If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you may have gotten a sense that I haven’t always coped with life in healthy ways. You may have learned my running used to not have a positive purpose. You may have gotten a drift that clean water is a cause I 100% support, believing it to be an inalienable right of every individuals. What I have yet to share with you is the history behind why life seemed so unbearable to me, how I became filled with a warped sense of self that sent me down a spiraling journey of self-injury. It is part of this side of my story however, that helped growa passion for clean water in me. Here’s part of the tale.
I was 11 years old the first time I remember attracting an older man’s attention. For two years, a man 40 years my senior flattered me with gifts, sat in the back pew of all my shows, took advantage of my compassion and naivety. For two years I silently bore the weight of his uncomfortable attention, the stifling closeness, the manipulation that I was responsible for his happiness. I felt trapped, broken, scared. I believed if I said anything or stopped responding to his affection, he would do something drastic with his life. I am forever grateful my mother had the insight to realize more lay under the surface of what I shared when I finally did have the courage to speak up. I never saw him again. This side of my story and the trauma I experienced were not the sole cause of my addiction and mental health deterioration. They did however, contribute significantly to the creation of an identity and thought pattern filled with self-loathing, a false sense of being unlovable, believing I was not good enough.
In truth, no human is cabaple of entirely satisfying someone’s needs. In truth, my responsibility as an 11 and 12 year old was not to fulfill this older man’s perverted yearning for relationship. In truth, everyday across the globe and down the street, men, women and children fall victim to the manipulation, violence and captivity of perverted relationships, of slavery. Everyday, men, women and children are held captive–not just with chains and whips, but also with the mental and emotional chains formed through control, bondage, abuse. While victims are claimed through many different methods and mediums, the walk for water is one of the largest sources of human trafficking. The remote routes, averaging 3.74 miles one way, are the perfect hiding place for evil to lurk patiently.
Clean water eliminates illness, dehydration, death. Clean water increases quality of life on both individual and communal levels as more time and energy are now available to put to community advancement projects such as education and farm development. Clean water can spare 11 and 12 year old children (as well as individuals of all other ages) from the horrors of chains, of sunless, airless, soiled quarters, of the physical, mental and emotional abuse of trafficking lords and customers. Personally, that means the world to me. Personally, I would run 10,000 miles for that (with a goal of completing a marathon in all seven continents and all seven world majors, I’m working on that!)) The horrors experienced by over 115 million children alone each min of the day is unacceptible. It’s dispicable. That statistic IS destroyable. One gift of clean water at a time. It’s possible. We can tangibly eliminate a primary source for human trafficking. Will you help?