She is Me
Poem by Iris Carden
She is five, a seemingly innocent child dressed up like a little princess. She lives in an adult world, The person closest to her age that she knows is the bogeyman who lives in her home and uses her body as a plaything. She has constant nightmares, both waking and sleeping. She looks for someone to rescue her but there is no-one. The time is coming when she will start school knowing nothing of children, she will not fit in. She will be the weird kid, who is bullied and beaten. Twice she will need surgery to stop her nose bleeding. She will be sent back each time, to be beaten some more. The bullies, like the bogeyman, will always call her by middle name. Even into adulthood, the sound of that name will make her cringe and cower like a dog that's been repeatedly kicked. She will look for someone to rescue her, but there will be no-one. Eventually, she will start at another school. Here, they will use her first name. Still with no social skills, she will feel strange, alien, unable to know how to relate to her peers but at least she will be physically safe. She will have gained younger siblings, and she will marvel at their ability to simply get on with other children. She will go through to high school, still desperate to belong. Still not knowing how to relate to the people around her, She will write poetry about suicide, and despair of ever finding her place in the world. She will look for someone to rescue her but there will be no-one. Always feeling "other than" and "less than" she will stumble her way into adulthood. She will put her trust in a man who will always place her last.. He will discover the magic of her middle name and will delight in using it whenever she seems likely to gain any kind of confidence. A bout of unexplained illness, where she loses an organ will prove a turning point.. He will decide her illness is just an excuse for not meeting his needs. His manipulation will turning to yelling which will turn to bruises the size of his fingerprints covering every part of her body that doesn't show. Then she will begin to fear for her children. She will rescue herself, for the sake of her children. The unexplained illness will be explained, will be treated, but will be unable to be cured. She will struggle, but she will carry on, because her children will need her. Her children will grow into women who are so brilliant and beautiful that she cannot believe they in any way came from her. One day she will look around with surprise and realise, she not only has her children, she also has friends. She will not know how she found them, But her friends will accept her weirdness, and will love her, and she will love them and accept whatever their weirdness may have. She will at last belong. She will no longer look for someone to rescue her. She and her friends will rescue each other when needed.