*this story may be triggering. please respect your body and know when to take a break from reading.*

who’d have known my life would be altered with just four words

"lets play a game"

i should’ve known something wasn’t right 

when you unbuttoned your jeans

and told me to do the same.

when i said no,

you became insistent

and me, afraid.

i screamed;

but you shushed me

and promised bubble gum if i listened;

i really loved bubble gum --

funny how its a trigger now

where was daddy?

you put parts of your body inside mine

and did things you demanded i never tell

when your tongue forced a hug with mine,

i cried 

because ‘stop’ and ‘get off me’ stopped meaning ‘stop’ and ‘get off me’

where was daddy?

and why couldn’t he hear me crying?

its been fifteen years

and the memory has finally become scar;

not without a price:

attempted suicide,

prescribed meds;

this memory was melanin on my bones

i couldn’t change a diaper or give my brother a bath

without being brought back to that bedroom.

middle school was the worst;

changing in front of all those girls

and not knowing if they, too, would touch me


i don’t know if you’re still alive

if you're a mother, 

are behind bars, 

are changing the world

or you’re waiting for me to say it --

not because time heals all,

not because it was okay,

not because you were family;

but because this God I know extends radical grace 

and asks that I do the same:

i forgive you

if the reason you knew to do the things you did 

were because they first happened to you,

i hope you’ll come to forgive them

as i am you

this God, though, is in the business of making all things new,

including my memories,

and yours.

and so I hope you’ll come to find life

knowing there’s a God who will bring freedom.

it's hard as hell, becoming free, but i wish this for you.

only by grace,

raygen samone