Like clockwork, panic wakes me with a start –
My body, mind and soul at war again
Spanning decades, this solo battle leaves me
Broken, breathless –
Exhausted, sweat drenched nightmares
Find me in the darkened haze – I pause
Until I’m urged to get out of bed –
Wading through the deep abyss of sleep deprivation,
I splash cold water on my face – some relief.
Looking up, into the mirror, scars external –
Scars – healed wounds, like “tattooed tales”
But my eyes…whose eyes are these?
They’re silently screaming, revealing
A hidden myriad, stories blocked, painful years lost –
Invisible and overlooked by society, yet now I see
The toxic damage internal
No one…not even myself truly looked inside –
In my eyes you’ll see my pain,
I’m still bleeding…and quickly
Running out of gauze.


~ by Mary Pettigrew (2015)