Cucumbers Have Thorns and Snakes Love Strawberries is a true story about the most unspeakable secrets—revealed and released. As a survivor of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, I have looked in the mirror many times and asked: “Who should I be mad at? Who should I blame for stealing—like a thief in the night—my innocence, and my childhood?” Each time I tried to point a finger at an individual or the system that was supposed to protect children like me, I always returned to the same answer: No one! Why? Because my story isn’t about blame or confronting the perpetrators. It’s about digging deep, and recovering and reviving the love, acceptance, and forgiveness buried deep inside me. It’s about being empowered. It’s about becoming whole again. Self-empowerment is what has given me the strength to write this book of horrors, detailing how a lost soul, holding on to only a child’s prayer, overcame. Cucumbers Have Thorns and Snakes Love Strawberries is a compilation of painful memories once trapped in the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind. The book’s purpose is to provide insight, and call to the forefront those of us who have ignored the cries of the wounded and often forgotten children—children who have suffered unimaginable horrors through the hands of the very people assigned to protect them. It is not intended to lash out, but to yell out, to all who will hear. I have chosen to change the names of family, friends and abusers. I hope in time, each may face their truths and deal with whatever demons have followed them from the past to the present.
It is important for the reader to visualize in graphic detail what I experienced as a child who was trying to make sense of the senseless. I have not embellished, nor have I lied to make myself look good or to make circumstances or people appear better or worse than they were. Many times, my heart felt so heavy it hurt to take a simple breath. While a part of me yearned for someone to rush into my tangled life and give me a huge hug and make everything better, another part of me turned callous, hard, and unfeeling––often behaving as if I didn’t need anyone, whipping out sarcasms and hurtful words at every turn. Yet, even then, it was the comfort of a kind soul that I needed most. I always desired love and companionship far more than I was willing to admit. I believe it may have been that same desperate longing for love, acceptance, and companionship that eventually caused me to leave my husband for my molester.