My eyes would close, then he would appear in clouds of magical images, luring me into his deadly trap and devouring me whole. I had come to know him my lustful friend and enemy, as my deepest fear. He was my terror at night when my eyes closed. He was the Serpent's gaze, the beast that transformed and de-vitalised my soul for his taking.

Shining pupils and sparkling irises mesmerised me with the beauty they displayed. Only death lurked inside him, so I would try vigorously to wake, not to stare. His emeralds glistened, tempting even the most sane to become transfixed; to reach out to touch him. He would tempt even the wise to want him, to yearn to hold him long enough for him to consume whom he wished.

The intensity of his stare would cause such fear in me. That brilliant gleam of his shimmered like an untouched lake in the mountains. Green and glistening, with a touch of sunshine on the surface to fool me, seduce me, draw me to him, tempting me to swim. I drew pictures of him by day, never able to capture the deviousness, the evil that he stood for.

His image would transform into all shapes, but the horror he inflicted would be the same each time. At times he showed me his real self - the true evil that lurked around and within him. He would materialise the bit of heart he possessed, the part he would deceive me with. Even with all his trickery and betrayal his eyes stayed the same each time.

His serpent fangs can no longer penetrate my skin, or his body coil around me. His deadly green eyes can no longer devour or taunt my soul. He can not haunt me, paralyse me, bring me close to death while I sleep. My recent strength has conquered him, caged him and now he sleeps deep inside my soul. I know him; he is not a dream anymore. He is real and I have no reason to fear him; his power is gone. He is a piece of my past that I've come to terms with. He will never take or control me again.

I drift off into restfulness these days, no longer fearing sleep. I've seen him for what he is. His hands can no longer violate that which is not his to have. He can no longer take what was never freely given.

I am free.

by Linda Jackson


I am not to blame for being beaten and abused.

I am not the cause of anothers violent behaviour.

I do not like it or want it.

I do not have to take it.

I am an important human being.

I am a worthwhile woman.

I deserve to be treated with respect.

I do have power over my own life.

I can use my power to take good care of myself.

I can decide for myself what is best for me.

I can make changes in my life if I want to.

I am not alone. I can ask others for help.

I am worth working for and changing for.

I deserve to make my own life safer and happier.

Jennifer Baker Flemming

"if you treat an individual as she is, she'll stay as she is, but...
if you treat her as if she were what she ought to be or could be, perhaps she will become that."


Though your Troubles may be many
And your Joys be very few,
Never give up your Battles,
There's Victory in store for you.

Though you may try your best,
And never Win or Gain,
Remember you have a Purpose,
A single Goal to Claim.

Even when the Chips are down,
And no one's on Your Side,
You'll always have Something,
You'll always have your Pride.

And when your Dreams turn to Dust,
And the Wind blows them away,
There is always Tomorrow,
Tomorrow's a New Day.

So never think Life is worthless,
Never think of yourself as Poor,
For what lies ahead in the Future,
No one knows for sure.