when you knocked me off the wall, you left me begging. begging for a chance. a chance to kindness, compassion, and love. but you walked away, in your great Gatsby-style swag. as if nothing happened. no harm was done.
you left me bleeding. my heart bled for the future my soul cried for the trust
when you knocked me off the wall, you took away, away all the good in me, the best in me. except for one thing. one thing.
for when you knocked me off the wall, I swear you’ll never have me nor will you ever have the power over me.
when you knocked me off the wall, I was hurt. I was scared.
but I took the courage and said no, no, to your outrageous crazy way of getting what you want
There’s a limit to how far hard work can get you. There’s a limit to how much suffering love can make you take.
Intan studied criminology, which means she trained herself to understand the worst in people. She took a bachelor’s degree and graduated with flying colors, then went on to take a post helping women out of abusive relationships and unhealthy environments. She was smart and driven, and she believed in herself.
So when she married her boyfriend of several years, she knew it would work. She had mastered what it took to end marriages through her job, and she was willing to bet that, no matter what, she would be able to protect herself.
Intan lost that bet.
Her husband was smart too, and handsome, and sincere, and kind, and made the little things count in their relationship. But he was also convinced that his wife shouldn’t be allowed to be more intelligent, or more attractive, or more successful than he was.
This was already a troubling conviction for a man to have, but even more so for a man married to Intan, who was always number 1 in school, who worked her butt off to get what she wanted, and who never backed down from a challenge.
She flourished in her career, and in her own skin, and in their community. While she did, her husband grew jealous.
His insecurities seeped into every conversation, blindsiding her at every turn. A simple question would turn into a shouting match. An insignificant comment became accusations and overreactions.
Intan endured as much as she could. She didn’t get as far as she did in life without making numerous sacrifices. Maybe her husband’s behavior was just another one of those sacrifices. An offering to the altar of the gods and goddesses of marriage.
He took her own service firearm one day and aimed it at her. She couldn’t remember the reason (all his reasons for every fight were stupid), but when he made that mockery of her profession, she had to back out.
It’s slowly disappearing—a world where girls can only be wives if they are less than what their husbands are. It’s slowly disappearing but it’s mostly still here.
Things that break on earth don’t reach the clouds above us. Burning villages don’t change the schedule of sunsets. And stars remain stars, no matter how much land we destroy.
But when the sky loses all of its lights and unleashes a thunderstorm, everything drowns.
Erin was a vibrant, happy, and joyful woman. To her many boyfriends, all of whom mistreated her verbally and physically, she was patient. To Sufi, she was a great human being and an even better friend.
To herself, Erin was unfair.
She grew up believing she only deserved the kind of love that did nothing but hurt her. And Sufi watched her pick partner after partner that mentally burned her out and repeatedly destroyed her heart.
Still, Erin’s aspirations, inspiration, imagination, wonder, dreams, pursuits, creative brilliance, her magic, remained bright as stars on a cloudless evening, always. Until they didn’t.
Abuse is not at all clear cut. But Sufi remembered with perfect clarity when her best friend lost the sparkle in her eyes.
First, the silence. Even though marrying the love of your life should be a nervous, excited, rambunctious affair.
Then, the realization of her colleagues that Erin was living with a man who was comfortable with sending his wife to work with bruises and a black eye.
And the dark understanding of the weight of Erin having a son, and nowhere to go that felt safe enough to risk her husband following them and breaking them worse than he would if they stayed put.
Sufi suffered watching her, but all everyone that genuinely loved Erin could do was love her until she began loving herself enough to see that she too was deserving of better treatment.
It took years, and all their support, and the kind of bravery you only learn while trying to fight through a thunderstorm, but Erin gained the self-respect she needed to leave the one that was drowning her light.
Coming home should be the safest thing we ever do in this life. Where we lay our heads at night should be where monsters will not reach us. And yet, so many find themselves making homes with monsters instead.
You can read more of true and inspiring stories of abuse and violence from my book “After Rain Skies”, available via KOBO.COM
she wears a smile so contagious and charming the kind that bears true of a heart filled with love and compassion he took it away now wounded, now torn. abuse took her smile away but not her soul she’s beaten, she’s crying, but she’s winning.
out in the storm in a lonely evening fighting, thriving for in trying she is winning and in pain she is victorious for in silence, she battles and in pain, she remembers, love.
Today’s poem is from my 3rd poetry book “Oh, Dear One” available via KOBO. COM and Amazon
Coming home should be the safest thing we ever do in this life. Where we lay our heads at night should be where monsters will not reach us. And yet, so many find themselves making homes with monsters instead. This is a compilation of true and inspiring stories of abuse and violence in prose and poetry. Order your e-book copy now at https://www.kobo.com/ph/en/ebook/afte