I remember the day

When the pain seared

And I could not stay in my body.

I lofted above,

Not allowing myself

To be the victim

Of surreal insanity.

Cigars burning into my womanhood.

A cattle prod's electric charge,

Constricted my muscles,

And I could not pee for two days.

And then felt liberation in wetting my pants,

Only to find humiliation for my reward.

I remember the rape,

I remember being bathed in rabbit blood,

I remember the red bedspreads...

And what was in them.

But still,

I lofted,

Knowing it all cognitively,

As if I were watching a movie screen,

But remember little actual pain.

Perhaps there are places the mind will not let you go.

The nightmares are fewer,

I know what causes them now,

And avoid those triggers.

I've stopped surviving,

But have learned to live.

By putting cologne on the bedding

To keep me grounded in the present.

I do not own red.

I do not eat water chestnuts or tofu or olives.

I do not see horror movies,

And only because I am an American

And try to be a good writer

Can I view violence of rape in media,

And am desensitized to the beatings of women...

Beatings of children...

Beatings of minorities...

Maybe because I did not feel my own.

In public places, I sit in chairs with my back to the wall,

Have conversations with people

While standing at an angle

So I can see my closest exits.

I have steered clear of white women as lovers,

Large women like Ruth,

Large men like my father,

Ego centered young men like my abusers.

But now I am embracing a woman,

Who's mind and heart has been assaulted.

She is a large woman,

And I wonder if like me,

The extra weight unconsciously manifested,

To keep people at bay.

Or if we ate for comfort

In a world where nothing offered comfort.

She too has physical trauma,

And so much inner trauma,

She cannot place four years of her life.

Scars are not something we have chosen,

Mental or physical,

But we are judged for them,

As making us less than beautiful.

I speak my story,

So no one can try and embarrass me,

To pull my power out from under me.

She is an adult, with a shamed child within.

She has bottled her secrets up,

Covered them with guilt,

Yet, the child still has no peace.

She has not allowed the demons to nest,

Nor has she rested.

Her state of being is one where she cannot allow herself,

The pleasure to think, at all,

Work keeps everything structured...

To help her fight.

Gone is the luxury of daydreams and fantasies,

Just so she could raise her children

Without going mad...

Being there to be a good mother.

For the moment, she has embraced me...

Seeing my road map,

Seeing that I did not get destroyed by the demons,

And I have learned to live with power and not fear.

What is more,

She has never been truly loved,

Not as a seduction,

But as a support,

That would catch her,

Should she fall.

And her physical scars,

They've always been a source of tears,

No matter what person wears them.

C-section incisions,

Are a mother's trophy,

Something that brings good memories.

To those fortunate to have living children.

But even in innocent medical matters,

Any knife or scalpel can cut away pride.

I have scars,

But I refuse to let their callus surface,

Callus my self image, my self-esteem.

I will not submit to stereotypes of beauty,

I will not submit my mind to be tortured over

What it could not control,

What isn't it's place to take the blame for,

What does self degradation do,

But to anhilate the self...

And over-shadow all that is good.

She, is physically stunning.

But I see the worry in her eyes,

Because the tormentors are just under the surface.

I don't know if I can teach her,

The power of self,

How to take the child within, and love her.

The ability,

To feel comfortable in her own skin.

And when she feels vulnerable and looks at the floor,

To teach her to look down and away from him,

But to try and look into my loving heart,

And let me caress her hurts with my tear filled eyes.

I've always want to "help" other's overcome...

But my roadmap does not fit everyone's needs.

My struggle isn't the same as everyone else's.

I see where I wasted time,

Drug my feet,

And if I had it to do over again,

I would have jumped head first into recovery.

But my wasted time,

Cannot be equated in my forcing healing.

However, I am just here,

Here to talk to,

Here to listen,

Here to buoy up,

And here to keep her safe.

It is not a pleasure to love her,

It is an honor,

Because she has trusted me enough,

To let me in her heart.

And it is a major responsibility,

Because her heart is...



Unyielding and unforgiving of accidents...

Like mis-spoken words,

The look of uncontrolled behavior,

Or loud words even if they are not harsh but simple

     growls of frustration.

Lord, have mercy on her,

Strengthen me to be of her service,

To love her as you love her.

Guide us through these days,

Gently carry us through,

To take back the nights,

To walk down the street without fears,

To let our children grow without our smothering worry,

To open closet doors and not care about the skeletons--

Because they are not ours to own...

May we once again behold our God given right

To be what we always were...


Author's Notes/Comments: 

To a very special friend and Love, you know who you are, and maybe, someday when I say your name, you will not worry so.

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