It Was When


I remember the day I grew up

It happened way too early, and way too harshly

It wasn’t when I was sixteen when I got my first car and paid my first bill

It wasn’t when I was eighteen left at my college dorm, my family waving goodbye in a leaving car

It wasn’t when I was five and my mom moved us 5 states away from Illinois to New York

It wasn’t when we meet the strange man that my mom met online

Then we moved in with Him.




It wasn’t two more years later when we moved to Ohio because my grandma was sick

It wasn’t when we were isolated from our friends, family, and everyone else

It wasn’t when He started controlling every aspect of our lives

It wasn’t when He made us strip down to spank us with a hand-made wooden paddle with holes in it

It wasn’t was when He broke that paddle on my butt

and ducked taped it together and keep spanking me

It wasn’t I had huge black and blue bruises and I told my mom about it.

It wasn’t when I laid frozen in fear in bed

It wasn’t when felt him come sit on the bed, and pull back the covers

It wasn’t he touched unspeakable places

It wasn’t when I saw Him go into my sister’s room and sit on her bed too

It wasn’t when I felt completely helpless and sacred

It wasn’t when I asked mom to leave Him


It was when …

She said, “but I love him, I don’t want to leave him”

I realized mom was not a good mom, I knew I could never look at her the same way

I realized I had to be the strong one for my older and younger sister

I realized I had to speak up

I realized no one believed you even when you spoke because your mother called you a liar

I realized you had to be strong and fight all the way to the end

I realized I had to get my sisters out of there

I realized it was time to grow up 

This poem is about: 
My family


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