If you have been following this blog please don't give up on it because of this one poem. I have put it up in the sincere hope that it will help someone else who has been through a similar ordeal.
I am well aware that this is way off my usual beaten track, however it is perhaps the most important poem (especially from my own point of view) that I have ever written. It is believed that 10% of Australians have been abused as a child in one form or another, this is over 2 million people a staggering number I think you will agree. Most like myself are silent for years, some never speak up. It has taken me the best part of 50 years to be open and admit that I was sexually abused as a boy and on through my teenage years by various men.
You may well ask why I did not speak out earlier. The answer is simple, shame and guilt. Both misplaced feelings I have finally learned but they have eaten away at me for years and I believe affected the person I became.
Depression has dogged me for years but I truly believe I have beaten it, I have survived and I am proud of that fact.
The perpetrators of abuse when caught and if convicted get what is relatively a slap on the wrist and very little jail time compared to the life sentence which their victims such as myself receive from them.
Audio and pictures via YouTube is at the end of the poem please have a listen.
I’m told that I’m a survivor, if so I survived in my own way,
You know I’ve been to Hell, but I hope to arrive back any day,
I had my naiveté torn away when I was less than ten,
By someone less than human not fit to walk with men.
He warned me to be silent or else I would die,
Was that the day a young child, lost the ability to cry?
The threat was real; my child’s mind imagined death,
As in silence I cowered, trying to catch my breath.
But my innocence was stolen, by more than one man,
Now nearly half a century later I think it’s time I took a stand,
Because for all that time I’ve lived with shame and disgust,
Built a wall around me because I felt there was no one I could trust.
Raised by my mother I looked for a father figure in my world,
Never realizing the degradation that was about to be unfurled,
I thought these men were leaders as my childhood was trampled in the dirt,
I came to believe their behavior normal, but in my heart of heart’s I hurt.
My dreams at night were haunted I knew not what they meant,
I would wake in fear and sweating, my body tired and spent,
As an adult I have often thought the future was very bleak,
I often doubted I had the strength to survive another week.
Now I’m told I am a victim; I struggle to believe that this is true,
But if I am a victim then my wife became a victim too,
Withstanding temper and mood swings, she tried to break down my wall,
A thankless task, she suffered rejection as I headed for a fall.
If people got too close to me I’d turn away and close a door,
Wanting too be near to me always bought my anger to the fore,
Despair was eating me like a cancer, from the inside out,
Even my own skills and abilities I began to doubt.
I have struggled through my days trying not to show my pain,
I would refuse to reveal my thoughts as I put up the wall again,
But now I’m beginning to learn that I don’t need to feel any shame,
There’s no reason for me to hang my head; I was not the one to blame.
So it seems the time has come for me to exorcise the demon,
Yes, now has come the time to give my life a new meanin’,
For to give in now would mean that the scumbags had won,
It’s time to push away the thunder clouds, time to see the sun.
To ride out like Saint George when he went to face the Dragon,
Tear down my wall and place the bricks upon a wagon,
For sake of wife and family I must face the world anew,
Although I won’t forget lost innocence and a child that never grew.
I must beat the demons that haunt me; I know the past is gone,
Spew out all the sordid thoughts, that I had buried for so long,
Let the woman who loves me near, let her breach my wall,
So we can stand together, and muffle the Devil’s call.
And yes the battle will be ongoing; the war is far from won,
But there is light at the end of the tunnel, I think I can see the sun,
And the ones who stole my innocence will be defeated in the end,
And I thank God for the people who I can truly call my friends.
And if you read or hear this verse spare not a thought for me,
But think of lost innocence and a child that will never be,
Protect and love your children the most valuable asset on this earth,
So they may reach their full potential and realize their true worth,
And if you once were a victim may you grow forever stronger,
Face and beat your demons and you will be a victim no longer,
Look towards the future and see the rainbow in the sky,
And fellas know and remember its okay for a man to cry.
© Corin Linch 13/5/08