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Sleepless days and sleepless nights By Michael Pacanza


As I close my eyes and try to sleep

 my mind slips off as if in peace.

But as memories of the past creep in

the piece is shattered and fear walks in.

I attempt to wake but I cannot

because the door has opened and tied a knot.



please God help me from this past

because I don’t want these dreams to last.

The things I’ve done work as per order.

That the pain induced would save our sons and daughters.


I fall asleep and come to find

that it’s the air that I left behind.

The bubbles rise up from my open mouth

As I grass for breath I have a doubt.

My life is passing and so it seems

as I see the faces and tried to scream.

I struggle and fight but to no avail

I cannot move and I am turning pale.




As I look into my captors eyes

and see with but much surprise

that they to have in their hearts

the desire to let me up

their orders are simple and they are not to blame

they are to drown us all, and kill us the same.



#15 Sleepless Days and Sleepless Nights

Michael Pacanza-Individual

This feeling that comes over me has taken its toll.

Try to hide it but it’s got a hold of my soul.

The dark clouds are moving in and I can’t let go.


Try to run but it follows me where ever I go.

Try to relax but I must play by the rules.

Help me escape this hell I’m living.

It’s taken everything I have.

Not just the good, but even the bad.


Let me go Mr. Got-You.

I can’t take it anymore.

Let go Mr. Got-You.

My hands are sore.

Let go Mr. Got-You.

I can’t take it anymore.


It’s a brand new day and I’m up with the sun.

Try to hide what I’m feeling but we know it can’t be done.

Is there anyone who knows exactly how I feel?

Please save me – I know it’s not real.


Nighttime comes and I’m all alone.

Tossing and turning with tears on my pillow.

I cry in the dark where you feed on your prey,

With hopes that tomorrow will be a brighter day. 

#14 Let Go, Mr. Got You

Phoenix - Sovereign Health


A song for my dad. He has a degenerative neurological disease. He’s my best friend and watching him digress sucks. But I’ll always be there like he has been for me.


My first dance was balanced on your feet.

Though now yours are weak.

I know you’ll still stand up and dance with me.


Sometimes you feel lost.

Seems like your memory ran away.

But you’ve helped me make a map.

I always help you find your way. 


I know it’s hard to talk about it.

But I’m finding my voice, as you lose yours.

You’ve always made sure I’m heard.

I’ll help you find your words. 

#13 Song for My Dad

Kelly - Sovereign Health

When I was a little girl, I lived in El Salvador. My Grandma taught me right from wrong. My Grandpa taught me life skills I would use in the future. When my Grandma went with the angels, my Mom and I moved to America in hopes for a new beginning. When my Mom was pregnant with my little Sister, my Step-Dad took advantage of that moment and started molesting me and hurting me.    

Two years later, my Mom found out. My Mom gave him a second chance. He kept hurting me, and molesting me. One year later, (Me, my Mom, and my Sister) went to my Aunt’s house in Georgia because my Mom found out that “we were doing stuff to each other.” (Me and my Step-Dad). I thought my Mom would leave my Step-Dad for good, but my Mom and Aunt made it seem like it was my fault. After three days, my Mom called my Step-Dad. My Mom told me to stop doing “those things” with my Step-Dad. I was enraged to think that my Mom would blame me for his actions.

Two years later, came another bundle of joy, my little Brother. I was happy, but that same year, my Mom found out again. And again, she framed me. At that time, I wanted to die more than ever. I know my Mom thought of me as a prostitute, but she let me stay. I told my Mom everything my Step-Dad was doing to me, she somewhat believed me, but she left it that. 

            I wasn’t giving up. One morning my Step-Dad came into my room, and started groping me. He said that he was going to die soon and needed “this” and “that” from my body. I told my Mom, and she confronted my Step-Dad. But he told her a lie, that I was a prostitute and a whore. I got out a knife and was about to cut my wrist and cut myself. When I saw my siblings, I felt ashamed. I was reminded that they were still young, and that they needed me. My little Sister was young, but she knew that what I was about to do was wrong.

            My little Sister grabbed my hand and so did my little Brother. Dropping the knife, I ran, ran as fast as I could. But I came back home. My Mom acted like she was worried, and my Step-Dad was nowhere to be seen. The next morning, I got ready for school, hoping for a peaceful and calm school day. That quickly changed, when I was going back home from school. When I saw my Step-Dad’s truck, fear ran through me like a river and all I could think about was him hurting me. As I went closer to see if my Mom was in the truck, I didn’t see her. I rode my bike quickly back home to see my Mom. 

            I told my Mom what happened again. She didn’t give my Step-Dad a second chance, but because my Step-Dad wanted the cowardly way out, he tried to commit suicide. I went to my room and started crying and laughing. I was confused and hurt. My Mom and I stopped him, but part of me wanted him to die and the other part of me wanted him to see the burden he caused his family.

            That night my Mom and Step-Dad were going to McDonald’s, so I was left alone. Being alone helped me collect my train of thoughts. I was debating whether to die or not. Part of me really wanted to die because of the life I went through. As I was debating whether to kill myself or not, there was a knock on my door. The police had come. I guess my Step-Dad saw the police car parked on our driveway, so he drove towards the park. Instead of my family coming home, only my Mom and my siblings came. My Mom told me that my Step-Dad fled. So, we explained to the Police Officer everything that happened during those seven years. Two days later, the Case Manager came and took me to Youth Haven.  

            Five days later, my Case Manager took me to the Children’s Advocacy Center. When I was there, they performed a Medical Exam and interview. After I told them what happened, all the memories came flooding back and I was desperate to end my depression. The Children’s Advocacy Center then sent me to SalusCare. When I was at SalusCare I called my Mom and she told me that they took my siblings away from her. At that point in time, I felt so numb and empty. Then my other Case Manager, told me that I wasn’t allowed to see or speak to my Mom. Heartbroken, I had to go back to Youth Haven. While I was there, I felt frustrated and angry at the world; I was then transferred to Younity House and began to feel more comfortable. 

            My overall Conclusion is that I’m still at Younity House, and I feel less stressed-out and more comfortable and happy. Though I had my ups and downs living there, some of the Staff helped me a lot. Now my Case Manager is working towards reunifying me and my Mom. I’ve learned to cope with my depression and to not judge people for what they appear to be, or for what you see them to be. I’ve learned a new generation of “the teens”. I also learned to live a year with out my Mom. My future hope is to become an Astronomer, and to be a CEO. My dream is to live a happy life with my Mom and siblings. I am thankful for still breathing, and for making the decision to choose life over death. I am also thankful to have seen my siblings grow up and to see the sunshine on their faces whenever they saw me and my Mom. 

#12 The Flashback

Diana - Children's Advocacy Center

Everybody gather round

There's a new born king in town.

He is the greatest treasure I've ever found

In his arms I'm heaven bound


Chorus: Home Home Home Home

Home Home Home Home

Home Home Home

Don't you know I'm Heaven Bound


Way back in the bible days

The Holy Spirit had his way

Yet today we're still amazed

by how he brought us out and now we're saved




If I leave here tomorrow

No more doubt no more sorrow

All my trials and tribulations

I'll leave on earth with all frustrations



#11 Heaven Bound

Phyllis P. - Sovereign Health

Words can never express the shame

You are my world and I hurt you

While I a playing my using game

I know I am pushing you away too.

The drinking and drugs T thought would help

Instead I was just abusing myself.

I know I have said this before

and I am begging you to stay

I believe all the trust is gone.

The drugs I will no longer adore

Today is the day I hope we can move on

Please have faith in me

i know I can do this one day at a time

I will prove it to you so you can see

I pray that one day I will be fine.

Our faith and love will hopefully be restored.

I love you honey. It's you I adore.

#10 Moving On

Kathy M. - Sovereign Health

I break a bottle for my anger.

I break a bottle for my addictions.

I break a bottle fro my tears.

I break a bottle for my secrets.

I break a bottle for my lies.

I break a bottle for my failure

and for every time I failed to try.

I break a bottle for my memories.

A bottle for my past

and a bottle for the pain I feel

by stepping on the broken glass.

Now as emotions overwhelm me

a bottle shatters at me feet

I realize every bottle broke

is now reflecting me.

A reflection I don’t recognize

but cant escape it’s stares.

Because every piece of broken glass

reflects me everywhere.

And as I start to look around me

I’m forced to look into my eyes

as a tear falls down and streaks my cheek.

Every piece of broken glass begins to cry.

they cry out all of my anger

They cry out all of my fears.

Cry out my addiction.

All in just one single tear.

#9 Broken Bottles

Dana F. - SalusCare

Save Me From Myself

Search inside myself for

the strength to guide my Path.

So lost inside my head

from shattered dreams and a painful past

A dead end road of darkness.

Like quicksand shinking

and on road that has no meaning.

 No beginning or no end.

 No escape to run and hide.

Overwhelmed by flooding tears

bottled up inside myself, alone, unspoken fears

feeling so enraged so numb to anger

 I can’t sleep.

My mind is racing constantly

from secrets sworn to keep.

Inside this life I live

to see them get high and to see them die.

#8 Save Me From Myself

Dana F. - SalusCare

July 2017 marked one of 

the longest chapters in my book.

From Korea to Kuwait to Africa.

When I enlisted I had no idea 

of the physical, mental,

emotional pain and hardship 

that I was about to feel.

The abundance of pain I have put my body, 

mind and heart through.

 I feel so lost.

 I went from a woman leader to a woman victim.

Fear, guilt, anger and resentment.

I am so angry.

They say “Be all you can be” and I was.

But now I am lost and homeless.

My boundaries were crossed.

My soul was isolated.

Here I am, going into battle yet again.

Only the battle is all within me.

#7 Army Empowerment...

Angel H. - Sovereign Health

To see them lie, to see them cry

to see them get high and to see them die.

I cry.

The power, the money the life’s not sunny

the loss of honey’s  ain’t so funny so

I cry

the pimp the boss for what cost?

I check the pulse another girl is lost

I cry

Four Girls, four days back in May

for that day four friends that lay

I’ve got nothing else to say.

I cry

#6 I Cry

Steve H. - Sovereign Health

All was taken when so young.

Only three, the horror had begun.

Too many thought it was okay

to strip the innocence away.


So many years it never stopped.

At 15 it was time to walk.

With the world now to face

alcohol seemed to bring peace.


Onto pills and cocaine it was.

Anything to keep me numb.

Until the day enough was enough,

time to break free and be tough.

Life to live and love to give

Healing is what had to begin.

Now a woman who stands free

living life filled with love in me.


Looking in the mirror eye to eye

be proud of you see.

A victim no more, a victim no more

Now a survivor, time to be free.

# 5 Victim No More

Mimi U. - Individual

Childhood life meant to be fun.

So much pain endured too young

Clouded, covered up and forgot

Innocence taken by so many rotten

Tears lockup tight inside

So numb, no emotions could rise

The game of survival has begun.

Being tough meant no use to run.

Never knew that I could cry

Pain would come but tears were dry

Years would come as time passed by.

Was there ever a healing in sight?

Then one day alone and safe

In my car was the only place.

Far from those who took from me

tears began to run down my cheeks.


Facing the demons who took everything

I childhood innocence and vulnerability.

Years of work to healing it all.

Is when tears were able to fall.

Let the tears of freedom flow

find relief with each new drop.

Tears my friend will save you.

Let them go, let the tears

finally fall where they may go.


I childhood I may never get back.

A life ahead that is now on track.

Now filled with emotion inside.

I have tears that will never die.

Tears are now able to fall.

Tears are now able to fall.

# 4 When Tears are Able to Fall

Mimi U. - Individual

Dear Me, 

There may be a time when you felt the world was against you. You cried for help but no one seemed to notice. The people who should have noticed your cries were blind to your pain, blind to you despair.

Your depression and anxiety did not come all at once. Your life was spent thinking that you caused all of the things to happen. The unwanted touches from those who were held closest. You were beat down black and blue by love which was not love. The physical scars were not near as bad as the scars to your soul. The night you called out, being rapes and the one you loved stood at the door listening to your screams. You cried his name but he did not help. He watched as you were torn both inside and out. Your soul died.

Three times you tried to love and three times you have failed. What was love to you? A man who love a man or a man who loved his music or a man who loved himself. You felt worthless , unloved and wanted it all to end. You took the pink gun in your hand and put it to your head. The trigger felt so comfortable in your hand. The alcohol gave you courage. The trigger, all it would take is one squeeze of the trigger and it would be all over. Your life would be a bed memory. No more tears no more hurt no more disappointment. In high school you wrote “pills or shots, upper or downers one night of despair and just another statistic. For 30 years you have held this pain. The pain of being imperfect. Here you set, still dreaming of the day it will end. But you have got to learn... You must realize that you are perfect in all of your imperfections. You must have an open heart. First for you, and then for them. Love yourself. Your screams will be heard. I hear my screams. Who am I afraid of? I am afraid of me! The monster I fight is not a monster in the dark. The monster I fear is in my head. The monster that attacks me daily is me. The monster in our head is you. Put the gun down. The trigger is not the only answer. The metal against your head is only a lie. Do not pull the trigger. Find yourself. I will find me. I will find you. We can live. Just please do not caress the trigger. With the each touch you feel it becomes more real. I know you only want not to feel the pain. But the pain is what makes your life real. It makes you feel alive. Don’t give that up. Feel to heal and heal to love. I want to be 6 feet under. I want to be 6 feet tall. The uncertainty is a certainty. How can you even know if you make that final choice.

I love you. I love me. I love us.

Signed me.

# 3 Dear Me,

Sharon Y. - Sovereign

The shame found in the before you did.

My lips stains burned that carpet red.

It takes a fool to find another

laying down and playing dead.

You swallowed all the words I fed.

I hate remembering what was said.

Before the ashes turned to honey

we were voiceless all along.

Two proud birds with missing feathers,

playing right at being wrong.

You found me limp lost lungs and blue

until I floated back to you.

All that dust has settled now

that chaos came to set us free.

 But all that shame that came before you

tasted different after me.

Yes me

all that I got left is me.

Let it go now let’s be free.

# 2 Hell Fire Hymnal

Rachel N. - Sovereign Health

My head is kind of cloudy I think a storm is brewing.

Half of the time I don’t even know what I’m doing.

Sense I was born my life’s been ruined.

These God damn lightning bolts won’t stop shooting.

I’m still alive but my brain is fried.

Killed and ruined from all the drugs I’ve tried.

I speak about my habits, I’m not in denial.

It’s been dormant in my head now for a while.

I get more vile with every crash of thunder.

Doing the things I do, man I wonder.

What would it be like if it rained all summer?

Addiction is on the rise check out the number

It’s like a flooding that can’t be drained.

Constant downpour in my brain.

I can’t seem to escape this pain.

So either find help or get used to the rain.

#1 Raining On My Mind

Dominick - Sovereign Health

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