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Gift From Within
PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers
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(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.

Artist: H. Lawrence Hoffman
"LIFE IS A RACE IN A PINK CADILLAC"

keep your eyes on the prize
after you realize:
Hey! I have been victimized!

Still, your heart cares
yes, it knows the past
breaks with painfull memories
yet, it won't last

keep your eyes on the prize
when you do, you'll realize:
your gift from within

from bended knees you'll rise
soon will be gone
painful memories that terrorize

Here we'll share our gift
from within each one
as we keep our eyes on the prize

anonymous
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 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't 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 become 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 cease 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

Written for Shellie
by WH
April 2004
Recalling the Past

Recalling the past
Digging up a tomb of the undead
A past that has died, yet lives
Lives like a king
A king mummified in a house of stones
A house that may never be destroyed
A house, that if destroyed, rebuilds upon itself,
A haven, stronger yet, never to be penetrated.
For if penetrated, pain befalls those who enter.
A pain that grows stronger on days of weakness
A pain that grows weaker on days of strength
A pain that is there all days, all nights
A pain that lingers in joy and rejoices in sorrow.
A pain that at times may not be seen
A pain that appears as though one has been consumed.
A pain that neither lives nor dies
A pain only felt by those left behind
Left behind to find pebbles
Pebbles from the stones used to house the king
Pebbles that will be used to build a house
A house that will stand.
Stand long after the king's home has been destroyed.

Rose
Weathering the Storm

It called for a nice sunny day.
To the park I was on my way.
Dark clouds roll in,
turning day to night.
The fierce wind blows,
With force and might.
Rain, like pebbles fall from the sky.
On the weatherman I cannot rely.
The storm continues,
In what direction I do not know.
The wind blows objects to and fro.
The rain continues to pelt the ground.
I take a look, there is no one around.
Hours pass, the storm goes away.
It's time to assess the damage done today.
Everything is as it should be,
The ground is covered with debris.
Wet and cold from the storm, I remain
I walk home with few aches and pains.
Now the day has come to an end,
Listen as I tell you friend
Whenever a storm with me you're in,
weathering the storm, we will win.

Rose C
10/14/04
Anticipation

By Tammy Rice

Bubbling excitement just below the surface,
Possibilities trying to push through,
Up from the depths,
Out towards the light,
Like the first daffodil of Spring.

All it takes is the smallest of openings,
Unseen to the naked eye,
But felt deep in the heart,
Setting in perfect harmonious motion,
The magical coming together of mind, body, and spirit.

The path is not planned out,
It unfolds, slowly, one step at a time,
through both obvious and discrete developments,
requiring an open mind, yet quiet vigilance,
so a turn is not missed, or a hidden treasure unfound.

Aahhh. . . the anticipation of the journey,
No expectations, no disappointments,
Just pure and simple delight of what lies ahead,
Around the next bend, over the horizon,
The true joy of being, in the moment, now, today.
Letting Go. . . in the heart of Ireland

by Tammy Rice

The cold chill, travels slowly up my spine,
Innocently evolving from the brisk wind at my back.
Quietly replacing the ghost of fear,
Hidden in my bones too long.
Letting my pain and suffering go,
In the heart of Ireland.

My body rests vulnerably, upon the solid, ancient rock
Feeling its support and strength, of hard-won battles.
My eyes peer cautiously over the edge of Dun Aengus,
Watching my released shame disperse, slowly, in the ocean below.
Letting my pain and suffering go,
In the heart of Ireland.

I inch, apprehensively, toward Bridget's Well,
As tears, make their final escape, slowly down my cheeks.
Soon to be replenished by the holy water,
Unlocking the chains, of my internal prison.
Letting my pain and suffering go,
In the heart of Ireland.

A gradual ascent to the crest of the Cliffs of Moher,
My steps lightening, until the stone beneath is no longer felt.
I step carefully over the slate wall to freedom,
And I try to fight the impulse to fly.
Letting my pain and suffering go,
In the heart of Ireland.

An imaginary place, created from pain impossible to endure,
Became a reality before my very eyes.
The ageless tree adorned with ribbons, surrounded by velvety moss,
Opens its arms in a warm embrace, and welcomes me home.
Letting my pain and suffering go,
In the heart of Ireland.


Tammy Rice
trice@mcdonogh.org
Tide
by Tammy Rice


A symbol of spiritual awakening,
The ebb and flow of growth.
Occurring constantly, yet subtly.
Baby steps, of forward motion,
Slowly filling the vast emptiness inside.
With the soothing comfort of embodiment.
Soaking through every hidden wound,
Until complete saturation has been reached,
And everything moves rhythmically,
Completely immersed in the healing energy within.

More baby steps, backward this time,
As the invisible force begins its inevitable retreat.
Pulled slowly away to regain its strength,
Back into the depths of the unknown.
Leaving behind, new places to explore,
Exposing some pieces, buried too long.
Forcing the "self" to stand firmly grounded,
Until the tide of the spirit, sends rescue again,
And the luxury to float comfortably in its presence.


Tammy Rice
trice@mcdonogh.org
Unique

If it is true that each of us is
completely unique

No other before, since,
or after our birth is
completely the same.

Then every experience
is also unique.

So when something feels
physically or emotionally the same
Then it is NOT.

Even when you are stuck
it's NOT "Ground Hog Day" (movie).

Bru 2005.04.11
New Focus

Holding my attention on one goal
Remembering the path towards that goal
Where and what I've done or tried over time
That's NEW

During the traumatic and abusive years of childhood
There was dissociation
There were new internal people created to hold particular
abuse and reactive emotion
Often great leaps and bound
in past present time-space between dissociative periods

Crisis management was the focus
Making up stories to explain my erratic behavior
Making up stories to explain why
my health and well-being wasn't a focus for the parents
Faking it and making it appear
I knew what I was doing and going on
In past present time-space

New FOCUS - now
Not comfortable or easy
And sometimes I forget
But some friends help
Gently reminding or asking

New FOCUS - now
I can remember
I can realize I matter to me
I have a continuous existence.

2005.05.05 Bru
EMOTIONAL TAPESTRY

A tapestry of emotions
is weaving through my mind
a banner of colors
needing to unwind
The dark red of anger
leaves its path of hate
intertwinning with depression
not a pleasant personality trait
The blues of hurt and fear
silently seep into the rest
causing an emotional pattern
not really quite the best
The deeper silent colors
of guilt, shame and broken pride
appears in the art
while trying really to hide
Through the years of pain
the tapestry has grown
to an overwhelming complex picture
still not all of it is known
For the front of the quilt
is what we see
and what it shows
is not really me
Under the colors
you should know
is a little child
wanting to grow
One who really wants
to learn to trust again
and not hide behind a smile
and play - "Let's pretend"
But a girl who wants
to just be free
from all that plagues and binds
to just be me
One who can laugh
and laughter is near
one who can jump
and play without fear
The colors of my life
have woven my fate
without thoughts of the girl
trapped within the gate
From inside I cry
"let her free"
but the tapestry is there
and the emotions won't let her be
Unwind; unwravel
unwind you art
you evil warden
from me depart
Leave the child
with in me to grow
for beauty once again
may she know.

Cindy Lou
ANGER

The anger evolves like a volcano
The darkness inside starts to turn red hot
Red hot from hurt, being hurt be many,
From doctors who haven't understood
Nurses who didn't really care
Hospitals who kept me too long
Misdiagnosis (very, very many)
Unneeded medications
Those who say "cheer up – it can't get much worse"
Friends who said "I'll be there for you" and then turn away
Anger fills my soul
At times it's misinterpreted
At times anger gets stuffed so deep
I don't even know if it exists.
But then a spark. A BIG spark.
And anger takes control
Misguided and coming out sideways
Often turned back unto myself
Razors to let the bad, angry feelings out
Reckless and self-destructive behavior
They tell me my anger runs deep.
And I have legitimate reasons.


--AJ
Random Thoughts

Marble,Marble
Which One Next?
Pick & Pick
Till None are left
Windowsill
is where SWAN rests
Bubbles,Bubbles
Were they yours?
Scrub & Scrub
Cleanse your pours
Walls,Walls
Ugly to some
Scream & Scream
Voices heard by one

~Kelly~
House of Lies

I know this is the end
I believe things are true
Please bring these clouds to me
We will slip into the abyss of pain
Dance in the darkness so deep

This will go away if we believe
Pain will dissipate once again
They don't see the scars
I will show them all someday
Every mind will feel the rot

Blinded by the dreams
Turning into what was once real
How can she know if you feel it
Do you live with the mud
Or bathe in the purple walls

This will go away if we see
Tears will flow once again
I will not let go of the truth
I will open their eyes someway
Every heart will see the rot

The monkeys will scream
Flowers always wilt in the winter
And she sees what I cannot
Blessed be the crayon lipstick
We know not
We will fly through the walls
I will save the lost voices
I touch their tears and...

KNOW
The darkness tells it all

~Kelly~
Untitled

Demons plague
run rampant
Spirits entangle within us-
The wolf runs,
back & forth, back & forth...
Creating a wall in my mind.
Jaded Confusion,
encompasses...
Leaving me wandering,
Aimlessly, Emotionless...
The connection
Breaks, comes together, Breaks...
Confines the hole
in my heart,
Offers anger & bitterness
It feeds off
Guilt.
Empty,Raw,Empty.

~Kelly~
Untitled

If I had to choose
Between a rock and a hard place,
I would choose a rock.
A rock can be climbed.
I can stand at the top
And stretch
High above the fog
That hinders my thinking.
A rock can be lifted
To reveal
A neighborhood.
I can walk through
And ask an ant
How she learned
To carry burdens
Many times her size.
I can ask a worm
How he overcomes fear
Of the early bird.
A rock can be cool to the touch,
And soothe
An inner rage.
A rock can be sat upon
When the struggle is over
And it is time
To contemplate
Reasons for living.


Anonymous
Untitled

A bridge
To get over
Rough waters.
A tunnel
To move through
Soiled thoughts.
A gust of wind
To lift me
Over the black cloud.
A new awareness,
A shift of perspective,
An unveiling of truth,
A surge of power
From within.
Knowledge of something
I've always known.
But, as a child,
That something ate at me
Like rust
Eats at unprotected metal.

Anonymous
Untitled

Embraced
By the wings of the Heron,
My breathing resumes,
And my body
Begins to ease up
On its protective posture.
The pain
From the invasion,
That I tried to prevent,
Shoots from my waist
To my tired feet.
What I thought was emptiness within
I now know is a numbness
Beginning to fade.
Like the warmth of a fire
On frostbitten hands,
My body is warmed
By the maternal embrace.
Is the warmth from the hell
I've just gone through,
The glow of my soul
That he never touched,
Or from the immense gratitude
That fills me
When I'm taken in
By the Heron's gaze,
Her heart,
And her embrace?
My mind was settled
When I left today.
It's my body
That was awakened.
I'm putting words
To the unspeakable.


Anonymous
Conversing With Wisdom

How will I know
That I'm making progress?
"Each day
That you get out of bed
Is a step forward."
Will I ever be willing
To allow intimacy?
Will I ever be able
To enjoy it?
"The first
Will follow the second.
When the shame
Has been put
In its proper place,
Your heart
Will be free
To express its love."
Where is its proper place?
How do I get it out
Of my cells?
"The shame
Belongs
To the rapists.
Your cells
Are being cleansed
By each tear you cry.
They are being encouraged
By the truth you voice,
And strengthened
By your courage."
Thank you for returning.
"You are most welcome,"
The eagle said,
As he flew away.

Anonymous
AN EAGLE CAME TO ME

One morning,
an eagle came to me.
After circling my yard,
he landed on a rock
in the river.
"I have a message for you,"
he said in a voice
that rose above the current
and filled me with attentiveness.
"It is time for you to rise
above the pain and sorrow
that has darkened your days
and made your nights intolerable.
Just as my wings allow me to soar
above the rain clouds to the sunlit sky,
your strength, wisdom, and compassion
will lift you."
"How do you know it is time for me to rise?"
I asked respectfully.
"Your wings are complete," he answered.
"Just as each feather in my wings
strengthens my flight,
each step you have taken in your healing
has prepared you for this moment."

Anonymous
THE QUESTION

So I ask myself,
"Do you still wish
that he killed you
after the first time?"
And I answer,
"Ummm yes,
because a baby's corpse
is hard to ignore.
My stone cold flesh
wouldn't be met
with stone cold silence."
So I ask myself again,
"No really, do you still wish it?"
And I answer,
"Yes, really."

Anonymous
SYMPTOMS

These symptoms
That you are medicating
Were once my life lines.
They saved me
From the monster
That is my brother.
These symptoms
That you are categorizing
Meet the criteria
For a courageous woman
Not a Borderline.
These symptoms
That you have targeted
To diminish and review
In 90 days
Are skills
That have kept me
From killing the bastard.

Anonymous
THE KEY

Breathing is the key.
What I need to remember
is to breathe
when I remember
having my breath taken from me.
Talking myself through it is the key.
What I need to remember
is to talk myself through it
when I remember
being told not to make a sound.
Telling another person is the key.
What I need to remember
is to tell another special person
when I remember
thinking he would kill me.
My body isn't bad
is what I need to remember
when I remember
opening my legs.
Walking, writing, and drawing helps
when I become full of rage
that he got away with raping me.
Crying until I stop crying
is what I need to do
when my body remembers the attacks.

Anonymous
"No Name"

Take my heart,
Take my soul,
Take my childhood.
Make it yours.
But doesn't it bother you?
That you take what is pure
And make it soiled.
Knowing that you wish it pure
And losing so much more.

Time was when your was also pure.
They trampled it and tore it to shreds.
Why do the same to me?
Watch me as I grow,
Live your childhood through mine!

Do not destroy us both!
What will our children gain?
What will you gain?
What will I gain?
Pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I once loved you
Sorry I couldn't return what you lost
But, My children will!
BECAUSE, I WILL HEAL!

Too Moons
"To the Abuser"

Put me out of my misery!
The time I once thought that I was a child
He was the beast of my burden.
Why?
I don't need your burden.
I have enough of my own.
My days are long
My nights never end.
My life never gives me time to rest.
Because, you never cease to occupy my mind!
What is your name?
What is your pain?

Let me heal
Let me comfort you soul
Let me be the one they couldn't be.
Let me be your writing board.

I can only try,
But it seems never to heal.
What can I do to help a soul so hurt?
What can I do to help a soul so far gone?
Respute.

Two Moons
"Traveling the River of Life"

It is like a river,
It flows onward, knowing not were it flows:
Yet, never stopping.
I stop, I challenge,
I demand!
What is the source of your strength?
From where do you come?
Could you share your strength,
With one so needy?
Could you take a traveled soul, bent from work and worry,
And make it into a new mold?
Form me, Shape me,
Help me to regain my whole!
BUT IT KEEPS ON FLOWING

Two Moons.
It Happened Once

Momma's happy and daughter's sad
"daddy's" pushing and son is mad
It happened once, not so long ago
It happened again, how can it be so?

Little Girl, hold your dolly tight
Already know it's not right
What goes on, no one hears
Only Little Girl, and her silent tears

Little Girl can't stop the pain
She wonders if someday, "daddy" will
Once again be sane
The radio plays sensual songs
Little Girl doesn't want it to last so long
Daddy Always forces things
But the cry for help rarely rings

When Momma finds out what's been
Going On,
"daddy" will beg for mercy
And daughter will hide
She knows, someday, on a
magic carpet she will ride

~Name Withheld~

<This poem is often misinterpreted. This was the first poem I ever wrote about any form of abuse; when I found out what had happened within my extended family. The perp in this is a stepfather...That's why daddy is in " ". I wrote this before the repressed memories had come to the surface, about this individual in the extended family [it was also a perp to me-repressed].>
A LIFE UNDONE

Youth, unfolding,
warped,
misshapen

Will it find a place in the sun?
Where God's sweet rays
may calm the storm,

That rages deep
within our soul

In one's dreams,
it takes it toll

For in that sweet
precious, second of youth,
it takes courage to know
that what happened,
was not our fault.

We Cannot Be
Blamed for Our
Innocence.


Teri
Untitled

I Need,
I Want,
I Yearn,
I Cry,

Why not
Me Love?

Why pass
Me by?

I have good qualities,
Don't I deserve, a dose
of your magic, a spell
with a curve?

I don't understand
what happened to Me

Normal was not real
Not meant to be

and Real was not normal
Never to be Me.

But life goes on,
and dog days go by.
Little boys and girls
grow up
and go
their separate ways
into the world.

Each with their
own secrets.
Divided, but all
one body We
Three

Teri
LONELY TEAR

Clouding my vision,
Do you care?
From the corner of my eye,
Do you love?
Running down my cheek,
Do you realize
Dripping on your chest,
Do you mind?

Teri

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Last updated by on 16 December 2015