Family meant loving what was not there. But then we grow up. And we learn that to draw close is to survive. And to draw close is maybe even something desirable.
Does adoption count as something chosen? What part? For whom?
CW: Emotional abuse.
is a word many haven't been taught
shut up and take it
my mom would say
when i’d get screamed at and blamed for things i didn't do
is how i speak
gets my message of no through
when it's hard to move my teeth
but it's confusing men whine
b/c i didn't hear a no
how is it that you can see a yes
when she wants it
but you choose to not see a no
you know how to tell if she means no
verbal or non
don't you understand
that b/c of your position in this world
it's your duty as a man
to make sure that if you don't
you confirm that you understand
What. Is. Consent?!
Speaking your truth
Even when it shaves your soul
Leaves your heart in tears
Sheds your fear in pieces
Peels your secrets open
It feeds your spirit strength and sometimes breaks it whole
We can’t be complete all the time
Even the moon
I’m here but not there
All the way
everywhere and nowhere
On earth spaced out
Sadness and depression
Hitting like a tidal wave
Sometimes as fast as it came
But i'm stuck here
In the sorrow and pain
Physical, mental, emotional.
It hurts in different ways
Lottie are you there?
But never present all the way
There are four arms on fire, covered with shapes and text that reads: DON’T TOUCH ME,” in red on each arm. The hands on each arm have sharp black nails, with stars that rest on each fingertip. Under the arms, there is a text that reads, “BOUNDARIES,” in red.
Lottie is a Queer Non-binary artist who uses poetry and art as a coping mechanism, art has ultimately helped them process their experiences as a survivor. Lottie uses they, them, and theirs pronouns.
I proceeded to tell them what happened. I didn’t have much in the way of details—believing that’s what they wanted to hear—but what I did share left them in a state of slack-jawed shock. They asked me to imagine for a moment if I had done to her what she had done to me, where I might be at that very moment.
I know few get the opportunity to heal. That’s the motivation that drives me to do healing justice work. But in offering community support, I often forget that I’m part of the community too, that I deserve access to heal from trauma. And those “I don’t deserve _____s” are all giving voice to my survivor’s guilt.
Past experiences of broken confidence held me back, and I had even less confidence that I would be able to find a queer competent, POC identified behavioral health professional with sexual assault experience who was worth investing time, money, and trust in.
Communication is super, super important. Yet no one really taught me how to communicate about sex. I’ve begun to ask myself why I am so afraid to be seen.