Because so afraid to break the silence, we become it #WhyDidntIReport
Spoken Word Poem © Kathy Parker 2018
“You didn’t love her. You just didn’t want to be alone. Or maybe, maybe she was good for your ego. Or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life. But you didn’t love her, because you don’t destroy the person that you love” (Grey’s Anatomy)
When I look back now, it’s hard to believe I ever thought you loved me. How desperate I must have been to call that love when in your hands I became so small; crushed by the heaviness of your fingers as they pressed into my skin, the imprint faded but still visible after all this time. How eroded my worth became with each crash of furious words that washed against the already worn breakwaters of my heart. How afraid I became of not just you, but of everything I once was that I no longer trusted myself to be, for fear I would take a wrong step and set off another landmine beneath the surface of your skin.
You left that day, stopping only to push the knife in a little deeper on your way out the door. The pain was so great I hoped to bleed out, right there on the floor where you left me. I wondered if I could survive what you had done to me; if I even wanted to. But resilience has always coursed through my veins faster than sorrow and though weak, I found the courage to pick myself up from the floor that day.
It all seems so long ago now. How far I have come since these pale scars were once open wounds. How distant the taste of bitterness upon my tongue now seems. I’ve long since stopped wanting to call, to write, to tell you of all the ways you nearly broke me, but not quite. Instead, I have come to realise should I ever pass by you on the street, there is only two words I would need to say.
Thank you for teaching me I will never again settle for someone who can destroy a woman and call that love; who can not only justify their abuse through victim-blaming, but make a woman believe they actually deserved such abuse.
Thank you for teaching me I will never again be controlled by another in a relationship; that I am the keeper of my own life, my own choices and my own relationships and I’m entitled to live my life with freedom, and not be imprisoned by another person’s power over me.
Thank you for teaching me I need not compromise who I am and all I believe in order to be loved; that I do not need to scrape my knees on the ground of another’s approval, nor ever apologise for who I am to those who choose not to accept me regardless.
Thank you for teaching me I do not need another to complete me; that I am better off being alone than ever being with someone who does not love me with respect, kindness, thoughtfulness, gentleness, acceptance.
Thank you for teaching me never to look back; for all the apologies that didn’t reach your eyes, for all the promises spoken through lying teeth, for all the times I did come back only to end up more shattered by you each time.
Thank you for helping me understand men like you never change.
Thank you for teaching me I deserve more than you.
Thank you for teaching me about love.
The kind of love you could never give.
The kind of love I am worth.
The kind of love I will only ever accept from another so long as they can love me the way I have finally learned to love myself.
I closed the door behind me
and in that moment I heard
my self-worth as it echoed
down to my daughters and
granddaughters and nothing
was ever so beautiful as the
sound of that final goodbye.
Day Twenty-Five #poemadayfeb: Sound
You were left so shattered by him; the way he tore in like a hurricane and ripped everything from you – your heart, your worth, your confidence, your hope.
You wondered how you would piece yourself together again when only broken remains lay your feet. Dazed, you picked them up, examined them, tried to place them side by side and make them fit. But they no longer did. Who you used to be was nowhere to be found in the wreckage he left behind; the only thing left was the grief over everything you had lost, everything he had taken from you, everything you once were and would never be again.
Through tears and regrets your weak hands fumbled in the mess that surrounded you; here and there you would pick up what few pieces you could find and hold them close to your chest until you eventually had enough to rebuild something of the life you once had.
You placed the pieces before you and stared at the chaos, defeated.
But soon, you began to notice the way the haphazard curves of the lines no longer looked amiss, but instead, wild and untamed. The way the colours and patterns came together not in a mess of confusion, but in a mosaic of abstract beauty. The way the cracks and flaws seemed less like weakness, and more like art; profound and perfect in their own right.
Filled with hope, you continued to dig through the remains, only using the best pieces to rebuild with; the pieces that were strong and resilient and beautiful and brave. Pieces you had once loved, but that had been lost and discarded by his careless hands.
Most importantly, pieces that carried no remnant of him.
You built until you were whole again; stronger than you had ever been, put back together with courage and resilience and worth and strength and the wisdom of one who has survived the storm.
From the brokenness came something new.
This is what we learn from those who break us.
That after the destruction, there is always the transformation.
And one day, my love, you will come to understand the beauty of a hurricane.
That sometimes what comes to break us, is actually what saves us.
~ © Kathy Parker ~
The Unravelled Heart, a profoundly true reflection on trauma, abuse, love, loss and healing, now available worldwide on Amazon http://amzn.to/2BIvFhp
Then there are the ones that like to hold you to the mistakes of your past. Who will try and drag you back through your own shame and make you believe you don’t deserve the dream you have fought so damn hard your whole life to achieve.
Their words will be calculated – targeted missiles they will aim at the places they know will be the weakest; the places they know have been wounded before.
This is what they will tell you:
That the person you once were is who you will always be.
That the person you were at your worst is the most you will ever amount to.
That you will never be anything more than the mistakes you once made.
That you are worthless, hopeless, useless.
Don’t listen to them.
Because here’s the thing.
Nobody has the right to judge you.
Nobody has the right to hold you prisoner to your mistakes when they don’t know a damn thing about the choices you had to choose from and how hard you fought just to survive.
Nobody has the right to shame you for your humanity. To deny you the right to be human. To deny you the grace of the human condition that sees us all fuck up at times and learn from that and do better.
Nobody has the right to take away your redemption. To take every damn drop of blood poured for your healing, your growth, your change, your becoming, and make it worth nothing.
We are not held captive to our yesterdays, to the person we once were when we knew no better. We are not bound by our mistakes, to the ways we hurt others when our hearts were hurting so damn much inside our fragile chests. We are not defined by our rock bottom, when nobody knows what it has taken us to claw our way out to become the person we are today.
We are not our past.
We are not our shame.
Nobody has the right to judge the heart they do not see.
Your heart is beautiful; made new with each day you have woken and determined to do better. You are worthy. You are deserving. You are everything they will never be.
Forgiveness, grace, second chances: these are the things we offer other humans when we understand the frailty of our own humanity. When we understand that mercy always triumphs over judgement, and that this is how we offer love.
There will always be those who throw stones. Let them. For their feet will forever be bound by the shore, destined to watch as you, my darling, become the ocean.
And no-one ever told me how
healing was supposed to feel.
That it would be an anguish
that claws along my ribcage
before it tears me wide open
and lays bare all my ugliness.
That it would be scarves of
pain weaved around my neck
like hands that grip my throat
and leave me fighting for life.
That it would be a wilted body,
exhausted from the relentless
fight against the demons that
wage war upon my beaten soul.
That it would be bloody hands,
blistered and raw from clinging
so tightly to the addictions that
deaden this goddamn torment.
No, no-one ever told me how
healing was supposed to feel.
I didn’t know it would hurt like
barbwire dragged over my skin,
and knives gouged in my heart.
Yet all I know is before I’m able
to full heal, I must allow myself
to fully break.
Image courtesy yourtango.com
Handpicked from his fields
Where manipulation grows
Upon soils rich with deceit
They’ll look like wildflowers
That smell like new promise
And for a moment your heart
Will be fooled by their beauty
And your mind will then dwell
In places where luscious earth
Feels warm beneath your feet
And the purple heather sways
In time to the summer breeze
The places where wildflowers
Are born and freedom can be
Found under boundless skies
And for a moment you’ll think
He actually means it this time
Then you will look down upon
The marks around your ankles
And wrists that still weep tears
From shackles and chains that
He made you believe were love
And then you’ll remind yourself
That freedom doesn’t look like
A cage and love doesn’t look
Like abuse and once more
You will remember
How to fly.
Image courtesy www.guu.vn