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Sexual Abuse & Self-Harm Poetry & Photography

Photography by Victoria Dean Schrimsher

"Not Scars"

Two red lines,

Marks. Marks.

He scared my wrists,

Not bruises,

or scars.

Something much worse.

Memories. Triggers.

An unbreakable grip.

Let go. Let go.

He would not.

Get off. Get off.

He would not.

I cried. I tried to fight.

My body tense.

My emotions afraid...

Once safe with him

Now afraid, defenseless,

Frozen in time -

In his bed,

Holding me down. Controlling.

Two red lines -

Reminding me I escaped.

He set me free,

I am free.

"Free At Last"

Reaching, reaching for hope, anything to escape the thoughts that keep my mind prisoner. I'm breaking free - He can't hurt me anymore. My past isn't who I am

The chains are broke, the jailer is gone.

My life is broken, I am free -

free to live another day.

I have pain, sorrow - surrounding me. But I am still alive - you can't end me that easily. So much pain embraced me, much like he did. I escaped the chains' grip. No more chains on me. Nothing holding me down. No one standing in my way. The demons of my mind wink at me as I push open the prison gates - finally free.

"Invisible Scars Heal, Too"

Shame, regret, triumph -

I've gone through it all,

seven years, so much pain,

finally healing,

finally seeing I am enough.

Not leaving by my own hand -

most triumph thing I feel I have done,

I won't give in

or be defeated by the demons

that bite at my flesh.

I will continue to conquer

the demons crawling

just behind the surface -

if only to prove to my enemies

that I am a warrior princess,

unlike anyone else.

I have invisible scars -

that will not defeat me.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


National Sexual Assault Hotline

Call 1-800-656-4673

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