Friday, August 15, 2008

Post-trauma haikus

In a comment under a prior posting, Gmommy talked about her feelings when she read what accused child molester Darrell Gilyard reportedly told detectives. He claimed he got the girl to get better grades, and so “it wasn’t all bad.”

His words “sting my soul and turn my stomach” said Gmommy. “Why do perps all use the same script?”

As Gmommy continued to describe the way Gilyard’s words affected her, I realized she was probably describing post-traumatic stress symptoms, something that many clergy abuse survivors experience in one form or another. And strangely, despite the painfulness of Gmommy’s description, I also saw poetry in it.

So I took Gmommy’s description and shaped it into this haiku.

Words bring unsought smells
Taste of vomit in my throat
Weight on my body.

Remember haikus from your high-school English class? Three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables that paint a small picture or that convey a feeling or sensory impression. The lines don’t need to rhyme.

Or you can forget about counting syllables and just do three lines – short, long, short. That works too.

Try it for yourself. Try to put your post-trauma feelings, images, experiences or symptoms into a haiku. Or put the anguish you feel from Baptist leaders’ blindness into a haiku. See what you come up with.

Good or bad, I’d love to see them. Post your haikus here.

Thanks to gmommy for the inspiration!


Anonymous said...

Blind leading the blind
Wake up we plead, but none hear
Now what do we do?

Healing comes slowly
Step by painful step I move
Into divine light

I found a calling
Walking with others who bleed
Binding my own wounds

Lin said...

"His words “sting my soul and turn my stomach” said Gmommy. “Why do perps all use the same script?”"

Because they are sicko.

oc said...

Words bounce off a wall
Crying while no ear listens
Echoes in the night

Anonymous said...

They run their mouths.
They run us off.
They ruin our hearts.

gmommy said...

Jesus said let the children come.
He loved the woman at the well.
The Bible tells us so.

I thought my church was my safe place.
I let my son believe it too.
Did they forget or never know.

Sexual abuse an incident to them.
The wounded of no significance.
WE must forgive, it’s under the blood.
The pastor told us so.
My body screamed I had to run.
What was real and what was not.
The demons laughed as they circled.

I melted while the idols burned.
Still I bleed, I crawl
I fight, I plead,
I’m precious still
Jesus told me so.

Anonymous said...

Looked up to these men
Thought they were what they pretend
Lord, keep my focus on you

oc said...

Gmommy, your post said so much to me. Amen. While all hell may be breaking out around us, even to us and our loved ones, even in the places we thought were safe, and even if that evil is perpetrated by "our brethren" who are supposed to love us; never forget that we are precious in His sight. Not one of us has gone through the hell He has endured. He knows pain. He knows lonliness. He knows betrayal. But He also knows wrath and justice. He knows grace and mercy and love too. He will apply it as He sees fit. For some, that is a blessed assurance. For others, it should be a reason to fear. Thanks for the simple reminder, that through all the pain in this life, the discouragement, and the disappointment, Jesus loves us. That says it all. Thanks friend.

gmommy said...

Just for the record....I don't remember haikus from school. (I barely remember school)
I know I didn't go by the 3 line rule.
I "collaborated" with a really poetic smart kid in 9th grade when we had to write poetry. I gave the ideas and emotions and he made nice words flow.
I couldn't use the one I tried to write about the actual abuse.TMI

Experiencing betrayal by my church and people I trusted there opened up many old and new wounds. It wasn't easy.

Yet most days I am grateful for the fire that melted away the rest of my hope. My hope was misplaced.

I have support I never had before....from sources I couldn't have found had ministers and Christians done what I thought they should do.
I have no influence or control on how other people respond to evil.

I know we have courage and honesty that many people don't have.

There's no magic band aid to healing. We know that. We just do all that we can do.
Some days I'm fighting off the demons of despair and some days I almost have wings like an eagle.

We're here. We survived. Our lives matter.

Christa Brown said...

"We're here. We survived. Our lives matter."

Eloquent and to the point as always, gmommy! Despite everything our Baptist perps and blind-eyed betrayers taught us, our lives matter! Nothing could be more true. THEY are the ones who are wrong and false.

Renae, lin, oc, john and anon: Thanks for your poetry. Thanks for your words. I wonder whether you all realize it sometimes... and others of you who also participate on this blog... but so many of you are so often an inspiration to ME. Thank you.

oc said...

To Christa and friends,

As deep calls to deep
Souls in gratitude express
Thanks for being you.

Anonymous said...

My haiku was bad
Can't think straight with tv on
Hope this is better

gmommy said...

Despair overwhelms me
Screams lost in the darkness
The demons say trust me

gmommy said...

From the most recent article posted on Stop Baptist Predators:

"We are shocked and saddened by this incident, (THERE IT IS AGAIN... THE SCRIPT WORD)... Abernathy said Monday afternoon.

“We have made counselors available to our youth and families who may be hurting and will be available to anyone in our church and community who wants to talk.

“We are working to respond to everyone hurt by this.” (BUT THIS SOUNDS RIGHT)

Christa Brown said...

Brute preachers con kids
Whose only fault is trusting.
Leaders look away.


Blind Baptist leaders
Entwine faith and falsity.
All trust is fractured.

gmommy said...

Blind Baptist leaders
Entwine faith and falsity.
All trust is fractured


Anonymous said...

A good 'ole boys club
That's what the SBC is
How that breaks our hearts