I, You

I, You

christopher-campbell-28570-sparks crop
Am I finished
Have I lost who I was?
Am I gone
Was I cut up?
I don’t make sense any more
Can you see me
Am I whole?
Do you think less of me
Am I human
Do I have a soul still?
Am I shattered
Am I defiled
Am I soiled
Am I barren
Am I devastated
Have I lost my desirability?
My mojo
My zest
My attraction
My sweetness
My light?
My music

For so
Many months
I could not touch my own body
After rape
Have they bled me dry
Did he finish me?
Waste me
Did he succeed
To violate me to
Oblivion?
Space.
Am I in a graveyard
Am I gone?
Could you still
Love me like
This,
Do you, still, could
You?
Could you take me in
Your arms and
Not see the damage?
What do you see?

I said
Do you think less of me?
You said,
Because of what happened? No
If anything I think more of you.
How can this be ?
Sometimes I think
Am I charity
Am I worthy?
Can I say,  I love you
Am I less?
Am I equal
Can I be?
Can I find peace  after
This devastation
Am I allowed to ?
Why did I have to go through this?

A  perpetrator can’t do time, no
He can leave destruction  in his wake
And no one disturbs his day
He never faced prison
Did he even take a day off work?
No hospital
No examination room
No prophylactic drugs given
Too late
No waiting for results of HIV
No racking your brains for where to live safely
How to live in fear
How to avoid every man who comes near
Now that I can’t even look one in the eye
Did I die?
What about my time
Am I a whore?
Marked
Why did I go through
This punishment?
No one could save me
Why did I deserve this year of
exile to hell?
After something someone chose
To do
and silenced
Stonewalled

You, my trusted friend,
You sat there with me
Listening
When I cried
You sometimes said nothing
You believed in me
When I thought
I had already died
You held onto me  when
I spoke out
I  objected
That an assailant’s desires
And anger came
Before my rights
Before mine
Override everything I had.
They can take a woman
And just dismiss her
Say she wanted what he just took
Doesn’t even count that she said
No
She Is injured and devastated
Throwing up, bleeding
and she was
Celibate
Yes

You were the first one to say
“Guys who do this,
Why should it be
Kept a secret?”

You drove me
Down to the sea
Sit quietly
While I weep
All this, can you
Stomach it
Is it part of me?

I won’t dump it on you
But where does it go?
I feel like you helped me shovel it away
All that shit that covered me
And doesn’t belong on me
Or anywhere here
But leaves it’s smear
How do you look me in the face,
Eat breakfast with me?
Sip coffee
Put your arms around me?
Tell me you’re proud
Let your cat climb on me
Let him loose with me
Tell me you trust me
Play music with me
Cry with me
How do you do these things?
Let me in your house
Even when you’re out
These things mean a lot
I wake in the night
Aching for you
And something I never tell you
It doesn’t go away
When I realise
And I’m still
Cut up inside
There were moments of peace
where I felt truly alive still
With you I can breathe
I feel free
I think,  can I, how can?
Would you
Could you
Vojnar1BrokenFlowers
©GS

#AnnaJuliet #GirlSurvivor #BelieveHer #BreaktheSilence

When all the Misfits

When all the Misfits

💖 You don’t have to rise above anything
nude 5
When all the misfits
Come together
and speak about feeling apart

When all of us
Say what is in our heart
We make truth
We make art

nude 10
Even when
everything is gone
You feel weak
you carry on

You are courageous
You are strong
Speak out
Or don’t speak out
cropped-woman-silheoutte.png
It is up to you
it’s your shout

You owe nobody
Your story
Your account
Your words
Your report
cropped-hiding-woman-zukuri-unltd.jpg
You know
You can share
or not share
what you survived

You’re amazing
You are enough
You are here
through all the fear
and all the doubt
all the pain
all the hell
when you thought
you’d never see
the other side
Realise
what you’ve achieved,
You’re alive

keenan-constance-359284
©GS

If you feel like an outsider, trust me, you are not alone. You belong.    You deserve to be heard. If you have been ostracised for speaking out, or told off because you didn’t- or how, or when you did,   I salute you- for still being here and keeping going as best you can.  You are immense. Nobody has the right to diminish you.  Survivors’ healing is impaired by the bullying we can experience when most of all we need support- You should expect to be listened to and treated with respect and care.  You don’t have to put up with being shouted at, mocked , doubted or harassed when you reach out.  Women and girls’ accounts and reports matter-   It’s time we demand our voice has equal place, in this system that has silenced us for so long. ©GS

Photos with thanks to Zukuri and Constance Keenan
“You don’t have to rise above anything” .. kind comment from activist and poet Musa Owkonga

#WhenalltheMisfits #BreakTHeSilence #GirlSurvivor #RapeSurvivor #MeToo #BelieveHer #NoMore