Solitude of Pain Unspoken

There are things I can’t speak about.

I want to.

I try

But they stick in my throat and won’t come out.

They are things that were done to me

That stole my innocence

My confidence

My voice


The counselor says What would happen if you just talked about one of them?

Just one.

I can’t express what would happen.

Probably nothing

But it feels like my whole world would explode

And I would disappear with the flying shrapnel


So I say nothing

Walking on a jittery tightrope between

Holding it in forever

And letting it out

Both options are equally painful

Equally bad.


Every now and then I try to tell someone who loves me

My husband

My best friend

I never do.

The counselor says that talking about it will ease the pain.

I wonder how it would feel and

Sometimes I imagine myself saying them out loud.

In my day dreams they flow off my tongue easily

Like a story I’m telling about someone else.


Only it’s not someone else’s story.

It’s mine.


The solitude of this unspoken pain

Is comforting at times.

It’s mine, no one knows, no one can judge

But most of the time it’s crushing

I struggle to breathe

I can’t think

Until I distract myself with other thoughts

Like a child is distracted by a new toy

Or a puppy.


Several years ago I tried to tell my husband

Just one of these things.

I took a deep breath and forced it out

Just a sentence

Then another

I waited for the pain to dissipate.

I waited for him to say something.

There was only silence.

Some say that silence is nothing,

But that silence built an impenetrable barrier

That has prevented another sentence from

Ever being spoken about it.


I wonder if I’ll live in this solitude for the rest of my life.

I could live with the pain, but not the loneliness of

Knowing that someone else has sentenced me to this solitude


What was done to my body was





But it was nothing compared to what was done to my soul.

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