Monday blogs

50 Shades of Bible 

by Vennie Kocsis

Chapter One

The view from the second floor of the palace is clear, void of fog or dust. King David lounges on His fur covered, ornate chair, gazing through the stucco columns of His balcony. She is bathing again, the marble tub filled with milk. She is naked, voluptuous and unaware of the eyes that could be watching her. He will have her. After all, He IS the King. He has decided to wait no longer.

Many an evening He has spent observing her. One day there would be a word for this behavior. Stalker. Yet, it is a time of dust and candles, rulers, slaves, bathing beauties and Kings who do not accept no as an answer.

The King smiles to Himself. He has sent her husband, Uriah, one of His soldiers, off to war, with secret orders to His private lieutenant that Uriah must surely die in battle. Soon, word arrives that the deed is finished.

David sends for the milk bathed beauty. Up close she is more breathtaking than He has obsessed over from afar.

He has a room prepared especially for her. Roses line the bed, tucked into wooden vases, filling the room with a subtle, sweet scent. Soft fur blankets and pillows adorn the bed.

She pauses in the doorway, her head bent down in reverence as she curtsies slowly. He takes her in with his eyes, stirred by the simple, flowing gown covering her dark skin.

Come, dear one. Lift your head.” He directs her toward him.

Her dark hair is braided down her back; three plaits to signify her royal status. Gold bands wrap around the bottom of each braid. Her lips are full. Her face is bare and beautiful. She has an air of humble confidence as she glides towards Him, kneeling at His feet.

He lifts her chin.

Look to me. I must tell you something that will break your soft soul in half. Then I will heal you.”

Her eyes fill with tears. She knows what the King is about to tell her.

He is gone.” She whispers. “My love. My Uriah. The swords have taken him.”

Tears stream down her cheeks, and unexpectedly her chest explodes as she finds herself sobbing into the King’s lap.

There, now, My dear.” He soothes, gliding His fingers over her skin.

So soft.” He thinks. He is filled with the urge to bed her.

He will. After caring for her as she grieves the loss of her husband, grateful to the King for His loving care, He takes her into His arms. She complies, wishing simply to be held, to remember the touch of the one man she would truly ever love. Uriah.

The King smiles each time she sighs into His chest after their coupling. In times when one can command a murder to have the woman He wishes, it is good to be the King.

Chapter Two

When the Master first sees her, she is dancing beneath a tree. Enraptured, He holds His hand up, a signal for His twelve bodyguards to cease speaking or walking.

The group of men stand still as they watch Him. Their Master walks closer to the dancing woman.

She is a glowing movement of magical beauty. Her hair is flying in strands of long black curls. Occasionally she throws her head back, laughing and letting out the most beautiful warble, as if a bird is whistling music inside of her head.

She is free.” He thinks.

A crowd has gathered, watching her. They are yelling at her.

Whore!”

Slut!”

One man picks up a small stone, hurling it toward her, but he misses.

She continues dancing, completely oblivious of the swiftly turning crowd, which is forming a semi-circle around her.

She grabs the hem of her skirt, holding it up as her long legs brush the sand elegantly. The Master holds back an urge to laugh in delight. Her hips sway. She is bare stomached, with a soft cloth covering her breasts, her shoulders curved and flawless. Love shoots from His stomach like never before.

His attention turns to the crowd. He beckons His bodyguards to follow as they walk over. She has stopped dancing, now aware of her impending doom, fear settling into her deep, brown eyes. She huddles behind the tree.

The Master brushes His lips with His left fingers as He passes her.

Shhhh.” He orders, and their eyes lock for seconds, sealing a bond that will never be shattered.

The Master stands before the crowd, His teelve burly men flanking Him. The crowd falls silent.

You.” He points to the largest man with the heaviest rock, beckoning him to come forward. The man laughs, dropping his rock and walking over. He is confident that he will take this would be Commander down with one blow.

Why do you hate this woman?” The Master inquires, His voice welcoming and warm.

She is a harlot.” The man growls angrily. “Look at her. She shows her body. She dances alone. She has no respect for herself.”

I see.”

The Master contemplates for a moment, silently, as the man shifts uncomfortably in his dirty sandals.

May I wager a deal?” The Master asks. “If I prevail, you command the crowd to leave.”

Confident that he will win, the man heartily agrees.

The Master leans down and picks up a small piece of branch. He says nothing ad he writes in the sand.

You have been bedding your brother’s wife for many moon cycles now. If you do not leave this woman alone, my men and I will follow you into town and tell your whole family.”

As the Master gives the man time to read, He watches his face change to shock. How could this Master know such a thing?

Silence continues until the man looks up at the Master, who then uses his foot to wipe the words from the sand.

Without hesitation, the man orders the crowd to leave, leading them away from the woman who had been dancing beneath the tree.

She rushes toward the Master, falling to her knees, kissing His feet. She lifts her face, her eyes endless pools of tearful emotion as she whispers.

Thank you. Oh, thank you.”

The Master reaches down and takes her hand to help her stand. He pulls her close and whispers into her ear.

But will you serve Me?”

Her body falls slack against Him. He smells of desert dust and days of traveling with no baths. She will wash each inch of His skin tenderly, down to his calloused feet and gnarled toenails.

Yes.” She breathes. “I will serve you, my Lord.”

She will serve Him until His last days. He will reward her with camels and baby goats, fresh wheat and apricots. She will weep at His feet when His own people murder Him, hiding their children as not to have His heirs slaughtered as well.

Her name is Mary. She is a Sacred Whore. Her Master loves her, and even in His absence, her heart will belong to Him until her last breath.

Motherless On Mother’s Day

by Vennie Kocsis

I don’t quite understand these constant holidays, dedicated to moms and dads and bunnies and love. I see them as marketing scams, a way to boost economy almost every month, by throwing in a Holiday.

But hey, maybe I’m bitter.

On these days I am reminded of my absent mother. See, not only did she pass away in 2007, her mother’s soul was stolen when I was three.

Recruited by an ill-intended woman into a sinister cult, my mother was forced to be separated from her children, initially physically starved through food rationing. After years of brutal torture, all of our spirits were broken.

Emotionally, I never had a mother. In cult life, I was rarely allowed to express my feelings to anyone. This was considered to be self centered behavior, a feeding of the flesh and a sin in the eyes of God.!!If by some chance I caught my mother in a listening mood, my emotions were most often turned back around on me.

“Suck it up, buttercup.”

This was one of my mother’s favorite phrases.

These days feel so distant to me. Social media is filled with flowery and adoring words dedicated to mothers. They are loved and adorned with the flowers of sparkly attention.

I wonder if those mothers are supported every single day as they raise children, work and juggle schedules. I wonder if they have their own mothers to love them.

My mother is not here to love me. If she were here, she would most likely be in the midst of her Queendom, wearing her dark “Godmother” sunglasses which she’d taken to wearing for her glaucoma.

She would be the center wheel, the rest of the family mothers in her shadow, as she preened. There is a wince inside of my star heart, a little ache to return, back into the portal where my real home awaits.

I see the outstretched arms of my celestial Mother, her lips parted into a smile reflecting light from her pearly white teeth. She is waiting for me. She is proud that I succeeded in my mission.

“Welcome Home.” She says softly.


(Gif by Vennie Kocsis)



There is no banner or trumpets to celebrate my return. We are not a star family of false pretenses. She gives me the intimate connection which supersedes any material gift.

She holds me inside of her love, and as her arms wrap around my body, I sigh a heavy breath into her chest. I am home again.

To the mother in the starlight, who visits my dreams at night, soothing my cries, stroking my holographic hair, I am alight in your glory. We will see victory in this round.

Around My City She Sleeps

There are people who learn to trust the streets. I think of their lives, how they have made darkness their day and daylight their night so they can stay alive.

Where is the safe space when the alleys are teeming with the unloved at night, ravaged by the anger in their souls, screaming out their behavior and trying to numb the pain?

I understand why she sleeps in the day, quiet beneath an office building eave, on a porch never used. I watch the employers walk quietly past her, making sure not to wake her as they enter their offices.

This mixture of compassion and hopelessness fills my observation. She is sleeping soundly where she feels safe. Somehow, there is a silent understanding of this, and so she is left to rest.

I wonder of her story, who hurt her heart, body or both. I wonder when she gave up, how old she was and what would make life different for her.

Caught in a moment around my city, I see the humanness of humans. I feel the dance of empathy and indifference from those who walk past. If they let her sleep, they’ve done enough.

And I feel a woman with a ghost story, thankful for a tiny porch and the chance to sleep in quiet, beneath a mound of blankets, escaping reality for a few short hours.

Around my city, she sleeps, the wind weeps and minds escape into dreams.

©venniekocsis.com

The Pages I Rarely Share

I rarely share my personal, hand-written journal pages. They are private and raw, exposing trails into myself that I don’t necessarily want others to walk upon.

As I continue the journey of writing through trauma, I’ve connected with other survivors looking for outlets for their pain. I believe deeply in journaling, mainly because there are endless ways one can journal. There are no rules. We get to customize it to fit our own need, and it can look like anything.

I have differing journals for varying states of mind:being. One contains dreams I’m either lucky or unlucky enough to remember. Another contains childhood memories. This one is graphic in nature, and I would not share most of these pages publicly.

I write daily in my gratitude journal to keep my self-love balanced. Another journal is filled with letters written to a stranger. A slam journal holds pasted pieces of moments to remember, like movie tickets, a leaf shaped like a heart found on a walk, a cool newspaper clipping and so much more which has fit my fancy to save, glue and tape.

My “Letters to a Stranger” journal is a stream of consciousness ramble of mind dump journal. There is no necessary “reason” to the entries in it. Should someone pick it up, it may appear as the jumbled code of a multiple mind.

These are two pages from my Dump Journal to show an example of what might fall out of my head. I tend to write in this during a mind split moment where my hands need to move while my brain is on overload. I’m in random mode, just clearing subconscious thoughts out of my head. I tend to be lucid. I don’t critically think through it. I allow it to flow and have its own voice.

So, I hope you will dump the images which plague your mind, into words and the thoughts into pages. I hope you give it away, and don’t hold it in.

Dump, my friend, dump.

The Constant Ebb of Impending Doom

By Vennie Kocsis

To untangle the web of my current occasional States of Being has required a process of retracing the steps into my past through the portal of my present behaviors and emotions.

Growing up in an end-times cult, I was taught two main death concepts.

1. God was going to end the planet by destruction, and all humans would die.

2. The Communists would begin that process through a brutal American invasion, which would include the genocide of all Christians.

Therefore, from my beginning developing years, my mind was conditioned for a death event which could come at any time.

Although eventually an acceptance set in as I was put through survival training to live off of the remote Alaskan mountainsides in Delta Junction, existing within this mindset created a layer of doom inside of my childhood emotional state.

Life was not only lived in fear of my own death and the world ending, but of the adults around me. I feared the death of the handful of people I had come to love. I feared the punishment of the brutal adults who were always overseeing us like vultures. I had to watch every word I spoke. I walked on eggshells of fear; afraid to say or do the wrong thing.

I held the secrets of my sexual abusers. There was no safe place for me. There was no one I could talk to; no safe teacher, as they were all abusive, no school counselor, since we were schooled inside the cult, no police or 911 to call, no access to telephones, no ability to write un-monitored letters to my Grandmother or Father, whose addresses I was not allowed to have anyways. Not even friends could ever fully be trusted. I was indeed enslaved in body, mind and spirit.

The programming of mistrust ran so deep, the fear of death and saying or doing the wrong thing, always simmered within my mind. It weaved into my normal state of awareness. Simply put, it became a part of my operating wheel.

This doom morphed into a state of being which embedded itself into my body’s scientific chemical system, understanding that emotions derive from cells and brain chemistry, and became a permanent part of my operational system.

Ordinary day to day activities randomly awakened the sense of doom and fear. Going into public, it simmered in my stomach. It became the possibility of everything bad that could happen. It emerged in unexpected moments like grocery store visits where my eyes watched every stranger who passed me, untrusting and suspecting. Or when driving, where I was intensely aware of my surroundings, watching vehicles and noting who was inside of them. It held me often in isolation, not wanting to venture far from home.

It contributed to the choice of two abusive adult relationships, as I confused being controlled with being protected, believing the second time that I could even help an abusive person, although I could not help myself.

It assisted in taking away my ability to have a reality based thinking, or build self-protecting boundaries, a life skill I was never taught. It led me away from my own intuition and eventually replaced it, until the act of living was filled with a thin layer of expected doom, even if it was undefined by any specific event.

As I became older and experienced more abuse, the hyper-vigilance and fear became my fuel. My mind was constantly on the run and in defense mode. I behaved as hunted prey, always on the lookout of my surroundings. I trusted no one. Yet, naively trusted everyone. My trust abilities were reversed, convoluted and tangled.

However, there had to come a moment where I was living my life, not from a sense of doom, gloom and fear, but through an empowering awareness, wisdom and critical perspectives.

While I still have certain thought patterns that I am working through, when survivors of abuse explain an adult life of feeling impending doom emotion, I hold a true understanding. I feel with them and understand why. Especially those victimized by religious abuse.

To carry the layers of who we are as abuse survivors is like carrying a book which must be read, should someone care to know us. Within the pages, cracks created by a multitude of breaks, are clearly revealed.

I require understanding. I want to feel safe around the people I am with. Not just safe emotionally, but physically as well. It is at the top of my requirement list to be a part of my life; loyalty and safety. It only takes once for that to be broken for me, and I either say goodbye or change my interactions.

To love us survivors is to know us. To reassure us. To look out for us. To help us know without a doubt you will never hurt us. Until we can feel that completely, patience is required to help us trust you. When you show interest in giving us that support, in return, you will receive a deep love.

My Childhood Is a Graveyard of Ghosts

I wonder if my mother ever felt the rejection and pain of her children. Did she ever cry? I can’t recall in this moment, ever seeing my mother cry.

I wonder if she’d care that I love pictures of my family; to document moments of happy, because no one ever did that for me. I have no childhood photos to look back on, laugh and say, “Remember when?”

My childhood is a graveyard of ghosts.

I wonder if she ever knew what she would leave in her wake when she took us to a place where they would dole out nothing but pain.

She could not have known how it all trickles down, settling into behaviors and DNA cells. It leaves behind a hell between which I feel sandwiched; a vice grip of the past and the future. I am a spinning wheel. No matter which direction I turn, it seems it could be the wrong one.

So, I stand still. I take leave. I return to where at least, I can love myself. I no longer wish to falsely smile when I am hurting inside. I’d rather come home and cry.

Tonight, I felt triggered back to being a kid in the cult, wishing the other kids would like me. Until one day I stopped trying. I accepted that they would never really embrace me, and they never did.

It makes a soul feel cold to be alone inside repentance to which I can only give myself. I look in the mirror. For all the times I have failed, I tell myself to let go of regret and live again.

Tonight, I feel damaged. I cannot both mend my heart while trying to make up for the hearts I’ve torn apart. I am a thinly woven web of tangles. I feel fragile. I feel that a slight mistrodden step could be the one which makes everything shatter and break.

Tonight I gained more radical acceptance, that accountability doesn’t matter. I no longer pine for my mother’s lost accountability. I never received it. I thought maybe it would heal me, but accountability as a healing tool is a farce. My accountability has not healed anyone I hurt in my past. It doesn’t matter. It is nothing but a ride in a confessional for which there is no pennance paid to right the wrongs.

Even as I hold ownership of the times I fell, it is received as a mirage. People choose to hate or choose to love. I have no strength to beg or vie for love any longer. I have suffered for it to no avail. I am tired. No… I am exhausted.

I wonder when it will end, the generational cycles of pain. Even as I try and heal my own, I know that no matter how whole I become, I cannot glue together shattered pieces someone else is holding.

I sit alone. I am not lonely. These are the times I take flight; when the pain’s too much to bear; when I need the right people to care, but there’s fleeting shreds of empathy there.

I am gripping gravity like it’s the last string of an ending orchestra performance, hoping to stay tethered for the sake of my love.

A Story of Religious Abuse and Torture

Introduction:  This piece is a contribution from an abuse survivor.  It details extreme abuse and could be triggering to readers.  Please consider caution if you are a trauma survivor.  

By Lusciana Philomena

I was born in the US in the nineties. My sister was quite older than me. She had her own issues, but this is my story. What I will say, is that at one point, I discussed my childhood abuse with her. She believed me in our mutual conversation, then betrayed me and told one of my parents about it. The result was the family turning against me and calling me a liar. It created a new wound in me. Yet, I also saw that the Narcissistic triangulation that my parents created with my sibling never ended. It was hurtful to have a moment of validation taken from me by the betrayal of my sibling.

My parents were blue collar workers who both came from military families. We didn’t move around a lot, but we did move churches quite often. Yet, regardless of what denomination my mother and father were trying out at the time, we always reverted back to fundamentalist, Pentecostal Christianity. This was my life from birth into my twenties.

For those who don’t understand the Pentecostal religion, it is a belief system of rituals such as prayer through laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, frenzies, clapping and dancing as if filled with the “Holy Spirit”. I imagine Christianity is wide spread enough that most people have a grasp on this sect of the religion. We were taught about demons, ingrained with demonic threat and fear. We were often put through rituals where throngs of the congregation members would lay their hands on us children to fill us with the spirit of God so that the demons wouldn’t enter us. I was claustrophobic. I felt panicked when I was in these moments. They scared me, and the energy pressed down on me, as I felt small inside of these moments.

I began having nightmares as a child. I would lay in bed awake for hours at night praying and pleading with God to please not let Satan take me. Because of the extreme nature of the fear and torture I was experiencing, I became adept at dissociating away from my body. I was often threatened with eternal torment in a place called “Hell“. I was told that I could lose my salvation and be damned. Yet, in those same breaths, I was also told how much God loved me. I could not make sense of anything around me. Many days were filled with fear, uncertainty and there was no safe place for me. There was gossip, deceit, and trickery everywhere in my environment. I never knew who I could fully trust.

I also attended a private Christian school from kindergarten until I graduated high school. Private schools are not required to adhere to the same curriculum or child safety rules as public schools. In private school, abuse was constant. Since the religious belief systems were also the same as the church we attended, they used the same methodology of punishment. Teachers subjected me to solitary confinement in closets and rooms until I lost track of time. There was physical abuse, severe mental and emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, public shaming and humiliation, degrading remarks, inappropriate sexualization and touching, and isolation from other children and the outside world. I was kept inside of a bubble of fearful compliance.

There were layers upon layers of cover-ups at school, as the staff was always watching us and each other. I felt constantly surrounded by human predators waiting to pounce. My mind was terrorized. I was often the focus of being targeted. I thought I was just the worst child in the school. In the beginning, I was a well-behaved child who merely daydreamed. Looking back, I believe at that time I was actually beginning to dissociate from life as a whole. Soon, I decided that since I was going to be in trouble anyways, I might as well give them a reason to punish me, so I began to act out. This at least gave me a satisfactory feeling of justification versus being punished for nothing.

In my home life my father was a confusing man. He could be the most loving father and also the most brutal. Since this was all going on at the same time as the abuse at church and school, I tend to remember these time periods as one, long bundle of abuse. My father taught me “games” that I eventually was conditioned to ask for and even enjoy, which haunts me to this day. I believed that I was born to please my father and make him happy, protect him, and do his bidding at all costs. I also believed that once my father died I would have nothing left to live for therefore I would have to end my life after his. I was conditioned to be my father’s puppet by him directly as well as his immediate family, who told me that I must do what my father commanded.

Some of the “games” he played with me included nerve shock torture where he pressed his fingers deeply into trigger points in my body, pulling the tendons up and away from the bone, then twisting and grinding them. Places he targeted were behind my knees, my neck, and my pelvis area. He purposely created a mixture of pain and sexual pleasure in my body. Regardless of my age, my body scientifically responded, giving him the results that he wanted.

Other forms of torture included tickle torture where I was forced to stay still or else the game started over; he used light breath, fingers and whiskers to tickle my body. All of my father’s sadistic leanings were filled with sexual elements. My household was rife with sexual inappropriateness. My mother would also sometimes behave in inappropriate sexual ways, behaviors that I should not have been exposed to as a child. I soon believed that my mother knew what my father was doing and didn’t care. My father would freely smack me on the behind, as if I was his girlfriend, whenever he wanted. He pinched my skin in inappropriate places, tried to get me to kiss him and chased me around the house. My mother simply hollered at us to settle down.

My father contorted my limbs, bending them the incorrect way. This caused excruciating pain, and I would scream. He threw ice water on me randomly when I was showering. Sometimes he would just stand in the doorway and flick the light off and on, off and on, repeatedly. I could not say a word or ask for him to stop. I was in complete compliance. My mother sometimes participated, throwing water on my face in the morning until I woke up feeling like I was drowning. I was yelled at to get up for the day, again my lights being flicked on and off, on and off. It was all because I was a heavy sleeper, they would say, sometimes laughing at me at the same time.

The torture my father enacted on me seemed endless. He would press into my sternum until the pain was excruciating. He pulled my fingers apart so wide it felt the skin would rip. He’d instruct me to stick out my tongue, grab it with a towel and pull until I screamed from the intense pain. He would laugh when this was happening. He would laugh intensely, as if it was the most entertaining thing. Sometimes he would lead me around by my tongue as I was in pain. Yet he would be laughing, since to him, it was a game. My father allowed me to have pets. Not because he wanted me to be happy. No. It was so he could use them to abuse me further by abusing them. I had the belt used on me to the point that I dissociated from my own body in order to withstand the pain.

As I became older with my father grew more deeply confusing, because coupled with his “games” of inducing mind blowing pain on me; he also showered me with love. At times he whispered in my ear that he loved me and would whisper other loving sentiments. There were moments of doting on me. He had endearing pet names for me. He also treated my pets the same way, sometimes loving them, sometimes cruelly abusing them. These moments induced a great love and bond with my father which intersected itself into the fear state that I existed inside. His behavior created a duality through which I could not critically navigate emotionally.

This abuse was also coupled with ritualistic religion, such as my father quoting Bible verses in the middle of abusing me. I have many gaps for which I don’t have answers. My body and my intuition have an idea of what hides inside those gaps. I often don’t even want to think about the possibility of what more my father did to me, that my mind has chosen to suppress. My mother projected jealousy onto me and in doing so, also physically and mentally abused me. She made me shower with her. Both my father and mother bathed me far beyond the years that I should have been being taught to bathe myself.

My father was an alcoholic and pill user. One night when I was a young adult he physically and sexually assaulted me. I hit him multiple times to get him to stop. Years later, when I confronted him, he alleged not to remember those moments. Yet, with persistence, I finally got him to admit to abusing me, and he said he was sorry. Then he proceeded to use emotional blackmail on me, victim blaming me and trying to make me feel sorry for him, saying that I was “killing” him. My mother was no help when I called her, blaming me for the situation and saying that she didn’t have time to be bothered. I felt helpless and in shock. She further stated what a terrible person I was for hurting my father with such lies. I knew that when it came to accountability in my family, I may never have it.

Because of my childhood, I endure flashbacks, complex PTSD, an eating disorder and fibromyalgia. I have insomnia to avoid the night terrors. I am hyper-vigilant about being followed, and I am often in fight or flight mode, feeling trapped. My capacity to develop my own spirituality as an adult has been severely hindered due to having a constant, tangible fear which lingers inside of me. Being an abused child left me with mental health and physical disorders. I have severe body somatic pain which can’t be associated with any one specific physical injury, leading doctors to connect my body pain to the reality of body memories.

Body memories are caused by trauma settling into our cells. Therefore, the body manifests the abuse on a daily basis, causing severe genital pain, joint and tendon pain, neuropathy that shoots nerve pain through my whole system. The nerve pain mimics the tendon shock rituals performed on me as a child.

The most confusing part about my abuse is how my parents could be so loving at times and so sadistically brutal at others. I realize that my identity belongs to them and now, I am struggling to figure out who I am before I was born into a childhood of abuse and confusion. I am sifting through broken pieces to integrate them so I can get to know who I really am.

Because of my experiences I have a great capacity to understand others who have been tortured. I know that as I continue to work through the aftermath of my own abuse, I will continue to grow and be a strong support for my fellow survivors.

I don’t know if I’ll even understand why I was tortured, except to understand mind control on a level so deep, a parent believes a religion justifies the abuse of their child. I want to know who trained my father to utilize such specific torture methods on my muscles and limbs. There are so many questions that leave tangled pieces in my mind. As a child my mind fragmented into “pieces or aspects” in attempt to endure what I was being put through however they have more or less integrated now. I wish my parents knew how much accountability and truth would change the course of each of my days. I wonder if my paternal grandfather learned these torture methods while serving in the military, and in turn, used them on my father. Again, I may never have these answers.

And so, I must stand inside of radical acceptance and continue creating who I truly am.

ART

When art comes out of me, it can take on varying forms, depending on who is holding the pen or the paint, as you will see in the pieces below.

 

POETRY

                Another outlet for my pain is writing poetry.  This expression has been a crucial part of my healing journey.

Porcupine No Longer

Ashamed and frozen in fear, time stops.
Pretending to be asleep; staying very still…
Lying and waiting, pretending it’s all just a dream.
“NO! Get up! I have to do something!” SCREAM!
*Silence*… I don’t make a sound. No one can know. Ashamed!
Eyes now scrunched up tight and fists form into balls.
Go into my mind. Pretend I am a porcupine.
Can’t touch me! Can’t touch me! I am a porcupine!
Doesn’t work…
Porcupine’s quills have been plucked clean away! Exposed.
Body is a map whose lands have been plundered before.
Monster’s fingers are legs, walking the map, exploring it all.
Monster is greedy: taking what is not his to take.
Too scary. So scary. Can’t be happening.
Dumb, wretched girl.
Pretend. Pretend. Pretend. Smile. I’m alright.
Tomorrow I’ll pretend I don’t remember what happened at night.

Healing Under a Canopy

Stroll through the shaded wood I must;
Liniment for a marred soul.
In love with the seclusion it offers;
I yearn for the peace it brings.
Amble about in nature’s song
I stroll along to such sounds:
Singing birds, dinky feet on Forest’s floor, water-a-trickling.

Healing from a pain so deep
It threatens to crush my voice.
I rebel, fight back, scream, kick, cry.
I will not allow this.
You cannot have my soul.
My past will not destroy me!
Your ‘control’ is merely an illusion.
I am no longer a child.

For I see the light.
It’s above me,
Filtering through the leaves.
It streaks my face with gold.
I feel its warmth on my skin.
This is the color of confidence.
I give myself the permission.
I can heal.
No one else can have
Me.

I smile.
I laugh.
I cry.
I’m filled with joy.
I am at peace.

Up ahead, I see a bridge.
I will cross it.
I will burn it down.

My story is the story of countless children being raised just like I was. Please don’t forget them. I want other survivors to know that you are not alone. Time and self-work make days easier. Please know that healing to a level of thriving is absolutely possible. To kids everywhere being abused, you are so strong and brave. You have the right to speak up; to tell your story; to be believed, heard and protected. You have the right to be safe and loved. You are not alone, and there are many of us Advocates dedicated to rescuing you and helping you heal.