Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Batterer


“Oh –it’s crazy really,”
I’d tell the girls at work
How I fell down the stairs
Or hit my head on the kitchen cupboard
Or broke my wrist chasing after the family dog.

I’d feign laughter over my “stupidity,”
Wondering if they could read between the lines
And see my helplessness
My misery. My lies…
Wishing that they could.
Praying that they wouldn’t. 



Most of my friends didn’t care for him when we married. 
I never understood why – 

He seemed…
Well… so perfect.
All of a sudden he changed. 
Overnight he became a monster, 
Like a werewolf at full moon 
when the sun goes down. 
Only the sun never comes back up. 

I tried to rise up when the kids went off to school
And I took a job that satisfied.
It should have been the happiest time of my life. 

He couldn’t tolerate it. 
He chided me. Ridiculed me
Criticized me. Beat me
Until I wondered what shreds of me were left
That I could offer anybody. 


Looking back 
I should’ve been angry. 
I should’ve fought back.
I should’ve left him. 

But through it all I was loyal. 
I was the only one who saw his insecurity. 
I eventually realized
I’d had it all backwards.

He had needed me to need him so badly
That he did everything in his power
To make me feel so insecure
That I would never leave him. 

My leash was his anger.
My prison was our marriage.
My armor was my spirit.
Somehow through it all
He never cracked my spirit.


Somewhere in the core of me
Was the belief
That I would prevail.
That I would be strong. 
That I would find a way to pursue
What made me happy. 
Someday.

My spirit was stronger than his. 
Now he is in how own prison
And my Someday has arrived 
At last. 



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