The Journey Back to Myself: A Book of Healing Poetry, Second Edition



A collection of inspirational, empowering poetry written over the course of three years as Julie went on a healing journey to heal from multiple sexual assaults and Post Traumatic Stress. She learned that creating space for deep healing starts with taking some deep breaths to be present in the body. She learned that her body is her home and that her body is safe to come back to. Also, she learned how to love herself again. This is a powerful book that invites you on a healing journey. It is meant for every single person who is healing from something. It’s meant to be a guide for every psychologist, psychiatrists, doctor, nurse, social worker, professor, counselor to use to understand the effects of child sexual abuse, university rape, military sexual trauma, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress.


#foreverchanged  #CSA #universityrape #complexPTSD #depression #anxiety #healingmyheart #becomingonewithmyself #peacewarrior #climbingamountain #heartwarrior #peacefulwarrior #shutupandlistentosurvivors #why #PTSD #speakyourtruth #feeltoheal #empoweredwarrior #courage #strength #journeybacktomyself #reikijinkeido #niawhitebelt #niabluebelt #healing #inspirational #courageous #survivor #selfcompassion #selflove #selfworth #writetoheal

Peaceful Warrior


I am fighting a battle inside of myself,

My enemy is Post Traumatic Stress,

My strength comes from myself,

Memories of what happened to me replays over

And over again.

There are flashbacks,

There are nightmares,

There are triggers,

The pain is so real and I cannot stop the pain.

I cannot stop the flashbacks.

I cannot stop the nightmares.

I cannot stop the grief.

I cannot stop the rage.

I show a brave face to the world but on

The inside I am crying.

Mother Earth is helping me to heal my heart

That was broken into thousands of pieces,

There are many days when I feel like I am broken,

I am determined to win this battle and to heal my heart.

I will not let triggers, flashbacks, nightmares control my emotions.

I will not let those tried to destroy me win this war.

I have awakened and I will find peace with myself.


I will love myself and forgive myself for past harms

I will love my body.

I will continue to grow spirituality.

I will continue to be mindful and meditate.

I will continue to speak my truth and continue to heal.

I will reach out to fellow Peaceful Warriors and

Help them to heal to.

I am Peaceful Warrior.

Climbing Mountain


There is a huge mountain in front of me,

I start climbing it,

The mountain in front of me seems gigantic and impossible to climb,

I start climbing the mountain in front of me,

I find a place to grip,

Digg my fingers into the rock,

Find a place to put my feet so that I can climb higher and higher,

At times feel like I am going to fall off the mountain,

At times, this task feels impossible since there is so much pain inside,

so many emotions,

body sensations,



At times all I can do is cry,


tear things apart,


It’s taking everything I have to climb this mountain,

It’s taking so much to face all of the demons inside of me,

It taking so much to heal from so much trauma,

The mountain before me seems impossible to climb,

There are other people higher on the mountain that reach out their hand to me

I grab their hand and know that I do not have to do this allow,

When I feel like quitting they tell me I can’t,

They tell me that they are there for me,

Do not give up,

It’s okay to feel your feelings,

It’s okay to allow the tears to come out,

It’s okay to be enraged,

It’s okay to rest,

Remember to do self-care,

I know you are feeling so much pain,

It’s okay to say, I am exhausted,

Be there for me and allow another to hold you on this journey of healing,

I listen to them and allow them to be there for me,

The tears coming from my eyes like waterfalls cleansing my pain and soul,

I will get through this.

It’s one day a time,

Sometimes one minute at a time,

Sometime one second at a time,

Know that you are loved,

That you are not allow,

You can lean on me,

You can call me anytime,

I am there and I will listen to what you have to say,

I believe you,

I support you,

I am a Warrior,

I am strong.

It’s going to be alright.

I will get to the top.

I will be free .


Standing On the Edge


Senior year of high school,

I am standing on the edge,

There are so many decisions for me to make about my future,

I am excited about my future but at the same time,

I am feeling lost inside,

There are tears that are coming to the surface,

I am starting to remember what

you did to me when I was eleven,

I have started to sleep around,

Thinking that will somehow change

what you did to me that day when I was eleven,

You changed my life forever that day when you abused me,


All I know how is that I want to get as

far away from my small town ass I can,

I want to get away from the constant reminders,

And the triggers that take me back to that day,

Tears are coming to the surface,

I apply to the University of Cincinnati

because that is two hours’ way from Lucasville,

I get accepted and cannot wait to start my new life,


I have three roommates that are doing the sorority thing,

They are drinking and partying,

I never did that in high school,

So I decide to try alcohol for the first time,


I get wasted,

Two black men decide to rape me,

I have so much hatred for myself,

I swear that I will never drink again and

Don’t until I move to another town,


I start going to therapy to heal of this trauma,

I start going to a support group,

The therapist decides one

night to give us all a depression test,

I get a call a couple of days later

asking me to come in for an appointment,

The therapist that I have been seeing

wants me to go into a day treatment program

I start going to a day treatment

program and make it through that program,

Once I am done with this program,

I am feeling intense feelings

that I do not want to feel,


I start going to a club with friends,

Drinking and partying every night,

I just cannot wait to get wasted because

I do not want to remember what

happened to me when I was eleven and nineteen,

I want the intense feelings to stop,


So I start living for every

Friday and Saturday night,

So I can drink and get wasted,

I can escape from my body and the memories,


There were some nights when this was fun,

There were nights when I almost

got into fights at the club me and my best friend went to,

There are nights when I black out and my friends

Tell me the next day that I did,


One night me, my girlfriend and

best friend go to a strip club to

see her girl friend since it is her birthday,

I do want I am known for,

I start drinking long island ice teas, mind racers,

shots and get totally wasted,

We drive over to my friend’s house

that is twenty minutes away,


I can barely walk from being so drunk,

My girlfriend and my friends best

friend helps to walk to the house,

We go inside and talk for a little bit,


I have to go to the bathroom that is upstairs,

While I am in the bathroom, my

best friends friend comes in the room,

He is touching me and ends up raping me,


I do not say anything to any

one until the following day when

my girlfriend asks me what is wrong,

I start crying and she comes over to hold me,

She tells me that I can

tell her what happened.

I tell her that I am bruised, know

that I was raped last night,

and am hurting really bad,

She tells me we should call the police,

I get really upset, start sobbing and screaming,

There is no way in hell we are calling the police,

She tells me that we

should go to the hospital,

I tell her there is no point in

going to the Emergency room,

I know that the nurse will call

the police and the police will not

do anything except

blame me and shame me.

So we come to an agreement that

I will make an appointment with a gynecologist,


We go to that appointment together,

My girlfriend is there to hold me

and supports me through this,

The gynecologist tells me that I am bruised,

I tell her what happened and

that I do not want the police involved,

She does some more lab tests,

gives me a name to a therapist,

and the morning after pill.


I swear that I will never drink again,

I start going to Alcoholic Anonymous every day,

I get a sponsor and start on my healing path,

I put over a year sober, am so grateful that I found my way to AA,

have an amazing sponsor and started on my path of healing,

Writing A Poem About Pelvis And More Questions Are Being Asked

I am writing a poem about sensing into my pelvis and as I write this poem more questions are coming out of me about what Congress, Vice President, President, Department of Defense, Society gets from allowing rape to happen every two minutes in this country.  You have the military that has the core values of Honor, Courage, Commitment, Country, Shipmate, and Self last. I want to know why these values do not matter. I want to know what people get out of protecting rapists, sexual predators, domestic abusers, human traffickers. I want to know who is lining the pockets of politicians so they do nothing about this issue. I want to know why this is accepted by our society.

In writing this poem, I am tapping into incredible rage, grief, hurt, fear and depression. Writing this poem that I am working on that I might share or not share I feel nausea. After I was raped at University of Cincinnati, I could not eat anything and when I did the food ended up being vomited back up. My soul was ripped away from when I was 11, 19, 23 and 25. Then it was ripped away from me even more when I was victim blamed, shamed, emotionally abused, and retaliated.

My life was flipped upside down and I lost my childhood, university education, Navy Career while the bastards that raped me had nothing happen to them. In 2013, when the rapist sent me an email straight up admitting to it and NCIS still did nothing about it, my soul was ripped away even more.  When Congress, voted to keep the freaking chain of command involved in rape cases, after survivors testified on Capital Hill, more of my soul was ripped away and even more grief, anger, and fear came into me.

In May, when I had the pap smear at the VA and was not listened to when I specifically told the Nurse Practitioner my history, advocated for myself and was not listened to or believed until I had the body response I had and a full blown panic attack; I just want nothing to do with that part of my body.

There is so much hurt, betrayal, rage at the Nurse Practitioner for not freaking listening. There is anger at the six men that raped me. There is anger at society for blaming me and not doing any thing. There is anger at my chain of command for the retaliation, emotional abuse, ruining my career, calling me a liar and protecting the rapists sorry asses. There is anger at Congress (the democratic controlled Congress), Vice President Biden, President Obama for not doing a damn thing and allowing this shit to continue on.

I truly want to know:

  1. What they get from doing nothing about child sexual abuse, university rape, military sexual trauma, sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic abuse, sexual harassment
  2. Why they do nothing about Military Sexual Trauma when you have the military having the core values of Honor, Courage,  Commitment, Country, Duty, Shipmate. Please tell me where protecting, promoting, excusing and allowing rapists to continue to rape over and over and over and over and over again comes into those values.
  3. Who is paying them off and keeps them from doing nothing
  4. What they get from allowing this to happen every two minutes in this country.
  5. Why they think rape is funny.
  6. Why this is acceptable to them.
  7. If they would really stand by and do nothing if one of there loved ones where raped, sexually abused as a child, trafficked, sexually harassed, beaten

Journey Back To My Body and Myself


My journey back to myself started when I stopped drinking,

When I stopped hurting myself,

When I made a decision to ask for help and

found my way to Artemis Rising

When I started to admit that I was raped at 11, 19, 23, 25 and

Started to tell my story.

I started to put the shame where it belonged

On the rapists, society, and chain of command that did nothing.

When I started to talk about what the third class petty officer did to me,

When I started to talk about the retaliation that occurred.

When I started to talk about how the chain of command emotionally abused me

When I started to talk about the nightmares and flashbacks,

When I started to talk about the deep betrayal that I have felt,

When I started to talk about the grief that I feel,

I started to let all of the tears to come out and

Realized that crying is being strong and healing.

I started to talk about how hurt I was when

They did nothing even after he admitted to

Raping me in an email.

I admitted that I wanted to kill myself,

I started to understand that I had complex Post Traumatic Stress

I allowed myself to tell my story and

Allowed myself to feel my feelings.

I allowed myself to say the words that

I needed to say out loud.


Then, I found my way to One Billion and Rising Nia Jam

With support from the women in Nia,

I decided to take white belt and realized that I could come back into my body

That I did not have to stay out of my body,

That I was safe coming back to myself,

That I could love my body again,

The connection was made

That it is safe for me to be in my body and

To love myself,

That I can express my true feelings

That I can sound and tell my truth


Every day I keep showing up,

Keep suiting up and allowing myself to be seen,

Keep fighting and admitting my truth,

Keeping allowing the feelings to come out,

I have the courage to face my demons,

I have the courage to ask for help,

I have the courage to be vulnerable and

Express my true feelings.


I will not give up,

They are not going to win,

They have taken enough from me

And I reclaiming who I am every day.

I am a peaceful Warrior who is discovering

Who I am after so much was taken away from me.


Part of reclaiming who I am means that I have

Been reinventing myself by choosing to

Become a Reiki Jin Kei Do Energy Healer,

As part of this training, I learned that I care

About myself enough to have self-compassion

For myself and others.


Then I took blue belt and realized that I was safe

to feel what I feel and express what I feel

To tell my truth, to speak my truth, and to laugh

To slow dive to the depths of what is inside of me

And to keep pushing through all of the pain.

That I have a choice,

That it is my birthright to love myself,

To have compassion for myself,

To love my body and to be in my body,

That I can be kinder to myself when I feel sad.


I have found my way back to my body and to myself

I am being gentle with myself.

I am listening to the voices of my body,

I am loving myself and

Continuing to heal one day at a time.









Born a Girl

Born With a Vagina,

I was given the label of girl,

I was taught to dress a certain,

I was taught to follow what my mom did,

I was told that I was supposed to wear dresses,

That I was supposed to do house work,

That I was supposed to be skinny,

That I was supposed to wear makeup,

That I was supposed to play with certain toys

Such as Barbie dolls, house, care bears, girl toys,

And that I was only to be interested in girl things,

That I was not supposed to be good at science or math,

That I was weaker,


Once I became I tomboy I no longer fit into what

Society wanted me to be since I was born with a Vagina,

I wanted to climb trees, play basketball, football, baseball,

Ride bikes, get dirty, and play war there was something

wrong with me and I had to be shown where

I belonged in society,

I had to be taught a lesson,

that is when Ryan

showed me what porn was, what violence was,

And raped me,

Then I was threatened that I would be killed if I told anyone,

My friend told his mom and his mom called my mom,

I was then grounded to the yard and told to just

Forget about what happened to me


I was told that since I had been born with a Vagina that

I was only here to be raped and that the laws do not apply

To girls that have been raped.

As I grew up, I still did not fit into what society wanted

Me to be because I wanted nothing to do with being a woman

I wanted nothing to do with wearing dresses,

I wanted nothing to do with wearing makeup and having long hair,

I wanted nothing to do with sex or my sexuality,

Then two black men raped me when I was

intoxicated and could not consent,

Then I was once again told by Female Police Officer that I deserved

What they did to me because I was drinking underage and that

Entitled two black me to rape me.

Then the University of Cincinnati sent me to be evaluated for a mental

Health disorder instead of doing anything to the two black

Men that raped me,

I became suicidal and wanted to die and I tried to kill myself

Once again I was told that since I have a Vagina that I am some how

Weaker and do not matter as much as men.

That is was perfectly fine to be raped by two men,

After all that was what I was born for since

I was born with a Vagina and men were entitled to rape me

And the laws do not apply to me.


Then when I was 23, I was raped again and did not bother

To make a police report,

I knew that no one would do a damn thing

Then when I was 25 I was raped by a third class petty officer

Twice in the same day,

I did not say anything until the next day when a friend

Asked me what was wrong

She went and told the chain of command

They took me to have rape exam done at Wilford ER,

OSI came and talked to me,

The chain of command blamed me for being raped,

Master Chief said, “We believe you but there is not a damn thing

We can do about it.  Here’s your orders to your next command. Promise

Me that you will go to counseling.

Then the retaliation started,

I was not allowed to go to counseling at rape crisis center,

I was told that I was lying,

I was told that I was fat,

I was told there was something wrong

With me because I bleed once a month,

I was told that I was to emotional,

I was told to “Control my emotions.”,

I was told that I was not strong enough,

I was told that I was only here lay on

My back and spread my legs and take whatever men did to me,

I was told that I was nothing more than a walking mattress

That deserved to be raped

My career was ruined and I was given code of JFT erroneous enlistment

Then in 2013 when he straight up admitted to raping me they still did


I was told that, “We have to investigate you. We have to know who

All you have slept with. About any other reports that you

Have made. We do not care what he said in his email to you.

So once again I was told that since I was born with a VAGINA

That I am nothing

That rape is fine and we do not give a damn about you

That rape is not against the law and we only protect rapists.


Sensing Ankle

I know you are there,
when you scream so loud,
I am paying attention to you,
When the pain starts,
It takes me back to when,
I fell down the stairs at UC
And broke you,
You remind me of all of
The pain from UC,
Somehow all of the trauma
Has gotten held in you,
Now I touch you,
I feel you throbbing with pain,
I feel the tears well up inside of me,
I feel the nightmares and flashbacks
Coming to the surface,

I feel the anger about what happened
That night in the dorm room,
I know there is still pain that I have
To express,
I know there are things
That I still need to talk about,
I know that I have anger from
The police doing nothing,

I know that my life changed forever

On October 17, 1997,
I know there are many
Let tears that need to come out,
You let me know that I need to
Forgive myself for drinking,
I did not ask for what happened,
It’s not my fault what they did to me.
I did not choose any thing that happened
That night,

I have taken time to stay off of you,
I have allowed myself to cry
I have told you that I love you
And hear what you are telling me
Please stop hurting.
I am protecting you now.
I am listening to you now.




You set me up to violate me,

You lied to me when you told me that your

Mom was home when she was not,

You showed me porn and you knew that

I just eleven years old and that,

no idea what porn was,


You betrayed me,

You did not stop when you were choking me,

And I was sobbing,

You did not stop when you were hurting me,

You did not stop when I was crying,

You did not care what you did to me,

You did not care the pain that you caused,

You knew that I did not want to do what

You were doing to me,

You knew that I was crying and scared,

You did not care the damage you caused

And then you threatened to kill me if I told anyone,


You tried to steal my soul away from me

But what you have done is made me stronger

You have made me stronger to fight against

Predators like you,

You have made me find my voice and speak

My truth,

You have made a warrior that shouts my truth

From the roof tops.

I am healing every day and untangling myself

From you,



One of those things I have heard a

few times from different people through my life,

Many times I got angry, cried and ignored what

they were saying to me,

Pushed people away from me,

I was not in the place to hear about forgiving

myself or them for what they did to me,



Now, in this moment, I am ready to forgive

myself for what happened when I was

11, 19, 23 and 25,

I know that the things that I hold

on to that keeps me stuck in pain, anger

grief, and from living my life,

I forgive myself for not knowing what I

know now, for not leaving, not fighting him,

believing his threat and not telling

everything he did to me,

I forgive myself for not saying any thing

until I was in high school,

I forgive myself for sleeping around,

I was doing the best to cope with

how I was feeling deep inside,

I thought that by going to a university two hours

away, I could escape the pain that I

felt deep inside,

All I did was stay on campus over the weekend,

Drank alcohol for the first time,

It’s not my fault what they did to me,

It’s not my shame,

I forgive myself for drinking for the first time,


I forgive myself for drinking when I was 23,

I was not ready to feel my feelings

so I did the only thing I knew to do,

which was drinking alcohol to numb

all of the pain I was feeling,

I forgive myself for throwing away a year

and half of sobriety away when I was 25,

It’s not my fault what he choose to do


I forgive myself for all of the self-harm and

self-hatred I have put myself through.

None of this was my fault,

They choose to commit a crime

and took what I did not offer,

This was their fault.

There shame,

There betrayal

There violent act.

I work every day to take

back my life, live my life

and forgive myself.

I am so glad that I am able to write,

Because writing is the only way,

I know to get the thoughts out

of my head, to tell my truth

and to continue to heal

one day at a time.

Forgiveness is something

I work at every single day.