On Being Molested – Part 4

How did being molested at an early age change me, I wonder? Because I don’t know who I was, or who I was meant to be, or who I might have been. All that can never be discovered or retrieved, I think. 1eac_basic_webMy clues about the damage that was done are in my writing. When I talk to the parts of myself that are/were hurting so drastically, protecting so fiercely, and circling the wagons. When I talk them down from the ceiling so that I can move forward with life. Whole, and not shattered. Put together better than I was – richer and deeper. Accepting my flaws and imperfections with a wabi-sabi aesthetic.

Tonight’s poem is, again, from Part 3 of my book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing. This poem, Warrior’s Warning, is about the warrior part of me – the one who protected the vulnerable, broken little girl inside me. She’s tough, she’s strong, she packs a mean (virtual) punch. And I love her dearly.

Warrior’s Warning

You are so stupid! she says to me
And yet she is me.
How can this be
why would she attack me?
I AM her. She IS me.

Do you hear me?
What kind of an idiot are you?
You think you can talk to me
you think you can heal me
you think you can love me?

Yes, I say
because we have to, or we’ll die
you and I.
I don’t want to die
you don’t either.
You’re hurt
      and alone
           and in pain.
I know.

You know nothing.
You think you can help me
you think you know me.
What do you know
what do you know about love?
I know about love
and what it means.
It makes you believe in someone and then what?
They hurt you more than you can stand.

Keep your love
keep it away from this little girl.
She doesn’t need it
she doesn’t want it
she can’t stand it.
I can’t either.

Listen to me, I say
you have to listen.
Sit still
           and listen.
      this little girl’s life depends on it
           your life does.
Mine as well.

I know about pain
I know that you’ve done a wonderful job
trying to protect our little girl.
And you have—
she’s been safe
nobody has been able to hurt her again.
Your anger, your rage
      fierce—like a mother lion’s
           they saved her life.
Thank you for your bravery.

But now it’s time to move ahead
one little step at a time.
She will always need you
and she needs to speak.
She’s letting us both know that.
Can you hear her?
      She’s crying out
           she needs a voice
                let her have one.

Oh yes—she needs a voice
a voice of anger
a voice of protest
a voice of warning.
Stay away from me
don’t hurt me
I know what she feels.
How do you know?
You think you do
but you don’t.

I do know.
I have lived with her
as you have
feeling her fear
      feeling her hurt
           feeling her pain.
She doesn’t have words
she’s three.
Help her to grow
      help yourself
           help me.

Don’t tell me what to do
don’t talk to me about hurt
don’t talk to me about pain.
Who cares?
Fuck you.

Listen to me
I know your anger
I live it
It is eating me alive.
Are you a cannibal
would you eat your own?
I will not
      I want to heal
           you must heal
we all must—to survive.

I will bring you along with me
      and our little girl
          and we will
whether or not you can let go.
We will help you.
I want to see my daughter grow up.
I must do this.

You cannot help me
I won’t let you in
you will only hurt me like I’ve been hurt before.
Don’t tempt me with your promises
they’re empty
they have no meaning.
They will lead to betrayal
and too much pain.
Stay away
far away
my life depends on it.
Do you hear me?

I do hear you.
I don’t know what to do
so that you will believe me
so that our little girl will believe me.
I need your help
Help me.

About armsakimbobook

I'm a mother, a lawyer, a feminist, a writer, a potter, and an inveterate and unapologetic New Yorker. My book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing, tells of my journey of healing over a number of years, learning to live a full life after I was molested by my father at a very young age. I live in Maynard, MA, with my wife and and our two moose-cats, Samson and Hercules. My daughter used to live with me part-time, but she's all grown up now and in her junior year of college, which I can't quite fathom, since she was born about five minutes ago...
This entry was posted in Grieving, Healing, Incest, Outrage, Poems, Trauma and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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