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Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

it’s that time of year again.
that time where my first
rape anniversary
is just around the corner.

November 16th and 17th, 2013.

what i hate is that i still think
every year
about those dates.
the anger has faded significantly
the pains healed over
but there is still a stamp on my heart.

when brought up to those i love,
they ask,
“why do you give that an anniversary?”
“don’t think about it like that…”
but really
i think it gives me strength.

i remember those dates like a
and think how much i’ve grown since then.
the connections i’ve made
the people i’ve helped
the hope i’ve instilled in friends
that have suffered in the same way
i am a beacon of light
to those who have been abused
as i have.

I will not be blown out.
No matter how many times
Men try to pull me to their level
I fly.

This strong heart,
supported by a firm foundation,
will not topple.
A foundation built by those who love me
those I can trust
to see me through the toughest times.

I am not alone.

Though my dignity and pride and womanhood
have been ripped from me
over and over again
I will always grow it back.
The strongest of Men are still weak
in comparison
to my frailest sisters.
And they know it, too,

which is why they consistently try to
drown us
to pin us to sweaty, tear stained bed sheets
to slap out our fighting fire.

Still we stand.

We link arms with our sisters
to show our
knees will not bend.

We are trees
with roots that sink deep.
Growing taller.
Ever stronger.

Unsplash photo via Andrew Neel

Originally published: May 3, 2018
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