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The Box on the Shelf


Wendy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. She is married with three children (23, 20, and 14).


The box fell off the shelf today and tumbled to the floor,
Forcing me to look upon its contents one time more.
The items found inside the box spread across the room from wall to wall,
Creating a huge destructive mess waiting for my fall.

I knelt down and gathered up a piece and brought it close to me,
And I remembered that broken, shattered girl I used to be.
The times I was bullied, abused, shamed, teased, forgotten, and blamed,
Every piece sat staring back at me out of the box that had them tamed.

I sat down upon the floor and wept the tears I felt so long ago,
And I struggled to remember that the time had helped me grow.
The items in the box helped to create the me I am today,
But the struggle is still very real and that has to be OK.

When the tears no longer fall I remember the strength I have at last,
I remember who I'm meant to be, not the person from the past.
So I pick up each reminder of the nightmare I used to face,
I put them back into their box and put the box back in its place.


© 2019 TripleAMom


TripleAMom (author) from Florida on October 28, 2019:

Hello Charlie, thanks for commenting. I agree the box falls off often when we least expect it, but we need to remember our strength even when we don't feel strong. It is helpful to have a friend or two or a counselor that can be there and willing to hear you say "I'm not doing very well today". Hang in there .

Charlie Halliday from Scotland on October 28, 2019:

Very powerful and inspiring poem.

As a sufferer of PTSD it can be a struggle sometimes to leave that box on the shelf, but I am getting stronger.

TripleAMom (author) from Florida on October 24, 2019:

Yes!! PTSD is real. I know. I use the example of the box with patients. When they first start therapy with me it's like all of their stuff is spilled out all over the floor like dirty laundry that invades your house and tends to land all over the floor, the furniture, and everywhere. Our goal is to clean everything up, put it in a box, and put the box on a shelf. That means what's in the box is still there, it doesn't go away, but it is controlled and only taken out when you choose to open the box. The poem talks about the times that the box falls unexpectedly (when our issues come back and we feel debilitated) and we have to remind ourselves that we are healed enough to put it back in the box.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 24, 2019:

This is an amazing message. PTSD affects most of us in one way or another...either directly or through someone we know well or love. Awareness is the first step towards a normal life,so thank you for writing this.

TripleAMom on April 10, 2019:

Dianna Mendez, thank you. I agree, we can move forward. No one needs to be stuck in the past. Please pass on to anyone who might benefit.

Dianna Mendez on April 08, 2019:

This is so touching. I think we all need to remember that our past is not who we are now. We are strong and can move forward.

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