Honouring the Truth

I want so much to be eloquent.

I greatly prefer to express my fury and pain in poetry, because simpler expressions and standard phrases just don’t feel like they carry any weight. Like they can’t possibly pack the punch I want to throw.

I had the second part of my psychiatric assessment this afternoon, but there wasn’t time (or much reason) to tell the fullness of my story. The psychiatrist caught on very quickly that my story was overwhelmingly intense and complicated, so she took care to ask only for the most basic information. What I said could probably all be summed up in a single sentence.

It didn’t do us justice. In hindsight I don’t know how I could have said it better, and yes, the psychiatrist’s eyes widened and she lost a bit of her professional edge. She faltered, uttering things like “Really?” in a quiet, astonished tone. I guess she was at a loss for words too. 

I like poetry because my story isn’t a bullet list of facts. It’s visceral.  Writing poetry based on my abuse is not about presenting pretty words and metaphorical insights. It’s about getting this feeling that’s in my chest out into the air, and maybe — just maybe — into someone else’s mind. Not to shock anyone and not to spread negativity or distress, mind you. All I want is to bring to being my truth, which had been so violently silenced all my life, and give it a little space to unravel, the way an apple seed opens to the earth and is nurtured into something much stronger.


Child of secrets, your world confounds

you as a test, laid out

without truths or falsehoods. They’ve drawn

gaping blanks for you to fill,

and the possibilities haunt

your every hour, because this is trial and error,

this is life and death.

You keep learning

how wrong the answers can be, how true

the nightmares are

of monsters and the unknown,

which has always proved worthy of fear.








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