No matter what kind of day I’ve had… or how much I’m struggling… these two are always happy to see me walk in the door.
For over fifty years I have kept secrets locked inside of me. From the age of four I was warned that “if I told” then no one would love me, ever. What a sad state of affairs for anyone who has grown up in this state of mind.
I am well past the half way point in my life and I am tired. Tired of pretending that everything is okay. Tired of making the best of it. Tired of loving people in my life just because “I’m supposed to”. Tired of being afraid.
Every single day I deal with triggers that warn me to shut down, flee, hide, fight and a myriad of other emotions. Over the years I have learned techniques to cope with these triggers, but I am still impacted every… single… day…
I have found a voice through writing. It makes me vulnerable. It makes me feel. It makes me face the truths that I have buried for over five decades.
I didn’t believe I had anything to offer anyone. I didn’t believe I could make a difference. I was wrong.
1, 2, buckle my shoe
3, 4 shut the door
Slivers of light peeking in around the edges
Ragged breathing snaking its way through the keyhole
5, 6, pick up sticks
7, 8 lay them straight
Curled in the corner, small as she can get
Rocking slightly, eyes closed tight, lips moving in prayer
9, 10 do it again
Her red shoes
make a scuffing sound
across the wood floor
His grip is tight with
sweaty palms and the
stench of whiskey on his breath
The music low and
slow as he presses his
forty something year old body
Against her ten-year-old
breasts with an intensity
that begs her to scream and push him
Away, but her
mother watches closely
making sure she finishes each dance
Mama slips damp
bills into her bra and laughs
into the neck of the next patron
Lining up for
She raises her face
to a darkened sky
Willing the rain to
wash her sins away
Willing the thunder to
drown the voices of her past
Challenging the lightning to
strike her heart
Willing it to beat again
frilly white dresses,
baby dolls, and
black and white kittens
did your tiny soul know
what lay before you?
broken body, and
black and green bruises
“Hush little baby, don’t say a word…”
Sincerity makes her cry,
aggression makes her cower.
She doesn’t look at you,
she looks into you.
Wary of your purpose
in her attempt to survive.
Holding her breath,
always aware of a way to escape.
Unable to relax completely
until you move on.
She is trapped between the two.
The very things she fears the most
are what she needs to breathe.
My skin hungers for the touch of another.
The brush of a cheek, arms wrapped tight
around me or a hand on the small of my back.
Fear whispers that it’s better to be safe.
Distance will keep you whole.
Build the wall
I am dying…
…you defined me with your words
NOT TALL ENOUGH
NOT BLOND ENOUGH
NOT BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH
IT’S YOUR FAULT
I DIDN’T WANT YOU
WHAT HORRIBLE HAIR
YOU’RE AN EMBARRASSMENT
YOUR NAILS ARE SO SHORT
YOUR LAUGH IS TOO LOUD
YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF
“train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it”
I hope you die a horrible death…
She finds comfort among the dead.
Stories untold surround her.
She whispers her secrets,
knowing they will remain so.
Lips moving silently, she mouths
the names, imagining their faces.
Peace fills her as she lays
across the tombs of the unknown.
Cover me with your presence, she sighs.
Sometimes she sleeps, for in this place
her unconscious thoughts are protected
from the torment that waits.
These moments stay locked inside her,
for most of the living would never understand.
They provide no comfort.
Here she will walk, with fresh flowers and peace,
among those who she resolves will not be forgotten.