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    Posted August 10, 2012 by
    Clarksburg, Maryland

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    Survivor, advocate reflects on past abuse


    My pain is palpable – but only to me.
    I can’t seem to move, to act, to breathe.
    In searching for answers I only find pain
    As old, familiar questions arise again.


    An empty vessel – that’s all I’ve been –
    An empty vessel you stuck your dick in
    Did you know that you killed me that day?
    Did you know you took everything away?


    That hole you ripped apart inside of me
    Filled up with anger, disgust, self-loathing
    Years I’ve spent abusing myself
    Illicit sex, alcohol, my own personal hell


    You put me there – I was just a kid
    Do you even know what you did?
    How can I make people understand
    I was a kid – you were a man


    You took your time to gain my trust
    Told me I was special, pretty, loved
    You told me it was our little secret
    You told me it was something I’d never forget


    You were right in one respect, I never forgot
    In fact, for me, the abuse never stopped
    I’ve been raped time and time again
    By your memory, my family, other men


    Their refusal to hold you accountable, to make you pay
    Is just like you raping me every day
    When I am here, when I let you in
    I can feel you putting your mouth on me again


    Taking from me everything that was good
    Leaving me shattered, broken, misunderstood
    How can I make people understand
    I was a kid – you were a man


    How did this become my fault, my shame?
    Why do they look at me like I’m to blame?
    No I didn’t stop you or say anything
    How could I, Why would I, I was just a kid


    And you told me you’d kill her, you’d kill me too
    Tell me, please tell me – what was I to do?
    Even now, 30 years later, the price is too high
    It has cost me my family to ask the question “Why?”


    Why they did nothing, why they sided with you
    Why it didn’t matter that I was abused
    It was your reputation we had to protect
    You were the adult, I was just a kid


    An empty vessel with no self-worth
    Left to fend for myself in this hell-on-earth
    This hell you created and left me to
    Please tell me now what am I to do


    In searching for answers, I only find pain
    As old, familiar questions arise again
    How can I make people understand
    I was a kid – you were a man


    Roxine Behrens © 2012


    Roxine Behrens is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse from age 5 to 13. She is co-founder and President of Tree-Climbers.org, whose mission is to support survivors of child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation. The acronym TREE stands for Tell, Recover, Educate and Empower. Email her at roxine@treeclimbersinc.org.

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