What I want to say is really quite simple, but I’m finding it difficult today. I just don’t have the words there, it seems, or they are too hard to string together properly.

Nata didn’t just die for me. Maybe she didn’t even die mostly for me, although I feel certain she would have. She died for the baby. And that makes me understand I didn’t just break free of trafficking for me either. I did that for the baby too.

And although maybe it doesn’t seem to make sense—because a lot of the repercussions for me were quite dangerous—I resisted because I knew that if I could not protect myself, then I wasn’t going to be able to protect my baby. It needed to be clear that I wouldn’t allow my baby to be trafficked or to be groomed for a life of sexual abuse. My baby wasn’t going to be treated the way I had been, and that started with showing I wasn’t afraid for my own safety. I could stand up for myself and for what I thought was important.

It doesn’t have to be like that, but it was like that. And it feels better to know this just because I have more of the pieces. I have the puzzle together, it feels, and the pieces are in the right places. None of them have been crammed into a place where they don’t quite belong.

There are so many puzzles for me to put together, and this is just one of them, but it feels good to have one done, even if the respite is brief and all it means is that I can go on to the next one.