A Night in Life of a Survivor
by Pepper Joy Greggs
It’s cold night in a drafty apartment.
I don’t know what awakens me but, I am suddenly wide awake.
I feel bruises. I feel hands touching me. Hands with boney fingers, some with hairy knuckles. Some wear rings. There are cold hands, sweaty hands, each of my abuser’s hands visit me this night.
I feel fear come over me. The fear of a little girl barely potty trained. I feel the fear of a young preteen girl discovering her budding breasts and fearing the evil they will attract. I feel the fear of a young woman fully formed and starving herself.
I cannot scream or run, only stiffen my body and wait. It is what I have done since I was just three.
I smell flesh, hungry and earthy.
I feel pain in my pelvis from being only three years old and foreign objects are shoved inside of me.
My lower back radiates a hot pain from injury after injury working cattle like a man, and being tossed around like one by others.
I try to tighten my arm muscles but, they don’t respond. I try to squeeze my thighs, still nothing.
I am paralyzed and things go dark.
My body, once a beautiful innocent vessel, now was a mere receptacle for my many abusers filth. I feel hands touching me, grabbing the back of my neck, squeezing me until I fall to the floor, shoving me as if I were not worthy of the space I was taking up with my existence.
I cannot scream, I want to howl and burst.
I smell the cologne of one abuser, the aftershave of another, the sweat of yet another.
I feel the pain of betrayal, betrayal of myself and by each of my abusers. I feel the shame and its layers enshrouding me.
My heart breaks, my throat is void of sound and vibration.
There is no life in my bones.
I feel the rush of released emotion as I watch the blood pour from my ankle. The blade is swift and tricky. Oh death if you would come and sweep me away like a thief in the night, I would not hate you.
I smell the breath of one of my rapists as his body is mounted on mine and trounces me.
I feel flesh ripping and my soul rents itself, another monster has massacred me, and another, and more will come.
I am broken and detached, I hate and love her, the girl in the mirror. She is gross, she is all I have and she is all I am.
I breathe again and the sky goes from black to purple. I have goosebumps and its the first sensation I have felt in a long time.
As the survivor, a lifetime of abuse has found me all in one night. I have relived each rapist, molester, attacker, monster and their crusades against me.
I am a survivor.