Why ‘Secrets Behind the Collar’?
These pages are my story, my truth. They are the story of a little girl who was assaulted and abused, they are the story of the emotional and sexual abuse and rape of a teenager and the secrets kept for over forty years.
It is the story of how I’ve dealt with the secret trauma of my childhood after so many years. It is interspersed with my own poetry which illustrates the journey I’ve travelled over 2020.
My hope and prayer is that these pages will help others to think about sharing their own painful truths and subsequently release the pain and suffering of so many years of holding them in. I have already found this to be the case with some I’ve shared my story with.
Some of us have just learned how to survive
It’s in our genes, cemented by events of our childhood and teens
Our life has been shaped by the wills of others
A stranger, so called friends, our fathers, our mothers
We can’t ever say the details out loud
Make it real, make us feel
The emotions again,
the hurt and the shame, the feeling of blame
That we know isn’t ours and doesn’t make sense
We can’t say the words, they would cause offence
To our ears and to any others who hear
Of the life we have spent, living in fear.
Some of us have learned just how to survive
We’ve had years of practice of saying ‘I’m fine’
When deep down inside we are treading a line between
Self-loathing for what we know we have done
and anger at those who made us what we’ve become
Filled with self doubt and feeling unworthy
of friendships, relationships
Because still, we feel dirty
From the hands that mauled and did unspeakable things
Robbed innocence, robbed peace and robbed the good dreams
Turned them all into nightmares, terrors and panics
Fragments of things we don’t want to recall
Things we’d rather not remember at all.
We survive and we learn how to smile outwardly,
Suppressing our thoughts so we’re not depressing
others, because who really wants to hear, to know
what makes us tick, what makes us sick
to our core?
The memories of the reality
of what was done,
forced upon us
when we were too weak to fight.
The man that took us without our will
Too young to understand, to frightened to tell.
And so we hid it all in a box,
Like Pandora, we locked it firmly away
Hoping there would never be a day
when it forced its way out
The experiences oozing, making us inwardly shout
Inwardly scream, at a man we know we can’t ever name
Who’s actions have scarred us, made us never the same
When fear overwhelms us and panic sets in
We run, we hide
We push ourselves to our limits and so we survive.