All The Lost Things

Some pieces of writing have been sitting in draft form for a while. I am always unsure whether to post things this as they don’t paint an accurate picture of where I am currently in life. This poem was written nearly two years ago, at the very beginning of my activism journey. It was a time of intense self-reflection and processing of unexpected grief. Shame was still an unwelcome and persistent visitor as I starting to speak openly but I was receiving a few negative reactions. It felt like teetering on the edge of a cliff. I nearly gave up on my ideas and aspirations but I didn’t. I had a tremendous drive to move forward to the next stage in my life that I couldn’t ignore any longer. I was just on the cusp of ‘learning to fly’.

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The Wink

He winks at me
across a crowded room,
he does it a lot. It means:

I’m here.
Be good.
Do as you’re told.
Watching you.
Isn’t this fun.

The wink flies across heads and canapés on paper plates. It rides on the chatter of braying voices and smacks me, hard, a sucker punch, somewhere just below my belly
where it tweaks the invisible like my mother’s taut guitar string and steals my breath.

And it reminds me of
JR Ewing and the white petals of paper walls
of the smell of blue felt
and the taste of amber in cut glass and cigarettes.

Where I feel it slide. Down to my place where muscle, bone and nail searched blindly for my soul and found it.
Where prising and gouging was replaced with lamenting flesh that moaned, startling pink. A secret wound of mine that hides in the mirror.

I grab at myself
to pull out the wink
“Euw Mum! She’s doing it again!” my sister shrieks and I understand shame is here to stay. It’s mine now.

Silence is…

*Trigger Warning* This writing contains depictions of sexual violence and self-injury that some may find upsetting.

I use poetry as a way to release trauma. It may not be any good from a literary point of view, but that was never the point. It is visceral, cathartic and from the heart. I write (and speak) a lot about silence because I was silent for so many years about everything that happened to me.

Writing was key to my recovery from sexual violence I experienced as a child. In therapy when I couldn’t speak, I wrote instead. Now I attend a weekly writing group which I love, and much of my blog content is inspired by these sessions. I encourage anyone struggling to express their trauma to give writing a go. Writing doesn’t have to mean paper and pen; much of my writing is done in the Notes app of my Iphone!

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Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

Yesterday I was buried. Six feet under. There was no light. I could not see in the dark. When I opened my eyes, I was blind.
When I opened my mouth I was choked.
When I tried to shout, I was mute.
I could not breathe as my chest could not rise.
My arms were pinioned to my sides. I could not move.
There was space for my legs but this was unfortunate.
I couldn’t sit up so I lay on my back. There was no one else there because I was alone until I realised I wasn’t.

A monster lay with me.

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What Lies Beneath

Processing trauma can feel like an ongoing battle; at times a bloody war. I’ve always known that I must process all of it. If I leave any stone unturned I will trip up and fall, most likely landing flat on my face, with a broken rib or two. It’s best to clear the ground now. To prevent the inevitable.

Trigger warning: The following post contains themes relating to CSA that some may find upsetting.

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