I write because I have to. Because our voices have been stifled for far too long. 

We've lived with our truth in our throats, holding back our stories to protect those who have hurt and abused us. 

It's so interesting how we feel a deep need to protect those who didn't give a shit about us...who stole things from us we didn't even know we had. 

I write because there's a little girl inside screaming, calling out for help, and nobody is listening. 

I write because it feels like there's an alien inside my body, trying to burst forth. It's uncomfortable NOT to write.

I am physically uncomfortable in my own skin. This body is no longer able to fit all of the lies, secrets, hurt and pain. 

I write so the little girl inside can finally be seen. and heard.

And believed. 

I write because I HAVE TO. It's a deep shedding of my Soul. Of the shit that I am no longer available to carry around. 

I write so others can feel less alone, but mostly so I don't feel alone. There is a comfort in knowing there are other women who have experienced similar things, who know what it's like to be screaming inside and nobody hearing. 

Or worse yet, people who hear you but nobody is LISTENING. 

My heart aches for the women who share my stories. My Little Girl wants to run up to their Little Girl and ask her if she'd like to be friends. Because I see her. I see her pain. I know her. Five-year-old Shannon wants to be her friend.

"Hi", I whisper. "Will you be my friend?"

And we stand and stare at one another. Not knowing what to do next, or where to go. But just knowing we're not alone makes everything ok again, if just for the moment. We don't have to share stories, all we have to do is look one another in the eyes.

"I know. Me, too." 

I write for the little girls who don't have a voice. For my Little Girl who didn't have a voice. 

I write because I smile and say the pain has been healed, but that is a lie. I don't know if this pain will ever be truly healed. 

The rage comes and goes. The sorrow. The sadness. The years lost. The memories that I have. The flashes of abuse at the weirdest fucking times. 

The complete lack of memory for years of my life. Just gone. Like they never happened. 

I write for the women who can't. Who aren't there yet. Whose voices have been silenced. 

I write for the voices that have been silenced permanently by violence, death, murder, suicide. I write for the ones who haven't spoken a word out loud to anyone...and who plan to die with their stories buried deep within. I write for the little girls whose voices are stuck in their throats like mine was for so many years. 

And I write for my Little Girl. The one who had so much to say and nobody to believe her. The one who showed all the signs of abuse that everyone chose to ignore. I write for the little girl who was lost and who was almost swallowed up whole by her self-hatred. 

So today, I write.