I Took it Back — A Poem

Written by Brooke Shigley

I’ve so many memories
I’m not inclined to tell
Stitched tightly within every fiber of my being
Tucked deep within my soul
Yet it still sets just below the surface
Triggered by all that reminds it
In a place he built just for me
My very own, personal hell

Bound in promise to protect me
It seems I needed protection from him
He took from me all that he wanted
Every wholesome part I once claimed

The mirror no longer reflects my face
I’ve no recollection of the woman glaring back
Weak and brittle, she’s so unlike me
Not the littlest trace of where I’m at

His presence weighed like a ton of bricks
Spread across my chest
Others saw a kind smile
For me it morphed to grim

That night I saw it coming
Overwhelmed and trembling in fear
“Disgust” will never do justice
Dignity wasn’t the only thing…
his desire would eventually steal

Rest was no longer an ability
There’s no sleep when your peace is shaken
The mind does all but turn off
Fear becomes your closest friend
Fear — has you awakened

My heart burst into a million particles
I swear I thought you might also take my life
Why was I forsaken?
I’m nothing but a broken mess
It was clear to you after that evening…
I was already dead inside

It took everything I had going forward
To pick myself up and just survive
Minutes took hours, hours took days
Bit by bit I counted how long I was alive

I’m not the same girl now
A transformation within
Turned that trauma into fight
Now I stand strong for every victim
To empower their very rights

You may have stripped me of my security
Shook stillness from my thoughts
And stole away an identity that never belonged
But there’s something you had no control over
Something bigger and badder than you could ever dream
It is clear now — YOU — are who is weak

You were only temporary
A harsh lesson I needed to experience
You took a single combatant…
and turned her into an indestructible force
I’m now whole and unshaken
My faith and peace fully restored

I will protect, defend, and fight
Live as a crutch to help survivors survive
To crush monsters like you
And all the decency and goodness you lack
For every part of us you think you can steal
Let me just promise you this
We will take it back

I took my life back. I TOOK IT BACK.


Get Help Now

National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-7233
National Human Trafficking HotlineCall 1-888-373-7888 ( TTY: 711) | *Text 233733 









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