Babysitter

Babysit my attention

I don’t want to be left alone with my thoughts

I babysat young children when I was still a child myself

When I was a sex worker at age 20, I told my friends and family that I was a babysitter;

Both jobs require you to work late hours and pay cash

It was for less than a year, but the PTSD lasts a lifetime

I fell down a rabbit hole of sexual trauma

I was perfectly trained to be a professional rape victim from my real life experiences

There is no protection for sex workers

Clients violate any semblance of boundaries

I tried to shout ‘No!’ but only a soft ‘yes’ came out

Customer satisfaction was prioritized above protecting my body from harm

Every time I took an HIV test I was sure it would come back positive

Maybe if I had said ‘yes’ to the screening questions of ‘have you ever exchanged sex for money?’ some resources may have been offered from the public health worker- why was that the only question I said ‘no’ to?

The truth shall set you free

But I was trained by my family to rely on no one and nothing, to survive on sheer grit and ingenuity

Babysit my attention, inform and entertain me

Here and now, I sit in stillness and embrace the present in deep gratitude

Nothing Wrong

Early childhood trauma pulled the carpet out from under me before I learned to stand on my own feet. I couldn’t build a sense of safety, security or self-esteem on quicksand. I was left with a perpetual sense of dread, always under threat, about to fail or not have enough food, shelter, or other basic needs to survive.

As a result, my root chakra clenched up, my sacral chakra blew up as a survival mechanism, becoming my feeler-sense to test the emotional waters, as my solar plexus bent to the slightest of breezes, bowing my power to others to preserve my life.

Heartbreak cracked my heart open, and in the middle of the darkest dark, divine light poured in.

When I saw the silver lining on the storm cloud of my life,
I saw that there was nothing wrong, and my eyes sparkled.

When I heard the melody and harmony in my sad song,
I heard that there was nothing wrong, and I sang along.

When I felt the world hold me after my love left me,
I felt that there was nothing wrong, and I feel embraced still.

When I breathed in the scent of the changing seasons,
I remembered that nothing was wrong, and I breathe it still.

When I feasted on the harvest of the earth,
I was nourished, the knowledge that nothing was wrong filled every cell of my body.

Maybe nothing was ever wrong.
Tonight, I am all right.

May I remind myself one million and one times, should I forget a million times, that I am all right.

I hope that you too may feel that there is nothing wrong with you, and nothing wrong with your life.

Puzzle

I like to look at my map of the world and visualize the continents moving back together:
Puzzle pieces whose edges have been worn by time
I see how well they still fit, nook to cranny

Do you remember when you were all one? I ask the colorful curves of our earth
I wonder if the eastern shores of South America ache for the familiar embrace of the west African coast
Or if Cape Horn longs to kiss Antarctica on the lips just one more time

Traveling by map, I island-hop
I stop for a shag on the Shag Rocks and eat a sandwich on the South Sandwich Islands, both of which are east of Argentina and north of Antarctica.
Islands are the delicious crumbs of earth’s picnic

When I observe others struggling because they feel separate from All That Is,
I try to piece us back together
Though the salt water between us is blinding

I relax my gaze and see
That you fit perfectly with me
How we ever parted in the first place
Is the real puzzle