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Gift From Within
PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers
Here is our showcase.
It is dedicated to trauma survivors
and their loved ones.
We have found that healing
is helped by sharing different parts of our selves and even one person can make a difference.
It takes courage to display your emotions
like the survivors on this page.
We hope you enjoy some of the snow/ice and
lobsters motifs as GFW's headquarters is in Maine
and this is what we are famous for.




We must advise you that what you see
may act as a trigger so please be prepared
as we can't be held responsible.
You are not the heaviness of your bones,
the ache inside that keeps you up at night.
You are made of salt water and sand,
fading into the pink, warm summer light.

You are not the reason love is gone,
the demon living inside of someone else.
You deserve to be loved deeply, my dear;
something perhaps you've truly never felt.

You are not the sickness that steals your sleep, your body's primal scream that makes you writhe.
Your body does not hurt so, because you're broken;
it's the one true way you know that you'll survive.

Abby Norman
My Brain on PTSD: A Mind Of Its Own?

You see me as a separate part
As disconnected from your heart
An entity you don't care for,
An unavailable closed door
It's true I am distinct from these:
Your toes, your nose, your hair, your knees
And yet I am your body too,
I do not lightly betray you
I know I leave you in a daze
Protect you often with a haze
And make it hard to understand
And certain memories I've banned
I know sometimes that you hate me
But I am not your enemy
I can be bruised like any part
Your knee, your elbow, feelings, heart
The fact that my proclivity
Must shade the way you look at me
Can make it hard to make you see
The damage that's been done to me
I know you'd like to shut me out
To silence me you'd scream and shout
My sanity you sometimes doubt
You see me as a roustabout
I make you moody, make you pout
You'd reach in, pull the bad things out
If you could only access me
But Patti, I must make you see
I've always been a part of you
And I am bruised and injured too
Be gentle with yourself, with me
'Cause, no, I'm not your enemy
Accept that I am battered and
We'll overcome this, hand in hand (so to speak)

Hopefully,
Your Brain On PTSD
© 7/3/12 Patty Pott
Victim or Survivor?

Victim or survivor,
The question dares to ask;
And so I try to answer it
With frigid tales from the past.

Can I remember all the facts?
Especially the ones that love to come back?
Do I dare recount details,
The ones that pierce sharp as nails?

And how does one get past the numb
That kept us all so very dumb.
The numb that became the soothing balm
That brought about the deepest calm.

There is a tune survivor's sing
Much like your favorite church hymns;
It blends the sorrow and the pain
And brings us hope with each refrain.

So therein lies the question,
The one I need to mention.
Can one fault the victim
Who found in pain her rhythm?

Katrina Laura Klein Masterson
PTSD

Patches soaked, running red;
Is it all in my head?

Dripping, seeping, oozing,
Weeping; gushing, leaking,
Always seeking . . .

Flooding though the pores of life,
Staining all the walks of life!

Katrina Laura Klein Masterson
Imagination has been a most faithful friend
protecting me when I was afraid as early as I can remember.
"Come" it says "play with me when it's ugly outside your eyes.
Inside your mind is beauty, wonder, splendor, adventure.
If you're angry have a sword fight, make your adversary walk the plank.
Say whatever you want without discretion until it disappears.
A drum roll...
an outrageous adventure begins.
Taste it...smell it...live it...until you're smiling...until you're finished feeling bad. Until it's safe outside your eyes".

Thayra Vane
Erin

Blue Sea

Fishermen cast lines with likely hopes.
Children contented grasp their seashells treasured,
Pearls are made from oysters' disturbance,
Gulls feed on what seas have rejected.
Blue sea, blue sea, what you shoring up for me?

Into the sea my woes are strewn,
Thunderous waves silence them.
Searchlights shine upon what drifts,
I set my gaze for internal rest.
Blues sea, blue sea, what you shoring up for me?


Seashells crushed by drifter's feet,
Scattered where sea and shoreline meet.
I heard your cries through ocean's roar,
Welling upon seas' darkened floor.
'Tis no tumult when pounding waves,
Rush the shore with seeming rage.


I am the calm you seek at sea,
My sand is porous, bubbles and breathes,
Your sighs seep sweetly; and I do hear
Sieving calm and peace to shore,
Grace engulfs loves fragile soul.
A Song About PTSD

A song about PTSD,
the beast that always walks with me.
A tune sung in a different key
that is, to most, a mystery.
A haunting, hurtful melody,
of ever-present memory
that will not ever set me free.

A song no one wants to access,
because it sounds like such a mess.
It's melody bespeaks distress;
It's like a chant of loneliness.
I've found its theme is meaningless;
It's cadence never does progress.
And its refrain's meant to oppress.

A song of terror in the night
and listening to my parents fight;
with days lived in a state of fright.
Of knowing no hope was in sight
'cause even love can't make it right.
I know...I loved with all my might
and still he treated me with spite.

A song that must be sung solo
because only myself can know
the words, the music and the flow
which changed, as needed, as I'd grow.
The parts sung fast, the parts sung slow,
The parts so dark, the parts that glow,
the parts I wish I could let go.

A sung about PTSD
The beast that always walks with me.

©2011 Patti Pott
My World View with a Plea

The world is full of scary things and it can hurt like hell;
The world is full of healing and can also make you well.
The earth is full of trauma and can cause you such distress;
The earth holds many peaceful settings that can truly bless.

Full of spiders hanging on their dewy webs each morning;
Bugs with stingers buzzing in your face without a warning;
Snakes that wiggle in your path when you are just relaxing,
Startling you, invading you, and it can be quite taxing!

Full of misty mornings, when the world is first awake,
Filling up your heart as that first sip of jo you take.
Offering gentle breezes that can cause your chimes to tinkle;
Clear cold winter nights when every star so bright will twinkle.

Life is full of triggers that can come at any time,
Full of angry predators who live their lives of crime;
And of loving people who can make you feel sublime
Life is very strange indeed, a puzzling paradigm.

Life can bring abandonment, a family absentee,
Or can bring a stranger who'll invite you in for tea.
Life can turn upon a dime, it changes constantly
Moving tick by tick when you live with PTSD.

Life is full of danger, full of wonder, it's bizarre!
Living in this world is what it is, it's where we are;
Wishing we were somewhere else, and here our Avatar,
But we take it as it comes 'cause that's just who we are.

Living with PTSD means often we are stressed.
Sometimes we lay down to sleep in peace and we can rest.
Sometimes face the morning with a heart that feels like stone.
Sometimes with someone who cares, and sometimes all alone.

Hopefully by now you see it's a dichotomy,
Life is never certain, living with PTSD.
Life is unpredictable, if anything, it's weird!
One day I'll be confident, the next day all is feared.

If you love me, understand that safety's an illusion.
Hold me when I'm crying, though your mind's filled with confusion.
See that I have value, see the person I can be.
See that I am more than what somebody did to me.

Patti Pott
© 2011
A Trip to Town

A trip to town, so much to see,
and many of them trigger me.
Bikini-clad, a firm young girl
reminds me of insults he'd hurl.
"You're feeling thick, have you gained weight?"
(Inside it bubbles up...self-hate).

I'm asked to drive and start to shake,
Because I might make some mistake.
"You're too close to the middle line.
Did you not see that caution sign?"
It's true, the man beside of me
is not that man, won't chastise me.

I'm with a man who's safe at last
but I'm not here, I'm in the past.
And being asked to drive to town
just somehow turns me upside down.
Try to relax, breathe deep and slow
and maybe my panic won't show.

It doesn't help, and with each mile
I'm back with him and I can't smile.
My heart is pounding painfully.
I'm breathing fast. What's wrong with me?
I'm safe, by now I ought to know
but somehow I can't let it go.

And there's no way of predicting
or stopping this from happening.
There are no ways of knowing how,
or why or when it hits, like now.
Was it a dream I had last night,
A song I heard, familiar sight?

My husband reaches tenderly
and brings me back by touching me.
I jump and that makes him look sad,
And then another look; he's mad
but not at me, oh no, at him
who made my view of life so dim.

Ashamed, I long to numb this pain,
stay in the now, from tears abstain.
Although I know he always sees
when I'm distressed or ill at ease.
And so goes on the life that's me,
a life lived with PTSD.

© 2011 Patti Pott
It was not you who. . .

broke me into jagged pieces

taught me endless shame

seizes me in the shadows, suspending me in uncontrollable fear

draws me from God to evil desperation

drains all color from my existence

made me view death as a gift

It is you who. . .

holds me when I am too weak to stand

listens to my broken cries of uncertainty

provides assurance to my quivering hands, with your gentle touch

gives me hope when I am driven to darkness

How sorry I am that it is you that suffers with me, because it was not you who raped my soul.

My heart is eternally grateful that you have chosen to stand by me in my struggles. What a gift of love.

FL
Past (Home) Present

A trip to town, so much to see.
So many things to trigger me.
Bikini-clad, a firm young girl
reminds me of insults he'd hurl.
"You feel so thick, you've gained some weight"
(inside it bubbles up...self-hate).
I'm asked to drive, I start to shake,
concerned I'll just make some mistake.
"You're too close to the middle line.
Did you not see that caution sign?"
I'm with a man who's safe at last
but I'm not here, I'm in the past.
My husband reaches tenderly
and brings me back by touching me.
Ashamed, I long to numb this pain
and hide from fears I cannot name.
At home I know there's help in store
behind my little office door.
I log on and pour out my heart
and, once again, feel healing start.
A place that feels like home to me
with those who have PTSD.
Gift from Within gives me a way
to know, somehow, I'll be okay.

Patti Pott
3-17-11

THE SILENT CRY.

Flo

The bells are silent in Urakami.
Still, a cry pierces the night.
I cry, she cries, all cry together.
For children, for home, for life, for peace.

A woman, a mother, a wife;
As longs as she cries - she remains
A victim.
No one hears - the silent cry.
I cry, she cries, all cry together.
For children, for home, for life, for peace.

She tries, she tires ?
And then she shouts - she becomes
A survivor.
Someone hears - silent no more!
She smiles?

She laughs, with children and home and life.
And peace.
Still she prays, for songs unsung and broken dreams.
Grant us peace.

Dedicated to Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence in Japan and Nigeria.
And to all who work tirelessly to understand and support them.
Pam Family Photo
WHY WOULD I CHOOSE LIFE?

I had brothers and a sister yet I was alone
I was trapped in the middle with a father of my own
He was my father with my existence known
But without my mother his daughter was thrown
By the time I was 16 I was out on my own
When I turned 17 to him I was flown
There I gave birth to a daughter of my own
But a year later again I was thrown
My daughter he claimed as his own
Yet they said he died with no children of his own

I was 21 with a daughter and 2 sons
I wanted another daughter and God gave me one
She was my 4th and he took that one
Then gave me 2 more sons
The State took 4 and left me with one
Life was no longer fun

I died when I was 23
When they ripped my children away from me
I was free
But no longer me

One son I had left but I was lost
Having him, how much would it cost?
I had died and he grew up lost
And it was his children that it would cost

Pamela R
Learned

By Ripley

Smaller than a breadbox

But bigger than a thimble.

My detention started without end

In the cellar of God's temple.

Blinded by the dark pitch

Held tightly to the corner.

Sharing the darkness with the rats

I learned to be a mourner.

Choice of binds or choice of freedom

A promise to remove the tether

But only if I could finally learn

To yield to whips of leather.

"Now child, save up your strength,

With this water and crust of bread.

Your next lesson will come real soon

And your sins will finally be shed."

"You will sit when I say sit.

You will kneel when I say kneel.

Don't make a sound or cry out loud.

I'll give you a reason to feel."

"Children are to be seen

And never, ever be heard."

I learned this very early on.

I learned to be a bird.

Now when the demons come down,

They come to teach me more

But the bird has flown so far away

And she's left behind their lore.
Springtime

arriving around the corner

flowers bursting forth

as birds chirp, returning home

with the melting snow,

spring's corner is as usual

in the universal garden

delighting us all,

a symphony of flowers

dancing in the springtime breeze,

a gentle reminder

of our own beauty within

as winter says goodbye,

we shed our cocoon

overcome with spring fever

and abundance of love.

Pam M.
He Came To Me

The Lord came to me last night
in a vivid dream.
"Come, I want to show you
some things you've never seen."

"Take my hand and
do not be scared,
I am going to show you how
I have always been there."

We rose up through the clouds
and flew back in time.
I saw a very sad young girl
and I knew this life was mine.

"I heard every scream
of your wretched agony,
every tear that you cried
fell down on me."

"Every blow that you took
I felt the pain.
Every time you were beaten,
I suffered the same."

"I could not stop
the evil of mans heart,
but I walked through it all
from the very start."

"As you endured evil
for so many years,
You often cried out to me
- Oh God, are you here?"

"The truth that I give to you now
I tried to show you then.
You have not lived a moment of time
that I haven't also been."

"The time has now come
for you to go back home.
Let my peace and love daily remind you
that you are never alone."

Marcy Helzer
(Written by an unknown child in a Nazi death camp)

From tomorrow on I shall be sad,
From tomorrow on.
Not today, Today I will be glad.
And every day, no matter how bitter
it may be.
I shall say:
From tomorrow on I shall be sad,
Not today.
The Bottle Yard

The grief isn't a dark hole that threatens to swallow
but a raging tide that rises so high I can't see the top,
a wave higher than the highest tsunami on record.
It captures me and lifts me higher and higher.
And then somehow it's no longer on the outside,
but on the inside, building and building and sweeping
my heart away to somewhere,
escaping out my eyes in rivers of water,
crashing and roaring out of my mouth
with groans and howls that would make someone,
if they heard,
think I was dying.
I am alone and it's good to be alone
with this wave, with these howls
that no one else can hear.
Can God hear?
If the tears are really caught in a bottle,
how many bottles have I?
Are they all the same, or different colors
for different things?
Are they the same shape, or different shapes,
perhaps the shape of a broken heart.
These bottles, where are they kept, why do the
tears not evaporate?
Why does God keep them, for what purpose,
when in his silence he lets me grieve,
year after year, as if blind to my pain,
deaf to my moans.
What purpose do they serve, these tears in a bottle?
Will he pour them over my grave, to green the grass,
to moisten the soil, or will they form the river
that takes my soul to somewhere?
Where does the soul go that just cannot make it
here in this world?
Does he really refuse it, deny it to heaven?
Rather than save my tears,
I wish he would take away some of the pain,
some of the grief
that threatens to rise and carry me away
to somewhere.

/pb (05/07/07)
PLEASE REMEMBER
-to my friends and the family we've made

Our roots are deep
and strong as the stalks
of corn that rise again after
each passing winter that knocks
them down

Our leaves are withered with age
But our fruit within is still as
sweet as our first year

I remember that one hot
summer me and
Megan kneeled at the edge
of the row by the fields
up the road from the old cabin

Gathered stick and twine
fashioned a make-shift stake
to revive the one stalk not left
standing

that's how they repaired me
when my legs were all but broken
and my will seemed thin and frail

now
when darkness leads to blindness
and deafness from windless air
I remember that no stalk grows alone
but in a field.

Kara

MOTHERS

I have been with them
the women who make rain music
conducting wind to sing sweet melodies
when storms crash in on vacant fields

Weaving tapestries of memories
Sewn with threads of experience
With patches of tall tales

To cover the anguish
when little girls get cold

Kara - May 2nd, 2004

SNOW ANGELS
-for the best friend i ever had
my brother, Tom

The older one
leads the younger
one towards home pausing
only to share a secret, their
laughter frozen in time by the
howling wind that spirals
around them the falling snow
that's piling almost
as tall as their bodies

My hair stuck to my neck also,
matted down wet and cold,
the year i got trapped in my
own blizzard and their father
guided me through the
unexpected winter, leaving behind
his footprints for me to
follow him home to a place
that was warm.

Kara - Christmas Eve '05
" My Journey"

The road before me calls my name
Inviting me to follow
It tells me I won't be the same
If I leave behind my sorrow

Through the fog I cannot see
Yet I continue on
I know this road was meant for me
And others I come upon

I hold my courage in my heart
No one can take away
The first step is the hardest part
But here I cannot stay

There is no one to hold my hand
Or tell me that I'm strong
I know that by myself I stand
In faith there is no wrong

The fog surrounds me as I walk
I feel the misty grey
All around me evil mocks
Yet I continue on my way

And now a voice wispers near
It tells me not to look
Telling me to have no fear
Nor anger I once took

A thing called time passes by
I wonder if I dare
That if I really, truly try
My life I can repair

I leave behind as I go
My troubles and my worry
I know that all I need to know
I will, and not to hurry

And if your road should meet with mine
I truly hope that we
Can cherish this special gift of time
That life can truly be

by Barbarea
"Just a Leaf"

Please notice me
Before I'm gone
My brilliant beauty
Won't last long

My colors are bold
Against the sky
Quite gorgous I'm told
Before I die

Tell me not
A sad goodbye
My fate to rot
Don't question why

No tears for me
Spare me your grief
Because you see
I'm just a leaf

Barbarea
"Believe"

Believe in things you cannot see
Belive in dreams yet to be
So simple yet so close at hand
This powerfull truth by which I stand

Do not listen to things that are not
And spend no time when others ought
The courage of a lion grows
When he listens and waits when nobody knows

Time knows how much time it has
No need to hurry, I know this as
My life moves on so slowly still
To be at peace I know I will

Believe that all awaits you yet
In dreams and hopes and those we've met
That faith and will win in the end
My belief in this will never bend

by Barbarea
Once
I dreamed I was flying
And when I woke
There were feathers
On my bed

****************
Forever
I'll hold you in my heart
And when fear grips you
I'll hold you even closer

I'll stand by your side
And when your mind goes blank
I'll speak on your behalf

I'll listen to you
And when words fail you
I'll listen with my eyes

I'll protect you
And when memories surface
I'll wipe them away as I caress your brow

I'll see you
And when you feel lost in the night
I'll look for you

I'll honor you
And when your head hangs low
I'll gently lift it with my fingertips

I'll love you
And when you whisper your thoughts
I'll love you even more

**************
Hop off
Roll to the ground
It's okay
Grass stains come out

Breathe
Let your shoulders drop
It's okay
Eagle's wings block the pain

Slow the pace
Rest your weary mind
It's okay
Stopping is not the same
As giving up

Hold hope
In your aching heart
It's okay
The pain will ease
In time

****************
Toes in the grass
Head in the stars
Heart full of love
For the child

Hands on my hips
Feet firmly planted
I stand my ground
For the child

Eyes that are lit
By the fire in my soul
Fill with compassion
For the child

Silenced no more
By my brother's shame
I speak the truth
For the child

Run with the dogs
Dance in the sun
Carry the hope
For the child

Climb on the rocks
Play in the mud
Sing a nice song
For the child

Sleep in my bed
Dream of the Heron
Heart full of thanks
For the child

********************

there there sweet girl
know that I'm here
rest your head on my heart
as i hold you in my arms
forever

cry cry sweet girl
know that i'm here
let the tears wash away
his filthy touch

there there sweet girl
unclench your fists
let me hold your hand
forever

cry cry sweet girl
unclench your teeth
let the whole world hear
your screams
HURRICANE

My demons, like sand in Mandala design,
Left without the sweep of daily reflection
Hurl themselves with hurricane forces
At controlling structures of image and ego
To release the chaos of emotional floods
That trap debris from unknown sources.

Recovery asks not why but how
To assess the reality of damaging change
Feel the grief of resulting loss
Surrender to the support of Grace
Nurture anew the Inner Child
As playful, lovable, trusting boss.

C Masters
Heal My Pain
By
LaVerne Byrd

A short poem about the loss of a son

Dear God
I praise Your Holy Name
I come to You today in excruciating pain
Something has happened and I'll never be the same
I have lost my son, oh how I wish it weren't true
I have lost my son I don't know what to do
I have lost my son I need some help from You

I have lost my son He is not here anymore
I have lost my son He won't be coming thru the door
I have lost a son that I can no longer see smile
I have lost a son whose phone number I can no longer dial

I have lost a son whose voice, I can no longer hear say
"Mom don't you know I love you" in a very special way
I have lost my son and the joy of hearing his laughter is now gone
It's hard for me to hear his favorite song
I have lost my son, no more hugging, no more kissing
I have lost my son and now a part of me is missing

I have lost my son that I love so much
Oh what I would give to once again touch
My son, my son his pictures I now clutch
I didn't get a chance to say goodbye
I didn't get a chance to wipe a tear from his eyes

It doesn't seem fair It doesn't seem right
For pain to grip you and hold you so tight
Heal my pain Dear Father I pray
Heal my pain Please make it go away
Heal my pain I don't want it to stay
Heal my pain Dear God would You do that
For me today

Email:
Lbyrd127@aol.com for more information on the CD and journaling book
Lost in a world full of fear and deceit
As a child, I was all Alone.
Destined to live my life of Horror and Pain
In a Prison of Shame and Despair.

In this world that Allowed Happiness and Joy,
I was held prisoner in a cage of fear.
As I looked through the bars of my Inner Prison
I watched in Confusion as others embraced their Freedom.

I wondered in awe at their Boldness with Life:
I wanted so badly to Earn the Right to live.
The more I saw how real people Blossomed
The more I felt Unreal and very Alone.

Only I could be so Evil to deserve this Hell.
I feared myself: I hid behind a mask of Virtue?
The more I tried to be "good" - to please others,
The more Damage I did - the Dungeon got Darker.

I started digging as hard as I could (to Escape my Pain).
I delved into Forgetfulness and stayed for awhile.
Then I grew up - still digging for my rights.
I uncovered the Forgotten Past with all of its Pain.

But, now I know these were Not My Sins.
I was taught self-loathing to Hide cover Their Crimes.
To Heal from the Wounds, Iâ??ll have to share my memories
Of a life full of pain, self-hatred and shame.

I've had to tell others of my time in Hell.
I've Needed to tell - to Break the Chains.
What I've found is a world full of Compassion and Love -
Where there are others who've lived the same sentence as me.

We've all been Alone in our Prisons of Tears -
Unaware of each other; blinded by Fear.
But, now we can See our Common Ground -
We are Not Alone - We are Many.

As we walk our own Paths to Freedom,
We meet more Survivors along the way.
Together, there is no way to fail;
With Voices, We are Not Alone.
Namaste, Kati

7/2/93
Life's Playground

Little Boys and little girls all around the town -
Run and play on swings and slides; climb up & then slide down.
Step by step, they climb to the top;
Slide down smiling and land with a plop.

Merry-go-Rounds with their dizzying spin --
So much fun to run and jump in.
Around and around and around they'll go --
Who Raped them first? Nobody knows.

Grown men and women all around town -
On Life's Playground they climb up and Fall Down.
Step by Step they climb to the top;
The slide is now gone -- they fall with a flop.

The process of trying to Heal has begun.
The playground of life is No Longer Fun.
Stuck on the swing, back and forward they fly;
Sometimes the Pain makes them wish they could Die.

In their world full of Sadness they teeter and totter -
While the Flames of the Memories burn hotter and hotter.
Around and around; now the ride's not so merry --
A torturous past is a hard load to carry.

Determined to change their direction in Life,
They Fight with an Infinite Will to Survive.
Like the swings on the playground, they swing and they sway
Between memories and tears, the Re-Learn how to Play.

Together, Alone; Each path is so long.
They each take their turn; They have Always been Strong.
Once again they climb up to the top of the slide;
They now have a chance to Enjoy their ride.

While Searching for Truth they continue the climb
To the monkey-bar's crest? they're repeating this rhyme:
"Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star,
How I wonder Who you Are."

They search for that Child who was never afraid?
Who completely, wholeheartedly Trusted and Played.
They need to Embrace their small "Child Within"
To ensure that their Healing will Truly begin.

When grown-up and child find they are One and the same,
There's a Magical Joy in Releasing the Blame.
The Innocent Child, so eager to please --
Was the Victim of Others, so Sick with Dis-Ease.

The pathway to Wholeness is scary and long.
But the Entire Spirit now knows it Belongs --
To a world that has playgrounds with Safety and Fun.
Here, they Celebrate Victory, for they Know they have Won!

Namaste,
Kati
Now, What?

He touches me and says, "It never happened."
So, I "forget" it.
I remember, and She says, "I believe you."
I feel Scared, but Accepted.

I go to another for help; He says, "I don't believe you remember that."
I "hear," - "I don't believe you" ? I feel angered.
My Inner Child says, "It happened; I was there; I believe?"
That is what is important.
Now, What do I Do with It?

Namaste, Kati
11/21/1993
My Secret Keeper

For many years I carried a burden
Never would let anyone know
The pain I felt, the shame that was dealt
And the ache that continued daily to grow

With fear of losing control
I stuffed everything deep down inside
Wouldn't show emotions to others
Had a pretend turtle shell within which to hide

I hated the memories and then hated myself
Until I could care less about my reflection
After all, looking in the mirror was painful
But so what, I knew I would never have perfection

I knew I didn't want to look good
Because my worth was already given to immorality
My childhood, my youthful innocence
Were ripped, torn and stolen away from me

I never knew there was a hope
Of ever trusting anyone with this weight
So I carried it alone, buried it low
So long that it nearly was too late

Then I met a Secret Keeper
Someone with whom I could share
She would listen, hear it all
Even the parts too hard to bare

It isn't an easy journey
Telling her things I don't want to say
Secret parts of my secret heart
Aren't so easy to give away

There are many more things
I have yet to reveal
Perhaps those are the things
That in time will help me to heal

I now know that healing is possible
My Secret Keeper says it's true
"Healing doesn't mean perfect...
Healing means finding a better you."

CLR
07/08/05
RECOVERY

STOPPING THE CYCLE
OF TORTURED THOUGHTS
AND UNEXPLAINED FEAR
THAT SET ME BACK
EACH TIME THEY APPEAR

TO OPEN MY EYES EACH DAY
WITH WONDER AND DELIGHT
TO STOP LIVING IN FEAR
OF A LONG AGO PAST
WITH MEMORIES STILL FAR TO BRIGHT

I WANT TO CLOSE MY EYES TONIGHT
AND LOOK FORWARD TO TOMORROW
TO DREAM SWEET DREAMS ONCE AGAIN
INSTEAD OF NIGHTMARES AND SORROW

I FEAR MYSELF NOW
MORE THAN MY PAST
FOR WHAT IT TOOK FROM ME
MY ABILITY TO TRUST THE FUTURE
MY ABILITY TO SEE

I HAD A BRIGHT LIGHT
DEEP IN MY SOUL
THAT ONCE BURNED BRIGHT IN ME
I DESIRED TO LIVE, DESIRED TO LAUGH
DESIRED TO EXIST AND BE

I GET A GLIMPSE OF IT
NOW AND THEN
OF HOW I USED TO BE
HAPPY AND CURIOUS
OF WHAT MY FUTURE
HAS IN STORE FOR ME

I WANT TO BE
THAT WAY AGAIN
FILLED WITH CURIOSITY
TO WANT TO WANT
THE FUTURE
AND
THE WAY I USED TO BE

LISA - 2005
TODAY I AM BEIGE
NOT BLUE RED
OR GREEN
I'M BEIGE

THE COLOR OF BACKGROUND
THE COLOR OF NOTHING
BLANK SOLID BEIGE
STRIPPED OF COLOR AT ALL

BETTER THAN BLACK, NON COLOR BEIGE
BLACK IS MUCH WORSE
NOT BACKGROUND BUT CENTER
IN UNTHINKABLE WAYS

BLACK IS A HOLE
MY LEAST FAVORITE PLACE
ITS WHERE I PUT RED (ANGER AND RAGE)
SEARCHING FOR YELLOW SETTLING ON BEIGE

I HOPE TOMORROW
I'LL BE YELLOW OR GREEN
THE COLORS OF
SUNSHINE AND LIFE

BEIGE IS NOT BAD
IF YESTERDAY WAS BLACK
BUT PALES IN COMPARISON
TO GREEN

LISA - 2005
PAIN DIVERSION

THE WELL
INSIDE STARTS TO BOIL
YOU FEEL IT
YOU KNOW IT'S COMING
WHEN, WHY,
EMOTIONS TAKE OVER
NOTHING EXISTS
EXCEPT THE PAIN
LIFE CEASES TO MATTER
FILLING YOUR SOUL WITH
FAMILIAR DREAD
YOUR MIND WITH
UNEXPLAINED FEAR
HIDDEN RAGE
AGAIN
IT MUST COME OUT
I WILL EXPLODE
A RELEASE, FIND A RELEASE
REELING FROM
EMOTIONAL PAIN
I FIND A DIVERSION
BEYOND FEELING
A WELCOME NUMBNESS
TAKES OVER
ITS THERE,
A PLACE IN YOUR MIND
WHERE PHYSICAL PAIN
HAS A VIRTUE
WELCOMED, CRAVED, NEEDED
SOMETIMES SELF-INFLICTED
SOME TIMES SOUGHT OUT
ALLOWING CONTROL OF
THE WELL
OF EMOTIONAL PAIN INSIDE
BRINGING WITH IT
AN INNER SUBCONSCIOUS LEVEL OF
PEACE
TORTURED MINDS FIND SOLACE IN


BY
LACROSS
I've learned -
you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned -
it's taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I've learned -
you should always leave loved ones
with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I've learned -
you can keep going
long after you think you can't.

I've learned -
we are responsible for what we do,
regardless of how we feel.

I've learned -
either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I've learned -
regardless of how hot and
steamy a relationship is at first,
the passion fades and there had better be
something else to take its place.

I've learned -
heroes are the people
who do what has to be done,
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

I've learned -
money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned -
my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned -
sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you're down,
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned -
sometimes when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me
the right to be cruel.

I've learned -
true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I've learned -
just because someone doesn't love
you the way you want them to
doesn't mean
they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned -
maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you've had
and what you've learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you've celebrated.


I've learned -
no matter how good a friend is,
he/she is going to hurt you
every once in a while
and
you must forgive them for that.

I've learned -
it isn't always enough to be
forgiven by others.
Sometimes you
have to learn to forgive yourself.

I've learned -
no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I've learned -
our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned -
just because two people argue,
it doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
it doesn't mean they do.

I've learned -
we don't have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I've learned -
you shouldn't be so eager
to find out a secret.
It could change your life
forever.

I've learned -
two people can look at the exact
same thing and see something totally
different.

I've learned -
your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don't even know you.

I've learned -
even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I've learned -
credentials on the wall
do not
make you a decent human being.

I've learned -
the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

D.R.2003
DAWN

Night, an unskilled mother, cajoled
Crass pummeling of trauma's demons
Or veiled their true identity
With indulgent, spiritless sleep.

Healing calls forth the demons
In the presence of wise mirroring
That engages their hot, numinous energies
For the journey to wholeness.

C. Masters
ALCHEMY

by Yankee

You were blowing bubblesÂ
I watched as you set them down
and marched sturdy three-year-old legs
across the lawn
to where I was sitting on the step.

Scrunching your forehead and raising
one blonde eyebrow, you wanted to know
why the man next door was pulling
and digging out his flowers.

I explained that this man thought
dandelions were weeds
and that only green grass
should grow in his lawn.

Shaking your head you said well someone
better tell him those aren't weeds,
you always smile big
when I give them to you for the vase
on the kitchen windowsill.

Running back to your bubbles,
you yelled that the man
should think about how lucky
he was to have golden sunshines
growing all over his yard.

I thought about how lucky
I was for the golden sunshine
you shine all over my heart.
Black Night


It came upon a night of dark black-cold, robbing your innocence without reason;
Causing the heart of a young woman to suddenly grow old.
In they crept to seize your soul, leaving only darkness after their deed of treason;
Causing tears to flow to a beautiful lady; shattering your world with its cold.

It cloaked you in guilt without justification, and drenched you in a pain
With which you felt unable to cope; yet, you must forever endure
Without understanding you battle, an ounce of self-esteem to retain
And the strength to hold on until your pain, someday, is cured.

Don' take your life; you are above them all
They stole from you, and left you to breathe in fear.
The strength is within you to leave them in awe
For if you will hold on, a better time is near.

For tomorrow, just as the phoenix, you'll soar to a greater height
And rise above the tragedy that invades your soul tonight

Within me, a battle rages as your tears unhappily fall
To lash out and seek revenge, to make this wrong a right.
I ask why and find no cause - Humanity no longer stands tall
Comfort I must, understand and support-give you with all my might

In you I live and without you I die-in you is heavenly beauty.
You soar among those of greater and precious hearts
Giving of yourself to others, forever, has been your duty
So take ease in knowing you are better and have been from the start

Your tears that fall meet those of mine, forming ribbons of a strength
For you are not alone, I am here to hold your hand and tread this troublesome path
We shall face the pain, to hold it far and keep it forever at length
To step from the edge and believe that God will someday with reverence have His wrath.

For tomorrow, just as the phoenix, you'll soar to a greater height
And rise above the tragedy that invades your soul tonight


For S.H.
by W.H.
April 2004

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