Victim, Survivour, Hero

I am not a Victim

because I have been

blamed, objectified, dominated, supressed,

seen as a possession or trophy,

had aggression taken out on,

been used as a toy,

and disposed of like a paper plate

when no longer useful.

I am not a Survivour

because I have endured

childhood abuse, sexual abuse,

physical and psychological abuse,

domestic violence, systemic discrimination,

spiritual manipulation, sexual abuse in the military,

assault by police officers, conditioning of fault,

 or uncalled for judgements and public shaming.

I am not a Hero

for sharing my story

so others do not feel so alone.

I recognize I am not the only one and

want to use my pain for purpose

so that something good can come

from the trauma that was imposed upon me.

I only want to turn my darkness to light.

Not outshine anyone.

I have made some bad decisions and choices,

and I have had some imposed upon me.

My choice and my power taken

so that someone else

could feel better about themselves.

These experiences happened.

Good and bad.

It is my responsibility to learn from the pain,

to set boundaries

and to know

what I will and will not accept.

Those that harmed me

have their own journey,

and I have mine.

I will take the knowledge I have gained

from the lessons of hurt and sorrow,

and turn it into wisdom,

So that I can learn

to empower myself to

love, accept and finally believe in


-Dawn McIlmoyle

-July 2021