Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem- cracks June 9, 2019

I’m slipping apart

Deep gut groaning,

inviserating split.

Your knife is sharp

and oh so subtle

No one sees the slicing

as pieces of me fall:

blood, tears and confusion.

Devotion’s greatest trick.

Betrayal by the longed for hope,

tenderly nurtured,

joyfully gathered to the heart.

Once before, protection pushed you out.

You said your sorries, cried for communication

and here we are again.

Cruelty masquerading as the heart I carried.

Pain pretending to be love.

No one else would be allowed in, after all this anguish.

Broken pieces of how I used to feel.

Wondering where the sweet creature disappeared to.

Mothers earn merit badges from the torture

of their children.


courage in adversity November 14, 2012

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:54 pm
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One’s valour is in proportion to one’s fear.  The man who is always entirely unafraid can never be brave.  He has nothing to be brave about.  One can only show real courage if one is afraid.  The coward, therefore, being afraid of nearly everything, is alone capable of the highest courage . 

Barbara Leonie Picard One is One, p. 134

I know a man with several brothers and sisters.  He remembers being terrified as a child.  He was traumatized by spankings.  He remembers a lot of abuse. He is certain that he was the most beaten of all.  His siblings think he was just overly melodramatic, and that he got out of real spankings because of his hysteria.

It’s interesting, because even if it’s true that he wasn’t hit as frequently or as hard as the others were, what beatings he did receive traumatized him when the allegedly more severe spankings of his siblings didn’t bother them at all.

He was more courageous because he dealt with something that was more terrifying to him.


NaNoWriMo day 14: 1710 words  (Total for November: 23,291)


walking wounded October 4, 2010

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:18 pm
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A frustrating thing about dealing with someone who has been emotionally abused, is that when the abuser has been doing a thorough job, the victim is completely paralyzed . He or she has no self-esteem left, and when that is coupled with a somewhat fanatical worship of the abuser, it adds a particularly pathetic twist to the situation.

How can the observer who wants to help cut through years of brainwashing to instil a sense of value and hope in the victim? How can you cultivate a vision of the future that allows them to understand that they will be able to rise above their present tragedy to create a new, and possibly better life?
When the victim of abuse is a man, he is even more likely to blame himself for his abuse than women. According to a pamphlet by Public Health Agency of Canada, “Having been abused by a woman, the men felt that they had failed to achieve culturally defined masculine characteristics, such as independence, strength, toughness and self-reliance. As a result, the men felt emasculated and marginalized, and tended not to express their fears, ask for help, or even discuss details of their violent experiences.57 During the interviews, the abused men repeatedly expressed shame and embarrassment.” ( The article further goes on to say that the men are often not believed, or that their abuse experience is minimized. Statistics in this article report that between 12 and 25% of men are routinely abused by their intimate partner, either emotionally or physically. I suspect many more don’t even recognise or acknowledge that the anger and shame that is their daily experience with their partner actually is abusive. It becomes a little like living in George Orwell’s 1984 where love is hate.

How are these men supposed to move on? If people are mentally strong and independent, they can recognize and move out of a toxic relationship.  They can accept that divorce is a reasonable alternative to the demeaning behavior, but if they are weakened in some way, through illness, depression, or Stockholm syndrome*, what do they do then?

There are a lot of walking wounded in our communities who need hope. Thank heavens for the professionals who can help, and for loving hearts who try their best to touch those who need support, despite how frustrating it is dealing with those who are unwilling to help themselves.


*PS- do click on the Stockholm Syndrome link.  It goes to an excellent article called “Love and the Stockholm Syndrome: The mystery of loving an abuser.”


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