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Gift From Within
PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers
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Letting Go

It's funny how when the big things come and make imprints in our lives
And then they die, then they go
How many of us realize that we do this day in and day out, day after day?
Little grievings, little losses
Do we even give a notice?
Every time our children go out that door
their childhood slips away
Dreams and goals and passions and desires
drift and meld and re create themselves...

I think if we can hang onto our humanity
don't lose sight of those dreams
That sometime in our lives
we can say we lived with no regrets
no matter how far flung they seem..........

Never lose sight that we can feel
we can think, imagine, find meaning
to our lives if nothing else.........

From Shana
Memories of my dad

My dad is like a wild animal that can't control itself,
Nice to be with, but sometimes hurting other people.
My dad smells as bitter as yesterdays memories.
He looks like a tall tree standing out from everything.
His face is as rough as a porcupine's back, like sandpaper.
When I saw him, he looked at me as if I were
A fragile porcelain doll, that he could see, not keep.
His eyes looked as rusty as the memories
From years ago.
He looked as sad as a dog locked up at the pound.
A few years ago, he was like a mine field
Where I had to watch my step,
Or the whole place would blow up.
My dad sounds like a pack of wolves crying at the moon
In sadness and anger.
The thing I miss most, is that his warm,
Welcoming arms were like my favorite blanket
In the cold winter.
When I think about these things I want to cry,
As if I am separated from something I treasure,
And I could never imagine myself loosing.
I have held on to these feelings since my mom and dad got divorced.
It is so nice to get them out.
These feelings about my dad are like buried treasure
That someone has just discovered.

written by Shana's 11 year old daughter, Rivka, who uses poetry to express her feelings of abandonment and loss issues surrounding her father.
Untitled

You came to me, that look in your eyes that said you owned my soul,
You stole my joy, my purity, my innocence,
and replaced it with despair and hopelessness,

Yet the hatred for your acts caused me to be the exact opposite of what you said,
If you said I was stupid, I became the top of my class,
You said I was a slut,
Not one person could touch my heart,

You don't own me any more,
I am the owner of my destiny,
MY heart and my Body are my own,
you don't live in my head any more nor in my life,

I am the owner of my hope and dreams they are mine and mine alone,
You no longer control my thoughts and fears nor my dreams,
my destiny is my own.

Jodi
Eyes

She sees the world through different eyes, eyes that
have experienced terror, eyes that can no longer
trust.

She sees the world through different eyes, eyes that
have cried a thousand tears, eyes that stare back from
a mirror void.

She sees the world through different eyes, eyes that
see uncertainty in everything, eyes that are full of
pain.

She sees the world through different eyes, eyes that
have know shame and degradation, eyes that beg for
peace.

If the eyes are window to the soul, no wonder she
feels alone.

Sherry
Reality

Reality sets in:
Like the dark after sunset
Like a storm in the night
like a road with no end
Like a flower with dead petals
Like a child with no smile
Like a dream with no hope
Like a sky with no stars
Like a field with no grass
Like a day with no dawn
Like a vision with no goal
Reality sets in: I'm no longer me.

Sherry
NO PEACEFUL SLEEP

I. in the beginning

these are my tiny limbs. the camera clicks
a sleeping mother, 9 months pregnant,
head rested, worn like a work boot,
lovely
beneath the christmas tree. immaculate
mother, where will i be in this photo?
next to the tv with its lips and words
and the wielding arms of asian men.
i am on the couch with him,
the father,
enormous -- you're still sleeping,
obediant as a dog
on the carpet.
the father's hands move over me.
i am ten
and it is new year's eve -- the year of the rat,
and it
creeps
like the one daddy tried to trap
after my sister woke up screaming
at the nasty beast.
it is alive
and i am alive. the blasts of guns
begin --
happy new year!
the father lifts me up on his shoulders and
goes to get his gun.
i am ten but i am the oldest
so i get to stay up.
blam!
the gun goes off and i hold my small ears
with my mittens,
safe beneath the father, enormous as this night.
back inside
my mother lies sleeping.
father figgets next to me;
if he rolled over,
i'd be dead for sure, i think.
but he lifts me up and plants me down on his belly.
i laugh.
he smiles and says,
let's play a game --
throwing me up in the air and
back down again --
up and down.
i giggle
and mommy is sleeping. i try to be quiet
or she'll get mad.
he brings me down,
this time lower -- i feel something strange against
me,
like the time i was shocked while turning on the light
in our damp cellar.
daddy is smiling -- i can smell his breath on my neck,
and i want down,
but he continues to rock me
against him.
i want to go sleep with mommy,
but he pushes me back into the cocoon of covers
next to him on the couch.
it is still snowing and
i pretend to be asleep.
i strain my eyes tighter and feel a hand
pulling at my pajamas.
there's humming like snow in my head.
i pretend i am asleep
and the big hand moves down my underpants.
i hold my breath;
something's very wrong.
i know this isn't a game -- i'm ten
but i know what that part of a girl
is for.
tears are behind the door.
i close it tight.
the fingers inch into me
and i can still hear guns firing in the background.
then the big hand takes mine.
i am limp as death
and i think about my baby brother.
my stomach hurts and something hard is in my hand.
i pretend it is not touching my body;
i clip it off like a broken wing.
the giant hand wraps the little
hand around
the thing -- moving up and down
like our game
and a faraway sob escapes my mouth.

my hand returns to me now.
i open my eyes and see the father. he asks me if i'm
ok
and goes to get me some water.
he speaks about going on a picnic,
all of us,
but it is still snowing.
mommy wakes up and sends me to bed.
my stomach hurts and
i cannot sleep.
on the tv screen,
two men continue to fight.

A.M. 1/97
UNTITLED

what kind of power is this
makes me pull thin fingers
through matted hair
and a strangely unshaven face
to my breasts
trembling fear in my pulse
but oh
I do it again until it no longer frightens me
and finally
let it go

a tornado in its destructive path

what is it in me
that brings down the walls of
stable brothers
makes untidy these halls where you and I
and our families have lived for years
peacefully
am I the bored sister of delilah
pounding stone into man into
dust
and stone again
I cannot let it end

the hair of the holy has already been snipped

I have walked through a desert of mistakes
to here
and I am trying to live like the rest
sitting at their desks
calculating and chatting about winter and their families
children and how we need to order staples
and calendars
and where am I in this
I run through the halls of our home
putting things in place
and death grip what we have
like it will slip
too soon
from my clutches

but it is me
you see
who is drop kicking the contentment
it is this powerful need to purge
the love into
a red sea of solitude

no matter what man you accuse
none can compare to death

a woman such as I
can only ever love
annihilation


A.M. 11/2000
"Now"

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
Had a wife, but couldn't keep her.
Put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.

The pumpkin sits quaint with all her charm aglow,
A warm orange hue to hide well the woe.

Her world small and watched,
Now prized and possessed.
A spirit once cherished
Now smotherered dead.

A kept woman tiptoes
Upon the eggshell floor,
In fear they will break,
For she'll cause wrath once more.

Peter won't dry her tears, so she cries no more;
The phone hardly rings, she's nothing but a whore.

No nursery rhymes, nor Shakespeare,
No wisdom, no school book,
Taught her this could happen
If she took a second look.

Don't try to see in, the windows have frost;
The layers too thick, the couple is lost.

She saw the web being spun
But didn't understand,
She'd be the one caught
By the love of this man.

She didn't know how to leave,
Or even if she could;
Maybe it was the fears and screams
Nothing did any good.

She said, "I'll show you, I'll hurt me,"

The mirrors are cloudy now,
The walls weak with pain;
She ate so many pumpkinseeds,
She finally went insane.

Nel
Your Face

From the distance that time provides I see your face.
It snarls at me in hate.
You are no longer a part of my life, except for that face.
I would not have confronted you with your hate because you would
become vicious then, and I must always be your loyal friend.
That friendship was forged in better times and I had not changed.
I remained loyal to you even as you betrayed yourself, God, and me.

I see that face as it attempts to control my will now.
I am thinking for myself again.
I choose my way each day and I go with God
as I discern Him without your direction.
You don't have the power to stop me or to tell me I am in error.
I walk free of you.
But still I see your face.

Yvonne
All Alone (all of us)

Here we are
All alone (all of us)
Hidden from the rest

In the bathroom
with the paper on the floor
All the doors ajar
All the sinks a mess
Like our head
Like our life.

Kait S.
MY SILENT CRIES
THE VICTIM OF CHILD ABUSE
By A DEAF PTSD SURVIVOR

All children are born innocent like me,
we enter this world helpless and dependent.
trusting the adults to take on the responsibility
of our care with tender and loving arms.

Once innocent is lost, it can never be recovered.
When it is lost to soon the wounds that remain
can take that much longer to heal. But there is a weapon
we can use to fight those who would harm our children,
particularly some of our most vulnerable children, those
who don't even have the ability to say the word HELP.

The molesters, rapists and abusers hide behind
us innocent and defenseless ones, those who are afraid to talk
and those who need to learn other ways to talk.
Young victims like us who defenseless and ashamed were
told and forced to remain silent
Who could hear our cries?
Some of us were threatened or in shock from our
traumatic experiences, thus were forced into bearing our
secrets alone.

When our flashbacks occurred later on in life and when we
finally came out from our "delayed discovery," wanting to
seek justice, we found that it was too late
due to unfair statute of limitation for
reporting the crime. The justice system deprived us.
Again we became victim and denied our rights to express
our traumatic experiences.

Parents can be so consumed by guilt that
they are unwilling to acknowledge the truth. For those children
already damaged; we have to summon our courage and strength
to nurse them back to health and love them. We also have to care
for the children who come later.

With diligence and compassion we must educate ourselves.
We must ask for justice and recognize that our "delayed discovery"
is due to our lack of education then the Deaf like me will gain our rights
to self protection. If justice can be fair to us and become more
flexible on statute of limitation for reporting these crimes,
then you will see our eyes shining and lips smiling.

If it happens to one of your children, let your child know she or he
is not at fault and demand justice for this child. This
will enhance our self-esteem and make you feel better.
Don't let those criminals be triumphant.
Don't let them rob us of our childhood.
I know because I have been badly scarred!
But I keep moving forward. There is much work
to be done.

Signed "N"
Soldier:

She was a soldier
Strong and to her country true.
He was a fellow soldier
Stronger and braver.
She was taught the ways to be
Yet he became the enemy.
She the soldier
became weaker and unable to fight
She lost the battle that night.
She was unable to do what was trained
As the dawn came near she did not see
For as the fight was lost she was forever
maimed.
The soldier girl would forever live in the
pain.
The thoughts and memory of a land far away
Came to be what she would live every day.
As years pass, to others she is still strong
Yet she knows that they don't see what was done wrong
She knows that if on that night..
She had stood to fight.
Then maybe she would be right..
But since she didn't
She will remain in the pain.
For it was her who caused the rain...

Candace
The Masked Man

He came into my chamber with eyes opened wide.
He had an awkward kind of stride.
He had a gun with him he carried it at his side.
He came into my Chamber naked and bare.
He got on top of me and did his business there.
He held a gun up to my head and told me he would kill
if I ever did tell.
He did these things to me for many yeas.
I went through this torture and through lots of tears.
Now I'm just starting to love free with not as many
fears. Although the biggest torture of it all is gone,
it seems to last forever as if it never stopped at all.
My flower is a blooming it's not very small.
The best part of it all is that I have SURVIVED it all.

by Holly
"Hawk"


As I watched the hawk soar higher and higher
In a clockwise spiral until the hawk disappeared
in the bright flames of the sun
the hawk is my soul, that reaches out past all boundaries
here and now what is and what will be to the beginning of time and before
we are the sun unto ourselves we join others to increase the power of unity
As the hawk and crow show we are one into the sun whither alone as the hawk
or together as the crow
we soar into the Sun as the hawk the hawk uses the sun as bright cover for
the pray not to see the hawk swoop in for the death of the prey
As I watch the hawk souring clockwise counter clockwise and even a figure
eight searching for prey
It reminds of life through the times of mortality no matter which way to
turn we turn into the sun we turn into the hawk that looks for prey the
cover that blinds all prey the flames that hide what us below for we seek
prey
What is the prey we seek!
Love, happiness, compassion, companionship, Truth, Justice,
a two care garage, a three story house with one underground to hid like the
mice from the hawk. So we don't become the prey.
Why do we fear each other so we all hide in the brightness of the sun no one
can see the danger that the flames conceal.
To fear the flames of the millennium that has past and the millennium to come
As I watched the hawk soar higher and higher in a clockwise counter
clockwise figure eight spiral.

Ruth Ann
The Victor

My spirit bruised and broken,
yet knowing tomorrow will come,
Hopes and dreams,
Do they exist?,
or are buried deep in the part of me that is in accessible,
What is love,
Is it that part of me that feels defiled,
no, no, no.
Love is not in the words you say,
It is in the Sunrise
It is in the newborn babies cry,
You have not broken me,
I have overcome,
I am not weak,
for the things you have broken have mended to become even stronger than before,
there is more beauty than ever before,
I see the magnificence of the morning dew on roses,
I see the true colors of the rainbow,
Most of all
I trust myself,
I trust that You have not stolen my joy, you have caused pain, Yet know that
through pain comes strength and virtue.
I am the victor. I have over come the night.

by Jodi

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Last updated by on 16 December 2015