Age 16, 1988

Age 16, 1988

For me my mental illness came crashing into my life in full force when I was sixteen.

That was the year I first started hearing voices,

started to believe people could read my mind and insert thoughts into my head,

was the first time I was truly suicidal,

was the year I started to self harm,

dragging a razor blade across my left arm and watching my blood flow,

the first time I was dissociative,

when the world became vague, dreamlike, less real,

as I observed events as if from outside my body like a movie in slow motion,

the year the panic attacks began.

This was also the year I suffered as a survivor of sexual assault,

the most difficult event of my life as a biker held a knife to my throat and raped me,

beating me severely.

From then on I carried a knife in case I am in a similar situation,

not so I could defend myself, but so I could slit my wrists.

To this day the sound of a Harley Davidson makes me physically cringe.

That was when the night terrors began reliving my trauma every time I closed my eyes.

That was the year the negative coping mechanisms developed: cutting, isolating, alcohol, drugs.

That was when the abyss of depression swallowed me up whole,

and I wanted to die or crawl in a hole forever,

because I was worthless, pathetic, weak, and most importantly,

I was to blame for being raped,

I should have been able to stop it as a sixteen year old boy.

This is not how it should be at sixteen.

Shards of My Soul

You left the broken shards of my soul,

Scattered in the dirt, in the filth,

I did not ask for the gift you bestowed upon me,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet rapist.

The revulsion your memory conjures up,

Consumes me with a need to wretch,

The callousness of your existence,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet rapist.

The trickle of my blood down the length of the blade,

The knife you hold to my quaking throat,

The heat of your body behind me,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet rapist.

I gasp staring up at you my mouth slightly agape,

I know what you desire, what you require of me,

A shiver, I slowly nod closing my eyes,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet rapist.

I bite my lower lip my body jerking in revulsion,

Your cruel commands echo in my mind,

I indolently open my mouth and swallow,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet molester.

“Ugh,” I groan through a kick in my ribs,

Painfully I crawl back to my hands and knees,

My head jerked back by my hair so I smell your breath,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet rapist.

I know what you need as you kick my knees apart,

I won’t succumb that easily,

What you will not have offered, you shall take by force,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet rapist.

I bite my tongue, my mouth filling with blood,

The ravishing of my body has begun in earnest,

The blood trickles down my chin as tears swell,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet rapist.

The burning inside me makes my stomach churn,

My eyes clenched shut in revulsion,

The flames inside me grow as they burn,

“Fuck You,” my lover, my sweet rapist.

Your grunts sound rapidly in earnest,

What you have needed these long hours is almost here,

Your sharp slaps of my ribcage loudly echo,

“Thank You,” my lover, my sweet…

The Sins of my Past Conceived and Made Flesh

The Sins of my Past Conceived and Made Flesh

I wince reliving the same nightmare dreamscape,

Night sweats, daydreaming, wake up – I cry panting for breath,

My jaws are locked open in a silent scream,

A call for help which is destined never to be answered,

Tears of consciousness cascade down my face,

A procession of nightmares flood my tightly clenched eyes,

Haunts me – over and over, I relive the visions,

They are who I was, who I am, who I will become.

A Second Chance Whether Deserved or Not

A Second Chance Whether Deserved or Not

Jerked awake in the stillness of the dark of the night,

I’m soaked in sweat, my clothes clinging to me like a wet sack,

Closing my eyes I attempt to stop my hands from shaking,

Tears slowly drip down my cheeks taunting my grasp on reality,

I choke to breathe feeling the knife once again back at my throat,

All I had to do was lean forward and this torment would have been over,

I can hear his fucking voice in my head, mocking me nightly.

I grab your picture on my nightstand, gazing into your eyes,

Dare I tell you of my feelings of inadequacy, is it what you want to hear,

How can I not after all you’ve shared with me,

Surely I’ll be better tomorrow; I know it is a lie,

My trembling fingers caress your cheek down to the line of your chin,

A tear drops onto the glass blurring your lovely face,

I close my eyes hoping to still see you there.

Alcohol used to always make it easier to get through the night,

Just a drink and I can push these thoughts out of my head,

My body lurches forward at an all too familiar thought,

My stomach gurgles in agreement that a drink is not acceptable,

I glance at my picture of my niece and then to you my love,

Am I so weak that I think a drink or a drug would help,

Years of self-medication die hard, but die they must.

My fingers trace over the scar across my belly,

Someone died so that I might have this second chance,

I cannot and will not make the same mistakes this time,

I won’t throw away a second chance at happiness, at love,

Love the word ferments in my mind as I gaze upon your loveliness,

I feel like I’m disappointing you even considering a drink for an instant,

Do I tell you how weak I am, how scared I am without you.

I’d welcome back the physical illness to get rid of the mental,

I am always so filled with doubt, did I deserve this chance,

I’ve done so many truly horrific things in this life,

Is it possible to be forgiven, can I forgive myself,

People tell me I am so strong, why can’t I believe that,

Did I only fight to prove those wrong that said no,

There has to be a reason I was given the chance to survive.

I’d like to drop to my knees and beg your forgiveness,

I’d like to go back in time and change that decision, make it right,

One desire is impossible, the other simply unfair,

The thought of my disrespect, conjures up my feeling of inadequacy,

Maybe I never deserved you in my life as I half fear and believe,

Would you be better off without me – I hope not,

With every fiber of my being I dream of the day you believe in me again.


I gasp through the blood-caked lips of the sins of my past,
I wince reliving the same nightmare dreamscape,
The nightmare haunts me – over and over, I relive the visions,
The visions of my past indiscretions, visions I cannot deny –
They are who I was, who I am, who I will become.

A gasp, night sweats, daydreaming,
The knife blade caresses my throat,
The weight on the small of my back makes me wince,
My head jerked back, fingernails dig into my scalp,
My hair Entwined amongst grating fingers.

The foulness of his breath permeates my senses,
Nightmare tears of my consciousness cascade down my face,
His breath bathes my skin…filling every pore,
The breathing becomes short and rapid,
My mind preoccupied with pulsating groans.

My jaws are locked open in a silent scream,
A call for help which is destined never to be answered,
The sweat of my shame permeates my soul,
The tears of my horror drench my face,
The sins of my past conceived and made flesh.

A procession of nightmares flood my tightly clenched eyes,
Acquaintances of my past occupy the room,
I inhale deeply melting into the chair,
The room spins and liquefies,
Visions of my friends melt from my consciousness.

My eyes strain to conjure the acquaintances of my past,
A nightmare gaze fills my senses with the scene,
A close friend, a needle impaling her vein,
I strain as she fades from my sight, my reality,
A slap of the face, tears well in my eyes.

I scream into a silent non-listening void,
Wake up, I cry panting for breath,
My tears soak her cheeks during a final embrace,
Her pulse slowly fades in my arms,
Stop please wait, don’t fade away.

The sins of my past weigh down on my soul,
Each day I fight through the memories,
The reality of my past makes up who I am,
I clench my eyes tightly shut,
A sigh, a breath – moments from my past.

Sexual Assault in the United States

A few United States sexual assault statistics:

*** Forms of sexual violence include: Rape or sexual assault, Child sexual assault and incest, Sexual assault by a person’s spouse or partner, Unwanted sexual contact/touching, Sexual harassment, Sexual exploitation and trafficking, Exposing one’s genitals or naked body to other(s) without consent, Masturbating in public, Watching someone engage in private acts without their knowledge or permission, Nonconsensual image sharing ***

~ Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police.

~ The prevalence of false reporting is low between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports.  A study of 136 sexual assault cases in Boston found a 5.9% rate of false reports.  Researchers studied 812 reports of sexual assault from 2000-2003 and found a 2.1% rate of false reports.

~ One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.

~ In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.

~ One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.

~ 20% – 25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college.

~ More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.

~ 27% of college women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact.

~ Nearly two thirds of college students experience sexual harassment.

#SexualAssault #Rape #SexualHarassment #NoMeanaNo