On Being Molested – Part 5

First, a totally irrelevant point – is it really July? Impossible – it was just March. Time really does fly…even if you’re not having fun.

1eac_basic_webI continue to ponder my parts these days, as we enter into the month that has always been my Achilles heel. The month filled with an existential dread, an angst almost beyond bearing. All of my deepest depressions have reared their ugly heads in July. All of my suicidal ideation, the worst of my despair. My therapist has exhorted me to stand in relation to my parts. Not to minimize them or their messages, but rather to understand that they are not the totality of me. When I am able to do that, I can get through the hardest of times.

Tonight’s poem is one of my favorites from my book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing. It gave me the title for the book, and it gave me a feeling of pure love for each of my parts – even the grown-up me. Miraculous. This poem is very long – please bear with me. I had a lot to pour onto the paper.

Arms Akimbo
(A Dis-Integration Journey)

She of many parts
fighting to the death.
For supremacy?
No—she is no man
no territorial imperative, hers.

She fights for life
for wholeness
A tall order
a small person
(many small people).

Is she familiar?
I believe I am she.
Shocking to be of parts
not a whole
no integration
no self to speak of—
Glimmers, perhaps
shining eyes
a beaming smile.
But darkness as well
not of the soul
I used to think so
in moments I still do
when darkness swallows me
in a small death.

The darkness is the past
the abyss, with no light
only eyes
terrified, terrifying
depending on the focus.
Either way dark
filled with emptiness.

That past
that darkness
it has a voice
small, tentative, sweet
A whisper, really.
Why did you do that, Daddy?
Are you OK, Suzie?
I’m sorry, Suzie.
MOMMY!! Help us!

It has a face too
a small sweet face
that you must kiss
and a body—sturdy, strong
that you must hug

It has a soul as well.
This is where I get muddled
where I must pause
where tears are at the ready.
A beautiful, innocent soul
so full of life
of wonder
feeling, loving, kind
independent, thoughtful, funny.
All in all, quite remarkable.

That soul, that sweetness
I treasure it
I long for it
I dread it.
Letting it in means letting pain out
the depth of which feels like death.
Part of me would sooner die.

Which part, that
the protector part?
The one that will not let that little girl be hurt again?
She is a warrior, a foot soldier
on the front lines of the battlefield.
She too knows the dark.
She answers it with a ferocious rage
to protect that small soul.
That part’s voice?
Clear, loud, strong
as if to balance the whisper.
It booms, thunders
the crashing of the Gods
Zeus, perhaps, battling Typhon
warning off all who would draw near.

I’ll make you sorry!
Wait and see…

A face?
None comes to mind.
Maybe one distorted with rage
mottled red cheeks, eyes glaring
green with sparks of red flying out
searing all who come close
sparks that do not die but can mortally wound
and kill the soul of any interlopers.

Its body?
Strong, sturdy, ready for battle
arms akimbo
knees bent
ready for attack
forever on the offensive
the best defense after all.
No hugging this part
it is not meant for softness
for comforting
or comfort.
It is the warrior body
Peter Pan defending the lost boys.

It has a soul—not dark
tho’ it seems so at first blush.
White hot
nurturing in its own way
as (almost) any mother would be
in the face of grave danger.
This one too is full of life
of its immediacy
its perils
protective of those who cannot protect themselves.
This one is the ultimate
child advocate.

I wish I could hug her
without being burned
that others might comfort her.
She needs it as much as the other small part
but her bravado will not let it in.
She makes me feel sad

So we come to the “me” part
not fully formed
missing pieces.
A mosaic in process
shards coming together
edges blunted
making something worthy of
looking at
listening to

The “me” part
filled with fear, rage
much compassion
and a fierce mean streak.
Who would kill for her child
and love her just as fiercely, protectively
yet let her go when it’s right to do so.
Passionate about all she does
and experiences
in love
in hate
and the in-between.

Her voice—
you know it, don’t you?
Soft—with a hard edge
hard—with a soft edge
Filled with rage.

It’s OK my sweet little one
I’m here
I hear
I will protect you.
I will roar like a lion if I need to
or purr like a housecat.

It’s OK my fierce warrior
I know you too
and love you
admire you.
I carry you with me
at the ready
waiting to spring at those
who bring danger.

But please
let me figure out who that is.
There are too many bodies strewn about
making for too many tears.
All that rage
let’s water it down a bit.

It’s OK you of the present
OK to be who you are
or want to be
the loving, passionate, fierce
smart, funny soul.

Her face—you know that, too.
Eyes that laugh
spark when angry
terrify with rage.
A mouth with full lips
at the ready
to attack
to love
to kiss
the child with innocence
and a pure mother’s love t
he lover with softness, passion, lust.

The body?
Like the others
sturdy, strong standing tall
and not
depending on the day
the hour
the moment.

Arms akimbo
or drawn in close
wrapped around herself
or others
for comfort.

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, Poems, Trauma and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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