I have no proof, no evidence. Of course, I don’t because no one listened. And now that evidence is gone. Or is it? I realize how much evidence I have within me and how I react and interact with the world. This poem is about contending with all the evidence I carry with me.
Unburdened is such a relatively innocuous word representing so much of what had to happen for me to heal. The moment I released myself from the burden of being the secret keeper and the scapegoat meant I could breathe for the first time.
What is this? Is a poem that came about as I wondered what it be like to be unbroken. To somehow go back in time before I was shattered.
I realized recently that my family was abusively dysfunctional. Growing up, I only recall thinking something wasn’t right within my family. But, then, years of therapy, sobriety, and a lot of hard work, and I think, wow, that was really bad. Followed by, holy shit, how did I survive?
What can I do? Seeing the world from the child’s perspective of not wanting to follow in the footsteps of the adults around them.
The idea of forgiveness is part of the survivors’ conversation. Do you forgive? And if you do, who are you forgiving? And how is that connected to forgetting? Is there a connection?
We all have roles in our families, the golden child, the hero, etc. I was none of those. I was the scapegoat. I was always held responsible for the ills of life but had no way of changing my fate or the fate of others.
As a recovering over-apologizer, I notice more when people apologize. Especially when it is for things they shouldn’t apologize for because there is no need. Are you trying something new? Don’t apologize for being bad at it.
My childhood instability stayed with me throughout adulthood. I built a better, more stable foundation once I realized I lived in an unstable house.
Can I thrive? Am I able to leave behind or move through the foundation of my life, of who I am? Those are the questions I have. And bearing witness to the stories of other survivors gives me the hope I need to push forward and thrive.