Six to Twenty Six

Six to Twenty Six

A Poem by Stephanie

This is hard. But it's the first thing that's gotten me past my block.

i started to write my story
in a much different way than this.
narrative, descriptive...
and found that at twenty-six
i still can't articulate artistically
what happened at six years old.
what happened to me.

in a time when women are speaking up
my voice is still shaking.
and why?

because the first person i trusted
with the weight of my secret
told the whole class the next day.

because the second person i trusted five years later
said "that's it?"

because it took twelve years
and the third person i trusted
to finally give me support
give me validity
to react with such empathy
that the shock of it drove me to tears.

at twenty-six
and twenty years later
i still carry it with me
and still feel shame when i know i shouldn't.

but a six-year old
doesn't understand intimacy.
she knows the word "no"
but not the idea of consent.

a six-year old understands
that "i'll tell on you"
is terrifying
but that in this case
being tattled on would've saved her.

it would've saved her
from taking off her pajama bottoms
so that he,
this boy who was like a brother,
could see her underwear.
could touch the skin that they covered.

it would've saved her
from being forced to return the favor
and the years of heavy shame
that followed.

it would've saved her
from looking at her mom,
even at twenty-six,
and still not being able to tell her.

because what does it matter now?
because twenty years later
i still think
"a couple six year olds touched each other
its not like you were raped
you have no place for these feelings of yours
when other women have fought for their lives
and sometimes lost"

and i realize that is exactly the problem.

i wasn't penetrated
but i was devastated.
i felt dirty for years.
and that holds just as much weight.

at twenty-six years old
i say
me too.

© 2019 Stephanie

Author's Note

Hopefully spacing comes out right, but this was done on my phone. Lower case is intentional.

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Added on August 23, 2019
Last Updated on August 23, 2019



Gilroy, CA

I'm Stephanie, 27. Still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, even though I have a degree. Getting through some serious writer's block from the past 5+ years. Excited to be back! more..

Tingle Tingle

A Poem by Stephanie