Fight For Truth

Legends make
and legends break
and some are clouds
for truth…

We stalk fame
Wear blinders
Deny greed
Worship lust

Somber propositions
streaked with blood
outsmart watchful eyes

Run to save the children
those vulnerable ones
wounds still tender

No matter how guarded
no matter how impenetrable the walls
expose the beast, fight the devil

Let truth define the legend.

(Written for all those women, men, and children exploited by the famous and powerful.  Linking up with Eugi’s Causerie weekly prompt:  legend.)

Inside, I Scream

(Warning:  trigger)

It wasn’t for want of terror –
inexplicable horror
caused me to quake

There was no one to hear –
a remote lair, boarded
ensured the perfect crime

Even in the aftermath –
self erased, movement
adrenalin automaton

Even then, no sound,
voice stifled by guilt
certainty blame was mine

Art of dissociation
keeps me now, surface
calm – shame numbed

The scream a silent
reverberation
tearing at my soul.

(For Ragtag Community’s daily prompt:  scream.)

 

Secret Keepers

They always take the back roads,
virginal snow-covered lanes
lined with trees: pastoral views

Unmarked routes, out of sight,
use the innocence of landscape
to blot out their dark intentions

Pristine picture perfect scenes
lull the unsuspecting; breath-
taking vistas; secret keepers

The roads still exist in my dreams
the trees like soldiers, stiff and stark
stripped of their magical allure, now

guard the memories, painted red
with the loss of purity; I had not
guessed the danger of woods

Child mind incapable of conceiving
what wolves roamed in nature
the blood of their victims crimson

stains forever etched in silhouette
the shrillness of their screams
now silent echoes in the night.

(Image:  www.flickr.com)

Innocence Replaced

Rebellious adolescent
covets freedom, schemes
two dimensional; needs

attending to; temporarily
dislodged, toying with sanity,
her perspective slippery

she is traversing violation’s
den; virginal door smashed,
internally shattered, broken

pieces distorting charmed
impressions – she is away;
no longer safe, stalked in

crowds; spikes her hair, heels,
nails; polishes the art of rape:
feminine wiles dominating the

hungry beast, fists clenched
she consumes her lover;
seizes his neck; unshackled

sexuality praying on the timid –
a ravaged sense of feminism;
radar set on revenge; she prowls.

(Image from: best-tiger.blogspot.com)

These are Warriors

Younger women than I
are giving birth, unaware
of indifference; joyous
expectancy blotting out
smells of disinfectant,
and decay – I am invisible
to them, my daughters.

Babies they are, bringing
forth life, unripened souls,
hopeful, ignorant, unaware
that I know what violations
have planted the seeds, am
no stranger to the cruelties
of humanity, my sisters.

I may be unknown here,
but neglect is universal –
it’s brutality unremarkable –
am praying for miracles,
while the world spins, lives
losing control, and all I can
do is stand witness, Mother.

(Photo credit:  Huffington Post)

Rage and Restraint

Thor and I have dined in a high-end restaurant, and he has gone to pay the bill.  I have chosen my food carefully to watch my intake, but still do not feel satisfied.  I look around and spot a dessert counter, with many cakes, pies, and sweet buns.  My husband is taking a while, and I am getting anxious.  On an impulse, I lunge for the cinnamon buns at the front of the counter, reaching across the cakes and pies, with no regard for social propriety.  I scoff the bun quickly, before anyone, especially my husband, can see me.  I needn’t worry.  He is nowhere in sight.  The room we were dining in is in the basement of the building, with a walkout patio.  Thor headed upstairs to the cashier’s desk.  Embarrassed by my actions, I decide to follow him, but I cannot see him.  I catch sight of him leaving by the front door.  Has he forgotten me?  I run to catch up with him and encounter two teenage boys, one of whom threatens to grab my breasts.  Angry with Thor for leaving without me, I am enraged by this young boy’s brazen behaviour.  “Do it and I’ll beat your head in,”  I warn him.  He makes the grab, and I retaliate by grasping one ear and twisting it, while simultaneously poking him in the eye with other.  I knee him in the groin, and as he goes down, I slam his head against the wall.  “That will teach you!”  I conclude.  I have caught my husband’s attention now, and we walk off together.

Restraint is obviously a theme in this dream: the ability to control my eating, and the need to control my anger.

Thor and I are in week four of Weight Watchers.  He has very successfully been following the plan and losing weight.  I am not faring as well.  It is frustrating, to say the least.

Dining out is the base of our problems.  I am vegetarian and Thor is meatatarian, and rather than cook two meals, it is just easier for us to dine out.  With only 26 points allowance in my day, that is a difficult task.  Last night, I had a veggie stir fry with the sauce on the side (8 points).  Thor, on the other hand, had a seafood linguine with garlic bread. (He has 45 points in the day.)  I went to bed hungry, while he had a midnight snack.  As I often do when watching my food intake, I got cranky.

I am proud of my husband, don’t get me wrong.  The changes he is making to his diet and daily routine are commendable.  I do, however; feel a bit like the woman in my dream:  left behind.

The two teenage boys in the dream are an interesting addition to this dilemma.  When I was a teenager, with new, but fully developed breasts, a boy did grab my breast as he passed me on the sidewalk one day.  I was so surprised that by the time I responded, he had fled.  Thus began a series of sexual harassments that continued well into my twenties.  In retrospect, it wasn’t until I had my third baby, and the weight stayed on that the unwanted advances stopped coming.  This is an aha moment.

Could the anger that I feel when dieting be related to inappropriate attention?  I clearly remember thinking, just yesterday, that the nice thing about being older is that you can be unattractive and get away with it.

I never felt attractive.  One of four girls, I thought of myself as the dumpy one.  I had reached full height in  elementary school, and filled out way ahead of my older sisters, earning the nicknames ‘Moose’ and ‘Linebacker’.  Whenever my sisters and I went anywhere together, everyone assumed I was the oldest, even though there were several years between us.  While they received endless attention for their beauty, I was the goofy looking one.  When I did bring boys home, I lost them once they caught sight of my siblings.

Despite my lack of self-esteem, or maybe because of it, I was always finding myself inappropriately propositioned.  Fathers of children I babysat, employers, boys I went to school with, and later colleagues, as well as friends of my then husband.  And, there was the rape.  I was targeted out of a whole gathering of schoolgirls.  I never understood it, but the more it happened, the angrier I became.  Occasionally, I did retaliate physically, but mostly I internalized it. “Boys will be boys,” my mother would say.  “It’s up to the woman to deter it.”  Like my mother, I learned to be a victim.

Why would I want to lose weight only to make myself vulnerable again, must be the question running through my subconscious.  No wonder I am cranky.  Being overweight is not desirable, but neither is being desirable, literally!   Maybe, I need to have a little talk with myself, and remind my inner young woman that I am a lot older now, and have learned to ward off unwanted advances, and protect myself.

Who knew losing weight was this complicated.

A little restraint please!

 

 

 

What Is Right If Everything Is Wrong?

My father ‘borrowed’ his brother’s identification and enlisted in the war effort at the age of fifteen.  He told me once that it was an opportunity to escape home.  He trained as a commando.  His mission was to go into enemy territory, scout out where they kept their ammunition, and get out without being caught.  His instructions were to swallow a black pill (cyanide) if captured,  and kill any soldier he should encounter, in order to keep his unit’s operation covert.  He did not carry a gun; gun’s were too noisy.  He was trained to kill with either a knife, that he kept strapped to his leg, or his bare hands.

He knew exactly how to render an enemy immobile, and apply pressure to end their life.  I know, because he practiced on me.

He never let me forget that he was boss, and he could snuff me out in a moment.

He would do it in a state of drunkenness, in front of his male friends.  He’d twist my body in such a way that if I moved, I would surely break an arm, or a leg.  He’d hold me there, humiliated, angry, and make me tell him I loved him.

“Yes, Dad.”  I would say, teeth clenched, breathing like a trapped animal.

“What?”  He’d pull tighter.  “I don’t think that was very convincing.”

“I love you.”  I don’t know who I hated more, him or me.  I felt so cowardly.  Inwardly, I plotted revenge.  He might conquer me in the moment, but not the long term.

How long he held me there, depended on how much pleasure he was deriving from the moment.  He said he did it because he loved me.

“Your father loves you,”  my mother would echo.  “He’d never really hurt you.”  I was not reassured.  She said the same thing when he attacked her verbally, and psychologically.

She said the same thing when her brother tried to slip me his tongue.  “Your uncle fancy’s himself a ladies’ man.  He’s harmless.”  Even when his own daughters accused him of sexual abuse and refuse to see him, she defended him.   “Boys will be boys,”  she’d say.  “The woman has to control the situation.”

I was twenty-eight before I told her the reason that I disappeared when I was fourteen was because I had been abducted and raped.  It took me fourteen years to build up the courage to tell my mother that when men behave inappropriately it is wrong.  That they alone are responsible for their crimes, and that women are not to blame.

“I’m sixty years old,” my mother told.  “And I’ve never told anyone.”

“What, Mom?”

“I always thought it was the girl’s fault.  I don’t why I thought that, but I just did.  I knew my mother would say so, so I never told.”  She was only six, and riding in the backseat of her family’s new car, when her uncle took her little hand and made her fondle his penis.  Her parents were in the front, but she didn’t say a word.  She thought she did something wrong.

The abuse did not stop there.  “My mother would make me visit my grandparents, even though I hated it.  Grandma would be working in the kitchen, and she’d tell me to go and keep Grandpa company.”  ‘Keeping Grandpa company’ meant climbing into bed with the old man.  Mom didn’t explain any further.

The same brother that tried to french kiss me, was also a problem growing up, she confessed.  She’d just shoo him away.

Her younger sister wasn’t so lucky.  Their grandfather dragged her out behind the barn one day and raped her, while the rest of the children stood by helpless.  Only the youngest son grabbed the shotgun and threatened to kill the old man.  It was an empty effort.  Years later, the family would shun that aunt for her inappropriate sexual behaviors.

A child may be born with an innate sense of right and wrong, but it is not long before she learns to question her own instincts.  How do you unravel the corruptly tangled web of abuse and denial?  How does a child who has not been protected from wrong, learn to trust in right?

For me, it has been a slow dawning realization that words have no meaning.  A man can say and promise whatever he wants, but it is action that speaks the truth.  Holding your child in a death grip to prove your prowess, is not an act of love.