I found Star in my room staring at a doll and crying, crying in a way I had never heard anyone cry before. I had no idea how the doll from my childhood would make her so upset. Instantly I regretted leaving it out.
“I’m sorry if the doll scares you. I can put it away.”
“No please don’t.”
“I don’t understand Star, I thought you were afraid of the doll.”
“No. I had a baby once.” Star said.
I knew Star was trying to tell me something, for some reason she trusted me, in a way she had trusted no one else. She opened up to me, in a way I had not expected. Perhaps she too had dreamed of having a sister.
“I am sorry what happened to your doll?”
“It wasn’t a doll I gave birth to a child. I was raped by my Father and several men in the village when I was nine, and became pregnant. I was lucky I was not killed.”
Lord what kind of monster does this? What kind of monsters hurts their own child in this way, and feels it’s okay to do so?
“I am so sorry.” I said not knowing what else to say. I prayed that the monsters had not killed the child.
“I am sorry Star, if it’s to painful for you to look at, I can put the doll up. I did not know. I am sorry.”
“No please don’t put the doll up. I like it. I know I am too old for childish things, but I…” Star did not finish the sentence. But she did not need to, she did not have to explain anything to me.
“If you like it, you may have it.”
“Oh really, thank you. I can not thank you enough for this.”
No wonder Star was so afraid, so hurt, and building a wall around herself so no one else could penetrate that wall and hurt her. She had been hurt enough in her life, and now I was starting to understood why she was the way she was to everyone. She was not trying to push everyone away, she was trying to protect herself from being hurt again.
I was growing to grow fond of my sister, this child who was forced to grow up far to soon. She was only thirteen four years my junior and she had endured things I could never imagine.
The doll had been a child companion to me, but right now Star definitely needed the companionship more than I did. Star needed so much more than I could give her.
I could not imagine living the life my sister had lived. I had spent my life sheltered from that kind of evil. I knew evil existed, and it’s forces were very real, but I had not seen the scars of evil on a child like Star, ever before.
I could not understand this world Star came from, a world where Father’s raped their daughters, and did not get punished for it.
“I am sorry Hope, if I upset you, by telling you some of the things that happened to me.”
“No you don’t have to be sorry, I am glad you told me Hope. I am sorry you had to endure them, but glad you told me.”
“I think about my baby sometimes, when I am laying awake at night. I do not know what they did to my baby, I hope she is safe somewhere. I held it for a brief moment, long enough to know it was a girl.”
I was grateful that Star was opening up to me more, but I knew their was still so many things I did not know about my younger sister. She truly was my sister now, it did not matter that we were born of different parents, in very different places. We were sisters now and that was truly what mattered.
“Mom Star told me some things that are really hurting me. She has endured so much. Did you know that she was raped repeatedly by her Father and other men of her village? That at the age of nine she became pregnant, and gave birth to a little girl? She told me that, after my doll set her off?”
“No I did not know all of that. I only knew what the adoption agency told me. The truth is I don’t think they knew everything. There were so many things they did not know. It makes sense now, why Star is so afraid of your Father though.”
Lord help Star, and help us through this. She needs you Lord but she is afraid, so afraid, and she needs us. She is terrified of our Father, the gentlest man in the world, but she does not know that. She is afraid he will turn out to be a monster. He is so far from that Lord, he only wants to protect us, show Star that dear Lord.
“How can someone do this to their own child Mom? How can they rape their own child, and torture her? I can not even imagine.”
“Neither can I Hope, and in a perfect world, that would never happen, but sweetie we do not live in a perfect world, your sister is hurting, she is afraid, and with good reason, but we have to show her the good Lord is greater than her fears.”
“I try to tell her about Jesus, she rejects him, she says she does not believe in God at all, that a loving God would not allow things like this to happen.”
“Just keep reaching out to her Hope, she trusts you, and eventually she will open up to others, but right now she needs you. I think I am going to call the Pastor of our church and see if he knows of a good Christian Counselor preferably a woman, because Star is so afraid of men.”
“I think that is a good idea Mom. Star needs help and I am trying to help her, but I can only do so much.”
“Hope the Lord is using you to reach to Star, and we are all grateful for that, but you are right she needs someone more qualified to help her.”
“I don’t know how I am doing it Mom, but the Lord is giving me the strength.”
“I want to talk to Star, but I do not want to frighten her, perhaps you should come with me. I know she trusts you.”
“Alright Mom, please be gentle with her.”
“You know I will Hope.”
Mom was right, she was always gentle with me, even when I was at times selfish, a now it all who at times thought I had the answers to everything. For a long time I thought a higher IQ gave me the right to treat others like they were lesser than I was, but that had faded away, especially after seeing Star, after listening to what she had told me.
I prayed daily for Star, asking the Lord to show her that he loved her, that he saw her as worthy, and I prayed too that she would grow to see that we loved her as well. I prayed that somehow, someway my younger sister, would see that the things that happened to her did not make her any less of a person. She was not to blame for the things her Father and those men had done to her, but she blamed herself anyway. I could not say I would have felt any differently had I been in her situation.
I watched as Mom tried to get Star to tell her the things she had so easily talked to me about, to no avail, and I watched as Star tried to be brave, when Mom told her she was going to get her help. In Star’s eyes that meant their was something wrong with her, that she was somehow flawed, though that was not the case. We loved Star just as she was, we just hated seeing her hurt so much.