I remember this day clearly when these two photos were taken. I was 7 years old and just months earlier I was locked in a room with a monster screaming for someone to save me. No one heard my screams. On this particular day the trauma no one knew caused me to become emotionally upset and angry. I remember keeping my head down and just holding onto the tiny bear I am holding in the photos not responding to the social worker or school psychologist. I became even more frustrated and sat pouting and just wanted to go back to my classroom. I eventually asked to get a drink of water from the drinking fountain and the social worker walked me down the hallway. They both decided it was best not to take me back in the office and instead decided to take me to the playground at the school. One of them took the top picture of me. I was the only one on the playground but I remember it calmed me down to be outside and not in that office with people asking me questions I did not know how to answer. Being outside calmed me down. I was eventually talked into going back inside by telling me they were going to take another photo inside. As we walked down the hall they asked me to pick a place where I would like my picture taken and I loved that colorful wall and picked that place. You can see from the first photo to the second the frustration and tension had left my face.
The image in the park says so much to me. It is a peek into the soul of a lost child in pain. Pain no one can see, pain I can clearly remember feeling. Pain I ignored for 15 years. Pain that took me so long to give a voice.
I wish I could reach into these photos and pull her out of them because I know the horror she is holding onto. I wish I could rescue her and save her. All that is left of her is a memory. A memory the grown woman she turned into is finally giving a voice.