Poetry

Encompassed

I remain
hopeful
that one day,
I’ll overcome
this darkness
that surrounds
me.

** Trigger warning, please continue
with caution. **

If you spent one day in my childhood shoes, you’d understand why I do the things I do. Why I try so hard to help others when — and as best — I can. But also, why I know there’s a line I have to draw in the sand. A line I can’t cross without risking my own well-being. My sanity. There’s a reason I can’t look too closely at the news, or march in rallies. Or speak out beyond my means.

Try walking one night in my childhood shoes, and you’d know what it’s like to feel the sting of a slap on the cheek, a punch to the gut. Or kick by a steel-toed boot to the hip. What it feels like to be degraded continuously with words. Debased into nothing.

And then feel — not just witness — through my childhood eyes what it’s like to be ravaged, to have your innocence stolen from you over and over again. To be taught before you can read how to please a man with your mouth, or how to move your hips the right way.

Now, imagine walking in those same shoes on a daily basis for years, and tell me I’ve not cried hard enough, or endured more than my fair share. Tell me I’m wrong for spending every moment trying to stay calm and not panic, while the rest of the world crumbles.

Just because I can’t do more than empathize, doesn’t mean I don’t give a shit. So don’t think for a second that you know what anyone else is feeling unless you can put yourself in those shoes.

© Sarah Doughty

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64 thoughts on “Encompassed”

  1. Your words don’t just empower me, they speak to me in ways that draw me to those helpless children filled with nothing but despair. I’m grateful to you for sharing your bitter experience. It is a reminder to everyone not to judge others by their mere actions or appearance. You are a great writer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can only send you a hug, Sarah. You’re a remarkable woman. I know healing is a process, but continue living and fulfilling your passion. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although, I’m a male, I know closeup what the horrors of childhood were. Probably not in the way you were. I had the good father till he was taken by death when I was ten. Left to wander the world with no emotional support I then fell victim to the cruelties of a stepfather’s fists and words. Then that one was followed by one less cruel to me but hard on my young half sisters. I can’t understand your pain but I do empathize with it. I found writing a great palliative to the pain and ghosts of childhood trauma at the hands of another. How about you?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unweight criticism and observation that isn’t pertinent. Whoever or whatever sent you to the shadows again, give it no value and it has none. You aren’t a brain chiropractor or a mouthpiece for any “marginalized” crew. You are a writer. Write. Care. And keep your mental middle finger loaded and cocked and know when to use it. Feed the vermin and they return. Write a scathing rant, throw it on the fire and without feedback they sneak back into the shadows they came from. Sorry it happened. Ignore it. It has no place with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest, there wasn’t anything in particular that happened. It just felt like I needed to write it out. But you’re right, that mental middle finger needs to ready and waiting for that moment it’s needed the most.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your spirit has not broken. I can sense that in your writing. You will prevail. Do not waste time trying to make sense of the twisted world we live in, instead live for now, for friends and for yourself. Each new day spent this way will dull the past. My heart goes out to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My partner was kidnapped at age 7 and locked in a basement for 7 years where he was raped every night by paying guests. He escaped aged 14 and went on to become a leading industrial chemist. You are not alone with such terror, and it is never hopeless – as your daily poems testify. Keep on going!

    Liked by 1 person

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