A survivor has kindly asked us to share the following piece of poetry. Writing poetry can help survivors find their voices during difficult and stormy times. We are very grateful to the survivor for sharing their poetry and we hope it can help other survivors too.
Feeling in Turmoil
Feeling in turmoil, like a boat tossed around in turbulent swells.
Remembering, like watching a 3d film, looking on. Watching. Listening. Feeling.
Distant yet there.
Removed. Not reacting. Submitting. Conforming. Letting it happen. Confused.
Acknowledging my responsibilities as a child were not as an adult’s.
I was there. It was happening to me yet….
It was not my fault.
It was not my fault, just as I am not responsible for the storms at sea.
It was not my fault, for I was the child in his care.
It was not my fault, even though my adult mind may creep in thoughts that it was.
Heading into calmer waters and seeing things through clearer glass.
Talking to someone who is not shocked, who listens and has the patience to hear what I don’t say.
Attempting to let go from trying to process myself
Memories stirred up, triggered by normal events of life.
My mind dealing with a torrent of emotion, feelings so real, inside so deep.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Boats are not designed to stay in harbours yet sail free.
My life, my boat, it’s resting in calm safe shores.
Being repaired of the unseen damage not spoken of from years gone by.
Rotten wood being gently unearthed and exposed to see the true beauty that lies beneath.
A hull being restored-stronger without blemish or scarring from its past.
That’s my boat. It will be.
Heading out into the oceans of life, not looking back.
Emma is a survivor who has started to write poetry to help healing, expression and coping. We hope her words might help you too. Thank you Emma for sharing.
A long time coming
Rape lasts longer than a moment,
Rape burns an imprint into the self.
Rape strips more than the outside
It thieves the words from your frightened mouth.
It makes you think you are different,
Like you’re deserving of this sin.
It cripples up the body
It freezes up the skin.
Should you ever meet a person,
Who has survived this evil act.
They’ve discovered the gift of healing.
Found blessing in attack.
The breadth of their compassion,
The depth within their soul,
The challenges they’ve faced,
Just to learn they’re more than whole.
Rape can last a lifetime,
Even if just a moment it may last,
Yet the power, with own permission can be restored,
The pain, the silence, the past.
Spirit of strength
At RSVP we salute the strength, courage and resilience of the people that we support. This inspiring and beautiful poem written by Zoe celebrates these qualities and describes her journey to re-discover her voice and use its power to speak out for justice.
You took my dance and you took my song
You took so much while I was so young
You stole my smile and you stole my laugh
The girl I was, you tore her apart
With your cruel words and your violent deeds
Your only thought – to fulfill your needs
You took my trust and you took my care
You made me wish that I wasn’t there
Made me believe for so many years
That what you did was what I deserved
The words I’d carved deep into my skin,
They spoke the truth of who lay within
These words, I now see of who they speak
Of those so cold, disgusting and weak
You’re many faces and many names
But underneath you’re all the same
Cowards and bullies, men with no souls
To hurt and shame – your pathetic goals!
But with all the things you took away
You failed to see what it was you gave
My strength of spirit is thanks to you
My courage and resilience too
And now I can speak of what you’ve done
To you, I will make sure justice comes!
Picture credit – Strength by Colleen McMahon used under a Creative Commons licence.