The turbulence of these waves
could drown you out at sea;
swimming in saltwater with open wounds is bound to make you scream
This body is tired of fighting a current and never drowning.
So stay strong
even when you feel all alone
Keep moving on;
the monsters that once had their claws in your back -
No one's going to help you,
even if they'd want to.
There are things that, they will never know
So baby girl keep changing
all the thoughts that, you think you know
Just go slow
Just go slow
This poem was created while I was crying and trying to make something meaningful on my guitar. The words became a slow and melancholy song, through muffles of hopelessness, sobbing and exhaustion. I was deep in my battle of post-traumatic stress and this night was one of the darkest and most alone moments that I’ve experienced yet. I was landing in the reality that no one would be able to fully be able to understand my experience because I was the only one that experienced it; I was the only one there other than my perpetrator. In my mind, at the time, even the most well intentioned-folks (which there were few) wouldn’t be able to “save” me; this was very scary because I felt so alone, and I wanted, desperately, to be seen and helped and saved by anybody. It was a terrifying time to me.
Looking back now, this poem represents one of the first times that I tapped into my own strength and resilience. It felt like I was making a decision out of hopelessness and betrayal, it was deeply deeply painful… and, though I didn’t know it yet, it also was the turning point for me. I was choosing to believe in something that I didn’t know to be real or true or possible – healing, my own inner-strength, the possibility of a “good” life…
It’s taken years and there have been triggers, painful flashbacks, deep and difficult transformation, but ultimately, all great learnings towards healing and post-traumatic growth. I am proudly in a healthy relationship now, with a partner who hears me and respects me; someone who I can communicate my boundaries with and who advocates for me even when I’m not there. I have learned how to create safety for myself and have been working hard to learn how to let go of unhelpful coping mechanisms (such as people pleasing and co-dependency), in order to show up authentically in all my relationships, aligned in my truth and in touch with myself and my body’s boundaries. The journey has been hard; I’ve lost a lot of people along the way, and battled up and down with mental illness. But I am so proud of myself for how far I’ve come, for who I am now, and for the young woman who wrote this poem in her darkest times, unknowing it would become her prayer to get her through to the end <3
Thank you for your being a wonderful part of the global poetry movement.