Your Stories, Your Words

If anyone wants to share their story, here is a place you can feel free to do that. No topic is off limits, there are no rules about language, don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just write what you feel needs to be said. If you have something you want to say, just take a comment box and start writing. I look forward to hearing from you. Love, Sarah

60 responses to “Your Stories, Your Words

  • Janelle Trotter-Kissel

    One Foot in Front of the Other~

    I am traveling down a road unknown to me…

    Life has changed dramatically in last several months.

    It is still changing.

    I am not fearful or reluctant.

    Running headlong into the unknown, arms out stretched and eyes wide open.

    I have laughed so hard my tummy hurt.

    I have tenderly shed tears of release and recognition.

    My soul has rejoiced.

    I have a bit of a nervous feeling deep down, that comes from wondering….

    Will I measure up?

    Will it be everything that it “feels” like it could be?

    I am not a glamor girl.

    I am not a diva.

    I get my hands dirty, I roll with the punches.

    I am vulnerable and gentle.

    I am strong and soulfully developed.

    My life isn’t perfect, matter of fact it is far from it.

    My shit isn’t as together as I want it to be.

    I am not educated, I am self-taught.

    My heart is as big and loving as any mothers heart.

    My achievements and success’s have been that of over coming many rough situations in life. Raising my kids to be righteous and loving beings.

    Having known true happiness. Not happiness measured by what I have or how much money. Happiness. Being happy to be here, in the game. Being able to love and love deeply no matter what.

    I have loved and been loved.

    My children, MY KIDS have loved me with a depth that has picked me up and protected me and sheltered me from the storms.

    They have taught me about myself in countless ways.

    Good and not so Good.

    I have had everything to do with the very best them.

    Our bonds are unbreakable.

    They truly get it, they know what is important.

    At the end of my life…what will I have wanted to change?

    My regrets are very few so far.

    Only thinking about how I would have handled some things differently. I may not have wasted some of the time and energy I did.

    I keep in mind that the Lord will have a tried and true people.

    Strong and valiant souls.

    I will be on the front lines, heck I am now.

    Perfection of my soul is a tedious process. That requires much courage and strength.

    My character….LOL…I think to myself….”I want to have a strong character, not be one.”


    I lucked out, I have both.

    Thankfully, I don’t look like one.


    Where is this post going this…

    Sheeze, I am not sure.

    ~It is what it is~

    Pouring it out of me…Pounding the keys

    Making it mine and owning it.

    simply put

    One foot in front of the other!!

    Janelle Trotter-Kissel

  • Shannon

    When words “pour out” they fall in the best places. Lovely.

  • Renee Metcalf

    Watching, “UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN.” One of my all-time-favorite-movies… It reminds me of a time when my life was broken into a million lil’ pieces. A time from which, I thought I would never return. ~ With many tears, trials, and tribulations, I got to the other side. ~ I may not have much, but, I have the love of family, and friends. And I thank the Creator for showing me, that is all that I “Really” needed all along… Everything else is just is just an extra blessing. ~ So, if you know anyone who is in a dark place. Reach out to them. ~ When were in the darkness, sometimes, its enough, just to know that they are there. . . ;)’

  • Christina Ottenwess

    It would be easy to pretend
    that everything is fine
    that life is completely normal
    and that the Fates fair wind blew kind

    Or, that I have truly healed
    or that Time can rewind
    what circumstances He did steal
    of what my Heart may never find

    A Confidence, that is eroded
    A Faith, forever corroded
    A Life,that was never supported
    A Love, that was not reported

    Controlled by the past,
    slave to his every whim
    My Heart tries to escape
    The misery from within

    My soul the scar does bare
    A part of my mind I do not share
    All the Tears I wish to shed
    From a past filled with dred

  • Augustine Poles

    I would like to get across my respect for your kindness giving support to people that must have help with your niche. Your personal commitment to passing the message throughout came to be unbelievably valuable and has really made professionals much like me to achieve their desired goals. Your entire warm and helpful information signifies much a person like me and still more to my fellow workers. With thanks; from each one of us.

  • Melissa Robinson

    Once upon a time, I loved you dearly.

    I trusted you – not because you were special – just because that is what innocent children do.

    I could go into detail about how what you put me through was wrong – but we both know that it would be a waste of time.

    You are the worst kind of evil, the worst kind of scum.You have no guilt or shame aboout your desire to fuck members of your own family – no matter what age. That is just what you do – that is what you ALL do. The ‘Honour’s’ – how ironic! The only honour you lived or died with was your last name.

    Once upon a time, I felt defeated by you.

    When I realised that you were all in this sick little game together – when you used your pathetic excuse of a daughter to get me back from the ‘real world’.

    I gave in for a while – I guess you will always have that. But I never gave up. I waited patiently for an opportunity to escape – and the waiting made me angry.

    Every time you touched me, every time we kissed, every time our eyes met – only added to my rage and fury. Each moment I spent with you only made me more determined to survive.

    Happily ever after, I found a way to beat you.

    I used my hurt and suffering to make me stronger. I don’t need your apology. I don’t need to hear you explain. I really couldn’t give a flying fuck what you have to say.

    I made sure that you never laid eyes on me again. And if you can see me now – from where ever it is that a dispicable soul like your’s resides – I hope you do take a real good look.

    You wanted me for yourself, and you had me for a while – but no longer.

    Happily ever after, take a really good look.

    I will never run or hide from my past, I feel no shame – I have exposed you and your brood as the pieces of shit that you really are.

    I hold my head up high, and I share my body and soul with my husband who loves me. He will not suffer because of you – he will have me for himself.

    My children will never know the life that you impossed on me – they will never know ‘love’ the way I do.

    A fairytale life, I have one of my very own.

    I was born, destined for greatness – but, sadly I was stolen – by a wicked witch, and taken to a castle where I was sacrificed to a ghastly beast.

    I was kept in that castle for many years, treated as a slave – and humiliated by all who lived there.

    But – like every princess – I never gave up hope. I waited patiently for the day when I would be rescued and taken to safety. I knew in my heart that the beast would be slane, that the wicked witch would loose her power, and that I would fullfill my destiny.

    A fairytale ending, I have one of my very own.

    A queen in my own castle, a King who loves and protects his kingdom, and everyone in it.

    Two beautiful princesses to show for our love. True love.

    You are nothing but a memory, a fleeting moment of beastly terror in a lifetime of love, strength and happiness.

    You are nothing.

    Melissa Robinson – your grandaughter.

  • tim w.

    prayer and affirmation of an adult child:

    i am timothy althar!
    my anger is real, it makes ME real!
    my love is real, it makes me valuable!
    my expression is valid…. i am not responsible for other’s reaction to it!
    i have a right to be!
    i have a right to love!
    i have a right to express…. in the best ways i know how or can!
    so be it!
    and so it is!

  • tim w.

    a good meeting

    is a circle…
    circle the wagons.

    is safe enough to be vulnerable…
    speak about my feelings.

    starts and ends with that prayer…
    God grant me the serenity.

    is more functional than family…
    we can bump up against each other
    and still say ‘i belong’, and remain.

    lifts me out and folds me in…
    no man is an island.

    reminds me that i am valuable and worthy and real.

    gives me hope and leads me back onto my path…
    one step at a time, do the right thing, keep coming back.

    – timothy althar

  • NoOneNeedsToKnow

    My sketchbook

    I sit in a room. I don’t know where. Time moves differently for me. I reach and I pick up a pencil. I want to pick up something different. The pencil makes lines on the paper. The lines become letters. The letters become words. Nd it all becomes one sentence. “I don’t want to hurt.” I didn’t write those words. I couldn’t hav. The pleas for help nd crying stopped with my will to live. I tear out the page nd I start again. Again the pencil moves on it’s own. A line takes form. The line curves nd meets other lines then turns into shapes. I look at my end result. It’s a razor blade. This is what I wanted right? I turn the page and start again. The pencil moves on it’s own. The lines curve and other lines cross. My finished picture makes me smile. It’s a bird cage with an open door and a bird flying freely into a sunrise. I’m ready.

    • writingforrecovery

      This is beautiful. It’s haunting; it left me wondering what the final drawing represented. Were you smiling because you had decided to live or decided to die? Lots of possible interpretations, which is what good poetry does. Thank
      you so much for sharing!! I hope it helps the hurt you are obviously familiar with. Peace, Sarah

      • NoOneNeedsToKnow

        I’m smiling because I’ve decided to live 🙂

      • writingforrecovery

        Dear NONT,
        I believe those are the most beautiful words anyone has ever posted here. I don’t know if WfR had anything to do with your decision, but whatever persuaded you, I am profoundly grateful that you’re choosing to live. Thank you so much for sharing that here; it brought me to tears, because comments like yours are the entire purpose behind this site. I wish you much strength and courage as you continue your recovery journey. I hope to hear more from you!
        Peace, Sarah

      • Heidi Feldhaus

        What I got out of your story is you can always have a clean page, turn it & beauty appears when you didn’t expect it too. Your special never forget that! Thank You for sharing your story! God Blessed you already.

  • Out With It, Now Breathe

    I’m sat in my room, I have a beautiful safe room, I am very fortunate. I haven’t left my house alone in two weeks though and will not attend school for another month except exams. I’m in sixth form year 12, this is my second attempt at this year – I was an A* student once apon a time.

    You look
    – My face it shimmers,
    It gleams
    Just like I twist your doubts
    I am twisted
    You speak
    I lie…
    On an endless rocky shore
    Eventually, at the end
    Turn to soft grain and run through my fingers?
    You touch
    … I’ve been touched…
    And I take your hand
    – with the same hand that marks my shell
    I wish to rid myself of this red ocean inside
    But it is too vast, but never deep enough!
    You question
    I question
    But like me you do not know
    Or do I?
    So please
    Don’t look,
    Don’t speak,
    Don’t touch,
    I have had enough.

    In my early years of 3 to 6 I was ridiculously spoilt, with both money and love. My ‘half’ Brother and Sisters, who shared the same Mother, however was segregated by my Father. Now and again Father would hit my Brother and Sister, but when he told me off I wouldn’t get such treatment. As a result I would slap my leg or hit my head against the wall. Mother and Father started arguing more, mostly in the kitchen, meanwhile I would have a panic attack in the joined dining room. When Mother and Father divorced I lived with Mother in poverty, sleeping on the floor for two years seeing my Father on weekends and Wednesdays with my youngest older Sister. Things were abnormal there, I was abnormal. I remember drawing a naked picture of a naked fat man tied to a naked woman. Eventually we moved down the street into a lovely house in shit street. I wasn’t allowed outside it wasn’t safe. I got fat and Mother put me on a diet and excercise routine such as running up and down the stairs. When she wasn’t ill bed bound she would go clubbing or ‘escorting men’ or sleeping with her and Brother’s drug dealer. In fairness she was a single mother providing for her kids in her twisted desperate way which also included working bloody hard. We had many home troubles, she ripped up the rug once with a knife because there was a black dot of a stain there, or her frequent routine of throwing dishes. My sister, also known as Mum2, would try and look after me cooking dinner and taking me to school. Mother took her out of school during GCSEs because of bullying though that didn’t stop them – they came to the house and broke out windows. My brother was a prick, physically abusing my Sister and me. However they got on alright when they hosted house parties, drunk sexually frustruated voilent teenages roamed freely whilst I sat at the top of the stairs. One time one of them got a steak knife, pinned me against the wall and was shouting he would kill me. He didn’t. Another time a ‘family friend’ ‘s girlfriend cut her arm with a knife. Maybe that’s what my what stimulated my Sister to take a razor to her’s? I was still abnormal, I remember prodding my ‘privite’ area with a pencil behind the armchair or put my fingers in there. I don’t now why. I was and still am fasinated with sex. I would even sneek a look in Mother’s Child Sexually Education book which had naked pictures in or at my Brother’s porn. We were also robbed five times in our sleep. Mother by this point decided to move again. But this was far far away, I was aged nine at this point and still saw my Father. This place was heaven. The green, the sky – it was endless. I could play all day after school. Which I wanted to do because I resented my mother so much by this point. About this time I began to masterbate properly, aged nine! Despite issues with Mother I took the opportunities and florished in school. I went skiing four times, did international basketball with Holland, came third in the county for shotput and got my Art GCSE three years early in six months and got an A. I’m not meaning to boast but I am proud and I know I couldn’t do it without the support of my teachers. Anyway. I was so depressed. I would cry myself to sleep for about three years, when there was trouble I would run to my room and have a panic attack. Yes Mother was hurtful still, breaking dishes, writing on my bedroom walls and just not being a Mother. But I also realised and appreciated what I had. Why was I so miserable? There where people more worse off! I was only happy really with my Father. I missed him a lot, but not enough to be crying like I was. My Sister was really depressed on meds and slept around… One day I stopped crying. I developed bulimia after Mother met a more perminant partner, who I called my step-dad. I have been on too many diets to count. Yes I feel fat, but doing a lot of life drawing I love the womanly curves. Three years after being together they broke up and during two years of being without him my Mother overdosed. After the aftermath she came off most of her Meds for all sorts of physical illnesses which revealed the true woman under the drugs.

    Im 17 about to be 18 in a few months. In more recent events (within the past year and a half) I discover I was sexually abused from the ages of 3 1/2 to 6 which lead to PTSD. The suspects have been narrowed to my Father, Mother or Brother. My gut and flashbacks limit it to either parent but I naturally feel closer and safer with my Mother which suggests my Father. However my Mother was sexually abused by her Mother in front of the neighbours boys and I can’t help but think I represented my Father who she hated. I lost my virginity soon after the news, I wanted control, and I lost my short term memory – I couldn’t remember Christmas. At one point after diciding to retake my first year of sixth form I was I self denial and moved in with my Father. I freaked out after my Aunty Betty died, moved back during October holidays and drowned myself with booze and ‘played’ about with some boys and girls.Me and Mother then had bigger issues, fiance got in the middle of our arguements, and I ended up with the maintenance. I turned cold, greedy and hard. My Sister snapped me out of it. And after a lot of effort me and Mum are now having a more healthy relationship. In fact she is amazing, I am so lucky. My bulimia still has a hold on me, and flashbacks are more real and frequent and I actually remember them now. I am now cutting myself deeper and deeper each time.

    Plucked white bud
    Grown never less
    Natures way forth
    Soiled Memories surface
    Scared with sun
    Wilted with water
    Petals now fall
    Once his daughter

    But, but, but, I am getting help. As well as I think I am actually in love, my Boyfriend and Me have been together 4 months but have known each other for 11 now. I never thought I could say the ‘L’ word. Jee I thought I was lezbian. I hated Men so much. But he actually makes me happy, not the fake face happy, truly happy. I have know idea if we will last, we are still ‘young and in love’ but where would I be without him? I hate to think.

    “Do not be sad”
    Bedsheets, White, Skin,
    Torso, Back, Arm, Breast,
    “Look at me”
    Palm, Cheek, Breath,
    Eyes on Eyes, Nose to Nose,
    “You never should hide”

    Recently sex has been hard, I transford into the four year old girl a lot, we have to really focus on one another and take our time. If it is rushed my head drifts and I get freaky flashs. One night I dressed up and worked him up, and then stopped mid way. I could tell he was sad but tried not to show it as he held me. I felt so guilty, I always feel uncontrollibly guilty.

    Sometimes sex is too much,
    Sometimes sorry is not

    I then went down stairs and got angry with a pen instead of what I really wanted…


    I then went up stair a seduced him, I didn’t say a word. He kept trying to stop me but then thought I was trying to prove something to myself. After the sex he was in so much pain, I could see in his eyes, he told me that I AM not HIS toy that it wasn’t what he wanted, he wanted love not just a fuck. And held me till we fell asleep.

    I am very fortunate. Although I feel lonely, I am not alone. Although I find it hard to love, I feel loved by my best friend, Boyfriend, Sisters, Mother, and my support unit. I feel bad for being so lucky, all I can do is make the most out of it though. I can’t bear to tell my Father I know of the sexually abuse and from my flash back attempted rape but there is still a doubt. And what an heart stabbing thing to hear from your daughter if it wasn’t you who did it. I love my Father, I know he wouldn’t lay a finger on me now but what of my future childen. I can imagine that if it was a Father he has a pedofilic profile of younger children and knowing his ‘blood genetic-pride’ they will be blood related. It’s sick. I know. I can’t see my Father right now, i’m not stable enough. I keep considering my legal rights, but I know he isn’t a threat to anyone else, so what’s the point of prison? Apparently when the poilce where involved at the begining of all this he was I complete denial on his knees crying.

    I apologise for the llllooooonnnggg life story. But I never told anyone besides two very close friends and my boyfriend. I’m not seeking attention. But it is a relief to write it down. At one point I felt crazy, insane and I often do still, but now I can write about it. I have stopped running from myself.

    • writingforrecovery

      THANK YOU for taking the time to write your story and share it here. Never apologize for for having lots of amazing things to say! I am glad you have stopped running from yourself and are facing your life, I am glad you are getting help. My best friend is British, according to her the National Health Service has some wonderful counselors. It’s a terribly difficult thing to work through all the trauma you’ve experienced as well as the bulimia and self-harm but it is possible. As for the person who abused you: If you feel like you know in your heart and in your body who that person is, I would advise you to remove that person from your life. I went through a time where I thought I could forgive my father or have a relationship with him after he had sexually abused and assaulted me as a child; it turned out the best thing I could do for myself was move on. He did that thing of apologizing on his knees too. I just don’t think that’s something that’s forgivable, I don’t think it’s possible to rebuild trust after it’s been shattered in that way. And I sure as hell would never let him be around my future children. But you don’t have to worry about that for quite a long while. And I’m only sharing my experience; you get to make your own choices. I wish you the very best on your healing journey and please know you can always come back here to write whatever you want! Peace, Sarah

  • Elena Ramos

    The past
    Still haunts me. It kills me in side. I can’t let it hold me down. Will I always have this dark memory forever? How Can I go on with this much pain on my shoulders? Will I let this stress hold me down? Will I let it get the best of me? It’s hard to even remember what happen. It’s not that I want to remember it’s because I don’t want to remember. Part of me tells me not to go back to the past. The other part won’t let go. I wish I was that happy little girl I uses to be, didn’t care so much or have to worry about when my daddy was goanna come home. Put on what I want to wear. Play in the sun and pretend that it’s ok to run around butt naked. I use to think it was fun to be a teenager but as I got older that’s when things seemed to be getting so difficult. Trying to pretend I didn’t get raped. Trying to pretend that is isn’t ok. Trying to figure out what’s best for me. Trying to erase the dark memory. It hits me when, I go into that room. Remembering so little for a third grader. Not understanding what’s going on. So I just go along with it. Go up stairs to where there was supposed to be a game. Then next thing my clothes are off and I’m getting done front and back by two family members. The ones I thought I could trust. But I guess what happen ment for a reason was. I use to think why God wasn’t there to save me, wipe away all the misery. Why an innocent girl like me. A girl who only new so little about her father. A girl whose dad who was always seemed to be locked up in prison. Doing time he that he didn’t deserve. Maybe his own fault that leads him there. Always into young girls including my best friend.
    Yeah always thought she was an innocent girl. In a way she was a different girl. Then one day a big disgrace, a big mistake. How can someone so innocent cause so much pain? After taken her pain. After given her food and a home, maybe a little love. How can everything change right in front of my eyes? Everything was good now it’s down the drain. How can we fix something that’s already broken? How can she be so heartless? Meissen with my little brother. Then steepen in to break another one. Then sleeping with my father. That’s gross you stupid hoe! I can’t look at you the way I use to! She was a sister to me now a blank memory! Now when I look at her I see hate! How can I ever call her a sister of mine? I would never do that to her. I would never betray her. I don’t think things will ever be the same between us two. She fucked this family up! I wish I was never her friend. For some reason it’s hard to forgive some that hurts you.
    For my dad I thought you changed! When I first came I saw a different man in him. I thought he never go back the same path. Back the same road. But this isn’t about us. It’s for him and his stupid selfish happiness. There is so much to explain. Not that it didn’t bother me but it has affected me throughout my whole life. Hard to forgive, love and be able to have sex with someone and not having to be scared. Mom never really gave me much of women to women talk. She always seemed to be busy with my 6 other siblings. She never gave me love that my grandma Helena could. She never once cared about us. Even though I understood that she had her own enter problems to deal with. She married a person that never cared besides drink and abuse those around him. It was hard for us even her as well. She put uses through hell always poor or had no child support money. She never gave me the life I wish I had. Never once thought about uses. It was just she and the rest of the world. Who could blame her she always loved my dad. Never got over the split up. I was a third grader when they finally got a divorce. By the time she was already married and had two kids. Their split up was hard for me to cope with. Always worrying why every other kid’s parents are happy. I don’t remember a single memory of when we were a family. Not once did I think we were a family. Never really knew what the word family mint. The only thing I had were pictures. I never really remember when everything was normal in my life. Never really remember feeling love. Even in school, wasn’t the place for me especially when you don’t fit in? Walking in the aisle, talking in front of class. Schools not the place for me. Everyone judging you and stare at every move you make. Also pushing and making fun of you. Always trying to know your weak spot. I only had one friend and her name was gabby. She didn’t care how I lived or care that my mom gave me head lice’s. Never cared if we never had enough food. She always had my back. I remember how ugly I looked but not once did she agree. She still is the only person that understood me. Even though everyone hated me. She taught me how to be a friend.
    After that I moved and she wasn’t there to protect me. The bullying got worst. That’s when the cutting started. Always liked how it felt slicing through my skin. Looking at the blood. It felt so good to get a little pain off my chest. Yeah I might be crazy but I done worst. I always blame myself for everything that happened. Always ashamed at myself for my life being so different. I was at a point in my life where I was going to end it. So I ended up in two medical centers over the past years. Were I met so many girl that had a worst life than what I had. So many girls on drugs, that been abused. Kids that have been to foster homes after homes. Even overdose. After that didn’t feel so alone. It felt like home. Everyone having problems like me. Not being judged because there’s nothing to judge. I finally felt safe in this world. A place where I could just be myself.
    A place where everything started to make sense. That everything is not my fault somehow. It was God who led me there. A wake up call, that I could change so many girls in my position. I could be free and put the past behind me. That it’s ok to speak because it helps with the healing inside me. A fresh air of a new life. A new me. This journey has led me straight to God. It’s led me to happiness. If I never moved to Altus I could have never learned the talent God has given me. Never would have learned to forget. If it wasn’t for God where would I be? Would I be alive or dead? Would I still be lost? Would I ever have a smile on my face? Would I be able to share this story and touch many hearts? Would I be able to tell someone I love them? Would I be able to tell someone how he makes me feels?
    What does love have to do with the world? Most of all what does It have to do with me. Is it just me or am I going insane? My heads spinning and my heart is healing. Once I was lost but now there’s someone to brighten up my day. He makes me feel like no other guy makes me feel. I’m scared to tell him how I feel. I can’t stay mad at him for too long there’s something about him that I can’t stay away. I feel I need to tire hard to impress him. He makes me feel like I belong. I tire not smile but he is like the sun. One minute my day is a disaster the next it’s the best day of all. One second I’m weak then I see him and he gives me the strength. I feel I found my way. I can love once again.
    God has a special someone out there for anybody. Everyone deserves a better life. Someone they can lean on. Someone they can count on. Everyone deserves to be loved. Just by telling my story, I hope it helps you, because it helps me. It’s made me realize I don’t need to be afraid for someone to hear my voice. You have to learn to speak. Trust yourself and don’t be afraid to make it shine. Cause everyone has a story to tell. It may not be the whole story. Might as well began it and it starts with you. Hopefully I will have the courage to say more of my life, more of my story. We have demons in our lives but we have to stay strong and fight them off. We have to know that were not alone.

    • writingforrecovery

      Miss Elena,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. As much trauma as you have survived- and you’ve certainly had your fair share- you sound strong and have gained much wisdom from your experiences. It’s good you hear that you draw strength from your faith; that’s so often an essential part of healing from abuse like this. And it’s really wonderful that you have found someone you love, who loves you back. The fact that you can trust in that is wonderful!

      Keep fighting for the life you deserve and making good choices for yourself. There’s nothing to be done about the past but you have all the power in the world to make sure you have a great future. May God continue to bless you as you go forward in your recovery. And please write more here if you wish! Your story is inspiring.


  • Rebecca Golden

    Manifesto of a Survivor

    I’m so sick of rape. And how you make me feel and not feel and want to feel and hide and shiver and cry. And not cry, because I am against shedding tears over scum. But then the pressure builds up like a separatory funnel I forgot to vent after shaking. Sooner or later, it’ll explode.

    Why was holding me down okay? Touching me, fingertips in out, all over, legs crushing mine, pelvis waging war against what I wanted to remain untouched. Ripping through barriers. Zipper jeans underwear protests NO. And why I am I still scared???

    I’m so over this. I’m blessed and happy and making a difference. Saving lives, acing classes, doing research and making friends and…still having flashbacks? Still nightmares and freakouts and terrors? WHY!!?

    You took so much more than my virginity that night.

    I should get help. Waves of red heat flood to my face at the thought because I’m too embarrassed and ashamed and sick of being cast aside and not believed told to get over it when I am TRYING MY HARDEST.

    And how on Earth do people call me strong? I’m pathetically weak. I have a hug, a smile and advice for everyone but myself. I don’t know how to ask for help.

    I should be proud. I’ve accomplished so much this year. It’s been amazing. The best yet.

    And you. You think you destroyed me.

    I am greater than you, and stronger than you, and smarter and more hardworking. I’m a much better EMT than you, too. You may have taken away my safety, and my body, and my trust, but you didn’t end me, and I’m coming back stronger than ever before.

    You asked “Did I break you?”



    I want my life and my control back, and I will get it. Because you can’t beat, rape, or scare the perfectionism,
    and kindness out of me. Some things about my life have changed, but not any of those defining qualities.

    I could curse you out, break down and ask for a leave of absence, counseling, academic accommodations. It would be so easy to quit.

    But I’d rather go to med school, become a pediatric oncologist, research alternative cancer treatments, continue counseling rape survivors, get married, have a family, and be happy. I want to make the world better. I want to make everyone around me happier and healthier. I want to go a full week without December 23, 2010 on my mind.

    Even if I have to fight what you did to me until the day I die.

    • writingforrecovery

      Hi Rebecca,

      I just want to say that I think you are an incredibly brave and strong woman. Even though I know it may not feel like that, I see it in every sentence of what you wrote. Just your first sentence- “I’m so sick of rape.” God, do I understand that. But trust me, it does not have to control your life. It does NOT have to haunt you until the day you die. There are people who will believe you and there is no reason to be ashamed because YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. The shame is HIS because HE’S the one who committed the crime, not you. Please believe that.

      I know it’s the hardest thing to ask for help. I never really asked- I tried to commit suicide, then I kind of ended up surrounded by help. That’s obviously not the best way to go about it. Something I would really recommend is going to rainn If you don’t think you can talk to someone on the phone, they have an online hotline where you can IM chat with someone. They can direct you to services in your area. And they will NEVER say that they don’t believe you.

      I believe you. And I believe that you have the courage and tenacity to get help, get past this, and do everything you want to do in life. You are clearly a fighter. I will keep you in my prayers. And please, come back anytime.

      Peace, Sarah

      • Rebecca

        Thank you, Sarah! That really means a lot!

      • writingforrecovery

        Of course. I really hope you find what you need to get better; you don’t have to live with this nightmare. I’m always here. Peace.

      • Heidi Feldhaus

        I agree 100% you did nothing wrong! That is how I get by, If I think about it He wins & I will never allow that to happen. You are amazing never forget that! You won a long time ago, look what you are doing with your future. Winning I have no idea who you are with a few sentences I feel like we are best friends. You did that, you have the power! God Bless & Thank You for sharing your story.

      • writingforrecovery

        Hello Heidi,
        Thank you so much for each of your wonderful comments! It means so much to me when people have such a strong response to my writing. Thank you for your kind words and beautiful compliments. I appreciate them greatly. I wush you the best on your own recovery journey!!


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  • @HumanRtsV

    Dear Sarah Henderson,

    Thank you for sharing such heart wrenching poem. We loved reading them, and took the liberty of posting few on our page.

    Please keep up the good work,

    God Bless,

    With best regards,

  • @HumanRtsV

    Dear Sarah Henderson,

    Thank you for sharing such heart wrenching poem. We loved reading them, and took the liberty of posting few on our page.

    Please keep up the good work,

    God Bless,

    With best regards,

  • Stay Strong.

    I’m sat here crying like an idiot reading everyone’s stories. I have to get to work in 15 minutes, but I will come back and share my own story. Y’all are ridiculously strong and inspiring. Thank you for keeping this blog, and doing such a fabulous job at it!
    Much love,
    Paris. ♥

  • shirleyalexisjohnsonhayden

    For the last 30 years, I have been living through periods of dibilitating flashbacks, nightmares and times of dsyfunction, triggered by the traumatic and abusive 12 years i spent as an abandoned child and product of the OK State Foster Care system.

    Finding a provider specialized in the Evalution, Diagnosis and Treatment of neurological and Mental Health disorders has proven to be a frustrating, upsetting and 28 year process.

    Receiving the unconditional love, nuturing, and support of your family and friends, has proven in more, even more difficult.

    For the majority of my 40 years, I have managed to live my life as a True Survivor of the horrific 12 years of severe abuse, rather than as a Victim of it.

    The process towards Emotional Healing and Recovery has not only been a long one, but also an extremely isolating and lonely one as well.

    Taking all of this into consideration however, has not made me a bitter, hateful, mis-trusting person. On the contrary the extreme hardships endured during my life as a result of the neurological and mental health disorders i live with every day, instead my pain has made me an extremely Strong, Empathetic, and Compassionate friend, causes advocator and crisis responder determined to:

    change the entire legislatures’ view of others like me, people who live with these diagnosisis, who require access to government assistance and life long mental health support, one rep, one official, one congressman and one letter or petition at a time and one cause at a time;

    devoted to raising awareness and support through research, writing, education and by providing emotional crisis support within both, my local and internet communities and online friends through volunteering my friendship, compassion antd knowledge by volunteering to others within my local community and my entire internet communit as a way of promoting and advocating for their own empowerment;

    and also helping my own friends and family to better understand what my issues are, how these affect my functionality, personality, and my relationships during the dysfunctional instances i am plagued with each month during every monthes of great fear and stress, and what i am doing in my own life to receive access to mental health benefits for psychotherapy and DBT and Cognitive Behavioral Modification programs, financial assistance and permanent housing for crucial to my existence.

    A day in the life of an adult survivor of Early Childood Trauma and Abuse living with PTSD and BPD:

    It happened one night last week and i cannot tell you on which day or for how long the episode lasted, except through the memories of my mom, dad and son who could only watch in horror for the 3 days off and on that it lasted. It caused me to endure 3 very long, very real, very explicit periods of painful and frightening days and nights of horrific images of myself as a child, as if i were right back there in that time and experiencing the ice baths, beatings, starvation and daytime isolation for the first time. Each time i snapped out of the tortured sleep state, i awoke on the floor curled up in the fetal position, tears soaked face and in a state of panic. Extremely embarassed and hoping no one would in my family would discover me find me in the this state. Obviously my mother and father did find me and picked me up and put me back into bed. My son listended to my horrific cries of pain and he recounts that i was screaming and talking in a child like voice…pretty scary shit for a child to have to witness from his mother, but a process he’s only all too familiar with.

    For those interested in the programs offered by WA state DSHS for those trying to access Mental Health Benefits due to PTSD neurological episodal diagnosis and also what is known as a COMORBID diagnosis (both neuro and mental health disorder diagnosis), savor this:

    The Disability Lifeline through DSHS is one of the programs that i have been advocating to keep for the last 2 years, and the one that i am now on. With it ending, however there is still the GAU program through DSHS which also provides some cash (under $200/month), medical benefits and eligibility to apply for the Long-Term care program, which is in part, my goal.

    The Long-term Care program is for those living with mental health issues not related to drugs or alcohol, and for those of us who are considered to be ‘rehabilitated potential persons’ after the receipt of DBT Cognitive Skills and Behavioral Therapy and On-going Extensive PsychoTherapy. With this LTC program comes, PERMANENT housing or rental assistance, LIFE-TIME ON-GOING TREATMENT AND THERAPY
    Monthly Food and Monthly Cost of Living allowance and Eligibility For Approval to receive SSDI and or SSI if all of these fails. The goal is to get those of us who are deemed Unemployable due to Mental Health issues, back on our feet and providing us with these needs and then moving us back into School or the Workplace as the Independent, Confident, and Intelligent people that we once were.

    **Please keep in mind that if you yourself or if you know someone else who may benefit from my education, research and personal experiences, or anyone who may be interested in how to access and apply to receive government assistance and enrollment into programs; becoming correctly tested, evaluated, diagnosed and/or treated by the recognized healthcare providers; Someone in need of Crisis support for any reason, from Childhood Abuse, DV, Drug/Alcohol Abuse or Mental Illness or even just someone seeking to educate themselves through literature or resources or referral programs for Emotional Healing and Recovery through the validation and friendship I can offer through this on-line crisis support system, please give them my name and facebook profile information.**

    • writingforrecovery

      Thank you so much for sharing and for all the information. You have had an extraordinary journey and a remarkable recovery. It’s brilliant that you’re alive, much less a functioning adult survivor out there helping others! Have you ever heard of the Boston Trauma Institute, or the Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk? He is THE leading researcher in the field of trauma and I think you would be fascinated by his work. Just a few months ago I was at a conference on Complex PTSD and he was the main speaker; the treatments they are capable of now are out of this world. Please look him up!

      Do you have any resources for people with ECT or mental illness in Texas to get government funding or assistance? I would really appreciate it if you do!

  • abelxox

    I was searching for positive recovery stories, been having a rough few days. Although heart breaking I found comfort and strength reading the above accounts. Articulated in a way I’m not brave enough yet to do. But I feel a little less alone now, thank you.

    • writingforrecovery

      I’m so glad; that’ one of the best compliments, and the whole reason for the site. Keep going on your journey to recovery, and I encourage you to speak out. Telling your story is one of the most powerful things you will ever do to heal yourself. Peace, Sarah

  • ingridfalconi

    A Mad Existence centers around one woman’s story, but far too many suffer from similar or worse circumstances.

    All proceeds will go to the Celia Villanueva Memorial Fund for Domestic Violence victims and survivors. Monies will go to the immediate needs of transitional living centers, crisis shelters and drop off centers.

    Thank you for your support.

  • brooke

    Hi, 20 female, eleven months ago I dated a guy, everyone knew him as a nice person, I met him once in person a year prior and talked him online till we started hanging out, I heard that he would mess around alot but never dated really till me, when he introduced me to his mother she said I was the first girl shes ever met as a gf, as time went on she told me about how hes never put anyone before him till me. We spent everyday together and talked as if wed never splitup. He had trust issues bc of his family and his mothers reputation for men, but I never gave him any reason not to trust me. He started getting abusive with me when he would get paranoid about me leaving him, but I couldnt even shower without him thinking something or choking me over a wrong number calling or txting me, even if I replyed and did everything to prove I loved him, he wouldnt believe anyone. He said hes never trusted anyone and couldnt handle if I hurt him so hed use anger. We had nowhere to live and moved around from house to house to be together. He even got a job where I worked. His aunts ex let us move in, not knowing it would be the biggest mistake of my life. He supplied my ex with meth and money, pulling me into the same. He quit work saying he could sell drugs to support us. After a week his aunts ex or what he called him his “uncle”, which confused me bc my ex is white and he is black, gave us free meth constantly. We stayed at my exes friends one of the nights and did kpins plus coke. We got pulled over that night and he went to jail for possession and I got taken to get a bloodtest. After he got out we decided to stop all of it. It didnt last long. We drank one night and he beat me bc I ran into an old guy friemd at kt and said hi. Second time he went to jail. A restraining order was put in place. I dropped it bc I needed to see him. We went back to the meth house bc we had nothing. The drug seemed like it gave us the world. His “uncle” started bringing over meth addicted prostitutes. His plan was to get my ex to cheat on me with them so his “uncle” cud make me his gf. I didnt realize this was happening at the time. One night his “uncle” asked me if I would drive him to the cities to see his mom. He would drive half way then switch off, since my ex had no license. He would pay me $300. My ex wud stay back and watch the house along with my phone. My ex was doing meth while I was gone. I did quit a bit to stay awake for the ride. He started driving. I was too messedup to pay attention to signs. We were heading the opposite direction of what I was told. We stopped at a porn shop. $400 was spent on things for me and my ex. We looked for a hotel to stop at to shower. When we got there he forced me to try on things from the shop, told me to do more meth, I did but didnt finish the line. I was terrified. He threw himself on me. I never get my monthly bc I have an inserted bc, but I prayed to god somthing wud happen. He stopped bc I was bleeding. I asked to use the phone and he said no. everytime my ex wud call he said I was sleeping, a good argument bc there was no way I cud sleep on meth. I stayed quiet. As we got to chicago he was makn heroin rounds. I was close to death. He talked about dumping me off right to my face. My fingers were coiled, my chest burning and felt crushed, I couldnt breath, and my skin and gums were white. The house we stopped at belonged to a gd gang leader or higher member. He came out and saw my face. He was furious that I was in that kind of condition. I felt saved. The ride back I talked about my ex lil bit, he wanted me to leave him. when he called he was mad and wondered why I wouldnt talk. I tried to wait till we stopped for gas so I cud say somthn to him but I was still being watched. After we got back it was a day later. My ex was very strung out. They talked alone and his “uncle” was being questioned by my ex. He said we had sex. My ex ran in and beat me in the stomach and chest while I was still shaking from the meth. I cryed telling him what really happened. He thought I was cheating on him the whole relationship. He beat me, lied, and cheated the whole time after he was hooked. I told him atleast I still had some sense and knew what was truth and my surroundings. I was thrown on the table and thrown outside. He ran out and kneed me in the stomach till I puked. I got in my car and left. The next day I told his mom what happened. We had to threaten him with cops so hed leave the meth house. He called me a bitch and called me a cheater. Not realizing how I felt about what he did or what I just went thru. It was mothers day that day. He bought me sorry flowers when he finally believed why his aunt left him, bc he used ppl. He then asked where I went that night and said I went to cheat… He started yelling in public that I was a whore when that night I broke into my sisters and layed on the couch strungout and beat crying. After he stayed away from the house I saw him again. I wanted the real him back, when we loved eachother and bc he was begging to see me. We left to stay with his dad in another state. He was addicted to to meth too…we fell back into it. After a fight and the cops taking us back to the other state, we saw eachother again. His “uncle” wanted to apologize and drop my ex off to me. We ended up getting a ride back to town bc I was at the mall. Another plan was set up. Im not sure if at this point was ex just truely didnt care or was bein bribbed with money and drugs still. They wanted to go to the cities to a fair along with a pregnant prostitite and meth prostitute. I cud sense somthn was wrong, like I was being tricked again. I left and my ex followed. I grabbed his phone and he was txtn the one girl about a hotel. Its like he didnt even realize I was yelling at him about it. He followed me till dark and cars were following. He started freaking out about it and ran off with his hands up. I ran to a cellar but the door was locked. I suddenly got a restricted call and I ripped the battery out hoping they wouldnt find me. I dialed 911 and whispered that I think ppl were trying to find and hurt me. They tracked my location and sent hellicopters. I was found and sent to a friends. I couldnt sleep bc I felt knives trying to stab thru the bed. The next day I was doing fine. Later my friend and I got out in the sun to go swimmimg. We met up with some ppl. One of them was an old friend of my exs but wev liked eachother. My friend left for work and I went to hangout with them bc I knew them all good. I felt totally fine all day til night. I started hearing things like my ex outside. I got scared. The guy I liked and my friends kept trying to get me to sit by the window, they wouldnt let me call the cops, and I so so terrified I grabbed a knife and cut myself bc id rather take my life instead of my ex getting me again. They thru me outside in the darl and told me to go thru the dark way under the trees. I couldnt help but feel like they were trying to trap me. I ran into the guys house next door to the one friends house we were hanging out at. He pulled me out threw the door and tried carrying me back. I screamed and he dropped me on the concrete, bloodying my legs. I ran to the house again and asked his sister to call the cops. She said the house phone didnt work. A few min later they arrived. The guy I was seeing said they didnt do anything. Everyones else drove off. They wouldnt let me call my parents, go home or to the police station. They took me to a hospital two hours away. All the way the two cops only talked to eachother on a station only for them. They didnt tell the hodpital the whole story. The nurse forced me to take a pill. When I wouldnt she had a bunch of cops hold me down. They wanted me to take my shirt off but I wouldnt. I told then the shirt was loose enough to put the tubes thru but they said no and cut it off. My privacy totally thrown aside, male cops just staring at my chest. The nurse let me sit there yeo hours prior to that and then only aslef if I had birth control. I awered yes but why it mattered. The pill took effect and I wokeup to find my id the cop took in my bra. My mom next to me. I pulled it out right infront of her but she had everything else of her mind. I went to recovery for a week and told them my story. Everything I just said. My ex has been trying to contact me. Hes still using and has a warrant for his arrest. It hurts how much drugs can change a person. We were planning on getting married and that went to him trying to kill me. Im 8 months sober and proud. I still have nightmares of what happened and take mefication for ptsd. Im proud of who I am today. My past is the past. I made mistakes bc I was in love and stupid. Thinkning I cud still save him and have my bf back. You cant help an addict tho. They have to choose that they are going to stop for good.

    • writingforrecovery

      Hi Brooke,

      Yours is an extraordinary story. Thank you for being brave enough to tell it here. It’s incredible that you are alive, you are most definitely a survivor!! Congratulations on your sobriety, that is excellent work and I know it’s not easy. Recovering from violence and sexual assault is hard enough, but trying to stay clean at the same time is even harder, and I admire you for your strength!! I hope you know that the violence you endured is in now way your fault. Like you said, drugs can change a person, and going back to him, wanting to be with the man that he was in the beginning in no excuse for him to do the things he did. You are completely innocent and he and that “uncle” are completely at fault. I hope you’re getting some good counseling to help you through. I wish you the very best, and may you stay strong in your sobriety. You are one courageous lady!!

      Peace, Sarah

  • Shaina

    Well hello, my name is Shaina, if you would’ve met me 2 year ago you’d say I was happy, really silly, full of love
    and really caring. If you met me now you’d think I was
    miserable I have absolutely no love left to give and Im
    always so serious and paranoid. Well, hello my name is Shaina
    and I’ve become a ghost. 

    It all starts two years ago, and I remember it like it was
    yesterday, I remember looking over and seeing this well kept
    handsome blue eyed man the face of a baby and the best sense
    of humor ever I remember he was always surrounded by friends
    and that I just had to have him. Back than I was strong and
    enjoying my life, I say back then and you’re probably
    thinking 2 years not that long ago right? But it took 20
    years to become who I was and then just 2 years to completely
    change and ruin everything. Brian, blue eyes, was great….in
    the beginning, we went to the movies and he’d take me to
    dinner he bring over movies and always surprised me with
    candy, chewy tints, he’d cook me the best dinners, we had the
    same tacky but very intelligent sense of humor, and we both
    clearly enjoyed the connection we had, except something kept
    him from wanting to make anything of it he’d constantly, and
    at the most awkward times, remind me, quote “it is what it
    is” and “he didn’t want a commitment”, ahh step one of
    Brian’s mind games, it was very confusing we were spending o
    much time together I mean clearly there was something there
    right? Well me being freshly 20 years old wanted so bad to
    snatch up this 29 year old “hottie” so I began to try weekly
    to change everything about myself to fit into what he wanted,
    crazy I get it, it went on this way for months, like a game.
    Time went on and I guess things just naturally grew, perfect?
    I thought so. Around 3 months in one night he came a drinking
    and I was his bartender, the beginning of the “you caused
    it’s” and “its your faults”, needless to say a few long
    islands in I was a bit worried for his safety I decided to
    take his keys, I lived upstairs, and told him to just hang
    out and than head to my place to sleep it off. Before this
    point I can’t recall ever seeing him angry or even arguing
    with him and I had so many feelings for him and hoped things
    would pursue. Well he wasn’t happy about me taking his keys
    and for the first time I saw him angry, no, completely out of
    his mind infuriated! He called me names and embarrassed me in
    front of everybody at my place of employment, now I wouldn’t
    be surprised, but then it was terrifying, you could imagine
    the state of shock I was in, it was pure rage I’d truly never
    saw anyone lose it like that. Well I gave him back his keys
    and at the end of the night I was ready to go home and just
    blame that one on the alcohol, turns out that he wasn’t over
    it. I take a deep breath when I type this… For some reason
    this one still hurts and haunts me, this was truly the last
    time I’d seen him as a “good”person, well…. Brian followed
    me up to my apartment….he than just savagely ripped off my
    clothing while shouting over and over again “where are you
    going to go now” and “no one is going to help you”, The
    details of this are so clear and still so ripe the fact that
    I remember everything from what I was wearing to the shoes he
    had on simply amazes me, who would’ve thought that would be
    the first time I would become damaged. I didn’t think
    people really acted that way, I was smaller than him, I did
    nothing wrong! I can just remember the shock I felt,
    disbelief as he began to physically strike me, again, shock
    pure shock and yet so 
    intriguing, I thought domestic violence was a shove or a
    slap, I was wrong. He than completely trashed MY house,
    this guy I barely know, in my home, as I watched I was so
    confused, I just kept thinking when is this going to stop,
    but it didn’t stop it never stopped, that night Brian ruined
    me and this is where it starts, on this night he took away
    something from me that I’ll never get back, I remember
    exactly how it felt as he raped me as I cried and told him to
    stop as I couldn’t believe that it was happening as I went
    from Shaina to confused. That night was by far the most
    unexplainable thing to have ever happened to me, I remember
    waking up and feeling so confused, I felt guilty because
    although I said stop and I was scared and I didn’t want to do
    it, for some reason it felt good. The next day was something
    I didn’t want to deal with, I felt so used, He casually got
    up got dressed, but never said a word, Infact it’d be almost
    5 months later until I received “sorry”, he left my house
    where I live while I stood there alone baffled confused and
    scared, who is this person, to me he was perfect, a union
    electrician surrounded by so many friends this guy is so
    funny he wasn’t abusive he was perfect, what the hell just
    happened? After that night I decided to do what was best and
    I never talked to him again, it would be nice if that’s where
    this, my story, although it doesn’t define my life, ends. A
    few months later I found somebody, just a friend, obviously
    traumatized, but he was somebody human. His name is Matthew,
    oh man, He treated me sooo good, we just laughed all the time
    and we’d stay up all night playing cards we always got along,
    he helped me trust again. Although one day Matthew had to go
    away, he definitely wasn’t a law abiding person but a very
    very nice man, I was fine like I said we were just friends
    and I forgot to mention I was new to the area and apparently
    you have to pick a click, strange place. Brian came poking
    around again, almost as if he knew what was going on, I had
    nearly forgotten about him, which almost makes me feel
    regretful and guilty that I decided to jump in and never
    leave. Of course in the beginning I wanted no part of that,
    but here comes, as my friends say, “the best Brian act” not
    to mention his charm and MY forgiving nature, that no longer
    exists. I truly put it in the past “it was the alcohol” and
    decided Id give it a go, we never talked about it he never
    did apologize right away, bad move for the long run,
    truthfully, I never did let it go, and I didn’t trust

    Time stood still around this time, I really can’t recall us
    ever NOT arguing everything just is a memory, spurts of
    things that I remember, others I chose to forget. The
    craziest part to me, the thing I can’t understand is
    everything that happened I knew was wrong, everytime he got a
    little crazier it amazed me, I got so intrigued because this
    was different, it, to me, was weird. There was a time that
    really scared me, and to me it’s not the worst, it’s sick, he
    asked me to go through my phone, well my response was no, and
    I remember I had just gotten out of the shower, he took the
    key to his car and started shoving it into my private, again,
    to me, it was insane. Than there’s the time that he grabbed
    my throat, we were arguing about to a liquor convention, and
    for the first time I actually hit him, I am pretty sure
    everything went in slow motion because I just remember
    thinking “this is going to hurt” he lifted his leg and kicked
    me so hard in my head, I remember telling him that I had seen
    white, his response, something again I will never forget,
    “that’s just your brain hitting your skull you’re fine”. It
    was just getting so hard to believe that it was happening, I
    was so young and he was a grown up, I can still feel that
    switch go off, I gave up, I stopped fighting back when he’d
    force sex, I stopped caring, I had nobody. The strangest
    thing, the reason why I decided to go in depth and write out
    as much as I can remember isn’t to offend anyone and I surely
    don’t expect anyone to read it, I truly talk about it, I’m so
    loud about it hoping for the right words or the perfect
    advice or somebody to just save me, trade lives with me but
    nobody really heard me and I think it felt like I was telling
    someone else’s story, so today I’m writing/typing it out, I
    want to go back and read it. it truly feels, to me, like an
    accomplishment. It’s so hard to explain to people the feeling
    of that moment, that feeling of truly being terrified. 

    So now I’m going to back up A few months, I don’t want to
    make him seem like he’s a ccomplete monster because truly he
    wasn’t. I won’t deny that I truly believe Brian has a plan, I
    believe he truly manipulates and I hate to say it but he
    really has perfected it, I like to call it the 12 step
    Brian bauder program to ruin someone’s life, I’ll definitely
    give it to the kid he’s a really really intelligent person,
    but he’s going to be really lonely. 

    I remember when I met Brian, he had to “teach me” his way of
    having sex, to me at that time in my life, sex was passion,
    face to face, chest to chest everything else was just dirty
    and painful. well things would get extremely aggressive, I
    went along with it there were times it was new, he liked it,
    so I liked it, it was fun, but now I guess I should’ve saw
    that as a red flag, when I met Brian he was on probation for
    assault on his girlfriend, but no he was nice, she was a
    liar, he’d assure me she just liked rough sex, how naive,
    during sex he’d choke me and he’d slap me, sometimes I
    enjoyed it, other times, it’d get so out of hand, I look back
    now and the warning signs were right in front of me. Once the
    abuse started to get extremely physical I just couldn’t
    handle having sex like that I didn’t enjoy it there was no
    disconnect from what was really happening. 

    Around the time that I really noticed what I’d gotten myself
    into, when I realized it was never going to stop, I started
    to talk about it, but I think maybe too much, and to the
    wrong people, it was so weird, it was like there was
    something that I wanted just one person to say something that
    I wanted to hear, so I talked to everyone but nobody told me
    to stay. Because I made the mistake and was so vocal about
    it, Brian gained another point in his favor, I just kept
    walking right into the web’s, I was called a liar behind my
    back and that I was starving for attention, and it felt like
    there was nobody to help me. I just wanted somebody to truly
    understand how weird and how different this was, why I was
    doing this, and why it became comforting, why I was just
    spiralling and completely throwing my life away. I’d lost my
    job and in turn had lost my home because of someone who a few
    months ago was nobody to me. Brian was so smart and so
    planned on everything, to me he was nothing more than a
    criminal but I couldn’t give up now, I was so intrigued. He
    never left marks, and he always made sure to be careful to
    not get caught, he’d always start with the hair I remember
    bumps and bruises on ny scalp but nothing he could do could
    make me walk away, it became so regular ended with sex that I
    had no choice in, that became my sex life with him, it became
    so routine, everytime we argued, I just knew what I was in
    for and I was ready. I put it now as if I have it all figured
    out, but in that moment I was completely lost. I will be
    honest, I do believe he was slightly karma, I mean why me?
    There’s definitely been times in my life were I’ve been
    dramatic, there’s been times that I even felt stupid
    afterwards but this, this was different, I was living in it
    in this hell that I was starting to thrive off of. I had
    noticed that I was changing, I virtually had nothing else to
    talk about except him and what was going on, I became
    obsessed with trying to figure it out, to me I wasn’t being
    abused, it was almost like I was being duped or “punked”. I
    lost a lot of friends at this point, I was the “debbie
    downer” people didn’t want to be involved, people began to
    think we were “scary” so than slowly but surely he was
    literally all that I had, and than he used it to his
    advantage. As things got harder to deal with and he was truly
    winning every battle I’d had no friends I’d had no self
    respect and I definitely stopped caring about nearly
    everything……. Except him, of course. Clever guy, he
    probably felt so proud, he isolated me and than he’d pull
    away from me, leave me to feel bad and than come back and
    treat me like I was doing something wrong. I was truly losing
    my grip on reality, I truly feel, and I know I’m blaming
    everything on him and not taking any kind if responsibility,
    but, he just enjoyed watching me become a nobody, he truly
    felt like somebody. I hate to have these conspiracy theories,
    especially being a little bitter, but he truly has mastered
    HIS way of making people so confused, girls, women, and even
    men and he seriously has it down to a science. I mean I’ve
    seen Brian out, mingling, socializing, his voice changes, his
    mannerisms change, his laugh, everything, never noticed
    before and when I did it scared me, he manipulated everyone,
    it isn’t just me, I remember the base of nearly every
    argument, and this is about a year in, it always had to do
    with his love and his time, I dont mean to come off needy or
    clingy, I might be, and truly I think I deserved it and it
    felt like I earned it, I didn’t even care that he was so
    emotionally abusive or physical with me just outweigh it with
    a hug, a kiss, an I love you from time to time….never, he
    never in two years told me he loved me first, I just remember
    how much I begged, and I felt stupid, pathetic, low! I just
    wanted to hear that I was pretty that he enjoyed me! Maybe he
    could’ve just hugged me because I loved him in my mind I felt
    like I would do anything for him, I’d always say but we’ve
    been through so much together but now I look back, it was me
    that was put through so much, I never called the police and I
    always stuck right by him even though the “secret” was out.
    another part of his Alfa male game that I fed into for what
    feels like eternity, I loved him with everything and it was
    different it was something that I couldn’t explain it just so
    natural, that is clear to me now, a natural infatuation,

    Well we get to where I started to rebel, in the wrong ways. I
    went out looking for affection, turning to sex from other
    people, why didn’t I just leave, right?, well I wanted him to
    see that other people enjoy me I’m not the “gross” “fat” “low
    life”…etc that he would constantly say that I am. The
    problem is, is that I got affection from his friends, they
    truly felt so sorry for me, it gave me a connection, not my
    intention, the fact that they knew him for nearly his entire
    life made me feel comforted, you can take that either way if
    you want to play devils advocate, for so long he made me feel
    like the problem and they reminded me that they know him,
    he’s the problem. Well at this point I am now the liar,
    attention seeking, slut oh definitely all backfired, again he
    got to look like I was doing something wrong to him. See with
    them was never about the sex of even getting close to them it
    was just so nice to feel wanted even for a short amount of
    time. You’re probably reading this thinking well why did she
    stay right? Or wow what a wreck, I’m thinking the sane thing
    too, but in those moments I’d like to say I had truly just
    lost myself completely. I can’t tell you the number of times
    I got the “youre so much better than that” speech or the
    “move on” “get away from him” “oh hunny you’re so pretty”
    conversations, but what they couldn’t understand is I wasn’t
    with him at this point because he was a guy or my boyfriend
    he owned me. let me tell you I type this now but in that
    moment, at that second every breath, every thought, he was
    everything. it seems so insane now, thank god for that, but
    than it was my life. I’d played his hand and he won he always
    won. know I should’ve left I know I should’ve ran, far far
    away, but my response was always don’t you think I know, I’m
    not a dumb girl, you can judge, I’ve never been through this
    before, ever! I had felt so worthless, broken, who would want
    me? I had acne, I had a little girl, I had stretch marks I
    had a dead end job I didn’t have a car, he had pounded it
    into my head that I was truly nobody and I can’t believe that
    I had believed it, this isn’t me, this is not who I am, I a
    free spirited extremely outgoing person. I truly wish and
    sometimes when he had his hands around my neck begged him to
    kill me, I didn’t want to carry this forever, I didn’t even
    remember how I got involved in this, I had been in
    relationships before, when things got bad I was always the
    one to leave, I was young, I had been through a lot, I was
    proud, yet all of those traits were gone.I watched everyone
    live a normal life, facebook had become my only outside
    source, my friends I used to have were having fun and I saw
    myself aging and my hair falling out and I looked in the
    mirror and just remember not recognizing myself but I just
    kept saying it was too late, this is your life, at 20 years
    old. Now I feel so dumb and so ridiculous extremely regretful
    and embarrassed. I had the urge to leave, I could feel it, we
    didn’t even live together Shaina stand up grow up who cares,
    but id just go right back it was just to hard and so lonely,
    even though it was just as lonely with him. He trained, I was
    officially his puppet, sometimes I don’t think he truly ment
    to do this to me, he didn’t want to be with me because now I
    was just his, following him around like a lost puppy, but he
    didn’t realize he had caused this this was what he did. He
    would throw on his Abercrombie clothes and pretend he was
    someone he wasn’t and made me feel so terrible about myself,
    but again I only see this now, what did he really have at 30
    he was unemployed he lived in his parents attic. He used to
    say that I’ll be nothing but trailer trash, and I had always
    saw a white picket fence with Brian, shallow… maybe, but to
    be honest I’d rather be happy in my trailer on the lake than
    be treated like I’m nobody for the rest of my life. 

    Now before I continue on, I don’t want anyone to think he’s
    an all bad person, I allowed him to do this, and I try and
    keep it nonchalant because I just want to get this story out
    there off my chest in detail because I have truly never dealt
    with it. I had heard myself say it, but never really
    listened. I guess I’m an abused person now, I can just feel
    the pain and the emotion and the scared feeling that nearly
    indescribable to someone who has never been through it. I
    want to be there for someone else. I want people to notice
    that it’s real really real and its not for attention and its
    going on under your nose. People are living there lives like
    this everyday and in worse circumstances. They need to know
    that they WILL be okay! There is life out there. There truly
    is freedom from pain. I always thought being alone would
    stink, really really bad, but believe it or not. When you
    don’t get screamed at on your cell phone, or when you aren’t
    watching the time it truly feels like an accomplishment and
    truly do deserve it! I can’t throw my emotions over the
    internet, and I can’t show you videos or take you back to
    these days with me, I was so alone, those friends I lost,
    some of them I let go of, but the ones I truly loved and
    missed, I reached out to them and now they are my rock, we
    don’t talk about it, of dwell on it, we live normal lives,
    happy normal lives. And I know that if you don’t leave people
    tend to give up on you, or make you feel bad that you are
    “putting yourself through this” it’s just a guy right? No,
    no! it was my life. It sucked me dry. I treated the people
    around me like complete garbage to try to give this person
    every bit of everything I had. It’s sad but it happens and it
    happened and in the moment you have no control you become
    their robot, you’re trained to hate everyone and everything,
    which makes you the miserable one right, the game, the
    addiction, it’s hard to break. You are being tossed and you
    are turned and you are pulled left and right folded in half
    and ripped to threads you become ruined, you fade into a
    shadow and its all because a fellow human being was lucky
    enough that you chose to love them. YOU ARE NOT WEAK! YOU ARE
    FILLED WITH PASSION! Like I said, I was strong and I didn’t
    choose for this to happen there are people out there, not
    necessarily Brian, people that only want slaves because they
    just love themselves too much to really feel that deep
    connection and I feel bad for them, I feel so bad for him, I
    always did and always will, but that isn’t how I envision my
    life. I can tell you there were times scattered throughout
    this nightmare that I knew he really did love me, he just
    wasn’t raised or wasn’t sure how to be anything other than
    macho. At the end there was just too much we both were
    holding onto, we couldn’t grow either of us. With that being
    said, I found out I was pregnant in October, to be truly
    honest I was happy, I had a piece of someone I tried to shake
    the love out of and this piece of him would love me. So I
    made the phone call, mind you it’d been nearly a month since
    I spoke to him, I figured I was the problem, I got a fulltime
    job, got my license and thought maybe since there was space,
    I was “fixed” it’d be awesome! wrong! Well he disappointed me
    again, and it wasn’t just me, it was our child. His abnormal
    reaction was not what I expected, his first word “abortion”
    second word “now” deep down I knew that’d be for the best,
    but I was doing so good now I thought we could do this.
    Truthfully this is still so fresh, and after everything ive
    been through the past few years it seemed like nothing
    compared to losing my child. The hardest part was feeling
    like it had happened for a reason, I mean I this person had
    raped me over and over again and I never got pregnant, Than
    we made love that one night, we were out camping we enjoyed
    each other we laughed and we made a baby, the feeling was not
    mutual. He began to threaten me, my well being, my car, “i’ll
    ruin your life” everyday, every second, a constant but truly
    everything about this story I have to share has completely
    changed my entire life, he threatened me with everything and
    it was nonstop, every day, and I just begged him to think
    about it, I didn’t want to kill this baby, I could’ve raised
    it on my own, it was already growing inside of me. Than one
    night, I get a call, hes drunk and he wants to hang out, when
    you picture him I don’t want you to think he’s trashy, he’s
    not or Atleast he doesn’t perseve himself that way, so I
    could never understand why his attitude screamed white trash.
    Well of course I run right to his house, dropped everything
    to be where he was, no second thought and no thought process.
    All I could think about I’s how I’ve missed him and I want to
    have this baby and fix all of these problems and get married
    and live in a stupid fantasy, impossible, that night he
    rubbed my stomach, I can remember how it felt, comforting,
    perfect, I swore time just stopped, was everything finally
    going to get better? No, the next day it was an argument, get
    the abortion shaina I don’t want this kid, oh those words cut
    like a dull knife and I just shook my head and cried, I had
    no choice. We stayed distant for awhile and than thanksgiving
    eve comes and I really wanted to make sure he was safe,
    anything for time.. I could feel us drifting apart, I wasn’t
    ready yet, so I drove, the night went great he put on the
    best act, the most amazing show, which is the night I truly
    started to snap out of it all, I started to see him
    differently, it was weird, a feeling that I can’t explain,
    but I was relieved. This just started rolling through my
    head, “i don’t even know him anymore” “why does he act so
    fake around people” “he’s really such a scumbag”
     throughout the thoughts things were still going great
    but I saw him drinking more and more, everyone knows drunk
    Brian is a scary Brian, but I’ll be a good stepford wife I’ll
    be quiet I’ll act happy I wonder if anyone notices I’m really
    scared, what a way to live huh, well the night came to an
    end, I thought success! But than on the way out these girls
    are calling his name and of course I just snapped, see not
    innocent, you know Brian when are you ever going to just see
    what’s standing right here, I’ve truly done all I can, I can
    say I stayed this long maybe because it was interesting but
    I’m not interested anymore, I knew it, immediately I just
    remember feeling the oh no, there’s that feeling that weird
    scared feeling and I apologized I remember I just kept it
    cool calm voice he’s drunk I’m not but at this point it was
    too late, and I could tell by the utter rage in his face that
    I’m going to really get it tonight, it’s sad when we know, I
    literally just was a puddle, I was really sorry, even if I
    really ment it, it was too late, and in the car, Brian’s
    favorite place to get physical no where to run, another ride
    where my hairs going to be pulled and my face is definitely
    going to be pushed against the glass, this time it was a lot
    of yelling, I thought oh thank god, I’m safe, I just agreed
    and nodded, and couldn’t wait to just get back to the house,
    I wanted it to stop, I remember thinking I’m so tired, I used
    to love to laugh, well we entered his house up the stairs,
    now I know, I’m thinking this is a horrible way to live, but
    I’m also thinking, finally Shaina, I can just remember as if
    it’s replaying in my mind, Infact I can clearly remember
    every single time he hit me and I can remember every single
    time it happened I’d think, that’s it, I’m done, tonight I’m
    going to die. He just shouted in my face, that I could deal
    with, I am so tired of fighting back, so now I’m just sitting
    there, head hung, than, he snapped, if I didn’t answer he
    snapped, if I answered he’d lose it. By this time in this
    whole thing I’m thinking just lay there, take it and it’ll
    all be over, if I fight back it hurts more and it goes on for
    hours, but if I just lay there its opportunity for him to
    force me into sex, so first goes the hands around my neck,
    than he did it, and this is it, this is the moment, the
    moment I saw him as such a loser such a complete monster, I
    believe I finally cried because I felt sorry for myself at
    this moment, such a coward, he grabbed my stomach and
    squeezed pushed, fear filled my entire body and the words
    that will ring in my ears constantly, “I want this thing out
    of you, kill it!” And the voice that usually stays quiet to
    just end all of the nonsense my voice, I turned I looked at
    him, and I never ever looked at him when it was physical, I
    didn’t really like seeing him that way, I said “I don’t want
    to”, his response, “why? Give me a reason” Mine, “well,
    brian, I love it already”, and I truly did, he replied that’s
    not a reason. I sat there, cried, for me, for him, for the
    future just sat there and I cried until morning after he
    ripped my underwear and screamed in my face, I just couldn’t
    believe he made me go through another night like this, it
    wasn’t that serious I was sorry it didn’t need to be a 6 hour
    eventà I just screamed in my head! How can I make you love
    me! I didn’t deserve that! And this time it was clear, highly
    recognizable. In the morning, thanksgiving, I woke up, and I
    felt what I felt that I haven’t felt in awhile, really hurt
    not numb but hurt by him this time, was it bad that I had
    become numb to all of this? These feelings of what are you
    doing are getting stronger, I ran down the stairs jumped in
    my car and sat there thinking this is so insane, why? This is
    not normal! Does this really happen? Is this a lifetime
    movie? Do relationships even exist, omg I can’t remember.
    Ahhh. drive Shaina drive. Seven hours later I get a text
    message, real meaningful, “i’m sorry.” Really are you?!?
    Sorry for what?!? Does he even remember this time?he acted
    like he spilled something on me or simply bumped into me. I
    wondered if he ever really looked at me? Looked through me,
    ever really noticed how stressed out I was starting to look.
    I wondered why, thinking back, he could sometimes spit out
    I’m sorry but he never could admit what he did. Did he think
    this was normal? Was I starting to? Well time went by, we
    were definitely drifting, I felt it, I felt the change, after
    days of threats, he decided to give me an offer I couldn’t
    refuse, get the abortion or we’ll never be together again, if
    you read this far, you’d probably already guessed, I went in
    and through hours of crying and wanting to leave and text
    messages of persuasion I went and laid down by myself and
    killed, my unborn 3 month old child. The physical and
    emotional heartbreak was far worse than being hit by a 180
    pound man weekly, but it wasn’t worse than being left by him
    at this moment. I’d take one more kick to the head or cell
    phone to the face, this was it, I now resented him and not
    for flirting with a girl or not texting me back, he had just
    forced me to kill our child. let’s face it he’s heartless, I
    officially won’t forgive him for this I said. And truly I
    didn’t. My favorite part, which I actually wasn’t going to
    mention, he decided he wanted to see me, at 10 o’clock at
    night, and decided to show up drunk, honestly, I just sighed,
    because I was done saving him. He’s not a little kid, he’s a
    31 year old man! He’s not a loser either he drives a nice car
    he comes from a nice family. I felt really confused. About a
    week later, lost my grandmother, surprisingly, and odd, he
    was there for me, he hugged me and he kissed me, not to sound
    ungrateful, nd believe me I didn’t say this out loud, but is
    this what it takes to get affection? Idk, at this point I was
    just completely fed up, but not the break up make up fed up,
    I could feel the cocoon breaking, I was ready to be free, it
    was the neatest feeling, and so new. Well I guess we can jump
    to Christmas eve, ah where I Shaina Klotz finally found got
    her wings. The last and final time I will argue, put up with,
    of second guess myself. I begged him, please may we spend the
    night together, I truly regretted it than, and days after but
    now, completely content, after hours of HIM arguing because
    again he knows I want to be with him, he can get away with
    calling me terrible names and I can’t fight back, my tongue
    definitely hurt after the conversation, finally it let’s up,
    be outside I’m honking the horn you don’t come out I’m
    leaving!, well I’ll take what I can get, time! So things are
    starting off good, but you always get that feeling the
    thought when is it going to flip, which is a sign to run! Red
    flag!, I’m driving with him and just thinking, man this guys
    dropped me off on the side of the road, he’s left me
    stranded, he’s traumatized me, he’s made me give him my whole
    body, not to mention the years of therapy I’m going to need.
    Right now I’m going to stop and say, there is no actual way
    anyone can truly fathom the feeling you get in any of these
    situations, truly indescribable, which makes it intriguing
    and addicting. I can’t describe the feeling and I really do
    talk about it nonchalant but right now I’m in my grieving
    process, I was sad, really sad, now I’m so angry! This guy
    who’s just a regular guy nobody really that special, ha.
    mastered a game, his game, a sick game. That he made the
    rules to. He is very smart, and is going really be lost one
    day, or maybe not, either way, we didn’t work. oh man, to
    think of how smart you have to be to just casually do this is
    insane, he took every bit of information I gave him, he
    remembered ALL of my weaknesses he completely twisted
    everything to make me hate people so he could have his puppet
    all to himself, and I think, it happened to me. I truly feel
    like the only difference is that I never gave up, sometimes I
    wanted to because I wanted to leave so bad but I couldn’t, of
    course I could right? Oh I wish. I always kept myself
    intrigued and studying him, because it’s so weird, why would
    you act like that? I respect you, I forgive you, I am there
    for you, what a waste. Well back to Christmas eve, I tend to
    get off topic, this truly is my first time going over nearly
    every detail, so I’m just astonished, amazed, that’s my life,
    wow, so we got back to his place and I just sat down and on
    instinct made him laugh, ha I remember we tickled each other,
    it was nice, but again so short lived, we laid down to go to
    sleep and I did what I always did when he fell asleep,
    smelled him, he hated it, I just smelled his smell, so
    unique, oh I always smelled him, I connected with it,
    everytime I’d smell him, sounds weird maybe, I’d breath in so
    deep and before I could open my mouth I just felt that I
    loved him, he’s the first person in my life that I truly
    loved, and he knew it, he sucked it to the last drop, I just
    sat there watching tv, touching his arm, I always loved when
    he fell asleep, he was so nice, he looked so gentle, and I
    could put his arms around me, I could kiss him I sometimes
    could feel, or pretend to feel that he was dreaming about me,
    maybe he’d wake up and care about me, as a person, but
    everytime he would wake up, he was still Brian bauder, angry
    with me, bitter, maybe I did do a lot wrong, maybe it was me,
    I work night shift so I couldn’t fall asleep, I love to write
    him posted notes silly ones, but I remember I accidentally
    knocked something over he woke up and the rage in his eyes
    made me want to hide, my initial reaction, I’m sorry, Shaina
    you did nothing wrong I thought, he just started yelling stop
    snooping through my room, you’re a stalker, you’re psycho I’d
    never seen him get like this, what the hell would I be
    looking for? What are you hiding? And right here, this is the
    moment, the adrenaline, the complete frustration with the
    waste of life, the disappointment that I let this happen to
    me, Shaina freaking klotz, I jumped on top of him, I just
    looked at my hands, for a split second because I was second
    guessing myself, I took my hands I wrapped them around his
    neck and I just choked him, but it didn’t feel good, in fact
    it made me angry and sad, but I couldn’t stop I kept saying
    how does it feel? How do you like it? And than I grabbed his
    face like he grabs mine and I smushed it, I just kept
    repeating how does it feel brian? How do you like it! And he
    just sat there amazed, shocked, confused, I punched him in
    the chest over and over crying and screaming I love you! I
    truly love you so much! What is wrong with you! And than the
    adrenaline stopped, I was out of strength, in general, for
    everything. I just picked up my head and I can remember the
    feeling that I had, it was new, it was breathless, I looked
    at him and said something that I knew I should’ve said so
    long ago, “brian I want you to leave me” and he just ignored
    it, and I kept saying it over and over, begging him, Brian
    leave me this time just leave me, but he wouldn’t, victory!
    That’s all I wanted to shout victory! He didn’t have to say
    anything his answer was clear, why would anyone leave someone
    that loves them? Isn’t that the whole point? So I left that
    day and I walked home, my car was in the shop, I thought oh
    man, I hate walking, it’s been so long, and than, I smiled, I
    was happy, I’m walking home on Christmas day from Brian’s at
    6 in the morning and I’m happy. And I know it’s not too much
    of an accomplishment, it’s only been a few weeks, I’m writing
    this to remind myself and others some of what goes on. This
    isn’t life, and a relationship didn’t ruin me, a person came
    and slowly killed me. He didn’t just hit me or just push me,
    he took the time to figure out how to completely change who I
    am. I’m so confused in my life that I can’t see straight. But
    ya know what I couldn’t be happier. For everyone that gave up
    on me, thank you, you never were my friend I would’ve been
    there for you, and I was, if you read this entire post than I
    truly feel thankful. Even if you skimmed it. This is real.
    This is happening to a lot of people, men. Women and
    children. I do not feel sorry for myself, I have but I don’t.
    There are people crying out for help and so are the people
    dishing out the abuse. This is my side of the story, this is
    how my everyday life was for the last few years of my life
    because I met one wrong person. This is jail! I was
    completely trapped in a cage, rebelling because of love?
    That’s not love! This is evil! If you know anyone that is
    being abused you need to be their friend. You can’t tell them
    to leave, we leave when we’re ready, but once you give up
    they never leave. Surround them with love and make them feel
    special because they are! Every person is special. Even Brian
    I’ll definitely love him for a very long time until I can
    deal with the fact that it was never love, it was an.

    • writingforrecovery


      I did read your whole story, and I feel so much compassion for you. I have heard a LOT of domestic violence stories but I think yours may be up there with the most severe. It’s pretty extraordinary that you made it out alive. I am glad that you are safe, and I hope you are getting some counseling and support as you transition out of this relationship. It is NOT easy to leave a violent partner, but I am so happy that you did. Your feelings are very mixed up right now but that is very understandable, very normal. You will grow stronger with time and therapy.

      I wish you the best on your recovery. Thank you for sharing your story here.

      Peace, Sarah

    • Liz

      I made it to 39 years old before I met my “Brian”. I took me blocking him from my phone, email, moving to a different city, and 4 years to recover. I think there are people out there who are narcissistic sociopaths who enjoy destroying other people. They are dangerous and must be avoided at ALL costs. Never, ever give them the benefit of the doubt, try to be “nice” or “balanced” or make excuses for them. They are sick and will kill your soul and either hurt or murder you, or make you commit suicide. Also never, ever let them know what you really think of them. They will try harder to manipulate you and they will “learn” from you and get better at their craft and entangle even more people and those who previously wouldn’t have gotten ensnared in their web. Say nothing and get away! FAST! The rest of the world needs them to not learn new tricks.

      I am so sorry this happened to you. It is in no way your fault. STAY IN THERAPY and SAFE for quite a while to heal from the ravages of this monster. You are worth safety, love, comfort, peace, and joy. Keep telling yourself you deserve a happy life.

  • Shaina

    So today I got a call from Brian, and I actually sat there in astonishment for what felt like eternity, he hung up as soon as I answered and, without thought, I called back. No answer! I literally sighed, oops he called the wrong person, thank god. I sat there and thought about how happy I was right now, with moments of missing him of course, I thought about how I haven’t argued with anyone in days, I thought about how I haven’t been in a terrifying situation that I was getting so sick of, I remembered new years, the first holiday in two years that went smooth that wasn’t ruined by an argument over how I did something wrong. I was at piece. But than I called back! Why? I have no idea, maybe for the interest of why he had called me, maybe because I do miss him, maybe because I’m just never going to learn. He didn’t answer…. For sure he dialed the wrong number. Again, a sigh…. Thank god, now the other questions come, was he playing a game? Was he trying to ruin my day? After all he must’ve known by not hearing from me I had forgotten all about him, was he trying to restart the healing process? Ahhh why is this happening?!? I’ve lost my mind. I let it go, laughed it off. I get a text message, not thinking it’d be anything more than a friend wishing me a good day at work, wrong! It’s Brian, “oh my god” I thought, ahhh, I think that was actually yelled out, it said, simply “how are yea” well if anyone else here is dealing with the same process you understand what I mean when I say suddenly you become the ultimate “texter” and I replied in lightening fast suddenly a pro texter form. And the ball rolled, of course I played the strong card, he asked to talk and I was snippy “what’s there to talk about” and he just plays his act so well and I could read through everything and I played my hand different and well but I could tell he wasn’t buying it, Infact I pictured him on the other end fingers to fingers doing some sort of evil laugh as he knew he’d get me hook line and sinkered in no time, he asked to do lunch I declined, completely fighting back the urge to scream “yes! Yes! Now! I’ll blow off work, we’ll meet now” he begged said we’d be happy, we can work it out. I kept thinking “asshole, I’ve been trying to work it out alone for TWO years” he said and I’m quoting this one “lets forget the past, let’s just move toward the future” ahh you want me to forget the past huh, so easy for you to say. The conversation ended by me giving in to lunch than I headed into work, on break I get a text “thanx sha”, sha what he always called me when he wasn’t trying to pull his bullshit puppy eye pleeeasssse bullcrap, I just felt so disappointed in him for the first time in a long time, it felt like I had finally noticed this time that I was nothing to him, how could he continue to be fake to me? I know you! Is all I could think. I know this game! I said, Brian look, you want to be with me, see me, or even get acknowledged by me, you better be real to me, don’t give me your charm, don’t drop your voice and sound sentimental, I know you. As far as lunch “dont count your chickens, I’m stewing on it”. Truly, and please don’t think I’m a quitter, I know I also played the best “strong act”, for once, I know it’s wrong, and I truly feel numb to it, but, I’m going to go right back. And I have a feeling that I’m never going to leave him. My heart is so broken and so disappointed in myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for reading my story, it hurts that you took the time to read and acknowledge and care just like everyone that has now abandoned me, but again I’m disappointing.

    • writingforrecovery

      Hey, I am NOT disappointed in you. I’m not judging you at all. It can feel impossible to leave an abusive relationship; it’s like an addiction, yes? He controls you like a drug. But I’m telling you, it does not have to be that way. You know how people detox off drugs? They get help in treatment centers. It’s the same way for abusive relationships like this. You need help from a women’s shelter. If you go there, they will help you separate from him. They will keep him away from you and you away from him. They will help you find a new place to live and a job. Did you say you have a child? You can bring her too. This is a listing for a shelter in your area: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider going. Domestic violence is DEADLY. You deserve to be safe and free.

  • Renea Powell

    my name is april….i am a 29 year old single mom of 3. domestic violence ruiened my life. I just wana say for years i blamed him….for everything. for all the pain, for all the bruises, for the abuse, for all the tears and even for losing my kids….but the truth is it was my fault. I am the one that stayed, now let me tell you i know from experiance that it isnt easy at all just to get up and walk away and unles you have experianced it you can never truly understand how hard it is to walk away…and live. But many times i chose to fall for the lies, the lies that it was all over and it would never happen again, times when i had left and he begged me to come back…i did< that was my fault and my fault alone…i was just walking right back into a trap. looking back at the black eyes and the scars and bruises day in and day out…makes me sick to my stomach. The way i had to hide from my family and lie to my mom (who is my best friend) makes me cry myself to sleep. For me letting go wasnt easy at all becuz not only had we been together so long…his seed was growing inside of me. The abuse only got worse after that. being told that he didnt want me to have his baby and that i was a slut and the baby wasnt his…..(even tho he is the spitting image of him) was even more painful then any slap, kick, or punch he could fork out. Looking back now…if i could leave anyone with any advice….first and foremost…GET OUT….AS FAST AS YOU CAN……because even tho its hard, one day it might be too late! only by the grace of god did i live to see my son be born out of all this mess. I know leaving aint east but in the long run its whats best, because believe me love hurts….but its never suppose to bruise!

  • Karen Courcy

    My name is Karen and I am 40, have 3 beautiful teen boys and have been married 22 years. Before I found happiness I had a horrid life as a child. I was sexually abused from the age of 5 until I was 11 by my own older brothers. I was raped at 13 by my father friend. I guess you would have to say I was SO vulnerable and open to perpetrators that I sent off a signal like a radar!

    Today I am writing a book about my past, and I also write a blog to heal. I write everyday through the process of therapy and healing. I have been in therapy for 6 years and my life is finally coming together.

    Thank you for the lovely blog you have here ..

  • brook

    Ive read so many stories. So many strong women who have survived horrible experiences and now i feel like a fraud. I went out with friends one night. I wanted to drink after finishing finals. I drank, I had fun, i lost complete memory of the night. I woke up in a compromising position with texts and phone calls that somewhat scared me. I may have been sexually assaulted. I may not have. I’ll never know. Deep down inside me i feel like something happened. I feel different…I feel like regardless if something happened or not its my fault. I drank too much. I didn’t have someone to take care of me. I shouldnt have done that and maybe i wouldn’t feel this way now and be questioning what happened to me. I woke up with my bed wrecked. My pants were missing and i was covered up with my bed skirt. My body was sore and I had no recollection of what happened to me. I’ll wonder forever, it will eat away at me and it leaves a lonely pit in my chest and stomach. I dont think i’ll ever be the same. I can only imagine the feeling of looking your attacker in the eyes and remembering every detail of it. Like i said, i dont know if anything happened to me. I feel like it did. but i’ll forever be unsure. and regardless it’ll always be my fault for not knowing. Its hard living with myself knowing this.

    • writingforrecovery

      Hi Brook. Listen to me: You are NOT a fraud. You suffered a trauma. You feel different, you feel like something happened to you; those feelings are valid and true, no matter whether you have explicit memories of an event that caused them. From what you described, it certainly sounds like you were attacked. And this is the most important thing, so really take this in: no matter what happened or didn’t happen, no matter how much you had to drink or what you were wearing or if you had fun at first or where you went, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. In no way is it EVER a person’s fault if they are sexually assaulted, no matter how drunk they were. If you were that drunk you were NOT CAPABLE of giving consent. That means that if someone had some kind of sexual contact with you, it was non-consensual, and therefore an assault. If you FEEL like something happened, listen to that. Trust your body, trust your instincts. You may never recover that memory in your mind but your body does remember. Get some counseling, talk to someone who works with sexual assault survivors. You deserve just as much care and support as anyone else, ok? Take care of you. -Sarah H

  • Olivia

    I was sexually abused when I was 7 years old by a 15 year old boy, the son of my mom’s boyfriend. It happened multiple times before I found ways to avoid him, but then he started abusing me in other ways. Threats, and name calling, tipping and pushing me, talking about me with other boys and laughing at me. I felt less than human, like I was nothing and worth nothing. I hated it, but mostly I hated myself. When I was older I started wishing I would just die. I would think about killing myself all the time. I tried cutting one or twice but people asked about it, then I started playing with fire, no one asked about the burn marks. I guess they are not as suspicious as a straight cut on your arm. I would see how long I could hold my fingers in the flame or pour the hot wax from a light candle on my body. Hot wax was the perfect pain, and after rubbing off the wax no one would no I had done it. But after awhile it wasn’t enough. When about 13 or 14 I took a pill out of every pill bottle in the cupboard and swallowed them. Everything from vitamins and pain meds to prescription drugs like vicodin and Ritalin. I wanted to die….. I never tried to kill myself again but I still thought about it. Its hard to live when you hate yourself. Its hard to find meaning when you feel dirty and worthless.

    You are really the first I am telling my story to. I want to heal, I want to love myself and feel like there is a reason I should be alive and keep going. I started writing poetry as a way to tell without speaking. I want to post them as a way to heal and share my experience.

    Flaming Seductress

    Seductress made of flame and heat,
    Temptress of the night,
    Beckoning with flaming fingers,
    Luring strangers into her fiery grasp.
    Weave your spell flaming seductress,
    Draw us into fire’s pleasure.
    Tempting fire, a burning kiss . . .
    A fiery embrace holding tight.
    Pain, oh, the painful pleasure.
    Hot, so hot, the burning of the flame so hot.
    Flaming seductress of sin,
    Burning me in fire’s embrace.
    Flesh and soul blemished by fire’s kiss.
    Burning, burning, till ashes shall it burn,
    When flesh and bone are ash,
    Then will the seductress of flame retreat.

    OH, 2004

    Not long after I was sexually abused, I became obsessed with fire. I loved to strike matches and just stare at the flame until it burned my fingers, and then striking another. I also liked to play with hot candle wax. I would tip a light candle and let the hot wax pool in the palm of my hand. The hot wax was just painful enough that it was all I could think of, it was painfully perfect. I probably played with fire almost every day for years after my abuse. I loved watching the flame dance, feeling the burning pain of the hot wax. Playing with fire almost became a compulsion, I couldn’t stop myself. I would even think about fire. I would think about burning, becoming nothing but a beautiful flame, everything burned away to ash. One day in class I felt the need, the need to lose myself in the dancing flame and pain, instead I began to write. I do not remember thinking about the poem, what the next line would be or the structure, I just wrote and wrote until it was finished. It was if I had entered the same state I would go into when playing with fire. After writing this poem, I did not feel the need to play with fire so much and while I sometime still get lost in a dancing flame, I no longer need the burning pain of hot wax. I think this poem let me put to rest this need for fire. By letting out those feelings through poetry I was able to let go of my need to feel pain and begin to heal. This is the first poem that I wrote and after the peace I felt from writing it, I tried to write more poems as a way to release my feelings and tell my story.


    Fluffy white flakes falling from the sky, like cotton, God’s cotton, covering the earth.
    The snow, so white, so pure, falling from the sky. Its beautiful, lacing trees and bushes.
    Weightless flakes of snow riding the wind down to earth.
    A snowy white blanket covers the earth’s ugliness.
    It attempts to cover the black roads and dirty sidewalks, the offensive vehicles billowing black smoke, the ugly buildings marring the beauty of the sky.
    One flake after another, the snow perseveres, determined to hide the repulsive thing the earth has become.
    It is hopeless; no matter how many layers of snow cover the earth, the ugliness is still there, though hidden.
    The snow stops, seeing only a thick layer of whiteness, content it has completed its goal.
    Unbeknownst of each melting flake, slowly seeping into the earth, becoming a part of its ugliness.

    OH, 2006

    I have always loved the snow. I love the quiet peace and white beauty after snowfall. However underneath this beauty there is garbage, dirt and grime. Sometimes I feel like this, like I have a thinner layer hiding what is beneath. Like the snow trying to hide the ugly earth, I too must hide my ugliness. I felt dirty, and ugly and filled with so much shame, but I had to hide it. And so I would do things to create a thin layer of snow, hiding myself from the everyone.

    Not me

    am i you? are you me?
    how do we know whom to be?

    If i were you and you were me,
    it would be hard for you to be.

    For being me is hard to do
    but maybe not, if I were you

    I wish I was you and you me
    then I would not be afraid for them to see
    how it is to be me

    OH, 2011

    I do not think it is very uncommon to wish to have someone else’s life, to be someone else. However I think I wrote this poem out of my desire not necessarily to be someone else, but to be a different me. A me who had not experienced sexual abuse or attempted suicide. I often think about what I would be like if I had not had these experiences. Would I be happy? Would I trust people? Would I think the world is a good place?


    I am numb,
    Body numb, mind numb, heart numb.
    Can’t feel, can’t think, can’t care.
    I am numb.
    I am safe.

    OH, 2013

    I wrote this poem after the first day in GWSS 427. In class we had talked about things we would do to feel safe. The first thing I thought of was not keeping myself safe from physical harm, but psychological harm. I have suffered physical abuse before and as long as you survive, physical abuse and pain is temporary. The bleeding will stop, the bruises will heal, but healing of the mind is different. To me, the psychological abuse that often accompanies other types of abuse, is actually the most hurtful, the longest lasting and the most damaging. And so I think both consciously and unconsciously I have tried to protect myself from psychological abuse, and to do so I have become numb. I am afraid to trust others, to rely on others, this fear dictates conscious decisions I make when interacting with others. However sometimes I feel as if my mind is shutting down. My body can still function on a basic level however it is as if my mind has become shut off from any feelings, I do not feel or care, I become numb. This feeling can last for a few hours and even an entire day and I am not certain how it starts. Though I am conscious of it happening, I can only acknowledge it, with no care or desire to understand why I numb or how to stop being numb. A part of me thinks I am broken, or wishes that I was different but a part of me also accepts the numbness, it makes me feel safe, it helps me to keep living. I do not know if I will ever be able to completely let go of the numbness. I think part of my desire to hold on to it is that fact that I still have not fully confronted my experience with child sexual abuse. The one person in the entire world that I should have been able to go to was not there for me, did not save me and I still cannot forgive her for that. I cannot forgive her for it because I cannot tell her what happened and she does not know. I think a part of me is still that young child, crying out for help silently, raging inside when she saw but did not see, broken inside when she did not protect me. I cannot tell her what happened to me and how she failed me, and so instead I must live and be numb.

  • KayLani Dyer

    Baggy shirts and empty stomachs,
    With each day that passes by
    You have to tell another alibi .

    Gaunt faces
    Rib cages
    Thigh g a p s
    Hip bones
    Cold finger tips
    Ravenous kids
    Refusing to let any calories pass their lips.

    Smiling masks
    Shattered hearts and slit wrists

    Hiding every ounce of pain
    What has this world come to?
    Such a shame.

    The seed is planted with envy and hate
    Secretly being watered
    Oops it’s far passed to late

    Sprouting with every compliment
    Perception of reality is twisted and bent

    Bodies locked in a cage
    Contemplating whether to go back
    Or turn the page

    Stepping on the scale
    Hoping their was a loss of weight
    The number displayed on the scale determines their fate.

    High off their own hunger
    One bite is all they long for,
    They won’t though
    Because they fear they may want more and more
    Not eating is like their own personal chore.

    Once this happens
    Life will never be exactly the same
    Sometimes it seems like a lion that can never be tamed

    Although you may feel doomed at lost

    There is hope
    Just keep searching, you’ll find better ways to cope.

    I know you’re waiting for someone to come unlock the door ,
    but they don’t hold the key
    You see,
    You and only you can determine your destiny
    And it is you that holds the key to recovery.

  • Olivia

    My Story:

    When I was 7 years old I was sexually abused by a teenager. It happened multiple times over the course of a month, until I found ways to avoid it. However for months afterwards I continued to be tormented in less overt ways. I was pushed and tripped, verbally abused and made fun of until the teenager’s family moved away. After that I changed, I think I was afraid, and I felt guilty and I just didn’t understand. I stopped wanting to play with friends and preferred to stay in my room and play alone or read. When I got older and I understood what had happened to me, I became very ashamed and I felt dirty. And I also became angry, I was angry that it had happened to me, but more so I was angry that no one had helped me. I thought about all the times I was abused and how help was so very close. I thought about all the times I was physically and verbally abused in front of her, and yet she never said a word. I thought about how I had changed, and yet it seemed she did not even notice. She did not notice, she did not care. When I was about 10 or 11 years old I started wishing I was dead. I hated myself, and I felt dirty and worthless and that no one cared.

    Once when we got in a fight while driving somewhere, she kicked me out of the car and told me to walk home, I was probably 11. Instead I started walking and walking, I didn’t care where I went, except I would not go back home, no one there cared. I thought I would walk forever. It was the end of winter and there was still snow on the ground, and as I walked I hoped it would snow and I would be able to just lay down and let it cover me and I would disappear. I thought of the book I read called “The little matchstick girl” about a girl who died outside from the cold, and I wanted to be her. I walked all night until I ended up at my grandmothers house and she took me back home. She was there, crying on the couch, she didn’t hug me when I got back, or tell me she loved me or was worried, she didn’t say anything, so I went to my room. After that I started staying out late at night. I would leave after she had gone to bed and I would just lay outside under a stairwell. I wished I could just fall asleep and never wake up.

    When I was 13 she left for the weekend. She didn’t tell me where she was going or when she would be back. I went into the kitchen I took 1 pill out of every bottle in the cupboard. There were vitamins, allergy meds, over the counter pain meds and prescription pills like vicodin and my brother’s ritalin.. I swallowed all of them then went to my room, I wanted to die.

    Healing with poetry:

    Flaming Seductress

    Seductress made of flame and heat,
    Temptress of the night,
    Beckoning with flaming fingers,
    Luring strangers into her fiery grasp.
    Weave your spell flaming seductress,
    Draw us into fire’s pleasure.
    Tempting fire, a burning kiss . . .
    A fiery embrace holding tight.
    Pain, oh, the painful pleasure.
    Hot, so hot, the burning of the flame so hot.
    Flaming seductress of sin,
    Burning me in fire’s embrace.
    Flesh and soul blemished by fire’s kiss.
    Burning, burning, till ashes shall it burn,
    When flesh and bone are ash,
    Then will the seductress of flame retreat.

    Olivia Holmes, 2004

    Not long after I was sexually abused, I became obsessed with fire. I loved to strike matches and just stare at the flame until it burned my fingers, and then striking another. I also liked to play with hot candle wax. I would tip a light candle and let the hot wax pool in the palm of my hand. The hot wax was just painful enough that it was all I could think of, it was painfully perfect. I probably played with fire almost every day for years after my abuse. I loved watching the flame dance, feeling the burning pain of the hot wax. Playing with fire almost became a compulsion, I couldn’t stop myself. I would even think about fire. I would think about burning, becoming nothing but a beautiful flame, everything burned away to ash. One day in class I felt the need, the need to lose myself in the dancing flame and pain, instead I began to write. I do not remember thinking about the poem, what the next line would be or the structure, I just wrote and wrote until it was finished. It was if I had entered the same state I would go into when playing with fire. After writing this poem, I did not feel the need to play with fire so much and while I sometime still get lost in a dancing flame, I no longer need the burning pain of hot wax. I think this poem let me put to rest this need for fire. By letting out those feelings through poetry I was able to let go of my need to feel pain and begin to heal. This is the first poem that I wrote and after the peace I felt from writing it, I tried to write more poems as a way to release my feelings and tell my story.


    Fluffy white flakes falling from the sky, like cotton, God’s cotton, covering the earth.
    The snow, so white, so pure, falling from the sky. Its beautiful, lacing trees and bushes.
    Weightless flakes of snow riding the wind down to earth.
    A snowy white blanket covers the earth’s ugliness.
    It attempts to cover the black roads and dirty sidewalks, the offensive vehicles billowing black smoke, the ugly buildings marring the beauty of the sky.
    One flake after another, the snow perseveres, determined to hide the repulsive thing the earth has become.
    It is hopeless; no matter how many layers of snow cover the earth, the ugliness is still there, though hidden.
    The snow stops, seeing only a thick layer of whiteness, content it has completed its goal.
    Unbeknownst of each melting flake, slowly seeping into the earth, becoming a part of its ugliness.

    Olivia 2005

    I have always loved the snow. I love the quiet peace and white beauty after snowfall. However underneath this beauty there is garbage, dirt and grime. Sometimes I feel like this, like I have a thinner layer hiding what is beneath. Like the snow trying to hide the ugly earth, I too must hide my ugliness. I felt dirty, and ugly and filled with so much shame, but I had to hide it. And so I would do things to create a thin layer of snow, hiding myself from the everyone.

    Not me

    am i you? are you me?
    how do we know whom to be?

    If i were you and you were me,
    it would be hard for you to be.

    For being me is hard to do
    but maybe not, if I were you

    I wish I was you and you me
    then I would not be afraid for them to see
    how it is to be me

    Olivia Holmes, 2011

    I do not think it is very uncommon to wish to have someone else’s life, to be someone else. However I think I wrote this poem out of my desire not necessarily to be someone else, but to be a different me. A me who had not experienced sexual abuse or attempted suicide. I often think about what I would be like if I had not had these experiences. Would I be happy? Would I trust people? Would I think the world is a good place?


    I am numb,
    Body numb, mind numb, heart numb.
    Can’t feel, can’t think, can’t care.
    I am numb.
    I am safe.

    Olivia Holmes, 2013

    I wrote this poem after the first day in GWSS 427. In class we had talked about things we would do to feel safe. The first thing I thought of was not keeping myself safe from physical harm, but psychological harm. I have suffered physical abuse before and as long as you survive, physical abuse and pain is temporary. The bleeding will stop, the bruises will heal, but healing of the mind is different. To me, the psychological abuse that often accompanies other types of abuse, is actually the most hurtful, the longest lasting and the most damaging. And so I think both consciously and unconsciously I have tried to protect myself from psychological abuse, and to do so I have become numb. I am afraid to trust others, to rely on others, this fear dictates conscious decisions I make when interacting with others. However sometimes I feel as if my mind is shutting down. My body can still function on a basic level however it is as if my mind has become shut off from any feelings, I do not feel or care, I become numb. This feeling can last for a few hours and even an entire day and I am not certain how it starts. Though I am conscious of it happening, I can only acknowledge it, with no care or desire to understand why I numb or how to stop being numb. A part of me thinks I am broken, or wishes that I was different but a part of me also accepts the numbness, it makes me feel safe, it helps me to keep living. I do not know if I will ever be able to completely let go of the numbness. I think part of my desire to hold on to it is that fact that I still have not fully confronted my experience with child sexual abuse. The one person in the entire world that I should have been able to go to was not there for me, did not save me and I still cannot forgive her for that. I cannot forgive her for it because I cannot tell her what happened and she does not know. I think a part of me is still that young child, crying out for help silently, raging inside when she saw but did not see, broken inside when she did not protect me. I cannot tell her what happened to me and how she failed me, and so instead I must live and be numb.

  • thejonnynation

    I live with you, I swim with you, I wrestle with you. Bubbles swell around us forcing shoals of phantom fish to skitter off into the darkest blue depths, refracted light glorifying my fear. Sensing my struggle though, they come darting back, nipping at me from every angle as we grapple with each other, again.
    Butterflies as bright as those from a manipulated, digital photograph flitter about us with the demeanour of confused victims. Though I run free, our feet are bound by drunken souls and so, we live together.
    Sometimes I haul us across the muddied trenches of my life, the puddles filled with tears, not with rain. Every so often, the sun beats down and from that, I start to believe again. The clouds make a mighty comeback though and the longer they stay, the more I seem to forget what hope is.
    Shells pound down, relentless and fearsome until the light breaks back through, for who knows what reason.
    You’re a pain in the arse to live with and you’re always under my feet or in my thoughts. You’re under my skin and nothing can make you budge. I’ve tried, so many times I’ve tried. Yet you won’t listen. I don’t get why you won’t listen…
    I plan on how I am going to negotiate with you the next time that we face up.
    Without fail that time comes again all too soon, but why is it never as easy is I want it to be? It’s only me, (and you), so why is it so damn hard?
    I have been advised that when I am down in the dumps or fighting with inner Demons, hangups or fears, that I should occupy myself. The house is clean, my paperwork is up-to-date, the beds are made and the laundry has been washed, dried, folded and hidden away in a dark, out of the way place for storage, just like my torments. That’s how it is you see. Every one of us, sooner or later and with varying degrees of angst will tuck away a little niggle or a huge and cumbersome albatross. It happens. The only way to deal with any of these thorns in our sides is to acknowledge them and find a way to banish them forever. Such an easy thing to write…
    I find myself standing at the side of my kitchen just looking around with random thoughts ricocheting around the inside of my skull. I move rooms but I’m just there, sitting, being, breathing, thinking and wanting to move forwards but held back, by me.
    That is the answer for people who seem not to understand where I am coming from. In my mind, I cannot find a way to progress and make life better, even though I know that it can be. It can be better because it has been in the past, but will those thoughts change again tomorrow, or later? They are partitioned and segregated, by no will of mine, but by the power of my mind. False self protection? Self deprecation? That is you, tied in to me and running riot in my weary head. Do your worst but I am stronger than you and I will retaliate as best I can. I was here first.
    The little blue and white capsules will show you that I mean business but is that cheating? Once they start to work their way and my thoughts become less hectic and seemingly less random, is that me, or is it a doped up, dulled down version of me? It sort of matters. I will smile again at the simple things in life. My mind will pull up, as if by magic, a memory or feeling from the past, transporting me momentarily to a place from years gone by, back to Grandad’s house when I was a young child, protected and happy and willing to be.
    So I will deal with the inner bully and I’ll appreciate myself once again, cheater or not. At least I’ll smile rather than trying to work out why I should smile. It’s a simple thing when written down but it’s a mammoth task in my head.
    I know that in time you will subside but I will also know that you are there, tucked away in the recesses of my mind, ready to pounce at a moments notice because you know, like me, that we will always live together, but I am prepared.

  • About Eve

    From the blackness I could hear an electric pulse, faint at first, calling me, pulling at my chest, evicting me from the nothingness, removing all semblance of calm and quiet. My eyes force themselves open, heavy and bruised, filling with stark white light, too harsh and artificial to be death. My lungs draw breath, shallow and sharp as if filled with shards of glass. My head throbs, my back aches, my legs are listless, but attempts to see if they’re still attached are thwarted by the sickening soreness of my ribs.

    As I lay there, drifting in and out of confusion, craving questions and fearing answers, overwhelmed in my emptiness, soft footsteps approach. Her kind smile and warm eyes, slightly-teary, brought a mild comfort that easily overlooked her teased Texas hair and cotton-candy lipstick. I could’ve told her my name, but when asked, I answered, “No.” I don’t know who I am. Not anymore. The last thing I remember? Heading for the stairwell, and feeling my skull crack.

    It had been the best summer of my life. Freed from the shackles of my passive father and mentally-unstable mother, I slept happily on a hand-me-down plaid davenport in a run-down party house on the west side. We ate when we felt like it, talked as we pleased, and figured things out. I baked cinnamon swirl bread. I became obsessed with “Natural Born Killers” and watched it on repeat. I stretched what little food I could find into a feast for weary teenagers after long shifts at minimum wage. I stretched five dollars into thirty selling cookies when their bands would play. I stretched my wings. I came into my own. For the first time, I lived in a happy house. I had a family. I was loved and valued just as I was. I was happy. And the little person growing inside my swelling belly was happy, too.

    Even in a place as oppressively hot as Texas, summer eventually turns into fall. My swimming logistical thoughts yielded to fantasies of lazy Saturdays playing in sand boxes with a fair-eyed, sandy-haired cherub, a needed break from worried thoughts of dollar signs and SAT’s and how I’d continue to evade my parents.

    A friend dropped by as my housemates and I were settling in to dinner on cushions and crates, and over plates of dredged chicken and beer-steamed veggie pilaf, he lamented a bit about the son he’d fathered with a former girlfriend. She was moving out-of-state, putting the nail in the coffin of his involvement, since he no more had resources to fight her in court than he did to fly frequently to see his 2-year-old.

    He was distraught, hurt. I was moved. My mind wandered as friends rallied in support and brainstormed ideas. In writing this how-to on being a successful 15-year-old parent, I’d failed to consider the feelings of the man I’d so easily put out of my mind after our careless concert fling.

    I rolled it over and over in my head as the rickety greyhound bus grappled over the broken northbound highway. Hours passed. The baby churned. Sweat poured down my neck. I rambled through town in my over-stretched Crazy Killed Mingus tee and matching blue Vans, filled with doe-eyed optimism, eased by the umbrage of the trees, and looked for him.

    I climbed the metal stairs to his third floor apartment, and knocked. Rock-star skinny, hair unwashed, he answered, and I went inside. It was a perfect speech, cool and measured, clear and concise. I wanted nothing from him but his opinion. He stood like a statue as I stuffed the number to the party house into his frozen hand and asked him to call once he’d thought it through, and as I turned to leave, I was relieved. He stepped out behind me, and took away every childish notion I had of the goodness in people. I wonder if that’s what he was looking for when he took a bat to my head and a boot to my back as he kicked me down the stairs. I wonder if it’s relief he felt as he stepped over me as I lay crumpled and broken on the pavement and headed to his car.

    “Let’s go see your baby.” Orderlies appeared from nowhere. Tubes were unhooked and re-hooked, and I’m lifted into a wheelchair. I braced myself, utterly confused as we headed to NICU and not the morgue, and I’m wheeled up to an incubator with the tiniest human I’d ever seen. The Gerber baby must not have been a preemie. She looked like a tiny Mafia boss. Her little red face was scrunched into an angry tough-guy grimace, her tiny fists poised in boxing stance, chest sounding a furious rhythm; that sleeping baby was all business. I amused myself in imagining her with a Goodfellas accent complaining about the accommodations, “Der I was, mindin my own bidness, relaxin in a perfectly good womb, and you fucks gotta go and fuck it all up. What’s a girl gotta do to get some sleep around here? (grumbling) lights in my fucking face all the time, Jesus fucking Christ…. ” She was one tough broad. They didn’t expect her to survive more than a few hours. She was almost two-days-old when I met her. I reached in my pinky from my non-broken hand and touched her, fully expecting her to punch my ass out, but her fist relaxed and closed around my finger, and she broke from her furious sleeping for a heaving sigh as if to say, “It’s about time you showed up.”

    And there we stayed, pinky in fist, in the eye of the storm, lost in a dreamworld that refused to conform to the conventions of time and space. Nurses and doctors whirred around talking incessantly and saying nothing. I sang her “Sweet Jane” and hung on her every labored breath. And on the fourth day, she drew a deep breath, let go of my hand, and died. My daughter died.

    She was my Sweet Jane, but Jane is a name you give a child who lives. I named her Eve, and walked away.

    The orderly who had a soft spot for me helped me into a pair of baggy sweats and down the elevator through the loading dock where I caught a cab. I showed up on my parents’ doorstep with a fractured skull, broken eye socket, cracked jaw, three fractured ribs, broken wrist, dislocated hip, twisted ankle, and less than rosy disposition. My mother took one look at me and said, “Let this be a lesson to you.”

    I was rapidly reintegrated into my regularly scheduled life: assigned chores, enrolled for school, and thoroughly advised of her expectations, back to fakey-fakey nice-nice, putting a bright coat of white paint over everything. After an afternoon of mother-hosted baby shower festivities, listening to her friends tell me I must’ve had a wonderful childhood, I swallowed 100 tablets of Tylenol and waited to die. My mother called me names and told me to throw up; I remember getting into the back of my father’s car and flying down the freeway, and peacefully drifting off to the dreamworld where I hoped my little crime boss would be waiting for me.

    Early that year, my grandmother passed away on Lundi Gras. She was also a tough little broad, insisting on living alone into well into her 90’s, hair jet-black, lips bright red, always up for adventure. The wake was delayed to Friday, since churches were closed for Mardi Gras, and I think she would’ve liked that the whole city partied for a week in celebration of her life. But the wake caused a stir. The mortician had dyed grandma’s hair a rich brown, and trimmed her with pink lipstick. My father was not amused.

    The funeral director apologized and the service proceeded, but the family was really upset. Red, people.

    Nobody puts pink lipstick on grandma.

    Seven months later, as I awoke groggily in an eerily quiet blanket of white light, I looked down at my hands, and saw my nails, once squared and in outlandish shades of blue and black, now perfectly shaped into almonds, daintily covered in mauve polish. In an odd combination of Tylenol detox and the memory of grandma’s wake, I frantically poked my chest in alarm to test if I were still alive, and in hearing my mother stir to my right, grumbling that I’m going to mess up my nails, I feared for a brief moment that hell was real thing after all. It was her way of fixing things, painting over the unpleasantness, making me shiny and mauve and sweet and southern. We never talk about it. They never ask, and I never talk.

    I stopped eating. I cut off my hair. I did not sleep. I retreated from life. I became a shell. I feared nothing.

    I saw nothing as worthwhile. I was empty, hollow. Days turned into weeks, and years. For the most part, the injuries healed. The seizures stopped. My right wrist and hip are weak and easily reinjured. The right side of my body never regained all of its feeling, and is pins-and-needles. There are still some days I feel like I’m suffocating. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wake up with the feeling that something’s not quite right in the world. But I can walk, dance, skate. I can love. And I can live.

    Having her made me the best of who I am – strong and compassionate, fearless, fallible, and appreciative. I didn’t see it then, but she let go of my hand so she could wrap herself around my heart.

    She’s my inner bad-ass, and I’m forever grateful to have been her mother.

  • derek deasy

    I write these pieces to work through ideas before taking them into paintings or photography pieces. I call them happening because I am a painter and photographer and painter and I lacking in the craft of writing.

    “Love’s Nectar” By Derek Deasy
    A girl called by any other name would not smell as sweet as the scent of your skin
    Sweet as cotton candy and layered in scented scarlet petals impervious to lust’s caress
    Your young nude body exposed, as you stand soiled with dirty feet on blood stained wooden floors
    Abused by blood, who says it’s thicker than holy water
    Like father, like son, bless me father for I have sinned
    Was it not cold icy water that washed away the blood of your sweet innocence, lost forever but not forgotten
    Honey drips slowly made from the catacombs of a million worker bees focused on one queen
    So many places to hide from the lustful swarm, inside the hive a home filled with quiet indiscretions
    Stingers raised, cocked and ready to pierce unbroken skin, a silent killer of innocence
    Your sweet nectar was taken without your consent
    But little did they know that on the wings of change a butterfly soared
    Your seeds flew through space and time destined to take hold on that same dirt
    Where you once were soiled but not broken, your eternal hope cracked but never shattered
    Satin sheets of white linen create fields of pure heavenly delight as if in the garden of Eden
    Indented with love’s possibilities and covered in droplets of passions sweat
    While your feet carried you it was your soul they could not reach
    For it was outside your limp body loudly screaming your distress
    Your heart torn from your chest shredded on your rib cage wall
    Your were exposed to the elements that kill mere children
    Candles quenched void of artificial man made light; you stood alone in the dark
    You found strength in solitude, silence became your friend
    You looked to god’s beauty to balance the human indifference of the womb
    As vines grew, thorns pricked prying hands so that it was not your blood that flowed
    You grew new roots in a garden protected by earth angels, nurtured on tears of hope
    Your rosebud warmed only by divine light from the spirit above
    Wise beyond your years you have an old romantic soul that beats the rhythm of heartfelt love
    You are in love with love, awaiting the arrival of your other half a soul mate drawn to your radiance
    And though your body be well traveled, time has overgrown those trespassed paths healing old wounds
    You understand your body is just a vessel of flesh and blood surrounding your immortal being
    You will wait until he finds a way to crumble yourself imposed walls of classic beauty
    He will not hear your voice so loud and clear and strong from the outside looking in
    A rose called by another name would matter not because you’re still a rose
    A thorn in the side of hopelessness, you personify the beauty of living
    I look at you as if setting eyes on the very first sunrise of gods creation
    You warm my heart with your smile and you scent envelops my senses
    You are my muse so be amused at the power you possess over mankind
    Poets write, artists paint and musicians sing of your primitive essence
    You float from brush to pen and ink to paper onto fingers touching strings
    For it is in the realms of love that truth can be found and there you exist
    A smell, a touch, a feeling, you are as imaginary as Venus but as real as salty rain
    You are Juliette, Cleopatra, Aphrodite, Athena, a modern day Goddess
    The rarest flower in the garden of earthly delights is yet to bloom. Darling it’s you

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