Hourglass

There’s a faded line
Between reality and time I
Catch myself remembering rejection
Straddling a log fence watching
Them play and laugh and shout
Odd girl out
Too loud

I used to be an expert at stilts
Stride the mud like a queen
I could do anything
If I just believed but
I never prayed hard enough to
Make God real and
It would be a version of
Drop Dead Fred who
Emerged the memories in my head

Do you know the flashes
That leave gashes behind your eyelids
Ask a soldier if he can forget
The blood of war then
Ask me if I can erase
The horror of flailing bodies
And belt straps stripping skin

No
We don’t forget

We learn to live occasionally laughing and
We hide the burning in our throat
The angst that never goes away
We become quiet
Learn to fake it
To not ruin moments
Become awkward
We pass the bread and wine
Close our eyes to the sighs
As we lose track of time

We hope we don’t carry on
The aftermath of our dysfunction
Watch our children struggle
As we cry in silence

To do it over, take the pain
Would I endure it again
The lashes and shunning
The fear and repentance for
Deeds confused and undone
Would I die again just to be here
Take the scourging of my flesh
To understand the depth
That loneliness can sink a soul
I don’t know

I am back walking paths
Running to escape shadows
Hiding behind trees and
The demons who will enter me
So they preach and I
Reach my arms to the moon

Take me home
I want to leave this place where
The babies cry and fathers weep as
Mothers scrape together meals
Where humans have forgotten to feel

Take me back
I want out of this mission
I am missing starlight and quiet
The soft green beneath my
Weeping willow tree
You promised me

I am watching sand fall slowly
Motion reversed I am poised
Rehearsed for the scene
But if I told you that
My ears can’t take the screams
And my heart can’t take the weight
Would you hold me

Would you softly kiss the spot
Above my heart and
Understand the sadness without
Judgement or coldness
Would you encase my face and
Tell me I’m safe

Because you see I am just
A little girl lost and
Sometimes I am tired, weak
Battle torn and worn
Longing for touch

So I sit beneath the pines
Write poetry lines and
Breathe in the rain because
Water washes pain and
I am an hourglass waiting it out
Until the last drop
Turns me on my end and
I restart this life again.

©VennieKocsis

Child Abusers Rarely Take Ownership of Their Crimes

If my mother were alive, and you were to ask her if she allowed her children to be abused or if she abused her children, her answer would most likely be (with Bible in hand), “Absolutely NOT!”

She would then most likely go on to tell you what difficult children my siblings and I were to raise, along with a myriad of other excuses to support the gross denial covering the guilt she couldn’t face.   This is what abusers do; blame the child, and all too often, naive adults actually believe it.

A couple of years ago, a friend who grew up in the same cult as me had a conversation with a woman who knew me when I was a child. My friend asked the woman about my time as a child at the second compound I was taken to in Alaska, and the woman said this:

Well, she was quite a boisterous child and was always in trouble a lot.”

She victim blamed a child who she witnessed be abused and yet still, thirty plus years later, the denial runs as deep as the ocean. What should we have expected? That our abusers would admit to their crimes? What a ridiculous notion. Child abusers rarely admit to their crimes unless they’re caught. Given the chance, they will quickly blame the child.  Witnessing child abuse and doing nothing is just as criminal as participating.

Victim blame a child abuse survivor, and that’s where my patience, kindness and association ends.

I do not ever condone a child abuse survivor having to defend themselves against the abuse they suffered. My fellow child abuse survivors, we’re not mentally ill. Our abusers are. Those who would attack your abuse are in serious need of psychological help themselves.

They lack empathy and understanding. Attacking someone’s child abuse is an extremely apathetic action. I feel we must use our voices to stand against those who would deny the atrocities that we endured as children and that children still endure. We have to stand our ground and not allow children to ever be blamed for the neglect and/or abuse they endure.

Tonight I sit in contemplation, knowing where my passions are, and what makes me feel in a space of forward movement.   I am aware of where I put my time and my energy, for my goal is to always be focused on believing and supporting child abuse survivors.

The Interview Is Here: I Talk “Sam Fife’s Move of God” Cult on Ridder Radio

Click the player below to listen to the two hour interview as I talk with Janaki of The (Not So) Sacred Radio Show about my childhood growing on in a bible based cult.

Why “Push Through” Can Be An Illusion

A few months ago my twenty-one year old son and his friends invited me to go hiking.

“Oh, hell yes!” I responded with excitment.

Nature is one of my many loves. I rubbed my hands together gleefully. How cool these youngsters want an oldie but goodie like me along.

“Now, mom,” my son advised, “this is no ordinary hike. I mean, you gotta cross some streams and shit. Like it’s uphill.”

“I’ve hiked before.” I retorted defensively. “I grew up in Alaska learning survival skills. HELLO! Ya’ll should HOPE to have me along.”

We laughed together as we packed our backpacks with carbs and protein snacks, water bottles and extra clothing.

What a beautiful drive to the mountain base. It was to be a mere four mile hike up to where a world opened to more beauty. There, we would have a majestic view of a lake and vast valleys. My adrenaline pumped as I thought about getting up to the plateau and the photo I would get to capture.

The first two miles I cruised along, soaking in the crisp clean air, waving to tree friends, smiling at rock faces, enjoying the streams and waterfalls.

Mile three the struggle began. The trail became steeper. We’re halfway there, my mind told me. I had this hike in the bag. My son paced me, walking ahead of me a bit, then cheering for me as I huffed and puffed my way to him where we would rest a minute and go at it again again.

Halfway into mile four my legs began to shake. My mind said, fuck you, there’s only a half mile left and then you will be sitting, having lunch, absorbing the best view and resting for a while.

But my legs wouldn’t move. My mind spun with thoughts.

“Get your ass moving.”
“You’re gonna let all these people down and be totally embarrassing!”
“Quit being a wimp. You’re stronger than you think.”
“Just rest for a second then push through!”

Still my legs wouldn’t move. The muscles in my thighs were shaking. My body was not complying. I couldn’t take another step up the rocks. In seconds I was crying; angry and frustrated. I had underestimated my body. Here I was, almost all the way up, with only a half mile of this goddamn hike left. This couldn’t be happening to me. I felt on the verge of physical collapse, but my mind did not agree.

I sat on a rock with my head in my hands, warring with my body as the group gathered around me, calling encouragement.

“It’s okay!”
“Wow, look how far you’ve made it!”
“Save your strength. You will need it for the three mile trek back down.”
“You didn’t let us down! This trail will alway be here!”
“We can come back!”
“Next time we’ll do a different, easier trail!”
“We are so proud of you!”
“We love you.”

Not one time did anyone say:

“Get your ass up and Push through!”

This concept of pushing through is over-rated and over used. Quit saying it for everything. Sometimes people need to rest. Sometimes they need to be congratulated for their hard work. Sometimes you need to acknowledge this. Sometimes you need to praise them for how far they’ve come, then help them back down the mountain so they can rest before they try again. Pushing through is not always the answer. Remember that.

Dancing Away 

Waves hold steady as I ride and dive the depths.  Intercept child’s play.  I smile inside.  The lessons are wind, and so I fly.  Quick.  Ready.  The shift tilts.  I am riding cliff edges with spread wings.  Return the matter into the light. Defragment.  Retrace steps.  Boomerang slinkies back to their origin gathering energy times three.  No more to bleed.  I’m free.  Laughing.  Twirling dresses on tip toes through the black eyes Susans, petals move through my dance so golden.  I am holding truth like an infant, shape shifting in an instant.  Tomorrow I be new.  Left behind are the nameless, the shameful, the fools.  It is my time.  I am in the rising, thriving on sun feed and weeping willow trees.  They carry me forward love affirmed.  I am a child of the Universe, my armor the Earth.   Rebirthed into the Seven, I sing inside this infinite heaven.  

Broken Until Spoken

IMG_1456

This was not an easy photo for me to do this morning. I cried. It hurt to take. I was swept back to being a five year old child, mouth taped so often to train me to be silent, just like this, except it was white packing tape, so even more humiliating as I couldn’t hide my cracked, dry lips. For those who have read the novel, Cult Child, you may recall me describing this practice.

I forged forward today and took this photo in support of Broken Until Spoken because I was most definitely broken until I could finally get it out, talk about it, and allow the telling of my truth to be my strength.

My fellow abuse survivors and thrivers, these are the times for us to speak and tell our truths. If you are comfortable, please participate in this project.

WE! As in You and I, Need YOUR SELFIE!!