you never realize the length of a year, until it becomes a countdown.
you watch as the sun rises.
you watch as it sets.
you count the stars in the sky.
you watch as the seconds tick by slowly.
suddenly, your life is a waiting game.
365 days ago, was the day my life became a waiting game.
a countdown for tragedy ,
a date that will never be the same.
365 days ago, I no longer was a victim.
I became a survivor.
although that’s a beautiful thing,
it’s also a curse in disguse.
its a date that counts down the years.
for the next eight years,
my life will be a countdown.
I remember the intense feeling of uncertainty.
I walked into the courtroom,
all heads and eyes turned to me.
my feet were in motion,
but everything felt frozen.
I locked eyes with him.
my heart dropped to my stomach.
the world around me felt like it collapsed.
I took a seat as my sister went up to the stand.
I sat and listened to her testimony.
she began explaining who i used to be.
the girly girl who only wore dresses.
the girl who sung at the top of her lungs.
someone who walked up to strangers.
someone who had a life going for her.
until the one person who was meant to protect me,
took away everything I had.
and for what?
his five seconds of enjoyment.
at age ten, I had to relearn life.
I was forced to protect my family.
by doing so, i lost myself.
everyday was hell.
waiting to hear his car door.
crying in my room,
knowing in five minutes, things would change.
I’ve experienced heartbreak before,
but hearing someone break down because they miss the old you,
is a new type of heartbreak.
within these 365 days,
i lost a lot.
my family didn’t support me.
they ended up disowning me.
I lost all my friends because I couldn’t leave my house.
I didn’t know what it felt like to have support.
I left public school.
i fell behind in school and my grades slipped.
i was overwhelmed with guilt.
i felt like what i did was wrong.
in court, my father broke down crying.
he looked right at me and cried out, “im sorry”.
i got up, and left.
in that moment, it was real.
all the pain, abuse, and harm he had caused me,
finally hit him.
It took me three months to get up.
i stayed hidden in my room.
until, we took a trip to texas.
where it all began.
we ventured to all our old stomping grounds.
even the house where the abuse started.
i remember looking at the house, and the flashbacks started.
the young girl, sitting so innocently.
surfing through the cartoon channels,
just moments before her life altered forever.
how one little incident,
turned out to be a repetitive pattern,
that would soon destroy her.
i could feel the anxiety roam through my veins.
as if it was happening all over again.
however, i just shed a tear, and became silenced.
that little girl never thought she’d live to be eighteen.
she never thought she’d get justice.
in that intense moment of anxiety and flashbacks,
was a bit of peace.
that was my closure.
after that trip, i grew.
i went back to my job.
i created the best bonds there.
however, i still struggled.
many sleepless nights turned into my enemy.
i grew afraid of sleeping.
the uncountable ptsd nightmares held me back.
i felt hopeless.
it seemed like the world was moving on,
and i was being left behind.
I decided to make changes.
I didn’t take a summer break from school.
instead i took a headstart.
i was not only working, but also was a full time student.
i stayed up until 4-5 a.m everyday,
just working on school.
as a result of the effort, i graduated early.
my biggest accomplishment.
i remember crying as i took my last final.
because i didn’t think i was capable of graduating.
i walk the stage this month
without my family by my side.
I’ve learned a lot in 365 days.
i learned how to trust again.
i learned how to be myself.
i let my guard down and let myself like someone.
i had to relearn life
a life without abuse.
a life without pain.
in 365 days, i became the best version of myself.
i radiate good energy.
I’ve expanded my friend group.
i let myself discover happiness.
to my dad,
this date is forever a countdown.
the day your voice was silenced.
while mine was louder than imagined.
i finally realized this wasn’t my fault.
today is your day to countdown.
seven more years,
of endless sunrises and sunsets,
that are hidden behind the dark, cold, brick walls,
that you now call home.