You Don't Understand...A poem
It’s hard to know what to say to someone who has been through the traumatic experience of rape, to find the right words to express support or concern can be very difficult for some and not so hard for others. But being a survivor of rape one of the things I found the most difficult to accept from those around me was the word “Understand” Yet ironically it was the very thing I was desperately searching for, not making it easy for those around me as I responded with a lot of unexplained anger.
This poem was written shortly after my assault and has only been lightly touched up before sharing here.
You Don’t Understand
Don’t tell me that you understand
Your words, simply self-satisfying lies
As you try and take me by the hand
I don’t want to see the pity in your eyes
How could you possible know the pain?
Unless you too have been held down tight
To drown in humiliation and shame
Desperate to reach the safety of the light
You don’t understand the agony
Of having your pleas for mercy fall on deaf ears
To be left soiled and bloody
On a concrete floor covered only in tears
Don’t tell me that you know
Unless you have scrubbed yourself clean
Bruised and broken from a strangers ego
Every inch of you forever dirty and obscene
You have no possible idea of how I feel
The wounds go much deeper then you can see
I still can’t imagine that it is all real
Or why it happened to me
Don’t tell me that you fathom
What is to be terrified by a dark street?
Or to always see the worse outcome
With every man that you meet
How could you possibly comprehend?
The torture every night as I sleep
The nightmares that grip me with no end
No matter how many tears I may weep
You so don’t know the horror
Of having your world totally shattered
Or not recognizing your own face in the mirror
Your life and soul forever altered
May you never understand or know
The torture that has consumed my life
The never-ending shame and sorrow
That cuts my soul sharper than a knife
So please don’t say, you understand
And please know why, I don’t want your pity
Give me sympathy and love as you help me to stand
As I try to find what is left of me…
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