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Roxine's Story

I wrote this just after I had attended the Jerry Sandusky trial in Bellefonte, PA.

I had been struggling, unable to write anything and then sat down and penned this.  I did not intend for it to be a poem, it’s just the way it came out.

This was published in The Daily Collegian on August 3, 2012 (the Penn State student run newspaper).  It is my hope that perhaps it provided some insight from the point of view of one victim/survivor on what being abused feels like – in the moment and in every moment thereafter.

Reading my story may *Trigger* memories, reactions and anxiety from your own personal experiences. Please use safe and healthy self-care practices in dealing with your personal responses.

I was a kid – you were a man

My pain is palpable – but only to me.
I can’t seem to move, to act, to breathe.
In searching for answers I only find pain
As old, familiar questions arise again.

An empty vessel – that’s all I’ve been –
An empty vessel you stuck your **** in
Did you know that you killed me that day?
Did you know you took everything away?

That hole you ripped apart inside of me
Filled up with anger, disgust, self-loathing
Years I’ve spent abusing myself
Illicit sex, alcohol, my own personal hell

You put me there – I was just a kid
Do you even know what you did?
How can I make people understand
I was a kid – you were a man

You took your time to gain my trust
Told me I was special, pretty, loved
You told me it was our little secret
You told me it was something I’d never forget

You were right in one respect, I never forgot
In fact, for me, the abuse never stopped
I’ve been raped time and time again
By your memory, my family, other men

Their refusal to hold you accountable, to make you pay
Is just like you raping me every day
When I am here, when I let you in
I can feel you putting your mouth on me again

Taking from me everything that was good
Leaving me shattered, broken, misunderstood
How can I make people understand
I was a kid – you were a man

How did this become my fault, my shame?
Why do they look at me like I’m to blame?
No I didn’t stop you or say anything
How could I, Why would I, I was just a kid

And you told me you’d kill her, you’d kill me too
Tell me, please tell me – what was I to do?
Even now, 30 years later, the price is too high
It has cost me my family to ask the question “Why?”

Why they did nothing, why they sided with you
Why it didn’t matter that I was abused
It was your reputation we had to protect
You were the adult, I was just a kid

An empty vessel with no self-worth
Left to fend for myself in this hell-on-earth
This hell you created and left me to
Please tell me now what am I to do

In searching for answers, I only find pain
As old, familiar questions arise again
How can I make people understand
I was a kid – you were a man

Roxine © 2012