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The Voice Of A Silenced Child

by | May 15, 2022 | ACA And The Arts, ComLine

Trigger Warning: This poem is a description of the disturbing reality of domestic violence as experienced by me around the age of six. If you are not in a good place to read such material, please stop here. I have no desire to retraumatize anyone.

Several months ago, I visited my childhood neighborhood in Bing Maps Streetside View. I viewed my childhood home and traveled the route to my first-grade school and back. The next morning, my inner 6-year-old wrote the following with some help from me.

This poem is a first-grade writing assignment which I was unable to complete truthfully at the time. I hid the truth to protect my safety. Now I am relatively safe and free from fear. I have decided to turn this in fifty-seven years late for my own continued healing and to share my voice with countless other children – and adults – who’ve been silenced by domestic violence.

Daddy hates me, yes it’s true
‘cause he hits me all the time
and he throws me to the floor
and he scares me all the time.

Yes, daddy hates me
and he locks me in the scary basement
and he cusses me all the time.
Maybe he’ll kill me someday.

Daddy sells toys for children.
He keeps the toys in the garage.
We want to play with them
but he’ll hit me if I do.

Mommy, why does daddy hate me?
Mommy says, he doesn’t hate you, he loves you,
he just doesn’t communicate it well.
Mommy says, oh you’re so sensitive.

But daddy says it very well.
He slaps me all the time.
He screams and yells
and throws and breaks things.

Daddy hates Mommy too.
He hits her and cusses her.
Daddy screams. Mommy cries.
Daddy hates and hits Nana too.

Daddy calls me angry names
like stupid and lazy
and bastard and incompetent
and other big words I’m not allowed to say.

Daddy is big and strong,
like a Monster.
He is a scary Monster.
We are small and helpless.

Police show up at home one day.
They handcuff daddy. He cries.
They take him away.
Mommy has broken ribs.

Daddy drives crazy
and crashes the car.
Brother goes flying over the seat.
Nobody is hurt.

Daddy hates me, yes it’s true.
I dare not speak.
I must try to be quiet and invisible.
I must not make him angry.

But I don’t know
what I’ve done wrong.
Why does daddy hate me?
Nobody tells me.

Daddy takes us to church
and teaches us to pray before bed.
But where is God
when daddy blows up?

I am all alone.
Nobody sees.
Nobody hears.
Nobody helps.

I am all by myself.
I am afraid of daddy
all of the time.
Why does daddy hate me?

– Healing Heart Warrior (Tom M.)

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