by Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew - Survivor
Most People look at Independence day & are excited about about the Fireworks, BBQ’s, & Parades, yet some don’t even realize why we initially have the holiday: Freedom. Most of you know you’re free but have never lived in a position to understand what exactly that means.
My definition of Freedom is deeper than most. For SO Long my freedom was nonexistent. My every move was watched, my every conversation was observed, My clothing & food portions and options were at the mercy of another. Living in fear and terror, I had no ability to make or understand decisions & my physical self seemed to belong to everyone but me.
In My Life now, most would believe I am free, by comparison to my life before. Yes it’s true, I’ve now found the freedom to make my own decisions as & when I choose, able to speak to anyone I feel the want to, eat until I burst if I choose, learning moreso my capabilities, finding people who truly care for my best interests rather than negotiating the price they could get for me.
Yet, Freedom is something I’m STILL learning to fully obtain. People don’t understand how hard it is to escape the Mental Chains around the mind that were placed upon me. Years later for me, I am still endeavoring to TRULY understand that I am not a Slave, and neither man nor money validates my worth. I am STILL distinguishing who I am from what was done to me. I am & will be something greater than what was expected.
I have freedom but I am also still learning to UNDERSTAND Freedom.The Number of Youth who are Domestically trafficked and sexually exploited in our Country is More Than You can believe. Our Country deserves their talents, capabilities and Potential, which is greater than I, you, or we could ever imagine Just as much as they deserve freedom. While we set up for our annual holiday activities, remember today on this July 4th Someone somewhere is searching for their own freedom. I encourage you in your own life to think about the freedom you have, and How you can help free the enslaved Children in our country.
“Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of Slavery” ~Wayne Dyer
Photo: Misssey Gala
More on “T“‘s story via CBS.