I wrote this poem exactly one month ago. I was meditating on what I needed to say to my mother to release the pain I had been carrying in my heart. It is said by mental health professionals that one of the key indicators of a child’s healing from abuse or an assault is the response of their mother. If their mother was reactive and got the child help as soon as she knew what happened, the child would recover in a healthier manner. Not that there is a real healthy way to deal with childhood trauma, but they can heal and be as close to ‘normal (as defined by society, everyone has their own definitions) as they can. However, if the mother ignores or silences the child, the child will take longer to heal, if they ever can get closure. So, I sat down and wrote a poem to my mom from my perspective as a teenager. Maybe someone can relate to feeling unheard by their mothers. And maybe a mother who has a child that experienced violence at the hands of someone else can read this and see the perspective of their child. No one should ever feel alone when experiencing trauma, because until they are able to talk about it in a healthy manner, they are still experiencing the abuse everyday. So let’s grow together and never allow a child to feel ostracized by the abuse they experienced.
Courage of the Coward
Go against the grain
That was how I was raised
Everyone is unique and different
Try to swim against the current
But who really has the courage?
to stand against their barrage
Could you stand against
them without recompense?
Could you stand for right?
even when consumed with fright?
Could you speak against the shadows?
Could you be at peace with what followed?
I am the strongest person I know,
That isn’t a brag, it is just so.
But even then, I doubt
If the consequences were worth speaking out
You said to stand up for what I believed in
But somehow that didn’t cover my sin
I am nothing if not myself
that is why to fear I was deaf
I could not stand idly by
and help you cover a lie
all the quotes in the world
could not hide what you next hurled
What is done in the night
will always come to the light
It is always darkest before the dawn
Especially when I refused to be your pawn.
Was it stupid or brave?
that the next victim I wanted to save
After the transmission, I thought I was too dirty
For the next girl, the next time, I worried
You demanded that I forgive and forget
but these crimes I could not abet
You were more angry at my disobedience
But I will offer no repentance
How can you go with the flow
knowing what you know?
Embarrassed, you kept silent and hid
My vocal bravery you condemned.
While I faced my fear
It was me you rejected and smeared
The fact that a young woman
faced the darkness of you with one lumen
You hated that I brought to light
The ungodliness that was done in the night
It never mattered that I was your child,
Because your attachment to me was mild
You hated me for ruining your image
Because your reputation the truth blemished.
While you hid behind mercy scriptures
You had hidden all my pictures
I was a child who you shunned
But to him, the adult, you clung
Though a sinner, He was such a good man
The daughter you chose you banned
Even though all I wanted was you to hear
Of how I was consumed with fear
I have lived everyday believing I was the coward
By your silence I felt overpowered
Even after all these year I wonder
If I did the right thing or blundered.
But how could I be me
if against this abuse I didn’t speak
How could I live in silence
knowing another could experience that violence
How could I turn a blind eye
To another crying my same cry
All I have ever desired
Was for that to have never transpired
How could I ignore my own little inner voice
How could I ever not make the same choice
To admit my own transgressive rough
That only your approval I sought
IF I could only turn back time
To that pain I would never again resign
I would tell me to have courage and to be brave
So I could be the girl I save