My Well Being: A Poem by Audrey Voorhees

6 Oct

This is a guest post by Audrey Voorhees. In her words: 

“This piece exemplifies a painful journey with a profound conclusion. Certain our greatest challenges lead us to our deepest questions, I am grateful for the emerging variety of free voices speaking out about abortion and its layers in women’s lives. Having chosen to live openly as an adult survivor of childhood rape and sexual abuse, I now choose to live openly about my abortion, knowing there is connection to be found in our honestly disclosed healing. Thank you for your company in this journey of collective understanding.”

 

My Well Being 

Seems silly, you

interested in my

well- being.

Like asking a pedestrian

you hit

at a cross walk

how she

feels,

late, ill-placed,

How can I take

your concern seriously?

 

When before,

you slowly corroded my boundaries,

cohersion stripping common sense.

“Your rules are causing your confusion,”

you said.

And once close enough

to penetrate,

my unseen wounds-

lenses coloring

all i could see-

we danced

as perpetrator,

as victim.

 

Complimenting my courage,

ignoring my requests,

your mask kept changing.

Divergent public and private faces, advances.

left me wanting,

put you in control,

muffled my intuition.

Employed a naive hope for love

through submission.

 

Longed to be special

enough.

Make you feel about me

a way where you

chase me

into significance,

replace fear with safety,

self doubt with affirmation.

I will be whatever

version of me necessary

to protect the illusion

that no one will

love

all of me.

 

Unqualified you,

unprotected me,

aching lies erupted

unveiling hidden truths

about why I run, resist, most recently invite

men,

building momentum

spinning buzzing numbness

accented with puncture hits.

Awakened to the reality:

 

My first intercourse-

unconsentual,

unneccessary,

bewildered child

unknowingly

a victim.

Uncovered

by you,

replicating

unconsentual,

uneccessery,

bewildered woman

unknowingly

a victim.

Funny how you

seem interested in my well-

being.

 

When you entered without asking,

ejaculated,

bewildered child woman’s supressed thoughts

flooded the scene without warning.

 

When you

suggested we have sex

after I told you

I was pregnant

and scheduled the abortion,

I still

didn’t see

you really standing

in front of me.

 

I didn’t believe any of it was

happening to me

happened to me

you, him…

 

Couldn’t look into the mirror

knowing

I didn’t want the pain of satisfaction for the hungry

who steal and eat the flesh

of others.

Yet somehow

I needed to face the only half

of the story

I had any control over-

Me.

 

What about denial, Audrey?

What about destruction

do I find comfort in?

What about abuse feels more familiar than love?

Big questions

tug at my core,

and not until you evoked

all that muck,

like stirring settled pond water,

did I see the need

to let them rise

to the surface.

 

2 weeks anticipating my misfortune.

2 weeks inhabiting a body carrying life that I never wanted connected to mine.

1 day of relief, and

4 weeks of leaking your stain to rebuild a purified, clarified me.

 

Your version of sex never accounted for my consent

 

While I carry the consequences,

their weight anchors awareness

of my past.

 

And I

don’t know

how to answer

any questions about

My

well- being.

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