Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Speak For Me

As much as I dislike the emotional hijackings of pretension I see too often in poetry, I've found myself writing in that form in spurts of collections over the years. The Junior High period (mostly church and people ponderings), the High School period (mostly assignments from creative writing), the Breaking from Home period (fighting my way through abuse to hope), and the Sporadic period (where I write less often, at random, of late). This post is to introduce my opening of a new blog to start sharing the Breaking from Home collection, which I titled Speak for Me.

I wrote these over a period of about four years, from mid 2005 to early 2009. This covers the period from shortly after my mom died, through moving, paternal re-marriage, moving away from home, breaking from home, and moving even farther away from home. It covers a lot of emotions as the ones I couldn't write out in my normal journals would crescendo until they came out in poetry form. They express frustrations, trying to hold on, feeling trapped, mad at feeling scared, and almost always work through till I can find a way to keep hoping for a better time.

Some of the poems have easily shareable themes. Just One Day is the first that comes to mind, and I've already shared that on this blog. They are all very personal and I've been conflicted between pulling it all into a presentable form and resisting actually presenting it. I'm still scared to open this up because a lot of people were oblivious to this part of me and even more people resent the idea that a person can be so extremely traumatized without the socially comprehended forms of physical and sexual abuse.

Sometimes I try to explain the effects of my experiences as brainwashing. Life was often an active battle to simply retain my identity, to not disappear into a mind-less, being-less, soulless slave. The Speak for Me collection is very much my active fighting to survive. PTSD is recognized as trauma that physically threatens ones life and thereby alters the body's reaction to stimulus which recalls the originating trauma. What I survived threatened to erase me, not just my physical body. I believe this kind of abuse is rampant. It is pernicious precisely because it isn't talked about and is ignored when outsiders catch a glimpse. "It's none of my business," is the usual thought response.

How often I wished someone had spoken up and told me I had a right to think what I think and feel what I feel. That what was happening was not ok and was not my fault. That an understanding haven would have been offered where I was wanted and welcome and understood. Instead, I hid in my car because I couldn't face going inside yet and had nowhere else to go. I had imaginary conversations with the closest things I had to friends to try to work through the craziness that was my life because everyone was too busy to want to be bothered by me. I hated looking in the mirror and seeing what I was taught was a disgusting person. I can face mirrors now. I can see me, now. But pictures still make me feel a bit sick. I was left alone, without family, with church as my only refuge, but resented and abandoned repeatedly by people who had no interest in slowing down enough to see that my unusual reactions had a terrible cause. Instead, they just saw them and me as unwanted irritation.

And so, even though I am nervous, I am sharing this because someone needs to start the conversation. Someone needs to say - these are the emotions. And those trapped in the nightmare I finally escaped need to know it can be done, even if no one else decides to notice, care, or try to help. I did it with God by my side, guiding my understanding until I was read to break from home and learn to feel safe in freedom. Speak for Me is my journey during this difficult time.

The scriptures that introduce each poem are almost all the very verses that helped me reach the poems' conclusions I needed to keep going. They were very much my life-line. The afterwords are reflections on the topic or the events which prompted the poems. The new blog can be found at:

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