The Wandering Words of Women

The Wandering Words of Women: A Survivor’s Anthology

© Katy Matilda Neo

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre ran a peer support group in January-March 2016, with the aim of empowering women to use creative writing as part of their recovery from sexual violence, and to create a safe and supportive space to facilitate building friendships. The full anthology is available to purchase for £7.50 (+£2 P&P) in our online shop and a selection of the poems follows below.


I survive

You may weigh me down
with guilt and with blame,
You may say it’s my fault,
but still, I survive.

Did my leaving hurt you?
I am not the cause of your pain;
Your own actions are,
yet still, it is I who pays.

You may force your embrace
on my unwilling frame,
You may shun my objection,
but still, I survive.

Did my reluctance disappoint you?
I did not ask to be used;
It’s not love, what you do,
I will not live that lie.

You may expect my affection
when faced with your grief,
You may reject my boundaries,
but still, I survive.

Do my statements of truth
cause fear and denial?
Reality bows to no-one;
one day you will realise.

Through manipulation and shame
I survive.
Through these wool covered eyes
I see,
I survive.

I’m my own strength under stormy skies,
I’m my own sustenance in a desert so dry,
I’m my own person,
my own soul, my freedom.

Through all that I was, all that I am,
All I can be, all I will be,
I see,
I feel,
I hear,
I am,
I survive.

– Jenny Dalziel


I Am Intact

You told me it was love
You said my body drew you in
Then you told me not to tell
That I could never win

But you are old and I am strong now
I am loved and I can sing
I see my own hero reflected in the mirror
I can engage with whatever life will bring

I am intact

It wasn’t age that robbed you of your power
It was my life lived well
I am all the things I need to be
The story only mine to tell

I am intact

You wanted me to feel the blame
So you could be a hero
Your perverted affection and selfish caress
Can only count for zero

I know the joy that comes from peace
The strength from looking outwards
Of knowing I am always home
Forever strolling onwards

I am intact

– Wendy B


The Truth

You lie to me
But I know the truth
You make me feel secure
But I know the truth
You trick me and make me believe
But
I know the truth

You steal my breath
But yet, I still breathe
You drain everything I have
But yet, I still breathe
You pull me under
But yet, I still breathe

You block my light
But there will always be daylight
You make me want to die
But yet, there will always be daylight
You make me feel alone
As I wade through mud
But there will still be daylight

You shackle me to the wall
But, I will break these chains
You lock me in
But, I will break these chains
You pull me back
But,
I will break these chains

– Ayla Patton

 

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