“Passing Through” – By Miriam Helms

July 20, 2022

When you’ve lived through abuse,

it comes back:

in dreams,

in fears

in flashes of anger

That seem to have no source.

It returns

cloaked, but recognizable. 

It’s fear, 

perpetual disappointment, 

a trap.

Second-guessing,

self-recrimination,

no time to think.

It’s lonely:

the feeling that

you alone hold responsibility

for all things

at all times.

You must

clean up the mess,

remember the rules, 

you must do this,

you must not forget,

must not upset the delicate,

     changing

          shifting

                deceptive

                     impossible

            balance.

You must.

You must not.

When you’ve lived through abuse,

it comes back: 

to ignore it

would dishonor

your path.

To identify with it

would invalidate your healing.

What do you do?

You say,

“Hello.

You may be here,

but you cannot stay.

You are a shadow,

you may pass through,

but you no longer

Have a home in me.”


Miriam R. Helms loves nature, traveling the world, and finding beauty in the ordinary. Her love for writing began as a child: composing, illustrating, and distributing her own “Good News” newspaper to her family. Miriam is a prolific journaler, free form poet, and armchair philosopher who is always up for a good conversation. With deep roots in theology, a degree in Education, and her personal triumph over abuse and depression, Miriam coaches others through their own dark seasons. She cooks, gardens, dances, and sings silly songs to her son and husband in Nashville, TN. You can connect with Miriam on Facebook @MiriamRHelms.

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