― Meredith Taylor
Walking in silence ’cause your wings are maimed
|Athena, Goddess Of Wisdom|
These things will help keep you safe and happy, and will prevent your dad from having to kill someone…
Love you girls,
Pulling out my favorite skin, one of the many I’ve gathered over the course of years, I pushed one foot through, then pulling it over my head, stood up and turned around. There, now I’m complete. I looked in the mirror, this skin is tight, it doesn’t quite fit. “After all my hunting to find the perfect fit, damn.” These things change you know, in the night while your sleeping, they shrink and grow taking on their own wild destiny. It’s hard to pull out the men, the women, from their skins. I yank and tug, making little cuts to release the flesh, loving when it just falls off, but that usually meant someone else had the same idea, using it to hide, or rather, to enhance their look. My collection is extensive and ever changing. I pulled some off of religious fanatics, some from thugs, some from pretty boy hair bands. I yanked a couple off some bikers and even a lawyer couldn’t escape my scheming thievery. All skin is beautiful by virtue of hiding mine. I sit looking in the mirror at my latest acquisition. I sure look good in it, wish I could move though, it always rips when I go outside. No worries though, I’ll keep yanking and saving them and perhaps sew them together. I’ll find one that fits and works eventually. I wish they wouldn’t leave marks on me, it blows my cover when you see pieces that obviously don’t fit on me. I’ll make excuses and hold it on while I scurry to pull another skin over the unfinished parts of me.
Also Published in: Wingposse Magazine, April 2013
“My father was one of those men who sit in a room and you can feel it: the simmer, the sense of some unpredictable force that might, at any moment, break loose, and do something terrible.
[Burnside, p. 27]”
― John Burnside, A Lie About My Father: A Memoir
The following is an excerpt from the hopeforhealing.org., poetry by survivors of sexual or domestic violence.
I am not laughing at you
It is only the laughter of the past
Rushing through your brain
Pearls of wisdom are here within my walls
And peace offerings as well
Yet you quake at the sight of me
My power has not alluded you
You cannot resist me forever!
I am that necessary evil
Which recreates evil past
My nourishment lies in your screams
So, foolish one, scream on!
Wake them; tell them of your sad tales
I will recapture them before your voice silences
But they will not find your persecutor
And will think you mad
As I am your punisher, it is your reward
However, for now I am your companion
Let us dance together, and chase the dreamweaver
Come, I beckon you
Within each article I’ll include important links for those who affected by the subjects covered, please use these links if you need help!
Everyday starts with prayer, or some spiritual exercise. This helps me to believe that someone is watching out for me, that this will never happen again. My only sense of safety comes from this activity. I’m constantly on guard, so sometimes I’ll put myself in a dangerous situation just to say “Fuck you” to the attackers and assaults. Inside I’m scared as hell, but I won’t let fear hold me back. I really don’t care if die now, they took everything they could take, and I live my life like I have nothing to lose. I have to sleep with the light on, and make sure all the doors and windows are locked, sometimes checking them a few times. I don’t like big homes, I’ve got to see most of the house at a glance. I prefer living on the second story (or higher), so the window can’t be easily crawled through. I like being in block or brick apartments so I can’t be shot through the walls. I watch every face to see signs of aggression. When I see it, or sense it, I get violent inside. I don’t want to run, I want to fight. If you scare me, on purpose or otherwise, I’ll probably hit you and ask questions later. I don’t know what perversion of nature has occurred to my sexuality, but those things which happened to me, I seem to find a liking to, with the exception of hurting someone. Then, there is the crying. I cry at the drop of a hat, on commercials, songs, movies, sometimes for no reason. I’m perpetually fighting negative thoughts of my body and personality.
All these things I live with daily. I’ve gone to counseling, God knows how many hours I’ve spilled my guts to some stranger, looking for answers that never come. To summarize, I’ve changed from the experience. I will never be the same. I accept these symptoms and behaviors as normal. I try to understand that most of the feelings of paranoia and danger are in my head. People are good and not all evil, though I struggle with that thought, I see evil in most intentions. I try to believe that I have a future, that I’m important and worthy of a good life. Most of all I enjoy my life. I take chances I’m scared to take, and I have the best revenge, that of a life well lived.