I’ve Been Hurt



I’ve been hurt.

Real bad.


No, I’m not trying to compare.


Everyone has a right to honor their own wounds.


And everyone has a responsibility

to go to their pain

and heal it

because hurt is contagious.


It helps to talk about it a bit.


I don’t remember

what happened.

I remember bad things

but I can’t find the memories that explain




I’m sorry.

I always feel like I need to apologize.

I’m a walking apology.



I feel like I need to apologize for being born

but no matter how much I apologize for it

I never feel forgiven


to live

my life.



I’ve been hurt

real bad,

somewhere deep where my mind isn’t allowed to go.


But I feel it

when I try to speak

or dare to try something that would require me to believe I have a right in this world.


I feel it

when it swells up

and spreads through my body and I


and clench and contract and shrink away

like I’m trying to protect myself from another blow

or just disappear.


I used to use anger to get big and strong

and push everything away

and get enough space to


But after just a few years

I burned through my lifetime supply of rage.


I used to use alcohol and drugs

for the soothing

and the cheap, fast illusion of power,

but each night’s step forward

cost me two steps back.


I finally found myself

but I was miles behind.




I stopped taking the edge off.

Now I want to leave it on.

I need it to cut this mystery open.


I’ve spent years trying to give myself permission to cry.

I can do it a little now.

It feels useless trying to squeeze a river

through a little crack.


But I remind myself that

one little crack is all it takes

to bring the dam crashing down

some magnificent day.









Patience and


of water.


Water’s ease and assurance, effortless

in awesome weight and power,

in inevitability.



And I will burst through that wall,

taking the spaces that are mine to fill,

with innocent confidence,

trusting nature

will continuously correct my course

as I flow freely into my life,

laughing at my silly self

for ever having been a river

who wanted permission

to join in our ocean.