writing is freedom: my response to recent conversation about abuse and why people stay.

September 12, 2014 § 41 Comments

She stayed because she was five-years old and she had a five-year old little girl body and a five-year old little girl voice and she thought five-year old little girl thoughts and felt five-year old little girl feelings. She stayed because she was the sort of little girl who could make art in her mind when he came to her at night and she could make bright yellow wings and she could fly high above him. She was the sort of child who could do things like that.

And when she was a seven-year old little girl she stayed because she had a seven-year old little girl body and she thought seven-year old little girl thoughts and her seven-year old voice grew silent but her art stayed loud and she wrote stories in her closet about girls who lost their wings but found bright yellow places to hide.

And when she was a ten-year old girl, a teacher gave her a book about Joan of Arc and the girl began to write about girls with swords and shields who didn’t hide and who chopped heads off every evil thing.

And when she was a sixteen-year old girl, her English teacher gave her an assignment. “Write what you know,” she said, and the girl wrote a story about an ashamed tired numb-bodied girl and she wrote the story in third person so no one would know for sure it was her, and she handed the story to her English teacher. Her English teacher wrote in the margins of her story that she wanted to bring the ashamed tired numb-bodied girl home for tea and blankets and that what the man in the story did to the girl was a Crime and to keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.

And when the girl got home from school she read the teacher’s notes over and over again, and when he came into her room that night she stood up straight heart shaking faces too close and she said “Don’t. Touch. Me. Ever. Again.” And it didn’t matter that he threw her away like nobody’s dirt. It didn’t matter because

she became an I.

I left because I found my voice.

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