It’s an ugly word

It’s an ugly word ‘rape’, it makes people squirm
So like a mouth sealed with tape, keeping silent we learn
But worse is the act, that breaks you into pieces
And knowing the fact, it’s done by your own species
Is so hard to accept, and so deeply affects
Your daily reality, for you never feel safe you see?

As the pen’s ink dries, we learn to keep it inside; and never express, the pain and distress
The consuming fear, that always seems near; lest what we say, may spoil someone’s day
But it’s so hard to contain, all that fear, all that shame
Especially when flashbacks, come again, and again, and again, and again
It’s like holding back a tidal wave, and it takes all your energy
As you try to stop others from having to see

For ‘rape’ isn’t the only ugly word, ugly too is ‘humiliation’
But one of the worst, is the word ‘degradation’
Or what of ‘exposure’ or ‘fear’ or ‘dread’, or ‘terror and ‘horror’ and ‘pain’
Then there’s the quieter ones of course, like ‘shame’ and the toxic ‘self-blame’

While you battle with all of those things inside, contained in a body you learned to despise
A body from which your soul had to hide, cos the memories are determined to rise
Like a crime scene you don’t want to revisit, but a crime scene you HAVE to revisit
cos you’re still having to live in it, and it’s memories are still explicit

And held there within every cell, crystal clear in feel, touch and smell
From a day that was sent straight from hell, no wonder it’s hard to feel well!
How do you reconcile it all? While keeping it behind a wall
So as not to upset or even worse get, someone angry who may hurt you as well?

For silence heals nothing, and shame is toxic and foul
It eats at your heart, and eats at your soul
But the truly sad thing, about all that I say
Is it isn’t just me, who is feeling this way

In this room, now and here, there will be many others
Holding back fear, from their sisters and brothers
From their fathers and mothers, from their friends and their lovers
Due to shame, due to fear, of the threat of rejection
So they keep silent as well, and stay away from inspection

But while one of us still stumbles, we all will still fall
Our only way forward, is in healing us all
For we all are connected, and we know that is true
While some still feel rejected, we can’t move into the new

While we point and we blame, or we silence and shame
We maintain a cold world, where the pain stays the same
When we all still stay silent, we can’t heal, can’t evolve
And the troubles on this Earth, we can’t that way solve

So I’m sorry if my words, unsettle you at all,
It’s just I still see a world, in which so many fall
And I hope if I’m brave, and share some of my path
It allows space for others, to show their fear or their wrath
Or their shame, or the blame, or the guilt that has built
Or the sadness and grief, that’s been hidden beneath
All our smiles and our ‘yes, I’m alright’ s

For in clearing these paths, it makes space for laughs, It makes space for living and joy
So I don’t stand up here speaking my words, to upset you or just to annoy.
It’s part of a plan to help us free man, from all that has long held us stuck
While we still fear emotions and fear our stories we will all just stay trapped in the muck

For yes, ‘rape’ IS an ugly word, but most of its power comes from silence
But as we learn to heal and express, it no longer stays a life-sentence
So whatever it is keeps you quiet, whether shame or abuse or fear
Or feeling unworthy or feelings of guilt, it’s time to allow it all near

I won’t lie and say that it’s easy, to bring all the hurt to the light
But as we do, we feel and we learn, and they no longer hold us so tight
It brings our compassion, our love and our grace, It gives us less reason to hide our face
It makes us no more have to fear the place, It was hidden away, inside in disgrace.

So perhaps what was ugly, can now start to be
A platform for love and for change
Cos with honesty and healing and acceptance of feeling
And a new world we can start to arrange

SO go forth brave Soul, and dig deep in each hole
Where you buried the stuff that was painful
For your path is my path, and my love goes with you
To all that still hurts or feels shameful

In the warm light of day, as we clear the way
We’ll find that NO words are too ugly to say
When wrapped in compassion, and wrapped up in grace
We find all gave us learning and all had a place

by Kathrin Atkinson


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