Is Survivor Strength Taboo?

Photo by Andy Vu on

Poor, pill addicted mother
Warped crazy by grief
Unable to competently care
For herself and her offspring
Offer mentality coating us all
She was incapable
So her daughter must be weak
Not the adults around who didn’t interfere

Broken adolescent boy
Unsure of his standing in the hierarchy
Crazy with imagined flirts
Said he loved her
Plied her with moonshine
Then pried her hands and knees apart
Ignoring all please NO
Soon after she left
Shame attached
Clearly she’s been the weaker one

Traumatized, manipulative, violent alcoholic
Warped reality into nightmare
Manifested his demons
Black and blue on her skin
His nightmares in lumps and aches
His hell in ever increasing sadism
Her body no longer hers
Sexdoll for his gratification

She managed to flee
Before being beat to death
Now she’s weak
Didn’t leave at the first punch
Close friends and family
Who heard, saw, knew
Kept their strength
As they didn’t know what to do

Slogging along, keeping afloat
She was too well together
For doctors to note
Her friends called her brittle like old porselin

Ran head first into a brick wall
Total burn-out
Leading to a long night of the soul
Finally got some morsels of support
A man trapped in uncured psychosis
Wounded healer, enlightened teacher
With vast tracts of unknown darkness
Experience taught why patient-doctor relationships are forbidden

Rising from the ashes for a new go at life
He says she’s weak
Not willing to live a life drowned in
I’ll give you this
But never that
She thought she learned a thing or two

Oh, all the things she didn’t know
How healthy boundaries are set
How transformational relationships are fed
How from uncared child to whole independent adult get

He brought her high
So he could push her down
He promised truth
Then filled the atmosphere with lies and deception
Weaved her into a web of unending male ego needs disguised as family needs
She nearly lost hold of reality
Just that ass stubborn spark
Will to live and explore
Kept her from blowing her brains at the bottom of the rabbit hole

Now she’s left with all the burden of failure
The task of rewriting young lifes
Back to innocence and carefree joy
She rejects the grown boy
His – with this lie I never have to care – toys
Family says she’d failed to be properly meek
Life is not for lust, love, creativity to seek
Again she’s weak
Due to leaving a dung heap

What is strength?
How is it defined?
Confusion swirling in her mind.
Why do folk keep telling her they see her as weak?


This is one of several pieces that I’ve started a couple of times, but never finished. Afraid to overshare. So thanks go to Amaya for hosting Poetics: “Bartender, I’d like to close out my tab-oo” at dVerse. Because now my mind couldn’t find any more excuses.

It’s also one of, if not the, longest free verse poems I written so far.

Photo by Archie Binamira on

6 thoughts on “Is Survivor Strength Taboo?

Add yours

  1. If Only ‘They’ Could
    Be ‘The Darkness’…
    ‘They’ too Will See ‘The Light’…
    There is Nothing ‘Really’ Taboo in Life…
    Hasn’t Everyone Already Proven This so Far As Life….
    It is what
    it IS
    Survivors Now
    Raise Our Heads Lift Our Fear
    We Breathe at Best We Still Love Free..:)

  2. I respect you for finally sharing what you did. The questions that arise with such a poem, such a confounding life, are why I am glad to have radical spirituality in my own life. I think we are all in for a shock when all is revealed and we see the truth in what is actually weakness, what was actually strength all along. Whoever had been so ready in life to deem someone weak, or improperly meek, without seeking to go deeper and dare to see that person in all her depths, her struggles, her triumphs, well. They’re in for a rude awakening.

  3. I’m glad you decided to complete and share the poem of your journey. For the brutish, insensitive, and the outright stupid who regard you as weak, they are BLIND. You’ve survived everything they’ve hurled at you and are bravely shining forth with your testament of the experience. Patriarchy is probably the most treacherous, venomous affliction in our species’ history. Through the generations it churns, leaving its chum in the wake of the next generation. So much of what you describe has patriarchy at its root cause. It’s not enough to subjugate women, but torment them while underfoot, not caring how far it goes. So easy to blame any tragedy on the “victim’s weakness.”

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