In every community, there is work to do be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it.
-- Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson says it best when she says that in every community, there is work to be done. Victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse face their fears and search for answers daily. One victim writes, another draws, some find strength in sharing their thoughts. Each one is on a journey of healing. PAVE has been an empowerment tool for decades in our community. There is always work to be done. If we did not have space to recognize the strength in the hearts and minds of our clients and community, our work would be in vain. The following writings and artwork were courageously submitted by our clients. I offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to those who have shared.
*Please be advised that stories of domestic violence and sexual assault can be very traumatic. Some of the writings below may not be suitable for all readers.*
I’m a survivor of domestic and sexual abuse. I have a child, as a result of a rape, that I’ve chosen to keep. I got pregnant at seventeen and gave birth shortly after turning 18. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. My Dad is an alcoholic and my Mom suffers from severe anxiety. It has been a difficult road but I’ve managed to stay on it. I’ve found that having faith in a high power has helped me cope. If you are dealing with issues of domestic or sexual abuse please know that you are not alone and someone out there does care.
I stood in front of the mirror and gazed into the face of the person that occupied the space.
Who are you? Was the question I would ask as if this figure could answer back.
I looked harder this time trying to find some kind of a clue
But the truth was I did not know her do you?
She has been hiding I’m told.
That is why you do not recognize her face.
And older now the years leave a trace.
She stands before you to prove that in fact she does exist.
Now what are you going to do about it?
I was five when my father passed the line of being my Dad. He was drunk like always and he told me and my sister it was bath time. He took us in the bathroom and got us undressed. I didn’t feel right when he started to touch me down there. He said that he was just cleaning us really well. But he had never done that before. I called my Mom and she came in and told us that what Dad had done was not ok. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of a life of abuse and pain.
She is alone; nobody in this world could feel her pain. The words love and trust are words she never knew again. Every day she’s the same. She wakes up feeling lost in this world. Although the days pass it’s just like yesterday when I was abused. Nobody understands her. Nobody knows how much she hurts inside. She put a mask on in front of everyone even her husband. She is afraid; afraid they won’t understand or care. Each day she wakes up with an empty soul just waiting until the hurt goes away. She is alone. Alone.
The Curtains have Closed
When at first we met, I thought it would be fun…to spend some time with you and that is how it began.
At first I’d only see you maybe once or twice a week but, because you were such good company, it was you I continued to seek…soon we became as close as two could ever be…there was hardly a moment that you weren’t with me.
You became my strength, my weakness and joy…
How could you treat me like a broken toy?
You became selfish, wanting me only for yourself and you became abusive, but yet I remained true.
Who would think our love would take the path it has taken? Because of you, so many others have been forsaken.
You’ve taken a strong person and broken me down…now I no longer need or want you around.
Today I am stronger than I was back then, you are now my enemy, no longer my friend…so you can no longer be so much as you were before…I’m leaving you behind and I know it will be well, so just take your shit and be on your way.
There is no love here and nothing left to say. So one day at a time, with the Lord on my side…I will regain my joy, my strength and my pride and from my chains that used to bind, I will be free in body, mind and soul…you can not live with me anymore…it’s time to say goodbye to you my friend…
The curtains have closed and this is the END!!!
Do You Care
Do you even care how much you hurt me?
I thought I could trust you
I don't understand how you figured
I would let you bond with me that way
Do you even know how much pain I feel?
Everytime I see your face,
I want to kick you off that base.
I want you to feel what I feel,
I want you to feel dumber than a seal.
I want you to hurt like I do.
But I don't think you care,
I don't think you can hurt like I do.
Why didn't you stop when I said stop?
Why did it take **** walking in?
I thought you were suppose to be like my dad
But now you tell me you were looking for a way to bond
That is not how you bond
I now know that I should never trust anybody
They will hurt me just like you did
I don't know how you live each day knowing what you did
Maybe you go on each day because you don't care
I wish I could forget the incident
but everytime I close my eyes I see it happening again
I don't want to deal with the pain anymore
I want to hide it in a store!
I'm tired of pretending.
Now a message I'm sending.
I want out of here.
Not to sit here and sear.
No matter how hard I try,
I fail, just like the dead fly.
I want to pain to go away,
And not sit here and sway.
There is no help for me,
So just let me be.
**names have been omitted to protect confidentiality.