New Beginnings

The moon never apologizes for how much-or how little light she decides to cast upon the night; so I will learn from her and try to stop apologizing for the way I show up in my life; it was a Tuesday afternoon and I was crying; I was not crying from anything bad-for what felt like the first time in forever- I was crying from laughing so hard; we both started laughing and at some point it developed into tears and now neither of us can breathe in the best way; it is in these moments I realize the strongest things always make it through; there are so many days where the sadness camps itself inside of my heart and I cannot get her to go away; but the happiness is determined to push through; and when I really need her to show up- somehow she always does; there are bad things- but I am working on not letting it dictate the good; my happiness is all there is to separate him from me; he may have taken many things from me the night he took my body; but I will work on not letting him take it all away; I am standing in the middle of my new apartment- the one I worked hard for- the one so many people told me I would not be able to get- and I think of all of the people who have told me I would never be successful; I envision all of the nights where giving up seemed like the best option- sometimes the only option- and right now I am so glad I never gave up; I am learning there will always be people who will doubt your ability; there will always be people who want more from you than you are able to give; but in the end the right people will always show up; the right people will always be happy for you and support every decision you make; it is a Tuesday afternoon and the world does not feel like it is closing in around me; it is a Tuesday afternoon and I will accept the happiness and try to not diminish it; the moon never apologizes for how she shows up; and from now on- I will try to not either.

Dark Days

It was the first real day of summer; there was not a cloud in the sky and everything seemed to be going just right; when you asked me how I could still be sad on days like this- I knew my depression would always be a burden to you- my anxiety an unwanted guest; I do not know how to explain to you that so many days are dark days for me; they consume me whole as they tell me I am not important; which is to say- I do not always know why I am here; one day you ask me why I cannot just go back to the way I used to be; the problem is- I do not quite know who that is anymore; on my darkest days- the rain forests move into my heart; all the thunder cracks in my chest- as forest fires erupt in my stomach; all of the water in the world takes over my own body- drowning me in my own thoughts; on these days- my own bones turn against me- the unwanted voices do not stop; on my dark days- I am not asking you to fix me; I do not need you to tell me not to worry or to not be sad; I do not need you to play god- because that is too much to ask of the both of us; we both know this depression and anxiety are here to stay- even if you cannot accept that; when the dark days come- and I promise you they are going to come- all I need is for you to sit with me- to please just accept my sadness for what it is; to offer me a life raft- but please, do not be mad when I do not always want to take it; to ask me where does the quiet live; and how long will it take to get us there.

When Light Fades To Dark

Every morning the bright yellow ball caresses the earth- demanding everyone to be aware of its existence; always rising in the east and setting in the west- its presence will forever be counted on; but- with light- always follows darkness; when the light begins to fade- the darkness will shortly follow; this darkness creeps in ever so slightly; until- all in an instant there is nothing but blackness surrounding you; but- when the light fades to dark- there is one thing you can always count on; the magnificent ball of light will always rise again; and the beauty it beholds will take everyone’s breath away all over again.

Wilted Soul

She felt like a flower wilted and alone- the way he undressed her with a single look; she felt like a flower- one that had been picked and left to die- he knew all of her insecurities and made sure to make them visible to every eye; she felt like a flower- but not the kind that everyone loves- he made her unlovable- yet she lusted after him even so; she felt like a flower- but not like a rose whose beauty is always alluring- he has taken all of her beauty as he touches her without care; she felt like a flower- whose petals have been ripped off one by one- he has taken every piece of her; including her soul; she felt like a flower- yet not so much anymore- he has taken the garden inside of her; leaving her vacant- with nothing but shattered petals- surrounding her whole.

The Books Save Me all Over Again

Books have been the safest home I have ever known; when I read I can be anything I want- the outside world no longer matters; I open a book and it casts away all of the darkness the universe holds in its fists; as I read I find myself in the details- through books I find the strength in being quiet- I find the strength in being who I am- you see, the books never judge me for who I was or what I am or who I will be; they open their pages for all of me; I cast forth my hopes into these books and let the pages hold them as a prayer; reading has become my religion because these books are the only thing that can keep me safe from my own mind; when my body is no longer the safe place I want it to be- I drop to my knees and worship my bookshelf as I search for the story of a girl like me; my body dissolves into the words each night begging to be a part of something- pleading for someone or something to understand me; I read a book about a girl who is lost; two about a girl who has been raped; I absorb the words as best I can- I store them in my bones throughout my body; each night as I open a book the pages tell me- welcome home, we have been waiting for you- and together we will save you all over again.

You Could be my Father

When an older customer informed me

that he liked skinny girls and

he wanted me to come to his house,

if no one else heard,

could I pretend it never happened?

But when the woman behind him laughed

as I stood there hearing nothing

but his comments,

her laugh,

and my heartbeat clawing its way up my chest

I could no longer pretend it did not happen

it became as real as the sun shining outside

and the blaze was terrifying

as it took my breath away and made me feel faint-

in that moment I loathed him.

and her.

and myself.

I hated myself for having a body

and I hated myself merely

for hating myself.

this feeling was all too familiar

it was the same feeling I had when

the man told me my jeans were too tight

or when the delivery guy hugged me

or when countless other men

provided me with unwanted comments and touch.

In these moments I wanted my

flesh to become one with the walls

and I thought maybe if I stared hard enough

at the ground I could become it.

I did not realize that having

a body was an invitation

for others to say or do whatever they pleased.

Society Says

When the moon begins
to ignite the sky at dusk

I like to believe
she is calling my name,

sometimes it’s just nice to know
there is something out there

that can break up the darkness;

in some lights we all look the same-

he no longer resembles a monster-

I no longer his victim,

there are days where it feels like every one knows

exactly what happened,

like a chandelier where crystals shine in the light,
my secrets shine in the sun

my brokenness on display for all,

he told me no one would believe me

now there are days-
I don’t always believe it myself;

no one teaches you how to grieve
the loss of your own body,

but as a girl you are taught many
different ways to prepare for it-

which only makes the weight of
the blame heavier,

I should have fought more,

I should have said no,

I should have done something,

because then and only then

this really would not be

my fault.

Honesty

The honesty lives somewhere deep in my chest, I don’t know if I will ever tell anyone the whole truth- but I’m hoping to tell parts of it; the scars on my arm tell me maybe the truth isn’t hidden so deep inside of me- maybe I’m not as hard to read as I thought I was; one night we lay on the floor laughing together, right now she doesn’t look as scary as usual. I want this moment to never end; my biggest hope is that she feels the same.

Hopeful

From the beginning
they told me I was too quiet

which is why when I was assaulted
I blamed myself,

I thought I must have somehow
consented to what he did to me

I thought my silence must have meant yes;

trying to heal feels way too much
like being punished for what he did,

I have thought about leaving forever,
but I never want to give him the satisfaction

he has taken so much from me already,

when the night gets lonely

and the world seems no bigger
than the space in my mind

I write over and over and over again
that I will be okay;

when the world feels like it is
shattering around me-

I promise myself I will not shatter with it;

on the days when all I can think about
are the details of what he did

I remind myself I am not the broken one;

and when this body feels like it no longer belongs to me-

I remember that this body never belonged to him.

Oceans

Last week I started to write my suicide note

so far all it says is:
‘I’m sorry’

I can’t bear to tell you about the pain
that has consumed me,

how my body is no longer mine

how it hasn’t been for a while now.

I picked out the date for my death,

don’t worry,
it’s not for a few more months

my heart feels like a weight
I have never been trained to carry

I’m sorry that I never told you
who I really am

my body has become a casket;
I bury my secrets inside of me

hoping that the ghost
is not too noticeable.

The other day you asked me
why my smile looks so different,

why my eyes look so tired all the time,

I didn’t know how to answer.

Loneliness has become my closest friend-

isolation my only defense mechanism,

I stopped going to counseling
after I brought up the assault
and sexual abuse

because suddenly I was too exposed,
the pain became too raw-
everything too real.

I thought my counselor would hate me
just as much as I hate myself.

Guilt and shame crush my soul everyday,
they grind my bones to dust

my skin is a canvas for pain;

I draw the hurt I feel inside
onto my body hoping you understand

how deep this sadness runs;

sadness is an indescribable pain-

all five oceans live in my chest,

they drown me in their waves

as they throw me into their shore;

I cry for help-

but no sound ever comes out.