My Secrets

Here are some of my secrets:

I was abused as a child in every way                                                                                      Though my family is easily mistaken as near-perfect to this day                                                The worst repercussion is that the abuse robbed me of my voice                                              Left me without a sense of power or choice

After puberty I found that sex work fit seamlessly with my skill-set                                         It was the most livable wage I’ve earned yet                                                                                   But I didn’t feel like I was living when I only lived for money
As an adult I entered and survived a series of unhealthy relationships                                    Though it took abortions to help cut the ties                                                                                    I still fear that my exes will come after me                                                                                     And have nightmares about them at night

I feel like I’ve dodged a whole battle-field of bullets
Because I am happy at the moment and not pregnant
I am grateful that I don’t have any kids
Because I am just now learning how to take care of myself
I am stunned that I’ve never had an STD
At least that I know of, although the jury is still out after my latest round of poor decisions (unprotected sex: what is wrong with me? Oh yeah, I’m recovering from a brutal upbringing that trained me to please others in order to survive; I shut-down in silence although I want to scream ‘NO!’).

Insert compassion here, and self-observation without judgement.

I remember thinking, ‘there must be angels in my vagina’ when I tested negative for HIV
After half of America had had sex with me without condoms
I was a staunch atheist at the time
But the miracle awoke in me a sense of the divine
I feel like I swam through miles of sewage and came out clean on the other side

The secret that I am searching for
Is how to heal my mind
I wish I could forget all the traumatic memories from my life
Because they get in the way
Resurfacing at inconvenient times when I am trying to get through the day
There are so many traumas

All I can do is breathe into them when they arise
Observe them for what they are
Listen to them, and learn from them

But damn, that’s a lot of trauma for one life
Remembering it is the worst part
Because the pain perpetuates without an end in sight
And my heart goes to the races every night
I try to tell it, ‘Whoa, slow down’
But the gun goes off and there is no turning back,
thundering around the track

The secret is, there is no secret that I know of to recover from trauma
I only hope that the amount of rape I’ve endured in my life means that I’ve taken a hit for the team, so that other women experience it less, as it no secret that, ‘one out of four women will be raped in her lifetime.’  Which I believe is an under-estimate.
In my case, most of the rapes involved unspoken non-consent
Or lack of ‘enthusiastic consent’, which is a term I recently learned and want to share.

Evening is falling now
And calling me with
Smoke and fire crackers and divine secrets

Now I know that whenever I have a PTSD flashback, I must remind myself that I am safe, loved, and worthy.

My sense of being loved by the universe will outlast all my doubts and panic attacks.

Take what you no longer need and offer it to the divine.

Give back the toxic energy that people poured onto you, and take back your own beautiful, sacred energy.

Cut the ties which bind you to that which you never wanted, so that you may more fully feel that which you desire, which is within you, which has always been within you and always will be.

 

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