A survivor’s expression

Written by The SAFE Alliance

Anel* has experienced emotional and physical trauma. She has been in and out of foster homes since grade school. She is a survivor of sexual assault and child abuse.

Through SAFE’s Emergency Cottage and Transitional Living Program, Anel is beginning to heal. She wanted to share this poem:

Where I’m from

I’m from the house of disappointment,
From Marlboros and handcuffs.
I am from the unstable roof,
Different “families”
For every screw-up move I do,
But there’s always a mirror,
With the same disappointment staring back,
It tasted like my mother’s bitters soul.
Sounded like the gunshot that pierced my eyes,
Looked like traffic on a highway.
Felt hopelessness in every room.
I am from the palm trees,
The purple tulips,
That laid on my grandmother’s grave.
I am from the necklace that is not mine,
I am from the loud arguments,
And the excuse makers.
From “mommy loves you”,
To “your parent’s rights are terminated”.
I’m from the rosary around my neck,
And the open bible in my war room.
I’m like a mixed drink,
A little bit of everything.
Peas made me say “please don’t feed me”,
And when I wasn’t me oatmeal made me happy.
From the waterfall that failed to kill my sister Denise,
To the sirens outside my front door,
Waiting for my lousy father.
I am lost in all the dreaded memories,
To where the photos are scattered everywhere.
I am from the house of disappointment,
But I refuse to let it multiply.

*Name changed to protect survivor’s identity