Tomorrow something is happening. Tomorrow my big brother James Burton will be selling a special limited print run of his character Cera pictured here. Cera is a character from my brother’s amazing comic book Damage Inc. Almost all the characters in Damage Inc are based on real people and Cera is based on me. When he showed me this print I immediately started crying. The reasons for that were many. One being that the leather vest Cera is holding belongs to her dead father but also because my brother very much captured who I am with this print.Earlier I posted this as a reaction “There are no words to convey how much I love this. How much I love seeing my words by Cera. And Cera… With purple hair and her rockers on her hoody. Cera in a perched position but curled into that familiar ball making herself *so* small. Cera with her long sleeves with thumb holes in them. With one sleeved arm hanging so very tiredly. And one hand grasping so tightly. Cera with her face wet with tears because it should be her Father’s hand she is holding not his leathers. Cera strong in her vulnerability because her Father taught her to live for those she loves and he taught her that by dying. Cera as she is in Damage Inc. Wearing the Mortal Eternal God’s Armor that lets her take damage and helps her defend the love and loyalty and brotherhood that Damage Inc. means to her. That is who Cera is to me.”
The title of the poem “Mortal Eternal Gods” came to me because I wrote the poem for my friend Meg who is a strong, beautiful woman who is also one hell of a survivor. Of life, of pain, of domestic abuse, and of sexual assault. Of all the poetry I have written James chose that one for Cera’s print. Because of all these things I feel compelled to do something I have never done before.
Even though I have been writing or 26 years now I have never publicly written or spoken about my own assault. I have written and spoken of my parents being neglectful drug addicts and when I was 13 and my father was not around my mother made a horrible decision that would forever change my life. James and I have a brother that is between us in age and he had an acquaintance from childhood who ended up having severe problems and was placed in a group home. He escaped and my mother found him. And despite my brother’s protests illegally brought him to live with us for reasons I will probably never understand and am not sure that I want to. I was the only girl in a house where there were a lot of drugs and no rules or adult supervision. He was quite a bit older than me and much bigger. His attacks on me physical, psychological, and sexual began almost immediately.They occurred every night that I was unable to escape to a friend’s house for over a year. And on the nights when I did escape he made it worse for me the next time. Until a friend found out and called the police and he was arrested on other charges. I was too frightened to press charges at the time. Due to the threats and psychological manipulation I was terrified to even tell my brothers. I also feared that they may have retaliated so severely one or both would be in prison for murder. I told my mother and she went back and forth between calling me a liar and telling me it was my fault for “being such a slut.”
The reason I have decided to tell this story now is because I want everyone to know when they buy a Cera print from James they are not only helping other survivors they are buying from one. The poem was written for a survivor by a survivor. James and I have talked about it and Cera is a survivor too, You will see later in her story that she is just as much of a survivor as I am. And I want every girl and every guy who has ever had to endure this kind of pain to know that Cera is a survivor too. Survivors are the people you meet every day. They are parents. They are artists. They are superheroes. Cera is a bad ass. She is powerful. She is loving. A lot of times she is perfectly happy. She is a superhero. She is motherfuckin Damage. And she is a survivor.
SacAnime Gives Back will be taking place at The McClellan Conference Center. Tomorrow, May 15th 2016 the non-profit organization WEAVE will be receiving two dollars from every admission ticket and 100% of the proceeds from a silent auction.WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento county. They also provide even more services that you can find information about here at http://www.weaveinc.org
After the event you can also buy 11″x 17″ Cera print here https://squareup.com/store/angry-brain-artworks/item/print-x-cera-armor-of-god
as well as other awesome Damage Inc merch at https://squareup.com/store/angry-brain-artworks