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Ever played Virtual Villagers? It’s a Sims-style game where you get 5 villagers and you have to figure out how to feed them, keep them well, and build various things. It’s not fascinating, but it’s not the worst way to kill some time.

The bamboo enclosure.

The bamboo enclosure.

There are five of them. The last one, True Believers, is fairly creepy–at least for someone with a cult-upbringing (like me). You have to “convert” the “heathens.” Yeah. Seriously.

I bring this up only because the Villagers in question have been “captured” by said heathens and are imprisoned in a bamboo-looking kind of enclosure. One of the first challenges of the game is to take the enclosure down. Which is actually incredibly easy.

As far as I remember, you drop a Villlager on it, and that’s what he or she does. Starts taking it apart. If you set two of the Villagers on the task, it’s down within hours.

The prison in my head is still coming down.

This morning a neighbor came for coffee. She brought cookies. She’s nice that way. She’s also a terrifically good cook.

Was it the coffee?

Was it the coffee?

We covered a lot of ground over that coffee. Cafe La Llave must be good stuff. Or maybe it was the cookies. Whatever it was, I told her rather bluntly that I had been trafficked for sex as a child. I would talk about it in softer terms, but I don’t know how. There is simply no easier way to say it. So I told her, not the details or the stories I’ve shared in some of my posts, but the bare fact of it.

She teared up when I said that. And later, she said if I needed anything…

She’s a nice person, like I said.

I couldn’t manage to tell her, as I have said much more easily in this space, that she had already given me what I needed. Because what I need–what I think we all need–is for someone to simply be with us. And she was with me.

I didn’t say either, while she teared up at the thought of my suffering, that being able to speak about it pulls down the prison in my head. Being able to speak means that it is over. It means it is safe to speak, there will be no consequences for it. It means the prison has been torn down and the jailers have gone away.

There is nothing greater she could do for me than that.

Thank you to all of you who are with me while I tear this prison down.