“I’m a little kid and so are you. Don’t you go and grow up before I do. I’m a little kid with so much doubt. Do you want to be there to see how I turn out?” ~ Turning Out, AJR
“Way up, way up, we go. Been up and down that road. Way up, way up, oh no. We gon’ burn the whole house down. Watch me stand in the line. You’re only serving lies. You’ve got something to hide. We gon’ burn the whole house down. We gon’ burn the whole house down.” ~ Burn the House Down, AJR
This coming of age story is brought to you by dystopian fiction, dystopian reality, and burning bridges that only led to my own destruction.
From ashes come new life.
Here’s to 7 years of healing from sexual assault, 23 years of surviving sexual abuse, and 27 years of surviving fundamentalism. Here’s to burning it all down and walking away from things that hurt me. I think I turned out alright.
And still the body remembers. The body remembers what you did to her. The lies, the manipulation, every unwanted touch, every chisel you used to sculpt her into what you wanted. The body remembers and she won’t go back there.
Childhood is such a strange thing. Especially when it’s stolen from you.
“You say I turned out fine. I think I’m still turning out…” (Turning Out, AJR)
They tell me I’m resilient now. That this has made me stronger. And it has…but I never wanted to be strong. I only ever wanted to be a kid with a “normal” childhood where I wasn’t afraid of hell, or my father, or the deacon and neighbor in my church. Or my ex-boyfriend.
One thing I’ve realized is that I was robbed. Robbed of innocence, of my early adulthood years. So I’m taking back what was mine. Because it was never theirs to begin with. They had no right to take ownership of this body, this soul, this mind. I will have the last say and the last laugh.
Childhood is such a strange thing. Especially when it is taken from those who become presidents, senators, judges, pastors, fathers.
We are taking back what is ours. Which means we are willing to make your lives a living hell for taking from us what was rightfully ours.
We are our own and no one else’s.
We will burn the whole house down and leave no brick standing. Not only will be burn the house down…we’ll rebuild it as a healing, safe place for everyone to coexist.
So, to all the men who stole my childhood:
You can go fuck yourselves. We’re out here exposing you for what you are.
We’re burning the whole house down.
This coming of age story is brought to you by people who are taking their lives back, by the healers, the over-comers, the arsonists who burn bridges when they need to.
And this coming of age story is brought to you by those of us who are building new bridges. We turned out alright.
From ashes come new life.