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May 31, 2015 8:29 p.m.

it took me many months to write this poem…

it kind of came to me in a flash, but i couldn’t finish it.

it’s not explicit in any way.

it’s about dissociation and not being able to “remember” far too many moments from a past that never ceases to infect my present.

i struggle. but, i learn more every day.

i AM a “survivor.”

i am healing. slowly.

i haven’t been restricting for almost three years. but, i struggle. i hide. i hide from my feelings. i hide from myself.

and, i have a very hard time hiding from my pain, especially the physical pain, which is part genetic, part ballet abuse, and part “what happened.”

this poem is NOT about “what happened.”

it’s about my struggle with “remembering.” it took years and years to remember as much as i know now. but, in “remembering,” and focusing on healing, i am slowing letting go.

i refuse to allow the “pain” ruin who i am. i refuse to allow the pain to rule every moment of every day.

it was freeing to write this. i feel better for this moment.

I am only “WARNING” that this “might” be triggering to ab*se survivors because some of my experience is “implied.”

it is our struggle to remember, to let go. day by day, i am learning to heal by knowing that it was NEVER “my” fault.

and that my “experiences” are not “me” at all… they are only experiences. my essence is much, much more. i am stronger in writing… to heal….. indeed, we have a RIGHT to heal.

i don’t remember¬†

(anything)

………..(everything)

………..no

i don’t

i don’t remember 

………..”everything”

not “everything”

………..no.

don’t.

it comes to me 

in bits 

and pieces

little bitty

zeroes and ones

bytes 

and pieces

itty bitty, bitty

bits

and

teeny, tiny, whittle pieces

………..yes

this is all i recollect

these itsy-bitsy, 

teeny-tiny,

bitty, bitty, 

broken

little 

shards

………..yes.

those oh, so shiny 

shimmering

glimmering

glistening

sparkles…

NO.

“sparks.”

painfully stark

sparks

agonizingly sharp

blindingly frightening 

flashes of light

slashing diabolically

painfully piercing

sparks

desecrating 

these once beautiful dreams 

until 

they’re denuded

transformed 

from delights to delusions 

finally

devolving 

from delicious 

to darkness

and 

the very deepest, 

most desperate

most distressing 

of 

despairs

yes

it’s so true, true, true

i don’t remember everything

i don’t

no.

not everything

no.

i don’t remember much at all

no. no. no.

whatever is there

lays

low

lurking 

ever so occluded

so shrouded

cloaked ever so cleverly

slicing so subversively 

through 

so many, many, many 

little moments

seditiously stealing 

so many, many merry dreams

……….yes

so many, many, many dreams

desires

ambitions

obliterated

not at once

but

in ten thousand cuts

pounds of flesh and bone

slashed 

away

…..gashed

…..beyond recognition

hacked,

hewn

and cut

…..slit

not so serenely

no.

……….sliced

……….diced

…..and carved 

ever so deeply

……….in a flash

life

love

and peace

cut away

….from me

not even so cleanly

no. no. no.

so many dreams

and ambitions

so many loves

desires

and

designs

slit open

stolen from 

……….my being

my me

the me that once was

the me that i’ve lost

the me

forgone 

and

forlorn

screaming

“i don’t remember”

“nothing?”

“not everything”

“no.”

“i don’t remember.”

“not that.”

“not everything.”

breathing.

ears

ringing

throbbing

throughout

whispering…

…..”no.”

as

waves upon waves upon waves

of silence

keep crashing about

……….”violence?”

“always.”

“violence.”

yes.

violence

…..not 

violins

just

…..violence

…..crashing

…..crashing

…..crashing

……….screeching

viciously

careening

savagely

slashing

stealing my serenity 

slicing ever so sadistically

into 

what were once 

such beautiful dreams

of light and love and hope

“yes.”

“hope.”

all hope

now

gone

all hope

gone

all hope

evaporating

ending

unwinding

breathlessly abandoning

…..me

…..and

…..my world

leaving

nothing but nightmares

nothing but pain

“breathe.”

“NO.”

“NO.”

“NO.”

i don’t remember

everything

not

“everything”

no….

only

waking

wakening

yes

almost

always

“awakening”

to 

screams

never

dreams

sometimes nightmares

no 

(“a lie?”)

almost always

nightmares

NO. NO. NO. NO.

always

nightmares

……yes.

……yes.

……yes.

no.

“i don’t remember”

not everything

…..not enough 

…..it seems 

…..not enough

…..like dreams

no. no. no. 

…..not dreaming

no.

…..just 

……….awakening

…..always

…..always

…..always

…..awakening

to dreams 

churned from sweet into sour

dreams

devoured…..

“no.”

i don’t remember

…..(not everything)

it seems….. 

no. no. no.

i don’t

…..remember

so…..

the question is:

“would i want to,

if i did?”

“can’t you see?”

….what (you) did?

it’s a wonder

i am me

but 

i am

“me”

i am more

than i have learned to endure

i am more

than i recall

i remember, now

i remember… everything

and

i refuse

to let any of it

be

“all”

©2015 by ariana sexton-hughes, all rights reserved

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