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Why am I ashamed? “Tell me why you feel ashamed”, you asked. “Please help me understand. You were just an innocent child, And you suffered at his hand.” “Why are you so scared to talk? Why are the words so hard to say?” I close my eyes, and hold my breath, I can’t help but look away. The words […]

Why am I ashamed?

“Tell me why you feel ashamed”, you asked.

“Please help me understand.

You were just an innocent child,

And you suffered at his hand.”

“Why are you so scared to talk?

Why are the words so hard to say?”

I close my eyes, and hold my breath,

I can’t help but look away.

The words are swimming in my head

I struggle to reign them in

How can I tell you what we did?

And how do I begin?

Every thought is filled with pain

Each story takes a toll

These are stories that I don’t tell

They’re a blemish on my soul

It doesn’t matter who’s at fault

Or if I had no choice

My dignity was stripped away

I couldn’t fight, I had no voice

He made sure I was afraid

I had no place to hide

He stole the thing that makes me, me

He took away my pride

He marked me with his filth and stench

He burned me with his print

He dressed me up with fear and doubt

And threats of his abandonment

He told me it’s a secret

One that no one would believe

They would say that I was lying

Looking only to deceive

So it’s with shame I stand before you

My body shakes with fear

Will you see me through the wall I built

Will you snicker at my tears?

Will you blame me for my weakness?

Will you question every word

Will my story ever be too much?

The worst that you have heard?

Will you doubt it could have happened?

How much will you believe?

Will that be all you see of me?

No matter what else I have achieved.

I don’t always understand it all

I can’t say where things went wrong

I’ve  been told that I must never tell

And I am are sure I don’t belong

I  measure each and every word

I dole them out with care

Is this safe? I  can’t be sure

Just how much can I share?

At what point will you yell “enough!”?

It’s almost like a test

Will you leave me? Walk away?

Will you be just like the rest?

“You can trust me” you have said

And I want to, oh so much

But those same words I have heard before

As he  burned me with his touch

I’m so afraid that you might hurt me

As I’ve been hurt before

With every kind word that you say

The fear grows so much more

I don’t want to need you,

Maybe that’s why I resist

But the more I try to pull away

The harder it becomes to just desist

So of course there’s shame, it can’t be helped

When I need you just to cope

I’m drowning and I’m flailing

Praying you’ll just throw me a rope

I’m on my knees in front of you

I grovel, beg and plead

I’m humble and embarrassed

To admit the things I need

I’m ashamed of what you’ll think of me

I’m ashamed that you will know

I’m ashamed that you will see the truth

I’m so afraid that you will go

I’m ashamed I can’t be stronger

I’m ashamed of what I feel

I’m ashamed that when I say it

You will know for sure it’s real

So when you ask what I’m ashamed of

I’m not sure what to reply

I’m ashamed of all you’ll see

If I let you look me in the eye

Posted in news-articles, op-eds, survivors-letters.


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