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A child

I lived a life of innocence or so I thought

I played with everyone or so I thought 

I was loved by all or so I thought

I was protected forever or so I thought… 

Life was what the elders showed

Path was what the siblings followed 

Life though troubled, was balanced still

What would a child know about a hidden kill…. 

Questions when thought were stranger yet

Games when played were weirder yet

Normal was what normal did

How would a child know it wasn’t a game still… 

Life was school and summer vacations

Life was trust and good fun

Life was golden and silver

Why would a child know something different still… 

Till things changed, and the child grew up 

Faster and far more than needed ever

Memories were hidden, memories were buried 

Why would a child need to remember still…

A child to teenager, time passed

Troubled and angry was the child called

Clinging to no one except the parents

Why couldn’t anyone see the changes still… 

The darkness invaded quietly once again

The past became the present again

A loving touch became something else

Why would the child expect such a kill…. 

The past was forgotten, the future was to be lived

Everything came crashing as midnight stirred

Memories buried, volcano awakened 

Avalanche of emotions and peace destroyed

Trust broke that night, forever

A soul shattered that night, silenced

A scream unscreamed rose to chill the darkness

A cry uncried fell to break the inner light

Helplessness flowed instead of breath

Pain flowed instead of blood

Innocence crushed by a trusting hand

How could a moving child not become forever still…. 

All was gone, all was lost… 

Nobody could hear, nobody could feel

The child though woman locked in pain

The girl with dreams locked in fire… 

Breathing became a thing of past

Smiling became a thing of history

Sleeping in peace was forgotten forever

Alert always was all that remained… 

Anger was what the child could feel

Hot tempered was what, world could describe 

Pain flowed like river at night

Grief flowed like tears in dreams

Every step was difficult to take

Every path led itself to self destruct

The Gods were renounced, prayers forgotten

Why should the child believe in all that still… 

World moved on, people lived

The child was stuck in soulless hell

Till studies called and duties beckoned

Graduation and further unknowingly finished…

I look at the child and see the pain

I wonder time and time again

Where did the child find the strength 

How did the child survive it all… 

The child did survive and became stronger still

The laughing eyes became fires of hell

Try to molest her, she’ll break your fingers

Then coolly charge you her anaesthesia charges…. 

It took years to join me back

It took strength for my soul to live

Every day is a test of my courage 

Every day is a part of my struggle 

To turn the darkness back to light

I struggle with it forever yet… 

Some days are good, some really bad

Trust is something I never had

People ask, people advise

They think I should be cool to share

They have no idea what a survivor undergoes…. 

Only a soul broken would know the pain 

Only the soul rejoined would know the healing

Till you have lived the life I have 

Keep your remarks where the sun never shine… 

I look in the mirror and see all of me

The good, the bad, and the ugly 

Beauty and inner strength in words

Courage and determination in the thoughts

The past does creep once in a while 

I grieve and have a good cry… 

Life is never easy and clear 

Some of us have a journey through fire

I look at my life and wonder still

How does a child survive it all and stand smiling still…. 

                          — Innocence is what I was born with and innocent is all I long to be… 

Someone asked me if I could change something from my childhood, would I change this? I refused. I had the strength to go through this. I have my scars and my battle wounds. I believe that the universe maintains its balance. By changing my past, I don’t want some other child to undergo the same pain. Children are innocent; they should be protected at all costs. By everyone.  

75 Responses

  1. I agree with you. What’s done is done and ultimately you learned something from those scars. Great piece Shalini 🙂

    1. Aah Nel… Thank you for understanding.. I was really scared to write this… I don’t like to reveal my past, not a sharing kind of person.
      To write this came in a dream… Hence the words

  2. As a survivor of childhood abuse, this poem was really spot on. It evoked so much (and I’m really not a poetry person). Congratulations for being able to express this and being brave enough to put it out there!

    1. I myself have no idea how I have done it. It came to me in my sleep to write this not as a prose.
      I never like revealing parts of me, it always feels like opening up the Pandora’s box and releasing the nightmares. But I wanted to put across not abuse per se but what we go through when it is done…i wanted to express the pain… I want to protect the children of today.
      I hope I have not triggered anything by writing this.
      Men always ask me why don’t I share my past… I feel most don’t have the sensitivity to listen to it with the respect it needs.
      I have had to trash few comments too.
      I wish more people realised that abuse of whatever kind, affects the psyche and leave us permanently scarred. I can pretend I am ok but there are days I hate me and ask only one question – why me… Then I cry and am ok
      But I still don’t like anyone coming close to me unless I choose them. I don’t like casual touches, somehow my dates have never understood and I couldn’t bother to explain
      Only a person who has seen life closely will have the sensitivity to deal with this…
      Thank you for reading my written words, I was scared to put them out… And thank you for your support which is so evident in your kind words

      1. Wow, I love your idea of keeping the focus upon the survivor and the aftereffects! You did that very well! And no, you haven’t triggered anything, probably because you wrote it so well and how you focused it upon the survival… And yes, mist men are privileged babies. Speaking as a transman, I’m always blown by their apparent ignorance and stupidity. They really dont understand all the crap women have to put up with! I’m sorry you’ve had nasty comments. I really hope you keep writing whatever comes to you, you seem to do it so well! Thank you for writing this!

        1. Ahhh… Thank you for understanding this… Not many can not many will… I find most people shy away from such topics… I do get the likes, but most don’t read… I guess to each their own
          I rarely write a personal post, but I find myself writing quite a bit in the past few weeks. I generally find writing a personal post cathartic, write the pain in the words and let them go to release their hold on me.
          I am hoping this post does the same.
          I wish people understand more about surviving. And I really really wish no human in this world is ever abused but that is wishful thinking. I can’t change the world, but I can protect the people in my world.
          I am generally very protective about the women and children I am working with. And I always hope it gets paid forward and they are in turn protective about others.
          I don’t think the world will be a good place for any of us but I think we can still make our personal world a good place.. At least I try…
          I am shalini by the way..

          1. I hope this post does help you 🙂 and yes surviving needs to be spoken about, nor glamorized as it so often is in the media. I am sure that you, in your own way, do a great job of supporting and protecting those around you. Its a pleasure to meet you! I go by Mich, for Michael

          2. I go by Shalini or shals… Thank you for your kind words and your understanding… It is a privilege and an honor to have spoken to you

      2. Like Really, I mean what the hell, How you can face , Believe me I will be dead From inside if I have to face that, Women have something extra within them, That why the are called Female which means Fe + Male where fe is the scientific nickname of Iron

  3. Memories trouble us…..we all have our darker days and nights…..and we have to deal with them all on our own….it’s hard, it’s difficult, but that’s the way it is……it’s best to look at the positives and better days ahead and have hope for the good…..everyone deserves better days and a better life……and so do you…..it will all work out ok for you…..

    1. Thank you. Not everyone deserves better. Some deserve the darkest pits of hell. But the good people certainly do. I know life will be ok. Thank you for reading the post

      1. I hope the headaches and the cold you are suffering from are a little bit ok now….you have been telling me about it for the last two three days…..

  4. Wonderful, Shalini! Really a great poem, and so true. We really need to protect the children and learn them the strenghtness to live there own live. Have a good evening! Michael 😉

  5. I am not going to believe this but as per I have read your comment , I mean how can innocence crushed child can blossom like a flower like you, that’s why I am saying that everyone is now returning to the dark

  6. You wrote finally…i don’t really have words to express much….felt real silent after reading it….as i write…i am not able to find words to say….but I know you will understand….i am so happy to have know you as a person through this medium( wordpress).

    You are always a inspiration, achieved so much, left it, doing what you love now, and going great lengths now too… I hope you write a book someday soon to help others to get the strength to recover like you did…to accept and move forward…keeping yourself strong….i loved that you mentioned your life here… “anaesthesia” was too good….and for the last paragraph…i got the answer that day itself….like i have said several times…you are brave and courageous by yourself….you are your Raj!

    As for us humans…you are doing great… in the row of life, you will do your part best, rest you have to leave it to us…keep doing your part….like you do…and maybe your perfect world will help or maybe give strength to several others to make their world perfect.

    Keep up the excellent work and I apologize for everything bad that happens due to us…i am sure we will get there someday…sooner maybe than later.

    P.S. write more and soon!

    1. Awww… Thank you Sri… To write this, came in a dream. A voice told me to open the Pandora’s box and release the nightmares. It was not easy to think back and remember those years, the feeling of helplessness and pain. The nightmares came yesterday night but I wrote. It took me 3 hours to write.
      You had asked me a question if I can change anything from my childhood, do you remember that?? The last paragraph is the answer to that question of yours. I still believe that I escaped with very few scars as compared to what women and children and even some men, go through.
      But, Sri, the pain of every survivor is the same, the pain of every child who cannot express his or her pain is the same. This was focusing more on the survivor.
      Every human should know, should understand what a human goes through when he /she is touched forcibly, or abused in some way or other. It can be emotional or physical. It leaves its own scar. And it’s high time that people show empathy and sensitivity. I had an Indian man say in the comments – congratulations – I trashed that comment.
      The world is not perfect, Sri and neither are we. But all of us can be good in our own world, stopping all sorts of abuse.
      A wise man once told me that only the mother can teach the son on how to behave and treat all women with respect and kindness. That is so true but at the same time so difficult.
      I wrote this not because I wanted to but because people often ask me to share my life and get upset when I don’t want to.
      A survivor has lost control so many times, that there are still a few places where we want to hold on to the control. And choosing when to share and whom to share with is still in our control, it comes with us feeling a level of comfort with ourselves and with others.
      There is no recovery, it’s just one day at a time, one breath at a time. I have my good days and my bad days.. I generally tend to be quiet on the very bad days as the inner anger is overwhelming. But it will only take people of great empathy and sensitivity to understand.
      The anaesthesia part really happened on a bus, when the man touched me. I coolly explained the bones of the forearm the nerves which run through them and how easy I can break the bones in such a way that they will be difficult to join, offered him anaesthesia with double my charges and told him, would love to see him handicapped so that no woman has to undergo his touch…. The other men watched the fun… That’s the scenario of Indian men and their mentality.

      1. Well…shalini i understand your point well….i know and understand how males victimize females….there are many with the mentality of not caring, just doing….i know many who are not like that… they understand how we should behave…how to give respect…i believe if you love your family, have sisters then that person will never even think of doing this….but there is nothing i can say or do that will change anything….what has happened, its best to either accept it and move forward strong…or face it and give proper response…but either way…its really the question of how you want to move ahead….it all depends on that…on the future…better days yet to come…hope of it…. thank you once more for sharing it.

        You should have broken a bone or two….maybe then he would never think of it again…. many people out there are afraid of confronting others…that is also why people don’t confront people on these situations…they must fee disgust… I hope for everyone to consider and have a flash of the ugliness in there mind before they do it or try.

        A better world is only hoped which can be reached after you sleep..in the night… colouring our dreams…..and making us human.

        Also, when the scars are left open, they will always create more diseases, better to heal them by showing it to someone who can really help maybe more than one someone’s….like for our external scars we tend to go to a doctor….we should show it to those who can help in order to be better…am i right doctor?👍

        So now the question…do you still feel those days…remember them…and why the nightmares are still haunting you?

        1. When Pandora from Greek mythology opened the box, all the negative emotions got released into the world. Similarly when we open our boxes then the nightmares gets released. Such incidents never leave you Sri, they are always with you. That is why we take one day at a time and so we have good days and bad days… All of us have nightmares, some more than the rest.
          Pain never goes it just keeps on decreasing in intensity, most days not felt some days it comes back… It is known as surviving…

          1. Yeah…that about sums it all up!

            There is this saying, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is the gift of gods, that’s why it’s called present”.

  7. Once the innocence is lost, it is lost forever.
    I agree with you the child should be protected, always, by everyone.
    And on the changing part, I don’t think one should change anything, It was that, that made you today what you are. Those may be your scars, but they are your laurels too.

    One last thing, whatever, and however harsh the past was, just believe, that you will breathe again. Smiles and happiness will no more be only history.
    Keep smiling Shalini.

    1. Hey Moushmi, thank you for your kind words. Yes I will smile always. Innocence may be lost but it can be gained too.. It is just a perception.
      My words don’t end in sadness, it ends with happiness and courage. So will i

          1. I totally understand.
            Some days even I am like, koi na dekh lenge jo hoga jaise hoga. Why bother so much about the future.
            And just the vwry next day I could go, why God, Why?
            And those lines could go to a different level of drama😂

    1. That is so sweet of you… Not many read such a piece, not many understand the pain of the words. Thank you for your kind words and your support

  8. What can I say about the beauty of your words through all the pain? Pain never really leaves us, does it? It turns into a burden that slows down the soul….and as you wrote,
    “Only a soul broken would know the pain
    Only the soul rejoined would know the healing.”

    1. Thank you so much for understanding this…
      Pain doesn’t really leave, it ebbs and flows so some days are good and some days are really bad… Those days I am quiet as I tend to snap at people.. Every pain needs outlet so rather than hurting anyone, I have learnt to be quiet. But not many people understand.
      Every day is a new day to join the soul and heal…
      Thank you for looking beyond the words into the emotions. You have understood it correctly

      1. I think you touched a chord that is common to many of us. The cause of pain may be different for each but the pain is the same. I too have those being quiet days, when I’m feeling depressed and don’t want to talk, when the injustice this world sends my way makes me angry.

    1. Thank you Kriti, I am not really sure I will do the 7 day challenge. I can’t click pics… Whenever I click, they are awful so I hardly ever use the phone camera

Awesome to see you here. Let's chat.

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