Where are you, are you there?
Did your soul get snatched before it had a chance to start over
All new and wiped clean, or has it shattered into a million pieces like my heart?
Sharpened edges cutting into the sky
No place yet to go but gathering in readiness to light up the night.
Where are you, are you there?
Are you an echo in the shadows that grips my hand dragging me through the same story as I fight my way out of the storm?
I look for solace in the clouds as they gather me up in a warm, gentle breeze to guide me forward along the way.
Where are you, are you there?
Can I hear you in the trees, whispering and conspiring to hold me hostage as I stand underneath an umbrella of fading leaves?
Soon winter will come and strip your cover
No longer so powerful or dominating, now naked and bare for the world to see
My body pushes with all its might to set myself free from the entangled branches
I continue forward on my journey.
Where are you, are you there?
Are you the mist of the ocean hiding in my salty tears or have you fallen amongst grace against the wrath of perilous cold waves, as they sweep you further away from me?
My feet plant firmly in the sand as I stand bravely in my true form at the water’s edge, looking out onto the gateway of freedom
One day I will join the ocean to meet the waves and say hello when they have forgiven the storm
Until then I leave behind my tired, heavy stones
They no longer need to be carried
As I walk away, a residue of footprints stay imprinted in time as it waits there for my return
by Elizabeth Shane
Elizabeth's book, of poems, sharing her experience as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Silhouette of a Songbird, is avaible to buy on Amazon
Ghosts part the window
Into a place where I once feared
Slowly breaking down
Like a hollow rocking horse
Withering Into dust
Oh baby virgin
Don’t you fuss
Cradles, buggies, dummies too
Unexplained perversion shines straight through Silence is golden, my little girl I won’t tell anyone, never, no But you don’t own me Not anymore I am free, forever more Ghosts part the windows Footsteps sounds Today I bury you inside I swallow every goodbye
By Alisha Thomson
He isn’t a monster
He is human
He isn’t a demon
He is human
That doesn’t mean he is good
Far from it
But he is human
Because if you think of him as a demon, a monster, something you can’t control Then he will take over He is human Just a human A weak human being An evil, weak human being that done you wrong That made you think it was your fault That made you keep it all inside But I promise you You can control it The flashbacks The memories The hurt Because you are strong You are brave You are a survivor
By Alisha Thomson
Hold your camera, position it and freeze, photograph this moment so I have images for which I will have no speech
Adjust your shutter, remove the clutter, zoom into the mist that is enveloping the small girl, stand just beyond her reach
Capture her innocence so it can be developed upon grainy film, hold the camera still
Snap, her body is fading, snap again, he is pushing inside with a desire to fulfil
Zoom in on her eyes because I think you would capture terror, I think you would capture shock
Because her body was not ready for these deeds to be done, take a photo quickly before the key starts to unlock
Now you capture a tear through your lens because her eyes are spilling out an inch of the pain
Take a photo of her floating up high to the ceiling, make it black and white to minimise the shame
Take a photo please so someone can know, poise your camera, take the slides and record her dying
Now freeze because there are more tears falling from her eyes, and as my watchman it is hard to see her crying
But you are a photographer, a documentor, just a figmant of my imagination
I think you paused the shots at the pinnacle of my loss, the moment of my deepest frustration
Take a photo of the swirling ceiling to which I flew with wings I did not know I possessed
Grasp the image quick whilst I am still naked and floating, see him get me undressed.
So everyone will know that this was not my choice or my voice or the desire of my being
Be the lens that carries truth to the mobs, that perceive me as desecrated, to all that are utterly and wholly unseeing
Take a photo of her bleeding when it is over and he has discard her like a piece of meat
So I can remember what I once was, what I could have been, before shame bound me and took it's powerful seat
One moment, snap, capture the blood upon her bed, upon the teddies, dripping down
Capture it quickly so she doesn't have to bleed again to speak this, take the photo, watch her drown
See her fading away, making vows to never tell or speak of this strange act she cannot understand
Just take the photo, zoom in on her body which once held purity within its withering hand
Capture every part of me fading because to dissolve is the only way for her to stay alive
But dissociation is a trap that no camera could portray, even though it is just one craftful way you develope to survive
Take another photo then freeze as you capture her face which displays the desire to please
Hold up your lens to the mystery of her frantic attempts, capture what she believes and what she percieves
Click and she has given in, though she knows this feels like sickened sin
Click again and capture her delusion, the, betrayal age accepts, trying to please she again lets him in.
Then snap the shutter adjust the angle as you capture her both protesting and apologising for crying as she pleads
Photograph him as he walks away so they can know he leaves me as my body bleeds
Don't drop the camera, don't stop gazing through your lens because the story is not ended
Capture her on her bedroom floor, capture her eyes that sense she has been defiled, zoom in so your lens is fully extended
So she is seen, though she is naked, so she is known though she is nine and broken
So she is held in a frame, remembered in a slide, so her words are not simply an empty token
Capture the deformity that is arising in her heart so that she will never have to explain
Find a lens that can eloquently illustrate the depths of this screaming, chronic emotional pain
Do not shy away, do not close your shutter in order to avoid connection with this imagine you do not wish do see
To be seen, to be known, to be held in mind, is all she needs to set herself free.
Store the photos with a seal which is stronger than the seal that was broken within that girl
Keep her story somewhere safe so when her words are but an echo, her reality can still unfurl
And lastly though you are an observer and though I create you to bring her alive and to make her story known
Do not be harmed by the images, do not be sad nor allow her loss into your heart, because she already survived it on her own.
All she cares for is validation, she asks that truth could kill the lies that still bind her heart
Piercing thorns that invade her whole life, her development, her ability to grow, slowly ripping her apart.
Hold my story as though you hold a feather upon the palm of your hand
Because it is I who holds the weight which breaks me, you do not need to understand.
Lay the camera down, place it back in its case where it can sit and hold a story that many will never know or believe
Take away your images, develop them, contain them, then offer them to her when she cannot explain why she seems to grieve
So that when she is crying day after day after day, she can simply share the album of sorrow
The photos for which she has no words to usher, the construction of every today and tomorrow.
I hold the frames, the images in my body my veins, my sleep and my waking
I'm just tired of watching the slideshow alone, without anyone to hold her body still naked and fully shaking.
In her skin
Right now I am in her skin, and as it is crawling I draw a breath like a wave that is about to cascade
I am the darkness, I am the delusion, I am the sickness, I am the plague
Oh someone hear me as I scream a silence that is pitched beyond what is audible to you or I
Oh hear me because my body is broken, oh hear me because I have tears that I cannot cry
Curl up my girl within your cave of silence, where it is only you and your voiceless ration
I know you cry out for some release, for some kind of peace, ultimately you seek compassion
Because no one had the passion to see you, just a shipwreck, nothing more
But here you are bleeding as though it was yesterday, lying on your bedroom floor
There were no grown ups there and if you were grown up enough to know the word rape
Perhaps you would have fled and not died in your bed, perhaps there was a way to escape
But I cannot avoid you like the shore cannot turn back the tides that beat in endless rhythem
I am but a ship without an anchor, a sea without a harbour, nothing taken, nothing given
I am hurting beyond what you could begin to name as pain
I am barbed wire that pierces my skin, I am despair and I am shame
Did I dig my grave, though I did not ask for such desolation, at such an early age
I did not hold the pen that would engrave my story of pain, upon each tainted page
Tell me, don't sell me, eloquently describe what I have lost and what was stripped
Tell me why for living this lie , I am so utterly deserted yet wholly equipped
Yes I am sound and silence, I am the violence and the single tear that slides upon my cheek
I am the storm and the carnage, I am everything I long for, and everything that I helplessly seek
Delete me, complete me, take me to a place where pain does not burn
Take me somewhere that I am not crushed, so that I can begin to learn
I will be to you the sea, which I watch impassive, like it's monotony is a web all complex and winding
Like the chains in which I am writhing with strife, with desperation, so slowly binding
Give me back my life and I will give you a token of existance from my palm
I will give you my essence and my joy and all the genuine feelings that linger and quietly charm
Sometimes giving is just an action, that makes itself something it feels it ought to be
When all the texture and the emotion of that gift, is floating somewhere, bobbing out at sea
There is so much desecration for such a temple built with frustration, and with passionate desire
I am the waves that carve destruction upon the cliffs, drawing back then rising higher.
Oh someone know me, someone simply draw alongside and hold back the tide
Shout the truth from the rooftops because I no longer wish to dissolve like salt, she does not want to hide.
I would give my devotion to speaking a story which captures a shooting bleeding star
Falling from the sky like the whole of space cannot contain it, fleeing with such distance, so very far
When I find her I will tell you, and you will wrap your arms around her skin
When I find her she will cascade to the earth so that gravity cannot bind her, so she can circle in
But for now perhaps you could tell me a story, so that I can escape the absence of my very being
A life once lived, a something gived, a massacre, a war, tell me a story, ease the carnage I am seeing
Perhaps a fairytale where the only veil, is one that pre empts joy, flowing instead of fleeing
Running towards instead of aching for distance, something that is forseeing.
I shall sleep now my shell, though I know my dreams will be far from this empty loss
I know I shall tremble as my dreams attack me with rage, leaving me to tumble and quietly toss
My dreams they know me better than I dare to be known
Darkness covers me and my heart discovers me, because there are many ways to feel alone.
I just long for peace, nothing spectacular just simplicity and a desire for living
A sense of self, not sitting on a shelf, a place where I am drawing as much as all that I am giving.
And when it all ends I will send up a firework to explode with celebration,
Into the desolate night skies
To signify release or some sense of
peace, to let you know that I have
rescued the child that cries.
Please be aware that the material in this section is about personal experiences of sexual violence and child sexual abuse and some people may find this triggering or upsetting.