IP, Canada

I was a child whose life had barely begun
You crept into my room and took me from by bed
I trusted you and you violated me
How could you

You stole my innocence

For many years I was afraid because I was too small
I knew it was wrong
“daddy’s shouldn’t do those things”
I thought my voice would not be heard
So shame kept me silent

One day I found the strength to run
But the flashbacks remained.
I saw you in my mind I could not shake you.
The visions in my head were overwhelming

Courage made me find someone who could help me heal
At first I couldn’t speak without tears getting in the way
The words wanted to come out but were held fast
As if trapped by a barrier.
I saw the words I wanted to say
But my lips refused to open

Shame kept me silent.

Eventually I found the words without barriers or shame.
It was like a dam had broken and the flow of water, was the words
The years have moved on and I’ve found forgiveness for myself
I know I still have some healing to do
But my past no longer has a suffocating hold on me
I rejoice in every new day
Because I chose to live each one knowing that I am here
I am a survivor

Author Statement

When I was told that I could write a poem about my childhood abuse to help others to heal and also myself, I didn’t know if I wanted to relive those memories again in such detail. But then I realized that if my writing these words could help someone else face their own trauma, then I had to try. It was hard writing those moments because I relived them as I wrote, so I thought of myself as a separate entity and was able to write the words without it consuming me.


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The Gatehouse