The Cycle


Photo Credit: Warrior Art

A Poem for adults who suffered abuse in their childhood, and suffer with mental illness or addiction in adulthood:

When the pain can be traced to the very roots of the tree
Is there really any escaping it?
A curse passed down from generation to generation
Teaching their kin to rage, worry, blame, wallow
Building foundations for failure

Regrets and more regrets
Blame and more blame
Siblings lost together in a place they can’t escape
It’s home, but their young souls know it shouldn’t be

One sibling grows up
Blaming, hating, selfishly ripping through their home
Like an unpredictable tornado
The debris: broken hearts of those who can’t help but love them

Another sibling grows up
Sweeping secrets under a rug
Arranging flowers, ironing wrinkled clothes
Polishing tarnished silver
Making things appear perfect
When really, she’s a perfect disaster

When will the cycle stop?
When will the blaming end?
I know the pain is real, I’ve felt it
I know the demons are there, I battle them

Being a grown up is hard
Being a parent is hard
Being a grown-up parent who suffered abuse in their childhood
Is excruciatingly lonely and painful

But our children cannot not be the punching bags that we were
Our spouses cannot be the target that we spew our anger at
Our families deserve the best of us

The best of our childhood was stolen from us
We cannot steel it back from our kids
It doesn’t work like that

The cycle needs to stop here
For a long time, the fight will be constant
But we’ll get stronger, wiser and better

We are warriors who draw the line in the sand
With swords dripping our own blood
Marking the boundary that will not be crossed
And fiercely guarding it

We’ll need to fight for our own happiness
We’ll need to battle the demons
Who threaten to steal it from us
And plant lies in our heads that we’re bad
That we’re not worthy
That we’re unlovable

But we have to fight
Forever
And ever

Accept this
And you can begin
Your new journey

®Cristina Cole

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