Even walking the Edmonton streets I knew I wasn’t just another girl trying to survive this unfaithful world. I was 14. I had a name. I am Christine Brighteyes.
I suffered inside talking to myself about things that I wanted in my life and praying to the lord to set me free from crack cocaine. I fought demons that haunted in my past and into my future. I could not love myself or know what love was growing in foster homes and group homes.
A man asked me to come to his apartment for a beer. I thought he was funny and pretty cool as he cracked jokes with me at the bus stop on 107 ave. As soon as I got to his place his temper rose and he threw me to the floor and beat me with his fists and kicked me in the head with his feet. As I lay on the living room floor I whispered to God to tell my family I love them. I was dragged down three flights of stairs by my hair. I remembered how happy I was when I was a child, having lots of laughs with my siblings, as we would run in shopping carts down the Edmonton blocks pretending that we were in cars. My head hurt and I could not keep myself awake. I woke up two weeks later.
At night I would cry and ask God for a normal life. The angels that sang inside said ‘its okay Christine life will get better in time.’ Sometimes I wished I were a different me. Someone not hiding behind a fake laugh. Not selling my body for another toke to just only choke on dope. I began to think about where my life would go and what I am supposed to do for myself to be healthy, to be strong, and to feel loved. As I walked on the highway outside of Edmonton, I could hear God tell me to go home Christine. And so I went back to Saddle Lake.
Another year went by as I cried with my dreams trapped inside. I was 16 years old. Fighting addiction, fighting prostitution, fighting the demons haunting me from my past. The sexual abuse, the name calling, the ugly feeling of feeling ugly … I wanted this to all end. I got up from the couch and put my shoes on and headed out the door. I walked for an hour on the reservation road down to the child welfare office. I told them that I so wanted to change but I didn’t know how.
I tried my hardest to stay away from the addiction I once had faced. I stopped with prostitution and began exploring my emotions through writing and painting. Some of my family members began to criticise me telling me that I was never going to write books. I was told that I was never going to make it, that no one will ever love me. That I’ll never act in movies or write books or be on TV. I was kicked out of my own mom’s funeral because I stood up for myself. They saw that I was going somewhere they weren’t. After getting nearly stabbed and ganged up on by these people who are supposed to be my family I was kicked out for speaking the truth. I had found the beginning of independence. I was in a semi-independent living program out here in Edmonton called Spirit of our Youth homes. I had high standards at first for myself until I began with different crowds at age 17 going on 18. I began to think I was all that and so I drank in the days thinking I was cool having lots of friends and people who I thought cared about me. I was evicted from my first basement suite and ended up being homeless on the streets. But I had learned the way back.
When I was 19 years old I did my first commercial for Little Warriors, a company that helps prevent child sexual abuse. I talked about being sexually abused as a kid and how I sold my body on the streets for my addiction at age 14. When I was 20 years old I played in a movie called Tweaker. I got to be in a documentary for safe tattooing. For the first time in my life I felt worthy and wanted.
I had help along the way. People who stood beside me no matter what. Barb from Spirit Keeper in Edmonton for one. I was never part of the job to her. She became my support worker and I think of her as family. And Beverly, who was my social worker right up till I was 22 years old. She always told me that something good would come out of all the bad.
I have a child of my own now, and one on the way. I published my first book to raise money for Little Warriors at an Edmonton flea market, which no one really bought and but I told myself to not give up on writing. I published another novel Called ‘The Accuser Missing From Louanswer.’ and it is being sold online as I speak.
I am happier now then I have ever been. My goal is to keep on writing, and raise my children right. I have become a stronger braver woman. I am Christine Brighteyes and I am not just another warrior woman walking on the Edmonton streets.
I am a person just like you, who has deep hurts hiding behind forgotten tears in a past that I have conquered.