They sang my praises,
as I sat there emotionally broken,
humiliated, confused, and ashamed
that I had finally spoken.
That the words i had been too scared to speak for so long
Threatening the very life and intellect that they came from.
My ten-year-old mind couldn’t comprehend when they reassured me
as easily as crossing their t’s and dotting their I’s
in comforting words meant to sound like cursive
that I was not the one at fault
that I did the right thing
disobeying the rules that had so tenaciously guarded and guided my life until this very point,
like barbed wire fences they had constructed rule by rule,
each “don’t do” a spike in the fence ready to pour blood at the first infraction, each “you shouldn’t” underlined with the threat of upsetting your elders, or worse – God.
It started so harmlessly; I didn’t understand what was happening
To my ten year old mind, cuddling in his lap while we watched the Miss America pageant was harmless, normal even –
I knew not what deep, disturbed desires I had awoken with such a simple gesture.
The first kiss took me completely by surprise.
My first kiss.
He stole that from me.
With that kiss, he stole my childlike innocence,
Burst the bubble that surrounded my girlish purity,
Darkening the effervescence that illuminated my childhood with one quick, unwanted, unwelcome move.
My first experience with the male touch
Is not one I look back on fondly.
As he fondled me,
Stroked the smiles out of my life,
I felt my light dim,
Draw the curtains, close the shutters,
No one lives here anymore – go away, go away – no one is home.
The mind is a beautiful thing.
It took me twelve years to remember the exact day.
The eleventh day of the tenth month of the year that changed the world, my world forever – two thousand and one.
Just six days shy of my eleventh birthday,
All these numbers and letters that sound like a math equation…
Nothing made sense anymore