Hola! My name is Petra and I am a Survivor! My life started with verbal and physical abuse by the person who was supposed to protect me. I remember incidents of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse by my biological mom. She exposed us to countless strange men who were her boyfriend’s and/or acquaintances. Now looking back she neglected us in many ways. The majority of our time was spent outdoors in the hot fields working as migrant workers. My only two close “friends” as a child were my sisters. We traveled a lot and moved at a drop of a dime. I tried to make friends but I knew it would be short-lived.

I will write about several incidents that affected me throughout my life from child abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, rape, and placing my youngest son up for adoption. I have never given myself the chance to feel the pain and emotions. Honestly, it scared me and these feelings were locked deep down inside. I know this will be a personal challenge. But I know I am strong and I deserve to live my life to the fullest. I can’t live a life with purpose with all this pain and shame.

As I write my story, I truly believe I am releasing all this negative energy. The guilt. The shame. The anger. The pain. The war inside my head. – Petra Clarke

I didn’t deserve what happened to me. I’m now taking back my POWER!

I remember the day my oldest sister went to church with our neighbor. On that day, I wasn’t allowed to go to church because I got in trouble. My sister came home and told my sister and me that she confided in someone about the abuse we were experiencing. The lady at church told my sister they would come to investigate in a week or so. To our surprise, less then 24 hours later there were 3 police cars outside our trailer home. I heard the knock at the front door and I was scared and relieved at the same time. The police officer asked my biological mom if he could talk to us girls alone. She reluctantly agreed. We walked passed her as she stood with her arms crossed and this disgusted look on her face. I’ll never forget the feeling of fear walking past her.

We sat in the back of the police car and a social worker began asking us questions about our household. I shouted, “I’m not telling because she will hit us”. The social worker promised we would not get in trouble and she would help us. We were so desperate to be saved so my sisters and I began to tell her everything. “My mom and her boyfriend hit us and pull our hair all the time”. I described the spankings on our butts, legs, backs, hands, and arms. I explained how she would use anything she could get her hands on when she was mad. I remember the belts, fly swatters, shoes, extension cords, tree branches, and/or chanclas (spanish word for flip flops). I was so scared she would come to the car and take us from the lady trying to help us. Suddenly, I heard arguing over by the front door where my biological mom stood. I told the social worker that my mom’s boyfriend had a very long machete that he would use to intimidate people. The cops entered the trailer and removed the machete. We continued the interview and I told her that my mom often pulled our hair in anger. She would grab handfuls of hair and literally throw us around the room like rag dolls. She would slap us across the face, pinch us, punch us, and kick us in moments of rage. Anything would set her off.

That same day (in 1990) we were removed from her home and placed in a wonderful foster home. This is a photo of my Pastor baptizing me. This picture represents a new life and unconditional love by my foster mom!