Purple Ribbon Poem: I Remember


I Remember

The screams and the whispers, the pounding of hearts
Your taciturn violence that tore us apart

The burden of secrets we carried within
The incessant feeling of unconfessed sins

Unstable, chaotic, the torturous threat:
Don’t say a word that you might regret

You might yank the thread that held us in place
Our entire life simply could be erased

It was all about power, your need to control
And I still remember the things I was told:

“You’re worthless and helpless, a pain in the ass
I’m paying for you, so you’d better grow fast

I’m not in the mood for your childish games
But later we’ll try something I like to play”

I remember the twisted, maniacal grin
Your sick satisfaction at the repulsive end

And the lesson I learned from those little games:
I am the problem, I carry the shame

I remember the gradual losing of hope
The extremes that I went to merely to cope

How you never noticed, in my every breath
My aching desire for the comfort of death

I remember how small I had to become
How you made us beg for every crumb

And somehow you brainwashed us to believe
That we didn’t have the power to leave

But no matter how much damage you’ve done
I’ll always remember that I was the one

Who first had the courage to stand up and say:
“Your reign of terror is ending today”

© Sarah Henderson 2003


About writingforrecovery

Sarah is a writer and poet who speaks out about issues that make people uncomfortable. Sarah advocates for causes such a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness, and often speaks openly about her own experiences. She is determined to abolish the stigma associated with these issues and believes that it starts with people telling their stories, so she started a blog called Writing for Recovery where people can do just that. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and is currently at work on her fourth. She is convinced that there's a novel somewhere in her, and occasionally picks at the chapters so far. View all posts by writingforrecovery

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