[Trigger warning: sexual violence]
Thirty-five. The number of years of life I am celebrating.
Thirty-five. The number of times she is forced to have sex with different men a day. She’s only 7 years old.
Let that sink in.
Being the idealist that I am, before I had Alena, I imagined our feeding times to be like this: myself as a gentle, nurturing mother looking affectionately at the sweet babe suckling at my breast as we nestled together in the rocking chair. A week after we brought her home, that picture could not be farther from reality. Well, everything except for the rocking chair. It was 6am in the morning, she was thrashing about and crying, I was hysterical and crying, and milk was everywhere but in her tummy.