The Leaves of Lórien

Our histories leave trails behind us
Whether we remember, or not
Clues, leaves of Lórien let fall
By our younger selves
In hopes
We might come back someday
To rescue the little child within
In hopes
We might remember
To find healing
In hopes
That we might forgive
The child within
And finally remember
Who truly is to blame

A victim turned predator
Who created scars so deep
That I forgot
Who wove a web
And spun me into it
The lies he told
And used to blame me
My little heart believed
That because I said ”Yes”
To picking berries
It was all my fault

Just a little girl in pigtails
It was all my fault
The knives to my throat
Guns to my head
The water boardings
The chokings
The beatings
The hangings
The death of my favorite
Wild creatures
The rape
The trafficking
Degradation
Bondage
Torture

Summed-up by
My counselor as
“A holocaust of trauma”
A statement I’m still absorbing

It was all my fault
Because I said yes
To picking berries
I had wanted it
Every step
Every threat of
Cruel death and murder
Of me
Of those I loved
If I told

To survive, I forgot
Only feelings and
Physical puzzle pieces
Left behind
Signs and clues
I didn’t know how to interpret

A jaw clenched and
Teeth ground mercilessly
Every night
Legs reflexively crossed and
Pressed tight
In college classes
In church
In casual conversations
That had
The slightest hint, or reference
To sexuality or abuse
Chronic insomnia
Chronic night terrors
A body attacking itself in illness
Anxiety
Depression
Scars on my body
Whose stories were not remembered

Fear felt in my chest tightening
Or the churning of my gut
Triggered by things
I didn’t understand
Startling in the privacy and safety
Of my own home
Screaming at the touch
On my shoulder
By my gentle husband
While doing dishes
The ability of my mind
To fade my surroundings
And intensely focus
On the task at hand

They were all physical clues
I didn’t understand
I thought I was crazy
But they were leaves of Lórien
Let to fall
By my younger self
In hopes that someday
I would remember
And set her free
And now that I begin
To remember
I am reminded that
“Not idly
Do the leaves of Lórien fall”


Chava works in the medical field, assisting patients recover from brain trauma. She enjoys nature, international travel, languages, arranging flowers, expressive writing and chilling at home with her hubby and “fur kid.” A survivor of complex trauma, she is relearning to embrace the beauty of life. Chava considers it a deep privilege to be chosen as a guest writer by Red Tent Living, and requests anonymity for personal and professional reasons.