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She Writes Jul 21
You handcuffed my dreams to your bed
And that’s where they'll lay, until I’m dead
I used to think that ****** was the same as *****,
And therefore I was both broken and unclean.
I have learned that you can wash the blood off
And cast out the stains of yesterday’s misfortunes
That I may kneel before you and tell you
That I am still sacred in my own skin.
I watched myself die
Played it over and over
Scanned it for all the little details
How did this happen
When did this happen
Why did this happen
I saw myself fall away
Saw the parts of me I loved, leave
And the parts of me I hated, grow
I became super human
Able to shape-shift
I could break, shatter and crumble
And still come back together
You couldn’t see the cracks
But it took all of my efforts
To keep from falling apart again
I wept through the seams I sewed
And said it was sweat and maybe it was
After all I was working so hard
To keep track of all the pieces
I had left of me, the pieces
I didn’t lose when I watched myself die
What do you want from me?
I ask my memories,
Wondering why they’ve come out to play,
Tap dancing across the wood floors of me mind,
Creating a cacophony that echoes off my skull.
What do you want from me?
I hear them when they respond, “We’re trying to make you safe.”
I know they’re attempting to prevent tumbling off the same rocks,
Trying to ensure I don’t crack bones on the same hard places.
They are telling me to avoid having pieces of me stolen again.
I couldn’t protect myself at thirteen or sixteen,
So I stumbled down the same dark alleys until I was 18
And paid a grander price in an even darker cave at 19.
I’m 22 now, and I’m still picking up the pieces out of the mouths of men,
Men who cut me down until I was a conglomerate of bite size, fuckable pieces.
I was taught not to scream when my pieces were being consumed.
Who needs to be a whole human anyway?
If tip money went into my pocket,
If he told me he loved me afterwards,
If I was alive to see the morning light,
Who was I to complain?  
And when I stopped wanting to see the sun rise,
They gazed upon my pieces
And berated me for the wreckage.
What do you want from me?
Is a question I only know how to ask myself.
I have never dared ask those who stole from me
Whether they came to me in good faith,
Never had the wisdom to lock up what was valuable.
I have never demanded of anyone what their intentions were,
So I ask again: What do you want from me?
What am I expected to provide?
Am I allowed to be a whole human here?
Or will you require I be bite size again?
I am desperate to be safe in the same flesh that once enticed those who hunted me.
What do you want from me?
I’ll tell you what I want.
I want to go home whole,
Knowing my skin is all mine.
you say,
you are not a ******
you say,
you come in peace
but this does not put me at ease.
because you are a man
tall,
dominant,
strong.
i am aware of your testosterone
lingering in your blood stream
like alcohol,
in a drunken girl.
unconscious,
while he feeds on her drunken body
like prey.

you say,
you are not a ******
you say,
you mean no harm
but i am a woman,
in a man's world  
and you are a man,
in a ******'s world
so i hear yours words
and approach with caution.
you are a man.
Some days I don’t want to be the voice of progress,
The cry into the shadows that demands we shine a light.
Some days I don’t want to be strong and silent,
Keeping my hurt hidden behind “Let’s not think of this.”
Today I don’t want to know where the bruises used to be
Or remember the moment I thought I’d climbed into bed with a murderer,
His arm locked around my neck.
Today I don’t want to be a survivor.
I just want to be okay.
i started this poem
when i was
nearly 23
i'm 24 now
almost 25
but i still feel
like a child.

19
trying drugs,
loving the man
who would **** me.
and i'd forgive him
take him back into my arms
let him touch me anywhere
just to feel something.
afterward
he smokes
and smokes
and smokes
apologizing
through a haze
of drugs and
shame. he spoke
useless fragile
words and i drank
them up eagerly.
they tasted like
whiskey,
valerian,
and ice.

when i'm 20
i find a therapist.
no more drugs;
still loving him.
i slide a new slate
across the kitchen
table just for him.
but it's cracking
as his fingers
pick it up,
shattering in
place. he moves
from stone
to skin. rips
and tears
until i'm
finally
split
too.

21
still in therapy,
i tell him
it's okay
that he
cheated
because
it was
all
about
the drugs:
not me.
but when i
tell him how
much it hurts
he says
maybe you
should work on that
in therapy.
i lean into
his side
but being
near him
never quite
feels the
same and
i ache for
comforting
sin.

i'm 22 when i find out
that being pressured
into *** after
saying no twice
isn't consensual
and he's not
round anymore
but at night
i hold my breath
terrified that he'll
appear. in my
dreams there
are flash
backs lying
in wait, even
though i've
begged for
some dream
less sleep.

when i'm 23
my third or fourth
therapist
tells me
she's sorry that
i had to go through
it all. and she listens
as i fade away and keeps
listening until i
can feel the earth
at my feet
once more.
she's a good
sort. i'm sad
when she
moves.

24 creeps
upon me
like a scratchy
sweater. i want to
shrug it off of my
shoulders, but it's
too cold. i'm no
longer the things
that happened
to me in that
darkening room,
and at twilight
most nights
i no longer find
myself thinking of
him.

i feel so old.
my bones always
hurt, the cat's food
is so expensive, and
i always have chicken
in the freezer. but
i can't bring myself
to eat. the medications
keep the ache at bay
but i feel it waiting.
at least my cat always
purrs when i feed him.
makes me feel
a little
loved.

my chance to grow
got pushed back a
few years
and i probably grew
anyways, unknowingly
pushing back against
invisible walls waiting
for one to finally give.

i hate that i'm here
trapped in adolescence
i hate that i'm still
writing about him
about what happened
and how much it still
hurts me.

maybe when i'm 25
i'll try to edit
this poem.
i found this unfinished poem and decided to re-write it. it's a lot. i tried to tag trigger warnings so i hope this didn't make anyone upset. i should edit this one day. [tw: sa] = [trigger warning: ****** assaul t]
Nomkhumbulwa Mar 10
I wrote this while waiting my turn at Baragwanath Hospital...it suddenly came to me, that I had been speaking to these wonderful ladies at **** Crisis Scotland nearly every day before I came here and started to heal.  Im forever, and ever...grateful ***

"While I wait…"

Today I was thinking,
I had so much time,
Waiting for hours and hours,
Patiently in line

Apprehensive, nervous,
Yet somewhat assured,
I let my mind wander,
Back and back it was lured

Im out of my body,
Now an empty shell,
Going back to the past,
Going back to …hell

It feels dangerous,
Thinking back,
I feel so vulnerable,
It hurts to look back

But here I am,
Waiting in line,
A different person,
To look back, it is time

But who was I?
What was going on?
The fear, the shame,
I had almost no one

Its darkness and pain,
Unbearable pain,
Not trusting anyone,
Even myself, never again

I was something else,
Torture, torture, torture,
Hating myself,
Was I a murderer?

The panic, the fear,
Not knowing myself,
Not knowing inside,
Wanting to **** myself

All of this now
Seems so much worse,
As im getting better,
Im learning to trust

The pain in my stomach,
Thinking back to that time,
Stuck in my house,
Completely out of my mind

Time had stopped,
But I still had to live,
Existing was painful,
It was a nightmare to live

I don’t recognise myself,
Don't know who I was,
But the feelings are still with me,
More traumatic than all else

My blades were my friends,
Taking the pain each day,
Numbing my mind,
Allowing it to “go away”

Cut cut cut,
Every day,
I look at my scars now,
I’ve had to explain

Back there I was me,
But I was totally lost,
Like living a virtual reality,
So totally totally lost

An empty shell,
Yet shaky and trembling,
Wanting to die,
For being a burden

Suddenly
Im lost for words,
Just feeling feelings,
Its too much for words

There was nothing left of me,
Now that I know,
And knowing causes me pain,
How could I have got so low?

I can’t stop the tears,
The confusion, the fog,
Was so intense,
Not knowing who I was

The daymares,
The nightmares,
People grabbing me,
People hurting me

I look at my arm,
I look at my legs,
Nowhere is my body spared,
Apart from my face

I felt *****,
Ashamed,
A burden,
On Society

I disgusted myself,
Yet not knowing why,
Even for calling the helpline,
I felt I should die

Its much like a fog,
Feeling my way through,
Occasionally bumping into things,
My mind says “thats you”

I was so very sick,
I only know now,
Just thinking how sick I was
Makes me physically ill now

It wasn’t me,
Id gone somewhere,
The pain too much,
And the shame, to bear

I break down now
When I describe these times,
I was in contact with people,
Begging them to take my life

It still comes back now,
Triggers, so im told,
I beat myself up,
Hit my head on the wall

It can be overwhelming
When it comes back,
Whether its the ****,
Or just the cruelty I faced

People were cruel,
So so cruel,
They hurt me so deeply,
That I thought I was cruel

I think back to times
I was abused by police,
I was abused by doctors,
In fact, all authorities

They just hurt me more,
They put me through hell,
The pain they caused me,
Left a story to tell

They were cold, suspicious,
Filling me with shame,
Making me believe,
That I was to blame

They traumatised me more,
More than ever before,
Or perhaps I should say torture,
I felt ashamed to my core

So much I could write,
But im struggling for words,
They hurt me, they did this,
Now I realise their curse

I cannot forgive them,
I cannot go back,
Here life's a struggle,
But my trust is coming back

I feel sad for time wasted,
Knowing Pamela would help me,
It pains me now to think
How I just could not let her help me

She believed in me,
Was ready to listen,
She understood,
Even spoke to the policeman

But I always feared
Asking for help,
For I was a burden,
Perhaps id feel worse getting help

They put this in my mind,
….a burden on society,
Dealing with the **** was one thing,
But this was a different story

Pamela tried so hard,
She took me to get help,
But it never materialised,
Instead, I totally lost hope

The days were long,
The nights were longer,
The man in my house,
Or is it my mother?

I didn’t want to exist,
I blocked out my life,
Then remembered what I didn’t want to,
My brain attacking me like a knife

There was no hope,
People are so cruel,
Do they enjoy it?
Watching people become ill?

I didn’t know how sick I was
Until I started getting better,
Im in a better place now,
But with a past full of horror

Its been a long time,
I think it had to be,
For me to find myself,
And to feel free

Now is the time,
Looking back on my life,
There were people, a helpline,
That physically saved my life

Although I was confused,
Not allowing myself to believe,
They told me again and again,
The one thing they did was believe

A have so much respect,
A deep connection too,
To these selfless women,
Who give up their time, for you

There wasn’t much you could do,
But you did everything and more,
You never gave up on me,
As I sat glued to the floor

Im healing slowly,
Reclaiming my life,
But I want to thank you ladies,
You did save my life

I appreciate everything you did so deeply it brings me to tears, thank you from the very bottom of my heart. .
Im new
rayma Dec 2021
one mistake
when you were too young
to know how to play by the rules,
when lines were blurred and
first times felt like finallys.

you had to tell him it was over
seven
separate
times,
had to endure each time
he passed too close to you at work.
until, mercifully,
you never saw him again.

two mistakes
still too young to understand right and wrong
but old enough to understand the spark
and the beat of the music.

you let him do the things
that made him keep one eye out
for anyone you knew,
because you thought you were special
until the night you realized you weren't.
all the times you left smelling like him
turned into a burning on your skin it took you years to wash away.

three mistakes
three strikes,
old enough, but not for him.
still too naive for the secret meetings that didn't feel wrong
until they did.

the first time there was lots of blood
and he wiped away your tears
while you hyperventilated on the bathroom floor.
he brought you water
and then kicked you out
and found new ways to do it all again
until you'd had enough.
rayma Dec 2021
when do we forget?
it isn’t two years from the time
someone took your breath away and
made you feel like something truly special,
only to vanish like smoke
and come creeping back
just when you thought it was gone.

it isn’t three years from the time
you woke up and realized that none of your real friends
seemed to have a problem with the man you were dating;
too old, too childish, too great a mistake
to ever forget.
quiet nights waiting for him to come home
from the bar after lessons because you aren’t
yet old enough to go with.
perhaps you were old enough to know better,
but no one ever told you it was time
to learn what a relationship really looks like.

it isn’t four years from the time
you felt like you were following a script,
doing what you thought was right or
expected of you, because you never knew
any better.
he was the first to ask,
and it’s okay that you were confused,
but that doesn’t mean you get to forget.

it isn’t five years from the time
before you understood the things
no one had ever explained to you,
that flirting doesn’t always mean infatuation,
that age does, in fact, mean something.
your first kiss had you feeling like you were
floating off the ground,
and you turned it into poetry
so you would never forget.

it isn’t six years from the time
you felt like someone wanted you
for the first time ever,
looked at you, liked you, appreciated you.
no one had explained that some men
do what they do to any woman who happens by,
that you aren’t special, just in the wrong place
at the right time
to be somebody else’s prey.

we never get to forget these things.
even when it feels like it’s gone,
when you finally get to breathe again,
to feel the touch of the man you love without
wanting to freeze up or suddenly
cross the room.
but eventually, it comes back.
in a name, in a place,
in a person who looks a little too much
like the ones who did this.
they always make sure we’ll never forget.
one from - you'll never guess - early this year
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