One Victim's Voice
edited: Thursday, September 13, 2001
By Caryn M. Day-Suarez
Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2001
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This article was written for and was published in the Victim's Advocate a monthly paper put out by the Justice Coalition of Jacksonville, FL., September 13, 2001
"Not wanting to wake anyone in our house I opened the door quietly, so that it would not squeak, and went to put my hand on the light switch to turn on the hall light. When I had stepped into the house and touched the wall plate the next thing that I knew was that I was on the floor. I had been pulled in from behind and then thrown forward by being hit on the back of the head by a force so hard that I did not even know how I had gotten there. In the meantime, one of my shoes had come off and was lying outside in the snow. The screen door was still open. I could not turn around. Again there was a crashing pain to the back of my head. It felt cold, then hot and then pain. "Oh my God." I just kept thinking over and over to myself. All I could think of was that somebody must have broken into our house and killed everybody and now they were waiting for me! Then somebody pulled me up by the back of my hair. They pulled me to my feet and I could feel my hair being yanked out. Again the crashing pain and it was then I figured out that I was being hit repeatedly with a baseball bat! I could not breathe. I could not scream. I was like a rag doll. I was in the dark and I could not see anything. So much ran through my mind. Then I heard the bat hit the floor and my hair being grabbed and yanked tighter and tighter being wrapped around someone's fist. This wasn't the first time this technique had been used on me before. Then I heard his voice and I knew who was doing this to me. It was my father."
Growing up in a small Midwest town in the 1970's was not real easy for me or my four brothers and sister. We felt like we were on "Survivor" for 6,570 days. We had never wanted to be contestants. The only way we could play that game was either to run away or band our alliances together in love and understanding and support of each other, not plot against each other. Survival meant helping each other to hopefully live from day to day. We tried to "live around" what happened to us behind our closed doors. We lived with a dark and embarrassing secret. The fact was the whole town knew it back then anyway, but nobody would help us. Nobody would listen. Nobody wanted to get involved.
"Living Crazy Like Fly" is my story of the first 18 years of my life surviving abusive parents back in the 1970's. It is also a thank you to my heroes that got me through it, even though the thank you's are a few years late in arriving. Serving up your guts on a plate for all to read has been both tremendously rewarding and scary. A lot of people have come forward and said they also went through pretty much the same experiences that I did or worse growing up in that same time period. It has been good therapy for me to write my story, and at the same time, I still cannot read certain sections of my book aloud at signings or speaking engagements because the visions come back to clear. The pain, humiliation and fear never go away. The scars I still look at every day in the mirror are nothing compared to the ones I still have in my heart. They are a part of me forever and I must learn how to put them to good use.
Long ago I vowed to myself and God above that I would never ever allow one person to crush my soul, my spirit, and my dreams. They could beat me physically to a pulp, or even take my life, but they would never be able to beat me. In writing my story, and we all have one friends, I hope to raise money for Safe Place. I want kids to know that there are people that care, places you can go in an abusive home life situation today. I have lectured at the University of North Florida, Mandarin High School, several other area high schools, in the hopes to get the message out of child/adult awareness that unfortunately abuse is still alive and well. That help is available if we can keep it available. That teens should not abuse the system by reporting their parents and having files started and police time wasted just to get back at their parents for being disciplined themselves for punishments/restrictions they deserved. That by doing so they are tying up valuable time and resources for people waiting for help that really need it. I hope to be more active in Neighborhood Watch and Community Watch. Yeah, my neighborhood and my community knew all about what was going on at my house, but nobody wanted to help or get involved. We were a great family to gossip about back then. They turned their backs on us. The frustration and pain caused one of my brothers to run away at 17 and it took us 20 years to find him again. All of my life I have asked God, why? Why did we have to go through this? Were we evil little kids? Were we not deserving of love? Yet, I believe He lets everything happen for a reason. His answer to me was simple. Tell your story. Love and appreciate those I sent you to get you through this thing called life.
If my book and my story does nothing more then cause one person to tell their parents thank you for being so great, one mother to pack up her kids and decide to be strong and
leave an abusive husband, one child to pick up a phone to call for help; one person to pick up a phone and call an old friend to say hi and "thanks for being there for me", then my book and my life has been worthwhile. My story is about six siblings, four great friends, two abusive parents, and one small Midwest town. I am but one victim's voice just trying to make a difference in a big way. And you know what they say about 1 + 1? It all adds up to numbers you cannot even imagine!
"Living Crazy Like Fly", by Caryn Suarez is available at Barnes & Nobles stores both Mandarin and Regency. It can also be ordered through www.bn.com, www.amazon.com, www.borders.com. Visit Caryn's website through www.authorsden.com.
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|Reviewed by Patricia Behnke
|Caryn, Your story is inspiring and I'm sure it has helped others in similar situations. I love the line about never letting anyone step on your spirit! Remember that always.
|Reviewed by Divinity 11
|OMG, this is amazing.....God does work through us if we let him...I am doing the same thing with my experiences. you may be interested in it
Carry on, Sister. For what you do will bring healing to many.
|Reviewed by G Donais
|I must say, reading this was like looking in the mirror, my new Book " Not Just A Touch" deals with a childhood of abuse. Very well written, like you my goal is to educate socity about the problems of abuse. Contact me if you like. Thanks|
|Reviewed by Shelley Moss
You and I seem to have a lot in common and I am still on my journey of healing. Your writing is clean and direct and I hope it at least helps someone. Please have a look at some of my writing and give me an honest review. Also, please email me, I think you and I can open new doors!
|Reviewed by Patricia Kilbourn
|Very well done.|
|Reviewed by Deanna Jones (Reader)
|Reviewed by Victoria Murray