In your arms, I am safe and warm. I don’t think about the world out there, what I should be doing, what I should be wearing, who or what I should be. I don’t even think at all. I just am.
I am warm. I am safe. I am loved.
In your arms I am all these things. Your body blocks out every stressor, every memory, every flinch, cringe, shrinking into invisibility reflex. I just relax.
I relax. I am.
In your arms there is no shivering in the tiny closet behind the water pipes. There is no fear for who will find me, who will drag me from my hiding place. What will happen when they do.
I am safe.
In your arms I am safe. There is no drunken ranting, screaming tirade raining down upon this small child. There is no one blaming me for what I can’t even name. In your arms I know quiet.
In your arms there is no slapping, hitting, belting, no violin flying across the room. There is no crashing and slamming of every thing that I own into that metal trash can. No shivering in the driveway watching a pool of vomit seep into clothes.
I am quiet. I am safe. I am warm.
In your arms I breathe. Lungs expand, blood awakens thawing frozen extremities, circling down, up, around and around my body. I move, stretch. Alive with wonder, I reach and I find you.
I breathe life.
I reach and find soft flesh, yours. Your hands touching me feel good, right. My mouth moves against yours, lips caressing, pulling, sucking. Tongue tasting, teeth claiming. Hunger awakens, I reach for more.
I live, breathe, hunger, reach.
I reach and find myself. Stretching past conformity into possibility. Excitement builds and I reach out past your arms, breaking into the world, free for the first time. I find and claim myself.
I claim myself.
You try to keep me safe in your arms, warn me of hidden motives in every friend that I meet. Warn me that I’ll get hurt, be made a fool of. Your fears grasp at my eager limbs, pulling me back to your safety. Who are you trying to keep safe? Me? or you?
I am no longer containable, no longer a victim in need of shelter. I am strong, confident and ready to face the world on my terms, with my definitions and my identity.
I escape. I am ready. I am strong.
Let me go.