there is a girl

(content: it=child sexual abuse)

——-

it is like grief:

never over, only changing

always with you…offering memories that bolster you or grind you to a tractor pull-esque halt

surprising you, sneaking up on you, going to bed with you

an opportunity to make you more yourself than you’ve ever been

last year (almost to the day…though i’m surprised that much time has passed), i confronted one of my abusers. he says he didn’t do it. says yes, he did it to others but not to me. says it all ended right before i was born. says he’s sorry it happened to me but it wasn’t him. he called my parents (before i shared any of this with them) to tell them that i accused him of it and he wanted to let them know he didn’t do it. says he hopes i can heal. he blocked communication with me and i retreated.

that silenced me in mind and voice for months while all along my body has rejected his words. coming to me in clenched jaw, mouth filled with salty saliva, dry heaving, frozen limbs, racing heart, effortless tear soaked cheeks. my body revolts and leads the way.

i don’t know what brings waves of strength and clarity, but they come as sure as the flashbacks. and then the words form. and after a lifetime of not telling comes a longing to tell. and then about a week later the words move to paper. and then a few days later they are set free, offered on the wind, landing where they may.

so here we are a week and a few days later…leaves falling around me, letting go in action.

there is a little girl who doesn’t mind the days getting shorter, there’s more time to rest

she doesn’t mind the robins retreating, she won’t think of him as often

she doesn’t mind the season’s end of ice cream cones, she won’t have to watch

she doesn’t mind the season’s end of popsicles, she won’t get sticky

she doesn’t mind the season’s end of big pickles, now she’ll cut them up to put on her chili

she doesn’t mind taking a break from carrots and ranch dip, she won’t have to see it spilled on the table

she doesn’t mind the pools being closed, she can keep her clothes on

she doesn’t mind the cold nights, it’s more comfortable under all those blankets

she doesn’t mind the leaves that give up, they are her playmates

she doesn’t mind the snow that will fall, it will keep track for her

she doesn’t mind layers of clothing, she can regulate herself

she doesn’t mind more time to watch reruns of detectives saving children, she likes to

imagine them as real life

she doesn’t mind being chilly, she can hug herself

she doesn’t mind the wind sending her back inside,

the cold drizzle nudging her to a cotton quilt,

the days filled with dim emptiness

it gives her time to grow up and stare at the fall candle flame

channel olivia benson staying fiercely curious about her past

and wait for spring

when the robins will inevitably come back

when she and the sun will be stronger

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