My Poems

Poem: Messages

Messages We grew up afraid, unsure of ourselves. Stupid!  Idiot! What are you, a moron? We grew up believing we were in the way. Children are meant to be seen, not heard! Some of us became rebels— lost ourselves in drugs, sex numbed ourselves with booze. Do as I say, not as I do! Some… Continue reading Poem: Messages

Personal Power

Words Can Hurt, Words Can Heal

The power of words is undeniable. They can affect how we think about ourselves and the world. They can discourage, or they can inspire. They can validate, or they can wipe away self-worth. They can bring us to the brink of war or create a dialogue for peace. Like many people, I grew up with… Continue reading Words Can Hurt, Words Can Heal

My Poems

Poem: Rag Doll Rescue

Rag Doll Rescue Pretty little doll with dark curly hair, painted-on smile how tattered you’ve become cobwebs cling to shadows behind vacant hazel eyes dust balls collect in folds of your dress. I pull a thread dangling from your heart, witness the unraveling. Demons from childhood tumble to the floor, scramble for safety under machine-cut… Continue reading Poem: Rag Doll Rescue

Mental Health

I Don’t Have to Go It Alone

The most difficult things for me to do were to share with someone what I was going through and to ask for help. I had great difficulty trusting people. I wouldn’t let anyone get to know the real me. I had thought that, by sharing my feelings or asking for help, I would make myself… Continue reading I Don’t Have to Go It Alone

Personal Power

The Many Masks I Wear

I was going through some childhood photos of myself the other day, from ages five to seventeen. In all of them, I am smiling. I found one photo to be more disconcerting and confusing above all the others. In the photo, I am standing beside my brother Kevin who had sexually abused me for five… Continue reading The Many Masks I Wear

Personal Power

Setting Boundaries

Having grown up as a child incest and rape victim, and in a home fraught with violence, I learned that the more I did what others expected of me, the safer I would be. Growing up with an intense need to people-please caused me to acquiesce whenever people wanted me to do something.  I would… Continue reading Setting Boundaries

Personal Power

Finding My Voice

Finding my voice means being able to speak up for myself, to feel comfortable freely expressing my thoughts, opinions, and feelings.  It means being able to advocate for the things I want and need, as well as advocating for others. As a child, I had learned that what I had to say didn’t matter.  Whenever… Continue reading Finding My Voice

Personal Power

I’m Only a Victim If I Choose to Be

Extreme violence, chaos, and repeated sexual violation had been a way of life for me as a child, but I had never thought of myself as a victim. I just thought This is my life and I have to deal with it. This changed when, after being raped in college at the age of seventeen,… Continue reading I’m Only a Victim If I Choose to Be