My system has been reflecting on our experiences of attempting to believe ourselves, to believe our memories, to seek out and find our deepest instincts and our nature, and to believe that more is possible than what we have experienced so far in this lifetime. It is common for survivors of extreme and organized abuse […]

Murder Versus Ugliness

Who They Said I Am I have been experiencing persistent voices in my mind who call me ugly. They point out specific aspects of my body that are ugly, in a tone that makes me feel as though my physical appearance is a crime. Even though the internal comments about my body are the same […]


This essay was written by a member of our system who cannot yet recall their name, age, or identity, but who has been silently witnessing this life that we lead, and would like a chance to express themselves. Opposition Sometimes I hesitate to look back at previous essays I have written. I notice that sometimes […]

Meet the Writers

A Broken History Some time ago, a person who was getting to know me read some of my writing, and in his personal appreciation of it, he exclaimed, “That can’t be taught.” I smiled back, but inside I felt a swarm of (mostly young) voices inside, all saying, “Yes it can.” Darkness still fills the […]


The following essay is written by multiple members of our system who are different ages and genders, and who have had different life experiences. We switch somewhat rapidly as we write, so while we have attempted to address some of these tone shifts, you may notice many others. In addition, we use the pronoun “they” […]


Trigger Warning: This essay was written by a teenager in our system who was put through torture-based programming. It is an unedited, stream-of-consciousness style description of her trauma, which may be experienced as raw and provocative. This piece of writing was prompted by our previous essay, in which someone else in our system expressed being […]


Vacation I hope you can tell me what rest is. I still do not know. But what I do know is that I have experienced love. I have experienced time spent lying on a bed, listening to raindrops beat the roof of a home in which no one beats me. I have placed my feet […]

Nighttime Story

I have never been told a bedtime story. In most of my memories of falling asleep, I am lying on a metal bed in a metal room, or on a cold basement floor, or on a soiled mattress, or by a dumpster in an alley, or in the woods, or in a cage. In some […]


The following essay was written by a seventeen-year-old member of our system, who was trafficked internationally. Trigger Warning: This essay contains descriptions of programming, spiritual abuse, and sexual abuse by a group. Takeoff I’m not sure what happened, and I’m not sure if I care to explain it to anyone. I’m not sure if I […]


There are many beings who are me, who experience a life inside of our one particular body, one particular mind—albeit a shattered mind—one particular life being lived, one particular collection of cells held together by the energy of our particular soul. So often in the past, there has been fear, anger, and violence directed at […]


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