Persephone’s Testimony

Statue c. 1792 - 1750 BC that represents an an...

Statue c. 1792 – 1750 BC that represents an ancient Babylonian goddess, possibly Ishtar or Ereshkigal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rape is a wounding, unlooked for and heavy with someone else’s footsteps trampling the dust where your soul once dreamed. Left alone in the road, scattered and broken, many of us haven’t even ears left to hear the stone’s wailing into the void for us. But the stones do wail: they wailed for Inanna, broken, dead and rotting on the meathook, and Inanna could not hear. The stones wailed also for Ereshkigal, in labor and mourning the loss of her husband. It was the stones’  bearing witness to Ereshkigal that moved her to resurrect her sister Inanna from the sleep of the dead. As the stones wail for the earth itself, surely they wail for me and my name will be heard in the litany they sing  to the stars. The power of that song of sorrow is the power of death, and of the life that springs forth from death.

The wind blows upon my scattered bits of self and rearranges them in patterns drawn by the wailing of the stones. Tears fall from the stars and moisten my dust into mud: I am reformed of mud. I will never again be the bright maiden I was when his horses overtook me, my pale hair and clear skin shining among the dew wet flowers — I am mud, and dust; the stones’ wailing and the stars’ tears forever. I ooze slowly upright, and with mudded muted ears I hear the wailing of the stones. Overwhelmed by the eeriness of overheard grief, I lose myself again and grow a mouth that I might join in the dirge. After much time; in no time: I hear my name in the litany and grow arms to raise to the sky, beseeching the heavens to tell me why? I wrap these arms around myself when the sun does not bleed an answer. But the sun does shine, and in the noon heat my mud dries a little, not hardening but gaining form made of plasticity and need. I am ears and mouth and arms; wailing and consolation are all that interest me. At last I sleep:

Naked and bloody stand I before those who would destroy me just for being. It is only now that I see they have no eyes with which to see me, no heart in which to hold me, no hands with which to reach for me… it is only now that I see that I am the one with eyes, and heart, and hands. Though my blood still pounds at the threat of their presence I stand with power born of the wailing of stones, the tears of the stars, and the soothing of the sun’s rays upon my mudded, blooded heart.

When I awake I dream of one who has found their own eyes and heart, who will choose to meet my hands with their own and turn with me to the future: A future shared and outshining a shattered past, no matter how enticing its glittering shards.

Posted in From Clinging to the Wreckage to Dancing on the Waves, poetry, prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ice Mice

Barbed wire and razor wire

Barbed wire and razor wire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ice Mice

Ice mice skittering through my veins

and I think again of nothing

What was it you said, back then,

with your hands around my throat?

Excuse me, for I can not remember;

my memory was dis-membered,

my concentration sent to camp.

Have you ever felt adrenalin

making your atoms dance erratically

like tires skidding on an icy mountain pass?

I cannot re-member who I was that day

snow falls like sticky spiders’ webs

my mind can’t move to see itself

now, then, or ever

Was it something you said,

or something I forgot to do,

that left me stranded, ice bound,

here behind barbed wire with the world

out there


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From Clinging to the Wreckage to Dancing on the Waves

And of course, this must be dedicated to you, the six of you who raped me. It has, after all, been you driving me toward my understanding of the world — especially the world of sexual assault and its players, survivors and perpetrators both. It has been, indirectly perhaps but genuinely nonetheless, you I have been unconsciously toasting every time I raised a drink to my lips or swallowed a pill or stuck mt arm with an oblivion-dealing needle. What difference, a penis forced in my mouth that I can’t quite remember or a drink that causes me to not quite remember what goes on around me? What difference, a pill swallowed or the bitter taste of your unwanted semen, burning my throat so as to avoid the deeper humiliation of that trickle down my chin, with you slamming your fist in my face for not “taking it all”? What difference, penetrated by oblivion in a needle or my sense of self obliterated by your penetration of my body with your unwanted penis (or whatever came to hand)? What difference, after all? Control. That is, whose control makes all the difference, and since you had destroyed my belief in the existence of my own control over my own life and body I could at least claim control over the means of my slow dissolution and death.

The irony, of course — though I do not really expect you to currently understand, much less appreciate this irony — is that I also learned to control how much others could affect me. And now that I see my need for numbness, for cessation of pain that I feel even now, ten or more years later, is something attributable to you and your goddess-deserted need for control over someone else because you weren’t strong enough to control yourself.  Now that I can see that, I can begin to deliberately find my way out of the haze. And as the layers of rigidity, terror, and numbness begin to slowly peel away, I dedicate each moment of fear and confusion, each eruption of rage, each stabbing or lingering pain, each misunderstanding or inability to communicate in healthy ways with those around me to you, my rapists.

These things I dedicate to you are the price of healing from rape, an assault to the very core of a person’s being; and because I know that you are human too and that the inflicting of pain most often stems from the receiving of pain, I not only dedicate to you but wish for you these very same pains — for these are the pains of healing. And as healing has brought too its moments of triumph, joy, and delight, I wish you those as well, so that you will come to understand what you have done in all of its ramifications and manifestations and so begin to be part of the solution instead of continuing to be agents of the problem. This did not start with you, but surely by learning to see each other we may create the beginning of the end of this epidemic. Let us learn to protect and teach and love the children of our planet, so that none may grow up into the kinds of pain that we all have suffered; so that none may grow into or continue to perpetuate this pain.

Dancing Warrior, sometime in the late ’80’s or early ’90’s

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Fom the Heart of a Dancing Warrior

Welcome to my world — it may not be James Thurber, but I hope some humor may be found among commentaries, poetry, fiction and discussions that I will be presenting. The writing will sometimes be new and sometimes culled from what I have left from the last three decades of healing work as a Wiccan female rape survivor. I am interested in Post Traumatic Growth, as well as Disorder; overall it is balance that I have been seeking. As the subject can be a difficult one emotionally I appreciate those of you who will (I hope!) expend your time and energy reading what I have to say; if you find my point of view  offensive then I respectfully ask that you suspend your need to tell me so. I do, however welcome constructive criticism of the writing itself, as well as any feedback from those who are moved, amused, or inspired to discussion. The first piece is somewhat graphic, as it is an honest statement dedicated to the men who raped me — it was an early attempt at active forgiveness, beginning with an articulation of what it was that needed to be addressed  and ending with a fairly clumsy expression of forgiveness. As I said, it was an early attempt:)  To those who read it all the way through, I thank you in advance; I am putting it first because it scares me the most to actually have it go out into the world. I believe it is the most grim of my work, so there is always humor to look forward to in the future:)  Blessed Be, Dancing Warrior

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