34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE INDIE LITMAG DIGITAL & PRINT

No one knew this, I have kept this to myself.

UNKNOWN BY ESSENCE MOORE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE  ISSUE 18

I turn and face my mother and as I take a breath my heart breaks. I feel slightly lightheaded. The tears are welling up in my eyes and I’m unable to hold them in, they fall down my face ruining my make-up. 

I take another deep breath and I say to my mother: “It pains me to bring you to my session to reveal what I am about to reveal to you, and it pains me even more of the hurt that I am sure will follow after I’m done saying what I have to say.”

She remains silent.

I tell my mother, “Mommy I have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and the reason I have this is due to the sexual abuse I suffered as a child.”

The air seems thicker now.

“No one knew this, I have kept this to myself for a little over twenty years. I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want you to hurt or think there was something you could have protected me from, because you are a great mother and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. I just decided I would shoulder the burden and try to forget about it.”

I waited for my mother’s response.

She asked, “Who did this to you?”


34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 18

ART IS THE ONLY ANSWER BY IVAN DE MONBRISON, SONG IN THE KEY OF VAGINA BY ALEX SCHMIDT, UNKNOWN BY ESSENCE MOORE, SCOUT BY BRIAN KAYSER, BURYING EMILY BY KATE BRODY, SNAKE CANE BY RICK NEUMAYER, RARITY OF CONFINEMENT BY ROHAN CHHETRI, THE GREAT MARCH BY CHARLES LOWE, DISCORDANT VOICES BY TISHA MARIE REICHLE, ILLINOIS LINE BY STEVEN MARSHALL NEWTON, AND THIS IS YOU BY WEIJU CHEN.