I was born, Udo Ackermann, in Germany on May 28, 1955. My mother was incarcerated for prostition and gave birth to me in a prison in the small Bavarian town of Aichach. I was a product of post-war Germany, and one of the 5,000 German Black children born during the allied occupation of Germany during 1945-1955. Unfortunately, all mixed children of color were scattered throughout Germany to various institutions and orphanages. Germany didn´t want us because of our color. I was immediately taken away from my mother who was still serving time in prison and given over to a foster care family who physically and sexually abused me. Because of the international outcry as to the plight of German Black babies and their need to te adopted, I was adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Claud & Alva Richardson and came over to the U.S. in December 1959.
Life was good for a few years, until my adoptive mother started disenigrating before my eyes because of drug addiction. Although my family was dysfunctional, we maintained a semblance of normalcy, but from an emotional and spiritual standpoint, bankruptcy had already been silently declared. My sister, Pam, who was also adopted, became my friend and comrade as we only had each other to comfort during the times of emotional crisis and upheaval. I began to excel in school, especially in poetry, music and the arts, as these became my expression and catharsis for releasing the pent up feelings inside me. But, at around age 16, I began to rebel, tired of the chaos at home, I turned to drugs which started my slow descent to the streets, prison and eventual deportation back to Germany.
For 32 years I was a drug addict, decending to the lowest depths of society. Living on the streets, homelessness, institutions, mental hospitals. I started suffering from post stress traumatic syndrome because of early childhood sexual abuse, and at the time I was going through these episodes, I thought I had lost my mind. Who would believe my report? So, more drugs in order not to remember, not to feel and not to be a part of the living. Yet, God had a way of working in and through the least likely places in order to begin my healing process. It took prison to get me to finally look at myself and recognize the need for therapy and spirituality. Subsequently, I was deported back to Germany, the land of my birth after living in the U.S. for 45 years, leaving two daughters, and four grandchildren and friends. I felt the world closing on me again.
Coming back to Germany and hearing the German language, people, places, and things, triggered all my early childhood memories and although quite painful and scary, I was able to come through and finally began to feel the the reality of what had happened to me. I am clean from drugs and alcohol and through my many painful experiences I can see and feel life on a deeper level. There is an old Negro spiritual titled, "My Soul Looks Back In Wonder As To How I Got Over." Whenever I hear that song a river rises up inside me and I feel a deep sense of gratitude and joy that can only be released through tears.
www.poetry.com Richardson, Rudi – Please enjoy my poetry.