Love & Hate for my childhood home

This is a picture of my childhood home.
In this home, there was joy and laughter.
Home-cooked meals, singing and talks about Jesus.
In this home, my father demonstrated a good work ethic, respect, and integrity.
In this home, I played with Lincoln logs, cars, chess boards, and much more with my brother.
In this home, I felt loved and cared for.

However, in this same home, a hired farm worker raped me before I was old enough to attend school.
In this same home, my dad whooped me with his belt when he discovered that his friend was abusing me (I don’t believe that he knew how to handle the news).
In this same home, I often went to bed crying because I didn’t feel safe in my own body.
In this same home, I often thought about what this world would be like without me in it.

Before you question my reason for sharing this, please let me say:
I don’t share this out of spite, unforgiveness, or to give anyone a bad name.
Nor do I share this to gain attention or sympathy.
I share because for years I allowed the influence of others to silence me.
I share this because I traded the narrative of truth for a false narrative of positivity.
I share this because there were points in my life where I believed that I was better off dead than alive.

….But most of all, I share this because I know that there are others that share a similar story.
And they need to know that it’s ok to speak the truth.
They need to know that it’s ok to both love and hate a place… a time of the year… a certain song…. a certain scent…. or a certain voice.

This is my childhood home.
I both love and despise it.
It is where I felt love.
It is where I felt pain.
It is where my story began.

Unapologetically Yours,

John Eli

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