to partner’s of people with sexual trauma, on a night like tonight, in times like these:

to partner’s of people with sexual trauma, on a night like tonight, in times like these:

hold your beloved.
close and with care.
rest your ear to her heart.
listen for its truth
in speed and texture,
poetry and metaphor.

ask her, how old do you feel, just right here, just right now?
ask her, what does that part of you need to know, need to hear?
ask her, how can i help you experience repair?
– even if i wasn’t the one
who caused the pain.
– even if i accidentally
piled more on.

give her space
and presence
and care, so much care,
until something exhales
from the center of her pain.

(non-poetically,
let there be quiet
and breathing
and no words.

in the absence of your knowing
what’s going on for her,
everything
is coming together
under her skin.)

hold your beloved
like the god of redemption
is sending light
through your willing hands,
your steady chest,
your loving eyes.

hold your beloved
and let her cry
and cry
and cry
and cry

without needing to know why.

if you stay there,
dear and willing,
she will tell you everything,
and you will believe her.

then,
in your anger,
in your concern,
in your fear,
you might feel the instinct
to ask her
if she
could’ve done
something differently.

not had those drinks.
not smoked that pot.
not gone out looking for love
or lust
or good conversation.

not gotten a job.
not gone to the party.
not had a god forsaken female body.

tonight,
i beg of you –
ask a different question.

what’s going on with the men?
what’s going on with the men?
what’s going on with the men?

you might want to ask,
have you ever thought
about reporting him?

and mostly, she’ll say no.
or, yes, but…

sometimes, she’ll tell you
how horrible it was.

tonight,
i beg of you –
ask a different question.

how can i support you?
how can i support you?
how can i support you?

hold your beloved.
close and with care.
rest your ear to her heart.
listen for its truth.

this is the first, most important thing
you can do.

then tomorrow,
put your own two hands
on your very own heart
and ask the god within,

“where should i begin?
use me
move me
make me a force
for healing
justice
protection
love.”

listen.
listen.
listen.

we needs your hands
and your heart,
your devotion
to doing your part.

i know you want to.
i know the king in there
is in despair.
the real repair
is rising.

///

feel free to send this to your person. we’re all looking for road maps. we can’t figure this out alone.

i love you.
xo,
rachael

ps – i want to acknowledge the limitation of gendered language here. men experience abuse. i work with a lot of them. women abuse. i hear stories all the time, have my own. and of course, not everyone identifies with gender in such a binary way. here’s to healing the toxicity of our collective soil – getting free, all of us, together.

pps – i believe we’re healing. it just hurts like hell. tech & news detoxes help give room to the process. take ’em. you’re worth it. this shit’s not going anywhere.

 

 

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