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365 Days

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.

sincerly,

a survivor.

731 Days

Dear Father,

It’s been two years.

Two years since my voice was louder than yours, to the point you were officially silenced.

Two long years of my highest highs and lowest lows.

Some days felt like I was drowning and I was suffocating with every breath I would take, as if water were flooding my lungs.

There were days I was drowning in the tears that my pillow no longer could absorb.

Moments when your breakdown at trial played like a broken record within my mind—that I was tragically stuck in.

Then there were days when I lost my voice from the endless laughs I shared with those around me.

Moments when I was so lost in happiness, that I forgot my past had even existed.

Days when I was the survivor and no longer the victim.

A lot can happen within two years.

I was stuck in an endless cycle of self-destruction that I almost felt the need to throw in the towel and call it a loss.

However, the only person that could potentially help, was you.

If I were to have called it quits, nobody would’ve been able to hear my story and how you were the devil in disguise.

So I stayed.

I stayed long enough to find the courage to share my story with the world, not even phased if nobody would listen.

Yet, they did.

Strangers off the internet now know more than just my name.

They know my name, story, and my strength that I worked hard for.

I can’t imagine how it could be like in a cold, brick building, where you’re practically living on repeat for eight years.

However, I hope it’s painful.

I hope it gets to you.

I hope it creeps into your dreams and keeps you awake at night, wondering if people know what you did.

I hope you understand the fear that you left me feeling, when I was just a ten year old child.

I was holding onto my baby blanket, praying to the universe that you would pass out drunk, instead of sneaking into your child’s bedroom to gain pleasure.

You made me believe that all fathers were evil.

You made me believe that all men were the same and could never be trusted.

Then I remembered my brother-in-law

A man who made me realize that you were truly just a monster and that it takes an insane person to do the things you did.

You had a wife who wanted you in every way possible, emotionally and physically.

Yet you looked at your own child, someone you created, and decided that was what you wanted more.

Despite her cries, whimpers, and visible pain.

Within two years, I stopped feeling sorry for you and where you ended up.

I started giving myself a round of applause for not only saving myself, but your future victims as well.

You were once an Army soldier who was fighting for this country, now you’re a registered sex offender, fighting your own consequences.

I have blossomed into the woman I was destined to be, but I’m far from being done.

This is just my beginning.

While you’re nearing your ending.

It used to pain me knowing I had practically put you into a life sentence.

Now I remind myself that you’ll know exactly how I feel.

Although I have grown stronger, I will always be a victim at your hands. No matter how hard I fight, the flashbacks crowd my mind.

It’s an endless cycle that nobody can begin to break.

However, it’ll never break me again.

You took the innocence of my childhood and you took the girl I once was.

I had to learn how to walk, talk, and breathe again.

731 days ago, I stripped you of everything you thought you were and showed the world your true colors.

You were never a hero, you were just a villain who hadn’t been caught.

Now here I stand.

My voice echoing through the world and beginning my beautiful journey of life.

No thanks to you.

I once asked myself, “what are you supposed to do when the person who is supposed to protect you from the harm in the world, is the one causing you the harm?”

You fight like hell and you never look back.

You know nothing about me and the strength I have.

You only know the ten year old who was afraid of her own father.

You know the girl who starved herself, in hopes of it killing her.

That’s not who I am anymore.

I was once a victim, but never again.

Sincerely,

A damn strong survivor.

Burn Out.

it’s repetitive patterns.

signs you tend to ignore.

it’s the red flag waving in front of you,

but you’re colorblind.

it’s the change in weather.

the conversations going from laughs,

to lack of conversations creating tears.

it’s the late night calls,

to the endless late nights staring at a blank screen.

it’s the thought of losing something,

you never really had to begin with.

the endless laughs repeat within your head,

knowing they aren’t coming back.

it’s forgetting to protect yourself,

so you’re laid out,

smashed into a million pieces.

it’s when you’re the ignition to everything.

you’re the lighter…

and without a lighter,

you can’t start the fire.

so you sit in the cold,

wondering what you did wrong.

knowing you accepted the lies.

knowing you let your guard down

because you believed in different.

but time after time,

you figure out,

that we are all lighters.

we all need help to spark

but at the end of the day

we all burn out the same.

A Path To Your Own Peace

Life is a continuous road.

It gets windy, twisted, and scary.

Sometimes you feel like you’re going the wrong direction.

You may come to a four-way stop,

and not know which direction to head.

You reach out to those around you,

to point you in the “right” direction.

However, what is the right direction?

Is there even one?

Have you ever been going down a road,

feeling like it’s the right one,

only to end up stranded with no idea how to get back?

Sometimes in life,

the right roads lead to the wrong place.

We tend to allow ourselves to believe in what others say.

Your peace does not come from other people.

Peace starts within.

Take a moment,

breathe.

Step back from the world and reflect.

Think of the things that bring you pain.

Try to imagine your life without it.

The moment you do, is the first way to peace.

Humans tend to hold onto things because they’re scared of change.

We hold on to people who bring us down,

because we believe they’ll change.

However, you can’t control the way others are.

Toxic people tend to be oblivious to their toxicity.

You can call them out on it,

only for them to flip it.

Those people will break you.

They’ll create chaos in your life,

and drive you to the ledge.

Your life is absolutely precious.

You deserve to wake up and see the world blooming.

Seeing the majestic blue sky,

paired with the slow movements of the clouds.

Feeling the sun shining down on you.

Absorbing the energy,

and feeling alive again.

Many things hold people back from peace.

Especially our past.

Humans tend to reminisce the most on the past,

then to build up their future.

We dwell on our past mistakes.

Your past mistakes do not define you.

Past mistakes are your futures new beginnings.

home

when we think of home,

many of us think of a building.

we think of the four walls that surround us,

topped off with a finished roof.

but to some,

it’s not a home.

a home is some place you feel safe.

it’s somewhere you go when the world has gone hectic.

a home is not the same thing as a house.

the difference is, a home can be anything.

it can be a person,

it can be a place,

and for some, it can be a feeling.

when the world becomes dark and scary,

we reach for safety.

we rely on protection.

for some people,

they just need a pair of arms.

they need the love and affection to feel secure.

when you’re in the right place,

everything feels right.

think of this.

not everyone is lucky enough to have a house.

but we’re all lucky enough to have one thing in life,

to be our protection.

whether it’s a person.

whether it’s something you value,

or whether it’s something intangible,

such as religion.

that’s the beauty in ‘home’.

because sometimes an actual house,

can be where the danger occurs.

a place where protection lacks,

a place where you seek affection.

where the floor is layers of broken glass,

shattered from the demons that lurk within the walls.

it can be the echos that rage through the hallways,

that can never be silenced.

a home is where those voices are silenced,

even just for a moment.

where the broken glass has been cleaned up.

a home is where the demons have been defeated.

it’s also where the world is bursting with color.

something that brings us peace.

in this world, we all seek for peace.

this world has been corrupt.

we rely on some sort of protection.

where we run from our houses,

to our homes.

you might be that protection for someone.

in the midst of insanity,

you hold the peace.

you are home.

you have the ability to bring peace.

you have the glue to put the broken pieces back together.

at the end of the day,

you have the ability to be a home.

for that,

you’re full of purpose.

To Be Loved

We all crave to be loved.

Whether it’s from a significant other,

or whether it’s from a friend.

At the end of the day,

we just want validation that we’re needed.

We go out of our way sometimes,

just to get the love we so desperately want.

Some people are at the point where they’ll accept any form of love.

We sometimes let toxicity in our life,

and it consider it love.

We let someone break our walls,

just to give them a sense of pride.

We allow ourselves to crumble in the hands of another.

All because we accept the love we think we deserve.

We never think we deserve the best.

Some people have been broken too many times,

to where they accept any love.

Even when it’ll break them.

Loving someone isn’t about loving what they are,

it’s about loving who they are.

Break through the skin of another,

and learn how to fall for the soul that lives within the flesh.

Acceptance is a beautiful thing.

There’s no shame in taking the time to fall for the heart and mind,

over chasing the beauty on the outside.

Sometimes the prettiest faces,

will cause the most damage.

It truly is a scary thing.

It’s not always going to work out,

and the pain of heartbreak can become unbearable.

To be loved,

is to be seen.

You don’t need to shower someone with gifts,

to prove you love them.

You don’t need to post them,

to show that you care.

Shower them with your attention.

Remember the small details about them.

Learn their little tricks.

Fall in love with their actions.

Learn each others love language.

Love is a beautiful gift.

Two souls binding together.

All the memories that build up over time.

All the endless smiles and jokes.

The feeling of being complete.

We all have a missing part of us,

if we aren’t surrounded by love.

The love from friends,

family,

or a significant other.

Loving someone is more than just loving a person.

It’s loving the way you feel around them.

It’s the feeling that everything is right.

It’s creating a home within a pair of arms.

Feeling safe within their embrace.

Sometimes we fall in love with the right person,

at the wrong time.

Life is a gamble.

We win some, we lose some.

We all have that one person,

who we thought we’d last forever with.

Then life changed and one path ,

turned into two.

We often sit in the dark,

wondering what would’ve happened if life never changed.

We often question our own worth,

based off of other people.

We feel that if someone left us,

that means we weren’t worthy of love.

That maybe we’re just broken goods.

That is not true.

Love is very complex.

As scary as it is,

we can’t control it the way we wish we could.

Sometimes we wake up,

and realize its not what we want anymore.

But one day,

you’ll wake up next to your significant other.

You’ll roll over and kiss them goodmorning.

You’ll lay in silence for a few moments,

before going to check on your kids.

It’s moments like that,

that make the heartbreaks worth it.

Support one another.

Always lift each other up.

Love is fragile.

Us humans, sometimes don’t realize that.

Never love someone who treats you like you’re ordinary.

The most beautiful thing in this world cannot be seen,

but it can be felt by the heart.

No matter what anyone has told you,

you are worthy of being loved.

Pandemic

We are living within the pages of a future history book.

The year the world was shut down.

A time where everything changed.

As humans, we’re good at adapting to change,

yet nobody was ready for this.

All over social media, people are sharing their experience.

It’s a repetitive “I’m bored”.

Many people even meet up with their friends.

In a way, it’s how they cope with it.

We always learned about pandemics,

but we never thought we’d be living through one.

Within a short amount of time,

everything was taken from us.

We had to leave school.

We had to leave our jobs.

We quickly were in lockdown.

But there’s more to the situation,

then what you’re seeing on social media.

Yes, being inside all day isn’t ideal.

However, there are people struggling.

Some essential workers can’t go home to their families,

because they don’t want to expose their family.

Some people work day and night around the virus,

risking their life,

to save another.

People can’t even attend funerals of their loved ones.

The only face-to-face interaction they have, is zoom.

Many people have fallen into a depressive state.

It’s not about being in quarantine.

It’s about when it’ll all be over.

It’s the fear that it’s only going to get worse.

It’s living everyday at home,

with nothing but your thoughts.

You go online to cheer up,

only to see the death tolls spiking.

It’s not just about being sad that you’re stuck at home.

It’s being sad because everything is unknown.

In times like these, we find someone to blame.

Some people blame our president,

others blame each other.

In a time of needing support,

we find a way to divide.

In a time of crisis,

people still are blind to their own ignorance.

This isn’t a time to hangout with friends.

This isn’t a time to go explore empty towns.

They’re empty for a reason.

Many people believe social distancing is dumb.

Maybe it’s not ideal,

but it could save lives.

Studies show that you won’t instantly show symptoms of covid-19,

it could take one to two weeks.

The reason they enforce social distancing,

is to bend the curve.

You wouldn’t just be spreading the illness to one person.

You’d be spreading it to everyone that person comes into contact with.

Everyone posts about wanting their summer.

It’s not going to happen if you keep this up.

It’s okay to be unsure of what’s going on.

It’s not okay to be ignorant.

This pandemic will continue to grow,

until we give it a chance to die down.

The way to do that, is to listen.

Practice social distancing.

Wear masks, gloves, etc.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

This may not be important to you.

But it should be,

because it could easily be you on the death bed.

Take action and do your part.

Dear 2020 Seniors,

We always walked into school,

dreading the eight hours of learning that were before us.

We would chat amongst our friends,

planning on what to do after the final bell rings.

We walked down the hallways,

not even thinking about the day it’ll be our last.

We spent years fantasizing about our senior year.

It was meant to be the most memorable year.

From picking out our prom dresses,

to buying our caps and gowns,

we were prepared for it all.

Yet this,

this was never in our plans.

We walked through the hallways,

not knowing it was our last time.

We sat in our classrooms,

not realizing it was the last time we’d sit in a high school classroom.

Our teachers had plans for the next day.

We had homework we had spent hours on,

only to be handed the worst news.

Our senior year was gone.

Within an instant,

all the memories we were looking forward to,

were completely erased.

Our dream of walking down that stage,

were put on pause.

Our hard work and dedication,

all seemed to be useless.

It’s okay to feel the way you do.

You had the most important year of your life,

cut short without a warning.

Many of you were excited for your senior nights.

You had spent the last four years dedicated to a sport,

only to have it taken from you,

before it even began.

Senior year was the last year we’d be surrounded by our friends.

After this year,

we all tend to go our separate ways.

We’re missing out on months of precious memories,

that’ll only exist in our imagination.

We feel as though we were robbed.

Had we known it would’ve been cut short,

we would’ve made the best of the time we had left.

Instead, we were blindsided.

There’s only so many memories you can make through a zoom call.

Although we were robbed of something so dear to us,

we shall keep our heads held high.

We must hope for the ceremony we deserve.

We must hope for an unforgettable summer.

We must hope for a sliver of light,

within this period of darkness.

The Light

Life is known to be a rollercoaster.

We’re all buckled in,

not prepared for the highs that soon turn into lows.

We hold onto the bar,

with our eyes closed,

praying it’ll all be over soon.

There were no warning labels.

None of us are ready for the lowest lows.

We get thrown into negative situations,

not knowing how to catch our breath.

However, regardless of the low,

there will always be a positive to follow.

It my be hard to fathom it,

but there is always light.

It’s a lot easier to fall into the darkness,

than to sit and wait for the light.

Although it may seem easier,

it’s not the solution.

Take my situation as an example.

I was sexually abused by my father.

Many times I wanted to fold into the darkness.

Yet, I didn’t.

And because of that, I made a change.

I stopped him from potentionally doing it again.

I put my voice out into the world.

By doing so,

I not only helped others, but I also saved myself.

I could’ve let the situation define me.

Instead, I used it as a way to make a change.

Life is not perfect, by any means.

But,

The sun will always come back out.

The ride will always go back up,

The light will always out beat the dark.

So,

Hold on to that bar a little tighter.

It’ll be a bumpy ride.

You are a warrior of endless battles.

Whether it’s a battle against someone else,

or yourself.

The only way to become stronger,

is to be tested.

To be put through the worst,

to become the best.

Hold on a little longer.

Just wait a little longer.

Your light is just around the corner.

Blooming

love is almost like a tree.

it starts off being planted within our hearts.

and slowly growing the more we take care of it.

instead of water, we use words.

words from the one whom planted the seeds.

the roots grow strong and it begins to bloom.

however,

at any given moment, it could collapse.

whether it’s a lighting strike or simply old age.

just like nature.

sometimes the roots grow weak,

and it collapses at our feet.

love is more than just a feeling.

it’s a deep connection that binds two souls.

there will come days where a hurricane hits,

and it takes every bit of energy to stand tall.

the aftermath can take a while to clean up,

but it’s always worth it.

it’s more than having someone to hold.

it’s finding a part of you, inside someone else.

the endless rush of adrenaline you get around them.

endlessly finding yourself falling for them.

it all starts from one simple seed.

with the right love and energy, it continues to blossom into a beautiful masterpiece.

some days you may put in more love than you receive.

but what’s love without a little bit of bumps?

trees tend to give out oxygen for us to breathe,

while they intake the carbon dioxide that is dangerous to us.

love is the same way.

we intake all our flaws and they turn into a beautiful masterpiece to one another.

we release love and hope into each other, to keep us growing.

there’s nothing like a life with a little bit of love.

plant the seed within yourself first.

let yourself bloom with grace.

take your patience and love and find that person to plant the seed within.

let love grow slowly and beautifully.

let it bloom.