Poems about The Power of Voice

When one experiences childhood sexual abuse they simultaneously have their voice taken away—they are threatened, they are groomed, they are forced into a world that is out of balance and they are forced to find ways to make sense of something that does not make sense, the finding of one’s true voice is nothing short of heroic—it is the culmination of the heroines journey. finding the words to say… my voice… my voice being heard… my voice being believed… controlling the narrative…

Dismantling Shame

Stigma will no longer sew my lips shut, it cannot.

Stigma will no longer shame me into a shell, it cannot.

Stigma is the toxin that runs through society, but no longer through me. It cannot.

Stigma is the faceless fear that tried to force me into inaction. But now, it cannot.

Stigma helped my perpetrator get away with his crime, but now, it cannot.

Stigma helped complicit institutions cover up abuse, but now, it cannot.

Stigma is being disrupted and dismantled, and it will no longer prevent the truth.

Stigma is being unmasked and uncovered, and it will no longer trap any youth.

Stigma is a relic of the past, showing the greatest contrast.

For now, the darkness cannot live here, only truth and light.

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Rosalia Rivera, Canada
 · 
July 8, 2022

SHAME AND THE GROUP

Shame wreathes my morning, like the thickest mist.
I trickle through the day, craving the night.
I scour those nights. Does peace hide, in some scream?
But where to find it?

I can’t even find my car keys!
Brothers, sisters, I need you. Whisper in my ear.
Reflect my shaming in your tear-filled eye.
Your wounded healing takes away my fear.
Truth clears the mist, and I can see the sky.
Better: I see the circle, claim my place.
I breathe with you. Your courage is my grace.

Author Statement

The group I attend is for men, but I added ‘sisters’ because I know abuse affects all
genders, including trans-gender and non-binary. I found I was breaking rhythms all over the place – no matter. Recovery is not neat.

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Patrick Sandford, United Kingdom
 · 
July 8, 2022

DANGER: RAGING.

I grazed my rage today. It flushed my skin.
A lava-storm erupted deep within
But stayed inside, for grown-up girls and boys
Are not supposed to make an angry noise.
Bugger that! I AM, I rightly AM.
Rage that is heard, transforms - to mighty trees,
Orchards that blaze a thousand energies,
That fruit a thousand futures, as is just.
The alchemy of anger into trust.
Trust! That’s the big one. That means me and you.
That what you say, and what I feel are true.

Author Statement

Learning that I have a right to my feelings was a major step in my recovery.Feelings of
rage, grief, fear, bewilderment, shame.

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Patrick Sandford, United Kingdom
 · 
July 8, 2022

SEX EDUCATION (aged 9)

'Just tickling', but his grasp betrays the lie.
Outside, the playground squeals its playground fears.
He splays the me-child, flesh against his thigh,
Manoeuvres that shame shudder down my years.
The nature study jam-jars wink: I spy!
Bewilderment throat-retches into tears.
'Thank you'. He thanks me! Knowing no-one knows
Nor must, I tiptoe-flee, pretend to play,
Then work, smile, work, and up the goody goes -
Top of the class to teatime shine the day.
The teacher tends his purpose; nothing shows;
Un-crease the child, use, re-use, toss away.
My smile survives, until in middle age
I'll shift the slab, and liberate the Rage.

Author Statement

At playtime, my Primary School Teacher used to ask me to stay behind in the classroom to refresh the water in the nature-study jam-jars, or to change the posters on the classroom
walls. These were pretexts to enable his abuse. This was the first poem I wrote about my
abuse. I was afraid, mostly that the emotion might be overwhelming, so without setting out
to do so I found myself writing in the tight form of a sonnet. it just came out like that. I
learned about sonnets at Secondary School. I spy! was a children’s game.

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Patrick Sandford, United Kingdom
 · 
July 8, 2022

Please

He took a piece of me.
He took the peace of me,
my Godfather.
And, my God, Father, I need it back.
Now.
Please?
Peace - Oh, I remember you.
You endless summer of Lego adventures.
Daytime TV with Gran and her dentures
in a glass, and we’d laugh.
Peace - You made my sides sore and my face hot
from laughing. God, I used to laugh, so loud, a lot.
Peace - You warm bath.
You tranquil home planet, so tiny yet vast.
You safe cosy world all of my choosing,
and Mum’s cooking and Dad’s snoozing,
when all was okay,
and we all believed it would stay that way.
Until the day he took away that piece of me.
The peace of me.
Peace,
I miss you.
I miss me.

Author Statement

This is not at all the poem I just sat down to write. I’d planned to express a fierce battle cry, but instead these gentle words fell out of me like some kind of creative sneeze. I was surprised and slightly frustrated, but I went with it. It has left me quite still. I thought I was doing pretty good in my recovery but clearly, this poem exercise has illuminated an unrest within me, that I guess I need to stop and listen to. Healing is a
journey, not a destination. I’ll just keep going.

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Matthew McVarish, Scotland
 · 
July 8, 2022

Realizing Me

She took the same book out of her church library about 30 times between the ages of 8 to ten. Oh,  how I wish I could have held her close and told her again and again
You can tell me

The book she read told her to tell if someone touched her inappropriately. Surround by so many adults couldn't they see the book was a plea
For help

Oh how I wish I could have held her hand in love, I wish she could have told me
In her teens, struggling with body image, hatred for the parts he touched;  they labeled her unpleasant and miserable a person you should never expect much 

How I would have loved to offer her some encouragement, a smile
Maybe then she would have told me

In her 20s and 30s constantly hounded by memories those she finally told shamed and dismissed her, "you're hurting his legacy!" How I wished I was stronger to become a defender of self... you see,

She is me

Now in my 40s a mother, fearless protector no longer owning the shame. I am victorious I am a THRIVER I now know my name

How I now love me and trust me as I come into my own

I'm Beautiful, loved, kind and courageous  

I am me

I am Annie

I am free

Author Statement

I’m so glad that my aunt Carol, who is involved with your agency, encouraged me to write my poem. I’ve written many over the years but this has been the most liberating as I can see my growth as I thrive past my experience. My words were easy to find because I’m no longer bound and my present truth is so much brighter than the lies sprouted in the darkness of my past.

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Annie, Canada
 · 
July 8, 2022

Marry the Words

If I could tell you
marry the words
match the soul void
If only…

Why do you pull away
suddenly?
Shrink from my touch
love?

If you could just see
Read my lips
see my soul cry
for love…

Where did you go, my love,
Once more ‘gain?
Shrink a-way from
love?

If I could just say
the right words
It’s not me and
neither you

Together
each alone
wondering why
both searching for something better.
That’s the strength
of our
Love

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James Buffin, Canada
 · 
June 24, 2022

Empowering Canvases

Ink blotted canvases
filled with words of
despair and anger,
mixed with an
overwhelming sense
of anguish.
Admittance and guilt
is shown through the
poor excuses of a man.
Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve,
but didn’t know better.
Or rather, knew better but
ignorance stepped in,
shadowing any sense of
wrongdoing and
inappropriateness;
slicing ties of trust that
once were inarguably
bright for all to see.
Now, dull and faint,
nonexistent; severed ties.
The places I once stood
weak and frail with fear
enveloping my figure,
I now stand with empowerment.
My dignity returns.
My worth returns.
My power returns.
New found strength grows
thicker within and I roar,
“No more!”

Author Statement

I had confronted my latest abuser of six years via a written letter, detailing all of the events and how each circumstance affected me. My abuser responded by expressing apologetic guilt while noting no recollection of these events nor his behaviour. This poem is the outcome of confronting him and taking back my power.

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KM, Canada
 · 
May 21, 2022

Resetting

Still, I find them in their prisons, but they love me...
I ask them to show me how they got there.
Their distress and nightmares become mine...
Some places we glimpse and run, they are too dangerous...
We escape to favourite places and bask in the warmth of safety and peace.
Mostly, we discover the need to assuage their wounded hearts
We rebuild their memories and fill them with love and tenderness.
They hide things still...they have so much shame...or I cannot see.
Even when we are stuck, we still bond...we swim in healing waters.
We fight, we rage, we tantrum, take vengeance...find empowerment.
We replay history and reclaim their losses.
They find safety, love, community, acceptance...
I sigh...reset...one hole filled.
That sword stops stabbing.
An organ is less tainted...some poison is sifted out
Those banal words and predicaments can be a part of my life
A moment relieved of possession...I am eradiated.
I smile...a freedom to exist, to stand straight and tall.

Author Statement

The poem is a reflection on my process of doing inner child meditations to reparent and reimagine safety and reclaim needs that were never provided. This poem is one of seven other poems reflecting on my inner child work and focuses on the phase where I was learning to use meditation to find pain relief from triggers. I learned my back pain is caused by an aroused emotion trapped in my body and that meditation could provide the underlying need that my emotion wanted to experience to find relief. This poem describes the process of finding my inner children in spaces of deprivation, rescuing them, and providing a safe space to meet their needs. The conclusion conveys my experience of releasing tension to find relief from chronic back pain and the joy of experiencing no triggers in a historically triggering moment. I have just completed a book of seven poems with a collection of drawings called “My Left Hand is Talking, My Right Hand is Nurturing,” that chronicles this process of using inner child meditation to heal and find relief of the symptoms of abuse.

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JE Field, Canada
 · 
May 21, 2022

The Gatehouse