you should have never been handed the cards of being the being
that needed to grow up before the ones you were surrounded by
being young with a mind that has molded at a pace that was beyond your control
only left you staggering in a way that was meant to slow down to be steady
more than anything you wanted to exist in real time without panicking
about the world seeing what can make you crumble if you drift back to the dark place
you want to forget but you found a home in that dark place
you knew which way to go in that space
the nightmares that leeched onto you against your will
ring at a frequency that is deafening to bare alone
of course you tried to escape this tortuous site
but your feet left your mind behind as they led you to the twisted truth
your greatest fears happened
not once
not twice
but thrice
the charm of three found a way to gut you from the inside out
there you are weaving around these horrors
doing whatever it takes to look away at what had happened to you
but being an owner in the dark place means running away is a game that fools play
the exhaustion settles in quicker than anticipated and your eyes grow heavy
at the sight of foreign beings entering your sacred temple
listening as you say no but the rhythm seems to pick up more
maybe you were not heard clearly enough
the word that is a full-blown sentence yet
it is the one word that seems to baffle the abuser to no end
being a bystander within the dark place
you are in awe at how life slipped from your eyes
after the desperate attempts to have these attacks come to a halt
your body became a shell of itself
a protective shield encapsulated around your spirit to keep you as safe as can be
watching the act in its entirety has become the most significant feature that plays in your mind
as the loops of your trauma move backward and forward
there is a dim light that is almost too faint to be seen inside the heart of this gloomed filled space
but it catches your attention enough to yank yourself free of the pain that has seeped into you
you hesitate as you approach the light
it is as if you have forgotten what it feels like to be embraced by the warmth of new possibilities
before you reach out to grasp this light
there are shadows of figures lingering through the entrance to this new beginning

Poet Paige Cary

there is a familiarity that bombards you
you see yourself
your thirteen-year-old self
your nineteen-year-old self
and your twenty-five-year-old self
but standing shyly behind these versions of you
you notice a little girl
the curls of her hair dance around her chocolate-splashed face
each of you making room for her and giving her the time to step forward to look at you
she examines you with a sense of curiosity that only a child could do so well
there is zero judgment that exudes from this girl
all at once she breaks into a smile that unlocks what has been hidden
the only words that fall from her are that
she wants you to follow her out of the darkness and you can trust her guidance
you willingly follow and take one final glance at what has to be left behind
there is fear that is attached to walking away from what has harmed us
we know that sort of agony better than any other experience that has found its way to us
but when the trust that is placed within yourself begins to fall into alignment
a sense of peace will wash over you and give you the chance
to be reintroduced to who you are today because this version of you
can finally give grace to where you have been and make room for where you are going