Overcoming Abuse: A Poem of Personal Experience and Resilience

As a survivor of violence and in the process of healing, I wrote this poem in a form that it tells my story of resilience and to encourage many others that in difficulty that there comes an ease. I hope to those who read this story understands that each of us were given us a different path to follow and with a little belief and a lot of support that you will reach your destination in this life and the next life. I believe that we should embrace our difference, accept our struggles and stand together as not only as an Ummah but people. The struggle is beautiful.

The dry air of African land, shattered as soundwaves
battle freely to beat into the skins of those who surround the young mother.
Screaming and yelling, as the beauty of life can be seen through the shadows of misery.

A child, born to a one who was yet still a child.
The beauty of this moment begins as a long journey.
See the infant evolves into a child. As the child growsAs the child grows violence becomes the nurturing hands as it leaves her empty and hungry forScream, throw, bite, hit.
The ears bleed.
One broken jaw, one bruised face, a million shattered hearts.
The eyes become hollow.
Look how they dance around the child.
Look how they mocked and extended their shadowy damp hands.
They strip her once-innocence
They strip her again- Love
They strip her again- fulfillment
Dancing, dancing the dark shadows dance, cloakingShe yells, no one hears.
She panics, no one feels.
Hot tears drip from the hellfire of agony.

Time begins to change, slowly turning as the blossoms bloom into wilting flowers.
Horizons expand and life becomes filled with a daily routine, the girl becomes years older.
School years are filled with searching, searching for what?
To be found? To be found…
Few friends pass by, as the days of searching become shorter than longer.
Then the shadows surround the young girl, not the shadows of adults but ones of her height.
Shouting vile words, as they conduct a warfare from which she can not scheme
an escape.
Escape. Escape. Escape. Find your place.
She leaves the faith, slowly but surely. The one she calls God, seems to abandon her.
“Find me!” She yells inside. Puts on the makeup,which does not fit her skin.
Society sets a standard, running running but she cannot reach it.
So she slices it, cutting away the pain. So she inhales it, blunt by blunt, pain floating away,
smokey. So she drinks it, sipping away the pain.
But shattered pieces are not fixed with cheap glue.
Skin seeps in as the beam of sweat fills her.
Intoxicated she dances and dances in the night. She’s looking for a solution, drifting with winds
that can take her so very far. But no one can hear the shadows of unsung soul.

A beam of light shines through a tunnel. Something is calling her to come out.
Follow the beams, follow the beams. A whisper is said in her ear,
“Find peace, find love”
She comes upon a horizon.

Standing tall a woman of years, A woman of days, A woman of hours, minutes & seconds.
The horizon she
looks at, is something unusual. Unfamiliar, yet safe.
The horizon is filled with smiling faces, loving people. Wealth and happiness.
Faith and care.
As she leans towards it, she stands below her feet are her fears.
Hard and black. Backwards and edged.

The heart begins to beat as she looks from her feet to her future.
“Stop, quiet now” says one, “Run for it, it’s all a lie” says another.
Eyes closed. She listens, for once to herself.
One step-Strength
Another step-Wisdom
Another step- faith.
She breaths in slowly inhaling the city and exhaling the deserts of her ancestors.
Open your eyes. Look ahead, take a look do you see that what you stand on is all that you
Do you see what you look at is all you want? but there’s a path to be walked upon.
In between your future and her past, she will find people who will cross roads with her.
Some walk all the way, some only half way.
Even despair will stop her in her tracks but,
She will walk as the ancestors whisper.
“Baada ya dhiki faraja.”
After hardship comes relief.

By Hallima Ibrahim, a first-year at the University of Massachusetts of Boston studying English literature with a pre-med concentration.

Dedicated to those who struggled, suffered and remained resilient. This is what I overcame, this is me. I hope you saw yourself and was inspired to keep on going no matter what.