry they were for the sudden loss of her baby girl. No one came to give comfort and to support my older sister Sheree’. I was her best friend. There were no sympathy cards. There wasn’t an obituary written about me with my pretty little smiling face on it with my front tooth missing, and my hair all done up with pink and white bows. No write up about how I had dreams of being something; I know that I had to have had dreams. No write up about how my life was stolen away at such a young age. No one even knew that I had died, not even the person who murdered me; how was that possible when I disappeared? I became the living dead; walking around home, school, and life like a zombie, just an empty hollow shell of my once was, once use to be self. No one buried me. I buried myself, right after I buried my tiny panties filled with… I don’t know what that was; but that’s where I was...

Although I had all the signs of a child that was/being molested like: feelings of guilt; confusion, anxiety, feeling ashamed, fear, and unworthiness. I didn’t remember that I had been molested, not until I was 28 years old, seemingly by accident when the same person who molested me started preying on my daughter when she was, yes you guessed it; five years old. I would notice that she always had a dollar, and when I asked her from whom she was getting these dollars, she told me. Little by little, bit by bit my memories of what he did to me came flashing back, piece, by disturbing piece. Why and how could I not remember such a tragic event(s). What I went through was so traumatic that I completely suppressed those awful, painful, soul murdering event(s).

I started self-medicating with food and as I got older with drugs: marijuana, powered cocaine that I put up my nose, added into cigarettes and rocked cocaine which I added in my marijuana. However, my self-medicating drug of choice is, and has been food. I noticed that when I ate I didn’t hurt; my mind become at ease, and it numbed my mental, emotional, and inter turmoil. That would be the start of my food addiction. I would steal food, hide food and worst of them all I would eat food from the trash; simply because I was 5 years old, and I needed my pain to stop.

What made this crucial time difficult and heartbreaking was the fact that I grew up in a time where nobody asked questions like: what’s wrong? Why are you eating so much? Why are you stealing food? Why are you hiding food? Why are you I doing this? Why are you acting like this?  No one tried to find out the why behind what I was doing… I was eating out of the trash, how not normal is that; especially when there was never a shortage of food in my home. I got a beating one day when I ate a rib out of the trash that wasn’t fully eaten. More shame, more guilt for little five year old me; I ate some ox-tails out of my mother’s pot one Saturday that she told us (my oldest Sheree’ and I) not to touch because they were for my father. I was maybe about 6, or 7 at the time. When my mother asked who ate them I said not me, my sister said not me (because she didn’t). I did! But I couldn’t tell the truth that was a for sure beating, I thought in my young mine. Well it was a beating never the less. I got beat; then my sister got beat. I got beat; then my sister got beat. This continued until I finally said that it was me…then I really got beat. I felt so sorry for causing my sister to get beat. She loved me, and I loved her. More shame; more guilt; more hurt.

By the time I was in elementary school I was overweight. For my age and height I was obese. Elementary school gave me an unwanted gift in the fourth grade when I was 9 years old; my menstrual cycle. I was not ready to deal with anything like that. Previously I stated that I hid my little tiny panties with at the time I didn’t know what that was in them; well I started doing the same thing again…I didn’t know why. I was yelled at. I was called nasty. I felt nasty. There was no answer, because there was no question, just statements…You’re nasty! You’re lazy! More shame; more guilt; more hurt. I felt dirty, and despised.  

I continued to act out in secret. My life was spiraling down quickly. By the time I was in middle school I was overflowing with shame, guilt, self-hatred, low self-esteem, depression and a frequent battle with thoughts of suicide. My behavior got worse; I started skipping school, because for some reason there were times when I just couldn’t function; for some reason my mind would become foggy, my eating increased at an even higher level, and my fantasies of suicide was just a part of my daily life. I needed more medicine, something different, something new, so I started cutting myself.

By the time I got to high school everything just got worse. I sank into a deeper depression; deeper anxiety, and an overwhelming inability to function at times. I was sneaking in the basement to hide until my sister left the house so I could get back in my bed and pull the covers over my head; hiding from it all. I skipped school so often that I was actually held back a year because I had missed so much school. Thank God that the guidance counselor was kind to me. She told me if I could get doctor excuses for the days that I was over the limit she would put me in my right grade. I did that with the help of my father, my mom and my dad never knew.

I knew something was wrong with me, what I didn’t know was what was going on within me. I wasn’t raised up in an era of; mom, dad I think that there’s something going on in my mind. No one was talking about these things in the 70’s and 80’s; well I’ll say no one that I knew. No one was talking about mental illness in my environment. I felt very alone and confused. I felt like I was a defective person walking around dazed, and in a fog. I was in so much pain; pain that at the time I didn't know where it was coming from, or why it was there.  My heart ached silently; my soul cried out in silence, and my spirit mourned silently, resulting from the devastation left by the aftermath of: sexual molestation, obesity physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, feeling unloved, not being understood, and undiagnosed mental illnesses.

At the age of 17, I attempted suicide by taking an overdose of diet pills, my suicidal thoughts continued for years.... This was my desperate attempt for someone; anyone; anybody to ask me, “Crystal what’s wrong?” I wanted someone to be aware of my internal suffering. It had gotten so bad I was beating myself in the head because the physical pain was easier to endure then the mental and emotional anguish. I wanted to get the negative thoughts out of my head; I was in so much pain.

I was overwhelmed from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and on other mental disorders brought on by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). That at the time I didn’t know of. All of this stemmed from the trauma of being molested as a child.  To add to my pain I was raped twice, once in my teens, and once in my early twenties. I felt numb, empty, dirty and ashamed. I was later diagnosed with having Bi-Polar Disorder. Since late childhood I battled the manic highs to the depressive lows.  I hated myself because I could not understand what was wrong with me! I lost friends and I hurt my family because I would isolate myself.   continued to abuse drugs and alcohol all to no avail.

My trauma affected my future relationships leading to domestic violence within two separate relationship. One of them being the relationship with the father of my deceased son; the other one in my marriage that lead to divorce. 

In late 1990, I started praying for answers because I was just could not take it all anymore. I started seriously thinking about contemplating suicide again.  I had overpowering thoughts of only if I could get a gun, I could blow my brains out. But the problem was I could only do it once, however I wanted feel the mental anguish leave my brain over and over again.

After praying for an answer my spirit lead me to pick up a pen and write down what I was feeling. So I did. And what came out of me was this…

·       Once in my lifetime, as I'm trying to get free,

·      who I really am, I wonder if I will ever be?

·      Time over time again,

·      never, ever reaching thee end.

·      All of my life I have been here; right here!

·      My family doesn't understand me,

·      but, they love me dear.

·      They tell me, Crystal you're beautiful;

·      They tell me, Crystal you're smart.

·      What do I say? 

·      I say that beauty is only as deep as skin.

       What do I say?

·      I say that what matters is what's in my heart.

I started writing because no one at the time knew what I was going through; no one understood what I was feeling. I just kept on writing  every time I needd to talk I talked to myself via pen and paper. I was just regurgitating what was inside of me and that was where my healing began; that’s where my journey toward recovery started. I would let my feelings escape through my poetry.

·      A young child when their innocence is lost,

·      they’re too young to understand

·      the infinity of the cost;

·      they’re too young to understand

·      the horrible death they just died;

·    they’re too young to be force to keep such a

     disruptive; deceptive; disgraceful secret inside.

  A young child when their innocence is lost can’t uderstand why?  

·     Why did he do that? Why didn’t anybody help them?

·      Why didn’t anyone know?

·      When a young child whose innocence has been lost grows up,

·      still the tears fall from their eye's,

·      there's still a deep hollow pain coming from their inside,

·      and no matter what, or how much they try,

·      that pain still won't be denied.

·      Grown up innocence lost can’t understand why;

·      why can’t they succeed at anything they try?

·      Why does a grown up child whose innocence was lost have wings,

·      yet still so reluctant to fly?

·      They're afraid so they'll never know how fast; how far; how high.

·      They think they’ve put it behind them,

·      they don’t make the connection,

·      they don’t realize that their today's profound loss

·      are the results of the infinity of the cost,

·      of their innocence lost.

I kept writing as I was trying to figure things out. What is this up today down tomorrow? What is this not able to sleep for days at a time? What is this being able to leap buildings for days at a time, all to switch by and fourth at an unannounced moment at any time? One day I shared some of my poetry with my counselor at the Berkley Community Mental Health Clinic. 

SOME~THING

·      There’s an emptiness inside that I can no longer hide.

·      My mind and my body are aching; my soul is breaking.

·      Why does some-thing fight so hard

·      against me reaching my shining star?

·      Everything within me wants to be free,

·      but, there is some-thing so strong fighting me.

·      This some-thing knows all about my past.

·      This some-thing knows exactly what to do

·       to make this emptiness last.

·      As I try to make it through my day,

·      one minute I’m happy,

·      the next minute I’m sad.

·      Some-thing keeps reminding me

·      of the things in my life that are bad.

·      As I try to live my life,

·      there are weeks that I’m up. Way up!

·      There are weeks that I’m down. Way down!

·      There are times when I can deal with family, and friends.

·      There are times when I can’t deal with anyone being around.

·      This battleground is in my mind.

·      Some-thing knows where to go all the time.

·      I start to wonder,

·      is this the way that my life is supposed to be,

·      fighting for so long and so hard just to be me?

·      What if this is just who I am?

·      No! I will not accept that this is the only reason

·      that I was put on this land.

·      I know that some-thing is fighting me just to keep me down;

·      because something doesn’t want me to receive my crown.

The counselors told me that my poems were showing that I was suffering from Bi-Polar Disorder. We started dealing with the disorder. Yes, the medicine gave me some relief, however there was still something going on, and I told her so. Then she asked me about the traumatic events in my life. Sadly, I asked her what she was talking about. Traumatic I thought was like being in war. Well she said “like rape” she mentioned some other things as well. Then I said nonchalantly, oh yea I’ve been raped twice, molested, I held my newborn baby when I was 19 until he took his last breaths, and turned cold in my arms. I’ve been abused (black eyes, busted lips, chipped teeth, I had the only pictures of my son ripped out of my hands as I f tried with all my might hold on to then, only to have my ex, his father throw them in the fire and burn them, and then walked away leaving crying on the kitchen floor, where I stayed all night. She looked at me and suggested that I attend a class on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Going to the (PTSD) class was/is very helpful for me. I started understanding my confusing behaviors. The first day that I walked into the class the teacher had all the symptoms of (PTSD) on the board.  I was shocked; I was happy, however, mostly I was sad. Why sad?  Because it took the stress, depression, anxiety, panic, guilt, shame, isolation, and more into perspective. I realized that I Crystal Anitta Davis was gone; my uniqueness; my authentic self was gone, long gone, and I had been walking around since I was five years old with an undiagnosed mental illness whom symptoms replace my personally with its own. However, I now knew the truth, and I was free from years of confusion. 

One day while in the (PTSD) class the teacher was talking about the benefits of having a life that is routine has on decreasing the symptoms of (PTSD). I wanted to cry. Why? Because when I went to work overseas in Iraq I didn’t suffer the same symptoms, I had a few panic attacks, and the anxiety was still there, but they were for the most part kept at bay. I woke up at 1:30am and went to the gym. By 4:15am I was in the shower. By 5:25am I was dressed and on my way to breakfast. 6am I was at work, lunch, back to work until 6:30pm. Shower and in bed by 7:15pm, and then did the same thing over and over, again and again. WOW!

   “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”    ~Jesus (John 8: 32, NLT)

Please let me explain:

This is my reason…

So why would I tell such a personal, and some may say embarrassing story to the public? While I was working overseas in Iraq from 2008- 2009, in support of our troops, I realized from working with; being around sociably, talking to, and making friends with people from all the different countries and states working over there that every person that I came in contact with had the question; Why? The same question; How? Why do I hurt so badly? Where is this pain coming from? Why do I act this way? Why am I so bitter? Why do I do the things that I do? Why do I say the things that I say? Why do I feel the way I feel? How do I stop? Oh for sure each question was as unique to the individual, just as each individual is unique unto themselves. However, what I came to understand is that life is universal; pain is the same; we all have at least one question why? We all have at least one question how?

My Joy…

MY JOY TODAY IS THAT I NOW CONSIDER ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME AS GIFTS. WHY? I NOW HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I NEED.WHY? BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND; I HAVE EMPATHY, COMPASSION, PASSION, AND A DRIVE TO HELP EASE THE PAIN OF OTHERS; PAIN THAT'S ATTACHED TO THE QUESTIONS: WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY CHILD? WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY SPOUSE? WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY SISTER, WHAT WRONG WITH MY BROTHER, MY FRIEND, MY NEIGHBOR, WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY CO-WORKER?

ALL OF THEE ABOVE (PLUS MORE) ARE DIFFERENT CHAPTERS OF MY LIFE, AND CHAPTERS IN MY SOON TO BE RELEASED BOOK. ENTITLED “My poetic Journey In Search Of: Wisdom; Knowledge; Insight, And Understanding”.SUBTILED “Unraveling the devastating effects caused by: SEXUAL MOLESTATION, OBESITY, UNDIAGNOSED MENTAL ILLNESSES, AND LOW SELF-ESTEEM.”

THIS BOOK IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A POETRY BOOK. IT’S MY BIOGRAPHY; IT’S MY GIFT TO ALL; IT’S THE FIRST STEP OF MY LIFE JOURNEY, WRITTEN FROM THE DEEPEST PLACE WITHIN MY HEART; WRITTEN FROM THE DEPTH OF MY SOUL. WRITTEN FROM MY INTERNAL PAIN, THAT TURNED INTO THE JOY OF MY SOUL; IN MY UNIQUE STYLE OF WRITING FOR YOU, AND FOR YOURS.

This is our story…

Even if you have not been affected personally by sexual molestation you know someone’s life you love who has been effected.

The power of healing just one person…

Please share my story about how I was broken and became whole. If this story helps just one person it has the potential to help generations.

I Love You All!

Crystal A.Davis

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