Commentary: My Life Outside


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By Holly Davidson

My life outside, before prison, was a sad routine of struggle.  Every waking moment spent without thought of the next, and definitely without thought of the past. I was 32 years old, but only four years old in a deep recess of my adult mind. I think everyone who has been molested, raped, abused, or touched in any way never fully progresses into adulthood.

You would never know though, for many are capable of painting a pretty picture, beautiful frescoes of a façade. You could look and look at the picture of beautiful flowers and never see the demons within. Then some are heavily lacquered glued together statues, strong in appearance, but fragile to the touch. Others go day by day never acknowledging the irreversible hurt by hiding it behind booze, drugs, sex, and any other abusive behaviors, anything to ignore the pain lurking in their minds.

I was four when I lost my innocence, when I realized monsters are very real. I suffered irreversible physical and mental damage when I was raped, and my parents were murdered. I was no longer able to believe I was safe and protected. I was placed in the foster care where the abusive behavior propagated all because I was already ‘damaged property’ and the abuse could never be proven. After so long I took to the streets. I was 12 when I decided what was always freely taken, I may as well give freely; at least then I could use it to my advantage, and I did.

It was not long before I was lost to the juvenile justice system, I was often spit back out into group homes. These I would leave, as soon as I walked in the front door, I was out the back, and straight back to the life I had become accustomed to. Drugs gave me such a false sense of freedom and security; I could not see the truth; I was drowning in a disease. My life of crime escalated so slowly that I did not even realize what I was doing wrong until I was on the side of a freeway digging a hole to bury a man.

I am serving a sentence for killing a man who raped me when I was only four years old. I did not want him to die. What happened was unintentional, honestly, but with the lifestyle I was leading it was unavoidable. I had fallen into a trap of avoidance. By avoiding for so long what had happened to me when I was younger, I let it fester until it boiled over. When this man walked back into my life all these years later, I did not confront the issue, instead I let it be. I thought this was the right thing to do, that I had grown so much that I did not need to say anything to anyone.

In reality, if I had said something, I could have prevented the harm of another little girl. This man had a girlfriend with a 9-year-old daughter. I hold myself responsible for the damage he wrought onto her, I constantly blame myself and ask myself what if? What if I had pursued his arrest when I had the opportunity? Would what happened to this child have been prevented? Possibly, but it was that guilt which allowed me to participate in the “punishing” of this “child molester,” this monster of mine.

Looking back, I can see all the steps I could have taken to be something different, someone different. The words “if only” used to pop into my head every day; If only… I had walked away. If only… I had stayed in Washington. Why did I have to come back to California? So many “if only’s” have crossed my mind since my incarceration four years ago, I cannot even begin to count them. However, they make no difference to the cold hard facts: I killed a man.

It did not matter that the man begged for the end of his life to happen, that he welcomed death over prison. He said he could not understand why he did the things he did, why he chose to hurt children as he did, and that he deserved to die. It was however never my intention for him to die. If I could have gone on avoiding the whole situation, I gladly would have kept living my lie.

He was not supposed to die, only to be beaten and sent to prison where he could suffer the consequence of being a “chomo” in the pen. Somehow in the heat of the altercation he was stabbed and after that we could not let him walk away without suffering incarceration ourselves. Now here I sit serving time for killing a man who killed and raped without regard, and I regret it every day. I regret suppressing my pain for so long that I allowed it to overtake my better judgment. I regret that I allowed the cycle to continue, allowed myself to be so wrapped up in a mentality so warped that I believed what I was doing was right. I was so wrong.

Holly Davidson is incarcerated at Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla


About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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