‘Damaged Daughter’ By Saadia Wheeler

It wasn’t intentional. She didn’t do it on purpose. But, the woman who loved me more than anything. The woman who gave me life. The woman who was my protector, damaged me in an irreversible way.

There were no apologies. Never a real explanation. No hope to hold onto. I had questions yet, there would be no answers.

I was 13 years old. Had only be 13 years old for one month. I was sitting in a precinct with a detective looking at me from across his desk. My sister was 6 years old. She had her head leaning on my arm and was sleeping. Her little head nodding and jerking as it fell off to the front or sides.

As the detective shared information with me, I would have to share it with her and my whole family. How would I tell them that my 32-year old mother died? Well, died yes but, more specifically, was murdered.

Now the detective is asking me the same question another detective asked me earlier. Yes, I saw who shot her. Yes, I know the individual’s name. Yes, I can identify the person from a line up. How could I not? The person lived with me. Lived with us, me, my sister and my mom.

The person was someone who my mother said she loved. Someone who my mother sacrificed everything to be with.

Yet, she was dead. Killed by her lover. Her lesbian lover. It was domestic violence and it was murder. My mommy was gone and my life would never be the same. For I am a damaged daughter but, I’m not the only one.

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