Secrets I Will No Longer Keep In 42 Haikus | Vision Board Series Part 2

Saturday, December 14, 2019

This is part 2 of my Vision Board Series. Read Part 1 here. I'm including a trigger warning on this post for references to childhood abuse, rape, and disordered eating.


My body has not
been my own before today.
Every piece of me

belonged to someone
else first. "She has her mother's
nose, her father's eyes,"

they said about me
when I was born, and still I
don't see what they do.

My body tells me
secrets, whispers to me in
night and day dreams, to

say, "Your suspicions
are correct. You are safe now
to remember." Years

of this shadow play
and hide-and-seek to tell a
simple truth made of

seven syllables:
I'm a victim of abuse.
Five words, blinking one

at a time on a
sign outside a dirty bar
in Old Town, run down

Henderson, NV.
I will spare you the details,
but I will never

forget the words said
to my five-year-old body;
seven syllables,

scary, hot, humid:
"If you move I will kill you."
And I believed them,

and every word that
followed, no matter the one
who spoke them. "You are

a whore. A slut. You
belong in a trash can or
a homeless shelter.

I can't decide which.
No one loves you. Life is not
fair. Get over it."

All my life has been
a small, and yet, not so small
rebellion of sorts.

If life is not fair
would it not be kind, wise, and
prudent to care for

one another? Eighteen
years, one month, and twenty two
days old. I was raped

on video, the tape
shared widely among young men
I thought were my friends.

I'd like to say life
was never the same again
after, but the truth

is it really was
the same, lights still blinking
one at a time on

a sign outside an
old, run down casino in
Henderson, Nevada.

I don't regale you
with trash stories too often,
but I need you to

know that I'm alive
thanks to Dr. Pepper, hot
fries, Friendly Donuts,

and McDonald's Hot
and Spicy Chicken Sandwich.
I grew up unsafe,

unloved, and unsure
of when, if, and what I would
eat again. My high

school boyfriend brought an
extra lunch for me every
day for three years. We

dated only two.
I owe a lifetime's worth of
gratitude to that

sixteen year old boy
who still checks in on me once
a year to make sure

I'm doing okay.
I know its gross and bad for
health to drink soda

daily, but some days,
like last Wednesday, that's all I
let myself have. Its

not that way every
day, just sometimes, but when I
finally told my

therapist Sarah
about my bad habits and
body shame, she said,

"Be gentle with your
body. It has kept you safe
all these years long, and

on so little. Its
time to make a different choice.
Start small."

When I look at my
body, fifteen pounds gained
in a year's time, most

around my middle,
where old shame spills over the
waistband of my jeans,

I have to practice
peacefulness. I have to be
brave enough to hold

space for the space I
take up, to really see myself
and refuse to hate.

The words "I choose to
participate in my own
nourishment and care."

Is a war cry, a
significant rebellion.
You see now, don't you?

Seven syllables
can change a life, starting
now. Again and

again, loudly for
people in the back: "I will
not make myself small.

I will not believe your lies.

I am not afraid of you.

I will not carry your shame.

I will not keep your secrets."


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