Excerpt from my past: Chains


I was once a slave,
Forced to live for another’s cause.
I no longer am a slave,
But I’m still not free, I just wear different chains.

They arduously trained me,
Forced me to change all that I once believed,
Even my thoughts were not my own.
They remade me.

“Don’t raise your voice.”
“Don’t look them in the eye.”
I was taught to believe
That I was not worth as much as they.

“Don’t speak unless spoken to.”
“Don’t act without permission.”
I quickly learned that my own opinions had no precedence here.
Always awaiting the next punishment
That continuously fell whether deserved or no.
That’s when I realized that I belonged to them.

And so, my life no longer my own,
I transformed into the slave they so wanted me to be.
They remade me….
And only then did it all end.

I was sent back to my home, their damage done.
My life once again my own,
But in my mind I was still their slave
They had remade me.

I am no longer able to act on my own without
Waiting for permission.
I’m still in a cage, just one of my own making.
They trained me well.

I walk amongst the free world ashamed of my hidden chains,
So sure they can see the blank where once my collar lay.
Even close friends see my hesitation and judge, never understanding
That I once belonged to another
And now I’m simply my own.

My spirit is too damaged to know how to belong to one’s self
And I’m still expecting the punishment that’s sure to come.

How am I to know what to say when no one tells me when to speak?
How can I know what comes next when no one tells me what to do?
How am I supposed to know when I’m right if no one punishes me for being wrong?
And how will I ever be free if the chains exist only in my mind?


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