Sasha's Story

Kirby Reutter Profile
Article by Kirby Reutter

I kind of dread it every time I receive a request to tell a Gateway counseling story.  First, I can never meet the word limit.  Second, the kind of experiences our residents face are rarely appropriate for a refined, sheltered audience.  Third, I have no stories of my own to tell; the stories are the residents’—not mine.

Will this nightmare finally end? It seems like I cannot blend in.

But here’s my best attempt to comply: Once I worked with a young lady for a whole year. I don’t think I made much progress, because she returned to Gateway for another whole year. But throughout both years, I asked this young lady to chronicle her experiences in poetry. At the end of two years, she handed me an anthology of two years worth of poems. I have strung these poems together in chronological order. This is Sasha’s story, in her own words:

Will this nightmare finally end?

It seems like I cannot blend in.

I try and try and try,

But it’s like trying to fly!


I just want to end this life,

But I can barely grip this knife,

As I see my life

Pass before my eyes.


Some people say I’m crazy;

That doesn’t amaze me.

When the anger fills my mind,

It seems to make me blind.


You will never find me;

I am never coming back.

So don’t bother looking;

I’ve covered up my tracks.


You say that you love me,

You say that you really care;

But now I don’t believe you;

Now I’m just scared.


Filled with broken hearts;

Filled with countless tears;

Filled with unanswered questions;

Filled with numbered years.


Filled with many mistakes;

Filled with bitter lies;

Filled with utter confusion;

That’s the world through my eyes!


I feel guilt wash over me,

Swallowing me down

Into a whirlwind of hurt;

There’s nothing left but drown!


It’s too much to bear,

Too much to think about:

Hate, bitterness, regret, grief, betrayal—

Oh God, I just want out!


I hate the way I’m living!

I’ve been led astray!

Lord, please give me the strength

To find a different way!


As I lie here,

Staring at the ceiling,

The silence screaming in my ear

Makes me lose all feeling.


Who am I?

Where am I at?

Will I ever find out?

Will I ever get back?


What happened?

I was doing so well.

Did I make a wrong turn?

Because now life is hell!


Why don’t we all just stop and think,

Stop and think for one minute:

Are you who God wants you to be?

And if you’re not—just admit it!


I feel my heart beat melting,

And the light that is shining through;

I see all the evil I have done,

And how much I have neglected You.


Though I’ve denied You in the past,

You’ve accepted me as your own.

And on the day of judgment,

I will fall to my knees,

At the foot of Your throne!


“Jesus freak!”

“Holier than thou!”

I can only imagine

The names they will call me now.


Will they still love me?

Will they even understand?

Will they accept what I’ve become?

Or alone will I stand?


Are You here? Are You there?

Have You heard my pleas?

Have You heard my prayers?


I know You are;

You’ve always been there.

You’ve never left,

And with you, I can bear.


Your reassuring voice

Stills the storm that I’m in;

Mops up the rain,

And tames the howling wind.


Your presence wraps around me,

And calms my trembling limbs.

You gather me in your arms,

And whisper in my ear:


“Everything will be okay.”

“I’m here now. I’ve got you.”

They are the words I’ve longed to hear

From the lips of my Father.

Kirby served as a Counselor at Gateway Woods. He also has been the Gateway Woods rep for the Austin Apostolic Christian Church.