• Laura Alvarado-Newson

Hope filled cookies

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

"My mom would get very mad if she knew I was here". She was a neighbor, who we didn't know very well. I would sit at her tiny kitchen table where a plate of warm, delicious cookies waited for me. The window next to the table was wide open and I could see my house from there. I could feel the breeze and eat as many cookies as I wanted as this warm, sweet stranger neighbor read to me from a big black book. This book had red letters in it like my little books ( see previous post about my little books). I only recall visiting my stranger neighbor a few times and, yes, did get in trouble for it, sometimes even hit because I was going into a strangers apartment. My mom could see me in the window. As a mom, I get it; however, as a little girl who was experiencing things that no little girl should experience, this neighbor was an angel! Her cookies were delicious and her voice, as she read, was filled with so much love and hope. I kept going back even though a spanking might be waiting for me later.

I was around 8 or 9 and this was the glorious time when children ran around outside until the street lights turned on. I knew not to go too far, I had to be able to hear mom calling my name. I was a sweet little girl, innocent and polite and had a hard time sticking up for myself. I always worried I would hurt someone's feelings too. Unfortunately there are people who prey on children like this. Her name was Olivia, she was in 6th grade, I was in 3rd I think. Us, 3rd graders looked at the 6th graders with fear and respect. I don't know why Olivia chose me to pick on but she did. I mean, come on, there were more pathetic little girls, I wasn't the only one. Why didn't she choose the little girl who smelled like pee, every one knew about her and her smell. Many times she wanted to hang out with me because everyone teased her, I didn't want to hang out with her, but I didn't want to be mean, so there we were, quiet little Laura and pee girl. This never helped my reputation. So if I wasn't hanging out with " you know who" I was hiding and trying to get out of dodge from big bad Olivia. One day she sends a note to me through another kid. The note read "hang out with me or I will kill you". Did I mention she lived across the street from me? Well, that settled it, I guess I was hanging out with Olivia, I didn't want to die. Olivia began to tease and threaten me in school, until pee girl stepped in furiously (kinda scary to watch) and would scare Olivia away. Maybe I could tolerate her smell. Unfortunately, as soon as school let out, I was being hunted by Olivia. I went home to tell my mom that I met a new friend and "really wanted to hang out with her" per the instructions on the death threat. Apparently, I was a good actress because mom agreed to let me go across the street to hang out with my new-found friend, Olivia. Oh joy.....

As I got to know Olivia and her family, I started to feel bad for her. She was bullied by her older brothers and sisters and her father was always yelling and his breathe stunk. I don't remember her mom. Her brothers always wore bandanas around there heads and had tatoos, one of them flashed a knife in front of my face once. I think I became a pee girl that day. The sisters had black hair and alot of eyeliner. As I got older, I realized they were a part of gangs. I remember my mom telling me to NEVER sit on anyone's lap, especially the dad. I was very obedient. He invited me to his lap several times, but I refused. When it was too cold to play outside, Olivia and I would watch TV on her couch together, she always insisted we needed a blanket, even though I wasn't cold. What Olivia wanted, Olivia got. I was always in between being terrified of her and feeling bad for her. I never liked her though. One day, we were watching tv, with a blanket over our legs, then it happened. She sexually abused me. I felt confused and even more scared. The day went blank after that. I know I didn't tell my mom. My fear of this girl was far greater than any other thing, in my mind. Did it continue happening? I can't tell you. Did I keep hanging out with her, yes. I even " begged" my mom to go on their family trip to Mexico with them. She let me, I will never understand that part. It was a scary week for me in so many ways. From falling off of a horse to being in a truck with no seatbelts while a 5 year old little cousin was on Olivia's dad's lap driving the car. While every one laughed. Talk about HOMESICK!!!! Even to this day, I thank God He watched out for me.

Remember when I mentioned how my mom loved Fridays, a chance to dance, have a good time and party. I remember arguments between mom and my stepdad, because he wanted to stay home and watch boxing, but she wanted to go out. Sometimes she would go out with a neighbor friend. She looked indian. She had a long braid, alot shorter then my mom and her apartment had alot of beads hanging in the doorways. I know this because mom would leave me and my baby sister with this woman's teenage son, while they went out. This boy always came out in a towel, that was it. My baby sister was always in her carrier, so she must have been only a few months old. I don't know what it was about guys wanting me to sit on their laps, but he would put on a scary movie about birds and tell me to sit on his lap because the movie was scary. I was abused by him too, it was a few times before I blocked it out this time. I remember watching out for my baby sister, which kept me mentally all there. I never let him take her out of her carrier, I blocked him when he tried.

This apartment was in the same complex as the cookie-Bible neighbor stranger.

I truly believe this was my second real encounter with Jesus. He loved on me through the stranger neighbor, she shared words of hope and life to me, which I truly believe protected my heart during the ugly times. This is my second eye-witness account of Jesus.

He is real!!!

I do want to share that my mom was very loving and protective. Do I agree with some occurrences? No, but I do know, that if I would have told her what was happening to me, she would have saved me and stopped it. There is something about a child getting sexually abused. In my immature mind, I let it happen. My mom told me not to let anyone touch me " there", but I did. So I was responsible and didn't want to get in trouble, so I hid it.

The Lord has healed me and I have forgiven my abusers, now I am able to help others.

Parents, when telling your kids, not to let anyone touch them " there", include this: "if someone does touch you there, it is not your fault, come and tell me and I will help you." A child cannot stop someone bigger from doing what they want to do".

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