This week Rockhampton poet Belinda Hemmens is sharing a very personal journey with us. The five poems we'll be posting Monday-Friday chart Belinda's mental health journey, through trauma to survival to hope for the future.
Content note: this poem discusses mental health issues, trauma and sexual assault.
In the beginning... let's be real now, that’s not how it starts,
It starts with a birth, a baby, brilliant and smart.
One with such love, a heart filled with no other,
But this little girl needed her mother.
She needed her love, she needed that bond,
But unfortunately this mum did not respond.
The girl grew but lacked confidence and strength,
And tried to find love at any lengths.
So when the girl's brother offered to help,
She was wanted, she finally felt.
Sometimes people can take advantage and hurt for fun,
This girl was the victim, and so it begun.
The brother abused her trust and damaged her mind,
Mental illness had conquered and taken her time.
Nothing was real and hallucinations took control,
Dark figures, sadness takes its toll.
The secret of abuse was closed in her vault,
And her life was full of rape and assault.
The voices inside her head gripped and tore,
Put holes in her confidence, clogged up her pores.
She was smothered in madness with no one to care,
Placed in confinement, drowning in despair.
Doctors looked into her mind and labelled the cause,
She was defeated and her demons came out with their claws.
It was no good, this had to be the end,
Instead the clouds opened and gave her a friend.
This friend saved her from this world of hell,
Held out her hand, in love she fell.
The journey had started, the road was long,
There were brick walls and never ending songs.
There was heartache inside her BPD brain,
And often she felt like she was going insane.
It took therapy, it took commitment, strength every day,
The people who helped her and the role they play,
Made a huge impact on her, guided her way,
This leads me to my next poem, my life today...
- Belinda Hemmens
Part two in this series will be posted on Tuesday morning.
If this poem has stirred up bad feelings or traumatic memories for you, please take care of yourself. If you need to talk, please reach out - to a trusted friend or family member, or one of the organisations below:
- Lifeline telephone and online crisis counselling: 13 11 14
- BeyondBlue mental health support and advice: 1300 22 46 36
- DV Connect, for anyone who's experienced domestic and family violence: 1800 811 811
- The Blue Knot Foundation, for adult survivors of childhood trauma and sexual abuse: 1300 657 380
- ChildWise National Child Abuse Helpline: 1800 99 10 99
- 1800RESPECT, for anyone who's experienced sexual assault or domestic and family violence, 1800 737 732
- Suicide Callback Service: Call 1300 659 467
- Rockhampton Women's Health Centre: (07) 4922 6585