The Survivor

This poem is in third person because my left brain cannot yet comprehend or accept what my body knows is true. My right brain does and uses artistic means to tell my story. I learned this about myself in a book entitled, “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

The left brain declares
there is nothing there,
as though it forgot
it shut itself off.
But her body kept
all of those secrets
in her muscles, hands,
gut, adrenal glands.
There are certain smells,
sights, or sounds, that tell
what the body knows.
She reacts as though
danger's imminent; 
adrenaline's sent
through the bloodstream and
her reptilian brain
responds to a threat
that has long since went.
As she comes back down,
guilt, shame gather 'round.
Shove those feelings back
with whatever works:
drugs, booze, sex, or food.
Keep her patched and glued
'til the day arrives
she no longer hides.
She'll hand back their shame
and finally claim
her life, her story,
and set herself free.

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