Seize the female – Candice Louisa Daquin

You’re just a little thing, a flim flam thing

something of no consequence if you choose to see it that way

and if you do, you’ll walk into rooms, drooping head, sagging shoulders

nobody will even see

that’s the gait of defeat baby and it’s yours for the taking

as nobody, I mean nobody, wants to inherit that dried up mantle

so tell yourself you’re not going to be a cliché

the girl with no self-esteem

who picks herself apart the way some will eat paper and others scabs

even if it’s true you didn’t have the calcium back then

you’re here now and you’re among the fray

nobody likes a debbie downer

remember the girl you were at ten

who wore a smart ass comment any time someone

tried to knock them to the floor?

she was a bad ass warrior and you can be too

it’s in there somewhere, lost among the ‘what if’s’ and other fears

so you don’t like what you see in the mirror and you think that gives you

special privileges to hate yourself?

many women wear their scars, many women do not possess the art

of beauty and despite this they apologize for nothing

and pursue what they want with single-mindedness

you were brought up to think the only power you had was a pair of long legs

and big eyes but they’ll only get you so far

the rest comes from a place that isn’t written down

it’s the seat of the female and all her power

that’s why we lose ourselves in plastic moments and forget

the real allure isn’t a small waist it’s a large brain

conquer your self loathing and come out of your shell

whether you’re whole or incomplete nobody can tell

give yourself over to the riot of it all

you only live once make it count

chase the dream

chase the girl

damn them all

Update on ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’

Kindra M. Austin, Candice Louisa Daquin, Rachel Finch, and Christine E. Ray wish to express their gratitude to the 109 courageous writers and artists who submitted 214 pieces of original writing and artwork for consideration for the anthology ‘We Will Not Be Silenced.’ Your stunning creativity, raw authenticity, and enthusiasm for the project has been overwhelming. We are truly humbled at the response.

We are honored to serve as the custodians of your truth.

Why ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’- Christine E. Ray

I am a writer, an editor, and publisher with a background in clinical social work and neurodegenerative research.  I am a mother, a wife, pansexual, dyslexic, living with Bipolar II, and fibromyalgia.  I am an artist, an avid reader, and lifelong advocate for social justice.

I am also a sexual abuse survivor.

Like many sexual abuse survivors, I kept my story to myself for many, many years.  For decades, I only shared my story with the people I was most emotionally and physically intimate with.

Partially my silence was to protect the innocent who could still be hurt by the fallout of my story, partially because of shame, partially because I told myself that what happened to me wasn’t so bad compared to what has happened to so many others, and partially because I didn’t want to be viewed as damaged.  I didn’t need, or want, anyone’s pity.

When I turned 50, I realized that my silence was slowly eating me alive and was keeping me stuck in a place in a place of shame and self-blame that served no one but my now-dead abuser.  So I started to write and tell my story creatively.  It was terrifying, painful, empowering, healing and incredibly validating when others started to tell me what an impact my writing had on them.  They told me they felt less alone.  Some said that I had written exactly what they had always needed to say but couldn’t.  I cannot express how profound this feedback was or how motivating.

This lead to the founding of Blood Into Ink with Kindra M. Austin, 1Wise-Woman, Aurora Phoenix, and others.  I felt strongly that we needed a place to collect the stories of trauma survival warriors and show that they were so much more than victims.

This led me to ask Rachel Finch, the incredible founder of the Bruised But Not Broken Community, to let me publish her stunning book of poetry A Sparrow Stirs its Wings about her own experience with abuse and healing through Sudden Denouement Publishing.  This led me to prepare the manuscript for The Myths of Girlhood, a collection of writing about my own experiences with sexual abuse, PTSD, and life of a survivor.

It also lead me to turn to my incredible network of survival warriors when the recent Kavanaugh hearings rocked the United States,  communicating to the world how little our stories as survivors are valued, how easy it is for some people to turn a blind eye, and how many would rather accuse a survivor of lying than accept that rapists and harassers are not always monsters who live in dark caves, but can be the boy next door, our classmate who is a star of the basketball team, our judges, our heroes.

Candice Louisa Daquin, Kindra M. Austin, Rachel Finch and I believe that it is more important than ever for women AND men who have been sexually harassed, sexually abused to tell their stories.  To be heard.  For our diversity and our commonalities to be seen.  We Will Not Be Silenced is just the beginning of our response to these recent events that have shaken us, outraged us, and motivated us to encourage others to break their silence, to use creativity and community to heal, to connect, to fight back.

We will be accepting submissions for We Will Not Be Silenced until midnight on Monday, October 15th.  There is still time for your voice to be heard.  We are stronger together.  It is time to be loud.

© 2018 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

Shield Maiden Collaboration: The Burning Bed

 

1WiseWoman:

memories float about like smoke from a raging wildfire

unsure if I should run or hide

a conflicting desire to hold on and release

breathe in, breathe out

shaking, quaking

I need them to stay

I need them to go

Aurora Phoenix:

chafing of my bondage

sparked a rope burn

it smoldered inside me

tonguing greedily upon my soul

it fed on the fuel of my fears

igniting red-orange on my flesh

licking with scarlet-steel flames

through the cracked parchment

shell of my skin

Dom:

I think I am supposed to hate this encounter… possibly hate it and me enough to love it.

I don’t know if I need it to stop… or if I just need to see where it will go… the pain is so parallel to my pleasure…

Yet all that I feel is the heat from this burning bed… it’s hot like fire as my arsonist whispers in my ear… his words… “you like it…” are swirling around my head…

More like bouncing like a sick game or ping pong… or possibly a dirtier game… something so wrong…

Or is it right?

The fire in my loins can’t be extinguished… my body betrays me over and over and she doesn’t fight….

Christine Ray

It started as fire

The slow red flame that licked up my walls

Before you showed me Jekyll and Hyde

As you knock me to the floor

for what I decide

Will be the last damn time

I realize I have turned to a woman of ice

Blood from my split lip frozen to my chin

Frost on my skin that will burn

Your fingers if you lay your hands on me again

Kindra Austin:

Label me crazy with ink black, blue, and red;

You beat up my body,

Raped away my identity,

Fucked up my head.

Is my insanity so temporary?

I wonder while you burn.

Worth Wake Up-Rachel Finch

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It’s time to wake up to your own worth.

I’m talking to YOU.

The ones that know the strength of their

Soul is enough to crush the limits our weak

flesh fears.

The ones that have known suffering..

Grief, addiction, heartbreak.

The ones that grew with trauma as an ally

and knew no friend as close to them as

their own hurt.

To the ones that think they are ordinary,

but couldn’t be any farther from it.

To the ones that bend their bones to help

another feel safe in their own skin.

To the ones that fight to survive,

in silence, in solitude.

I see you.

And you are stunning in all that you are.

You don’t see those wings beating behind

your back but you can hear them drumming

to the pace of your heart.

Beat them harder.

I have learnt that people think they are

small.

That they will do anything to hide the

beauty inside them.

Completely oblivious to their radiance.

You are a world all of your own.

Every experience you’ve ever had is an

untold story.

Every lesson you’ve learned could grow

another.

Every flutter of your eyelashes creates

ripples in this Universe and every time

you exhale, you breathe a stardust all of

it’s own into existence.

It might take a lifetime to recover, but

what better way to spend our remaining

years.

Stop looking outside of yourself.

Turn inward.

Face the truth of who you really are

Warrior Soul and RISE.


Rachel is a writer that speaks from her soul, expressing her trauma and strength through her work. She lives with Mental Illness, refusing to let it define her and is mother to four courageous children. In her free time she volunteers to support people through their own experiences of Abuse, Mental Illness and Recovery at Bruised But Not Broken

Shield Maiden Collaboration: The Burning Bed

1WiseWoman:

memories float about like smoke from a raging wildfire

unsure if I should run or hide

a conflicting desire to hold on and release

breathe in, breathe out

shaking, quaking

I need them to stay

I need them to go

Aurora Phoenix:

chafing of my bondage

sparked a rope burn

it smoldered inside me

tonguing greedily upon my soul

it fed on the fuel of my fears

igniting red-orange on my flesh

licking with scarlet-steel flames

through the cracked parchment

shell of my skin

Dom:

I think I am supposed to hate this encounter… possibly hate it and me enough to love it.

I don’t know if I need it to stop… or if I just need to see where it will go… the pain is so parallel to my pleasure…

Yet all that I feel is the heat from this burning bed… it’s hot like fire as my arsonist whispers in my ear… his words… “you like it…” are swirling around my head…

More like bouncing like a sick game or ping pong… or possibly a dirtier game… something so wrong…

Or is it right?

The fire in my loins can’t be extinguished… my body betrays me over and over and she doesn’t fight….

Christine Ray

It started as fire

The slow red flame that licked up my walls

Before you showed me Jekyll and Hyde

As you knock me to the floor

for what I decide

Will be the last damn time

I realize I have turned to a woman of ice

Blood from my split lip frozen to my chin

Frost on my skin that will burn

Your fingers if you lay your hands on me again

Kindra Austin:

Label me crazy with ink black, blue, and red;

You beat up my body,

Raped away my identity,

Fucked up my head.

Is my insanity so temporary?

I wonder while you burn.