I Don’t Do Dreams | Part 2 of 2

by Elouise

This blog is about connecting the dots in my life. Part 1 reminds me of something I share with thousands of young children.  Here’s my attempt to show and tell what I mean.

I don’t do dreams, Take 2. . .
Speaker: A young child
Location: A guarded, secret room anywhere in this world

I don’t do dreams.
I just work hard to make you happy.
My job is to accept the plan.
YOUR plan.  YOUR dream.

No, I don’t have any plans or dreams.
All I need to know right now is one thing—
What do you want me to do?

Yes, I can do that.

Yes, I can do that, too.

Yes, I really love doing that!
See the smile on my face?
I’m very good at what I do.
I’ve had lots of happy customers just like you.

Please pick me!
That’s why I’m here.
To make you happy.
And to make my boss happy.
That’s the person who just
brought me out with these other children
so you can look us over and decide which
one you like the most.

I hope you like me.
I want to make you happy.
It doesn’t cost much at all,
and my boss will be very very happy!
See, everyone wins when we play these little games!

Dear Readers,
No, I was never trafficked. Nonetheless, I learned to live according to other people’s plans for and about me.  Better, their ideas about what they needed or wanted from me.  I learned to live this way thanks to rules, regulations, and as much punishment as necessary to get the job done.

My ‘self’ identity formed around what my parents and other authority figures wanted or said I should do.  I had no stable sense of self.  No freedom or permission to say, “NO!  I won’t do that.”  Not even to say, “I don’t want to do that.”  Much less, “That was wrong!”

Instead, I was driven by rules and the mirror of your face that let me know how I was doing.

  • Am I in trouble?
  • Is my demeanor acceptable?
  • Are you happy with me?

When your answer to the third question was “yes,” I was Somebody, if only for a few fleeting minutes.  Nonetheless, I never had a dream, a vision for who I could become in the future.

When I was 16 1/2 and preparing to leave home for college, I didn’t have healthy boundaries to pack in my luggage. All I had were family rules that I was eager to leave behind.  It seems my situation at age 16 1/2 is no better than my 7-year old situation when we moved from California to Georgia.  To onlookers, I may look like I’ve grown up, but I haven’t.

My internal dialogue is still colorful.  But I don’t have any more fight in me.  I’m just marking time until I can get out of there.   At age 7 I didn’t think for one moment I could run away from home and survive.  At age 16 1/2 I thought I was more than ready to do just that, given the right landing-place.  College.  In particular, that ‘safe’ Bible college 150 miles from home.

Back to Trafficked Children. . .
In the world of trafficking, the cheapest, most effective solutions are all about prevention. Dry up the supply and/or dry up the demand.

With young children, we’re dealing with supply. The simple truth is this:

The way I treat even one child,
whether that child is mine or not,
makes a difference —
though I may never know about it.

What do all children need from us?
Smiles and Kindness
Truth and Good Questions

Encouragement and Listening Ears
Conversation about Dreams
Our Heartfelt Thanks and
Our Heartfelt Prayers

How else will they know they’re not invisible, unimportant or disposable,
and that someone cares enough to take time for them?

This sounds like turning our hearts back toward our children,
whether we’re parents or not.

* * * * *

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 8 October 2014