From Torture Cells to a Beautiful Survivor

Being thrown into a torture cell at a very young age damages a child forever

Some think it doesn’t hurt her, but it does in more ways than one

It stays with her forever, even haunts her in future relationships

Not knowing why she is being tortured, not knowing what she did to deserve it

She is told she is not beautiful, and only good for one thing to him

Even though her tormentor says no, she is very, very, beautiful

She then grows up and tries to move past the pain

But once again she finds herself thrown back into another torture cell

This time it’s not of someone else’s doing, but of hers in the form of a first boyfriend

Remembering all the words of her past, she lets the second tormentor reel her in

She’s told once again that she’s not beautiful, and only good for one thing

But guess what, with two tormentors saying no, she still is very, very, beautiful

She gets away from the second tormentor, and finally out of his torture cell

To sadly fall right back into another, this one would almost be the death of her

From beating and verbal put downs, to forced actions, to unmentionable to speak

Losing all three of her beautiful children, ending up in a man made hell called prison

She struggles day to day to live, but also to be a healthy survivor

All three monsters told her she was ugly, and only good for one thing to them

But guess what, to all three monsters, she is very, very, beautiful and she finally knows it

She is trying so hard now to break the cycle, the cycle of monsters, tormentors, and their cells

She has finally found someone who loves her the way she should’ve been loved from the start

It’s sad to say it took her losing everything to finally get away from the torture cell’s chains

She is told daily she is loved, and how beautiful she truly is

She is a Survivor, a very, very, beautiful one

This was written by Virginia, an inmate,  for the “I Am Beautiful” book series Volume 6.  Art is the creative work of Tracy, an inmate.

The I Am Beautiful project represents the personal contributions of women inmates across the country who sent us their writings and art regarding their experiences of abuse.  This work is their personal writing and art. 

The project encourages them to express their past experiences, their road to survival over abuse, and their opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other women in prison who have experienced indignity and violence at the hands of others, often from those who were supposed to love them.

A Survival Resource – Created by and for Women

It is our hope that everyone who reads this book will be encouraged and strengthened to stand up, count themselves worthy of dignity, and see themselves as beautiful within and without.