A poem

All these young men and women
some of whom could be politicians
or dead
in ten, twenty years –
I know their secrets.
I know which ones have alcoholic mothers
and which ones have strange,
obsessive thinking.
I know these things
and I hold them
while they live with them.


~ by realsupergirl on November 3, 2005.

4 Responses to “A poem”

  1. After listening to survivors’ stories in Portland for the last 4 and a half years, there are many things about people in Portland I wish I didn’t know. Very few people value to emotional energy it takes to hold these stories, these truths, for people.

  2. In graduate school we often talked about our need, as holders of stories and terrible truths, to find a place to put all the things we hold for other people. Perhaps that means a supervisor or therapist, but often for us, it was in art or poetry or music that could hold what we have to hold.

    I often come home an listen to Townes Van Zandt’s song “You are Not Needed Now” when I’ve had a hard day. It soothes me.

  3. Yeah, an amazing therapist who did a training on vicarious trauma for us did a lot movement work. She talking about physically handing the stories back or off to someone else or imagining ourselves doing that. I think I need to figure out how to get out the stories I have in me. I think I will need to do some emotional cleansing as I transition out of this work.

  4. I thought that was what therapists had partners for.

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