For the children and adults who have endured abusive living situations.

We are not what was done to us
Or what we have done
Or continue to do to ourselves.
Because of the pain.
Our pain does not define us,
Unless we let it.
 
And holding hurt inside
Or repressing feelings
Til no longer recognized
Turns fear into a monster
That takes control of our lives.
 
It breeds violence and apathy and greed.
When is an animal the most dangerous?
When it’s scared. And us humans,
we’re the most frightened of all the beasts.
 
We are not what was done to us
Or what we have done
or continue to do to ourselves
Out of fear.
Our fear does not define us
Unless we let it.
 
We can end the cycle of violence
With patience and diligence
Emotional recognition
And expression
So that the world within
Ourselves
Can cease to be a personal hell.
 
What we need so dearly from others,
Love, empathy, kindness
Can be found inside.
Close your eyes
And breathe them in.
Allow the healing to begin.
 
It’s time to take responsibility
for our emotions
so they don’t cause reactions
And lead to harmful actions.
To start providing for ourselves
What the adults abusing authority
Fail to practice
Understanding and Compassion.
 
We are more than our limited circumstance.
We are living proof of human resilience.

(2015)

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