I was in Mombasa when I got the call. From the other end of the phone “Sarah is missing”. I didn’t even blink. I thought for sure my daughter was just misbehaving, maybe ran off with a boy somewhere, or running away because she didn’t want to go back to school since it was the first day back to school. I continued with my day as usual, taking the other kids back to school and flying back to Nairobi. But then when it started getting dark and she still wasn’t home was when I began to get scared.
A week ago my daughter was abducted right off the street we live on. The supposed “safe” street that I’ve walked down a million times. She was abducted, drugged, and then held in a trafficking ring for 2 days. I had no idea where she was. It was the most terrifying experience as a parent. I was afraid she may be dead. The first night I slept on the couch, as close to the door as I could, just hoping the bell would ring and it would be Sarah. Two days later I got a text message saying “Mum it’s Sarah. Don’t call. I’m in trouble. I need help”. We continued to text and through her texts I learned about what had happened to her and the hell she was living. That’s when shit got real to me. The search was on. It was even more painful for me to be in contact with her and hear what was happening to her and not be able to do anything about it. As a parent you want to protect your kids. Not being able to do that was so hard.
Eventually Sarah escaped and after jumping through lots of hoops, she is safely home with me. I thought when she was finally home with me the hell would be over. No. She’s completely traumatized. She won’t even sleep in her own bed. She sleeps next to me every night and spends most of her days in my bed.
I am writing this because my therapist told me that I need to process what happened instead of trying to be so strong and trying to escape reality. So this is an attempt to process what I experienced and what I am feeling. My house feels full of weight, especially my room where Sarah is. It just feels heavy and dark. I sage, I diffuse oil, but her sadness is stubborn. So of course I am experiencing vicarious trauma. As her main support, a lot of her emotions fall on me and I have been absorbing them. I feel like I need a bath to wash off all the pain and trauma. I feel like there’s a shell around me and I need someone to crack it open for me.
The past several days I have just been running away trying to pretend this didn’t happen. But it did. And it makes me really fucking angry. I was in such a good space before this. I was so happy. I have plans for the next few months that will make me happy. But this awful thing has just come in and destroyed all of that. I want to feel better. I want my baby to feel better. I want this to be over. But one step at a time. And me actually writing this is the first step. Sarah is going to therapy and going on her own healing journey as well. I can’t let this awful thing completely ruin everything. Light overcomes darkness. So I am going to keep praying, keep thinking positively, fight for my joy, do yoga, burn my sage and incense, diffuse my oils, write, meditate and use all the tools I have to overcome horrible tragedies like this one. Eventually the light will overcome. Jesus. Jesus will overcome and bring peace and joy. Eventually i’ll be able to feel more and even tell the story. Eventually I won’t be angry anymore. But one step, one step at a time.