Soft giggles and laughter of light-hearted child,
Fill the air in the warm and quiet neighborhood.
The blissful ignorance, the sense of security, unconditional love,
Shortly becomes devastating heartbreak, hidden bruises, horrific rape.
Life, as it once was, has been stripped from you,
Leaving behind chaos in its aftermath.
Afraid of what is around every corner, terrified to leave the house,
Horrified to trust another, doing anything you can to stay guarded.
You shut yourself out, wanting nothing more than to sleep, hide, cry, die.
Waking up is a struggle, face-to-face interactions are blindingly painful.
Trying to show everyone your old self, before the pain of the world set it,
Hiding the fear and anxiety of being vulnerable is too heavy a burden to carry.
Slowly you begin to open up and trust - just a little,
When you don’t get hurt, you open a bit more.
Day by day you don’t get hit, don’t get used or tossed aside,
Week by week you get stronger and the pain subsides.
Soon, maybe a year from now, you can heal,
You can become the girl you once were, the one who laughed.
And it is then, that you can step out from behind the curtain,
It is then, that your true self can, once again, be shown.