Words

Words

i exhaled it all out of my suffocating lungs
i needed some space to loosen the pain
i took on the comfort of my gentle words
but i couldn’t tame them not this time

so i use the harshest expressions in a very jarring way
to pierce through every single cell your body has
so that blood will slowly trickle out each of your vein
maybe then you’ll know how much ache it was

i could think of all the bad and the worst
i could summon all that is hated and that is condemned
all the things i need just to get it through the cut
i probably want some solid-fluid air than them

i so ceased, i stopped being gentle and kind
even with the words i try to rhyme and count

for once i tell you, i’d be better when i’m good

For Reena’s Exploration Challenge # 213

Mia @ 18

Nothing beats the pain of losing yourself to somebody you barely even know. Nothing beats the pain of crying when you know it isn’t enough. Nothing beats the pain of wanting to die when you know death may not even be the answer.

Mia was your regular College girl. Pretty, charming, and smart. When everyone else thought it was a blessing, Mia later realized, it was rather a curse. For it was that same pretty and charming face that brought her to her agonizing situation.

Raped at 18.

And was forced to mature at such a young age.

Mia couldn’t actually recall the details anymore. Or maybe she chose to forget. Or maybe, forgetting was her way of coping.

Did forgetting help? Maybe yes, maybe no. One thing was sure though, it helped her moved on.

She intentionally forgot even the face of her perpetrator, the man who took away her innocence, the man who gave her endless nights of crying alone, and the man who at some point made her want to end her life.

But, forgetting helped. And oh, there was one more.

Her silence.

She never spoke about the abuse, to anybody, to anyone.

She kept her silence for so long. And yes, for some reasons and probably by the grace of God, her silence helped her forget and eventually moved on.

Now, years after, she chose to speak up. And why, now? Because she has found her peace now, and in her peace, she can better narrate her story and empower young women.

She promised herself, that she will devote her time, her expertise, and her resources to help victims of abuse and violence cope and survive.

And yes, Mia moved on; but she was never healed. Moving on, is entirely different from healing. Mia realized this by helping fellow victims.

Mia, is a victim, helping other victims.  

Mia is healing by helping.

When You Knocked Me Off The Wall

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.

my strength.

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.

I agonized.

but I took the courage
and said no, no, to your
outrageous
crazy way
of getting what you want

Peaceful

you robbed my dreams
when you murdered my innocence

you toppled down my spirit
when you assasinated my heart

so,

upon the meadows
I wonder, how many of my dreams
have you robbed?
how much of my innocence
have you murdered?

and,

upon the meadows
I count, on the many ways you
toppled down my spirit
on the many times you assasinated
my bleeding heart

so,

upon the meadows
I thank, I thank God
for gifting me with resilience,
forgiveness, and perseverance

that no matter how many
dreams you have stolen from me
how many times you murdered my innocence
how many moments, you toppled down my spirit

or,

no matter how many occasions you assassinated my ailing heart
I stand firm and graceful
strong and triumphant

just like the meadows, complete with sparkling grassland
beautiful
pretty

peaceful

For Eugi’s Prompt – Meadows
https://amanpan.com/2021/06/03/eugis-weekly-prompt-meadows-june-3-2021/

Naira’s Story

No one doubts that you’re in pain when you’re walking around bleeding. You’re lucky, if someone believes you’re hurt, without you having to forcibly cut off an arm.

Naira was fine. She was perfect. There wasn’t a scratch on her. She was just about to throw herself off the top of a high-rise, that was all. And what was so special about that?

Everyone had problems. Anyone who thought their problems deserved attention just wasn’t trying hard enough to solve them. Right?

War was hard. Poverty was hard. Going out to break you’re back trying to make money was hard.

Marriage? You couldn’t possibly be complaining about being married. You wanted to be married, didn’t you? Learning your partner’s personality, his tendencies, his flaws. That was your responsibility, wasn’t it?

No one asks for international tensions. No one leaves his mother’s womb asking Allah to make him poor. But you, you made a choice, gave a vow. It was a commitment no one forced you into. You deal with it.

He never even hit you. Why are you unhappy? Others have it worse, Naira. Other women get new bruises every day. Do you see them leaving their husbands? That’s right.

You deal with the yelling. And the things he says. In front of your parents, in front of your brothers and sisters, in front of your co-workers. What was the worst they could do anyway? They were just words.

See, you’re fine. Naira, you’re perfect. Not a scratch on you. In all of ten years, not a bruise on you. And—

You’re tired. And that’s okay. You did everything you could.

It’s time to make yourself well.

All relationships lie somewhere in the middle of healthy and unhealthy at any given time. That’s why it’s important to identify the patterns and behaviors of our own relationships. Because relationships that visit the unhealthy area one too many instances tend to like to stay there.

Read more true and inspiring stories of abuse and violence in “After Rain Skies” ebook copy available via KOBO.COM

 

Ehsan’s Story

 

Some people would say that children bear the consequences of their parents’ actions. Those people would be wrong. Children are the consequences of their parents’ actions. Everything they become is a direct result of everything their parents have done.

Ehsan had both of his parents growing up. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

From one of them, Ehsan learned cruelty. From the other, martyrdom. Watching them together taught him from a very young age that sometimes tearing a family apart is the only way to save the people in it. That, even so, there are people who would rather suffer every day than leave behind their children to break all alone.

 

And that there were children who, no matter how much pain they received in the past, managed to teach themselves to never give the same pain back to its source.

 

The last one Ehsan learned from himself.

 

Read more true and inspiring stories of ABUSE and VIOLENCE in my book “After Rain Skies”, ebook copy available at KOBO.COM

 

P.S.

 

I salute all the wonderful MOMS for patiently and painstakingly providing and making a home where good people can grow.

And as we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us remember and include in our prayers, the children who were not lucky enough to have mothers and who are victims of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

Intan’s Story

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.

 

“After Rain Skies” available via KOBO.COM

 

Erin’s Story

 

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

Storm

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

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Aisha was the wife of a man who disappeared not long after their marriage. In his place came a husband who thought always hurting the woman he had promised to care for was the best way to be one.

By the time they had a son, Aisha had to give up waiting for the person she fell in love with to come back. She had to set aside the nightmare of a possibility that that person might never even have existed because she had an 18-month old infant who had just been thrown by his father into a rose bush and who didn’t know how to defend himself.

For Aisha, enough was enough. For the safety of her baby, just a divorce would not be enough. There had to be no contact between the innocent and the guilty. Violence was a choice her husband continued to make, and she was taking a stand to prevent any more of it.

Courts, unfortunately, don’t always make this easy.  She needed the assistance of a brilliant lawyer to keep social workers from making her share her son’s life with a parent who kept trying to ruin it, the testimony of the family physician to prove there was actually abuse, and resilience that she was slowly running out of to keep going.

The months of having no one believe her did not make it easy, but there were good people along the way too. And, by Christmas, with their help, Aisha had full custody of her son and a well-earned chance at a kinder life for them both.

Women have the right to live free from violence.

Let your voice be heard

Read more true and inspiring stories of abuse and violence in my book “After Rain Skies” available via KOBO.COM