I never thought it would happen to me.
As a child, I would hear my mother’s screams for help. I can remember the crackling of cupped hands against her skin and the sound of bodies tussling against tiled floor. Even more so, I can remember my attempt to calling 911 and yelling that my dad was killing my mother, only for her to tell the officers upon their arrival that it was only a disagreement. I couldn’t fathom why she was lying, why she would allow the abuse to happen over and over again.
So when I became of age, I promised myself – it would NEVER happen to me.
Yet, it did.
He never touched me.
I never had to worry about the bruises on my skin or having to quickly gather an excuse like hurrying to hide away discarded laundry when visitors arrive unexpectedly.
I never had the bruises, that’s all I remember when it happened to me.
“If he never touched me, I wasn’t abused”.
Yet, I remember the stings that burned my heart, and the welts that formed in my insides.
It was as if it was sunset. You knew it was coming, you even knew the time it would come; yet, you would seemingly wish at times for it to wait a little longer or to never come at all.
He talked about me until I rotted.
About my looks, about my behaviors, about how he disliked me more than he ever disliked anyone else. He would say things like I was dumber than I looked, how I was the worst “BITCH” he could have ever fell in love with, how no other man would learn to love me. He would say that I wasn’t unattractive and how I was a hoe. He would belittle me and push me into a corner and with his growling words he would shower me with pain.
I’ve slept in corners before while he slept in the bed, too scared to be near him. I’ve slept in closets to be able to lock him out. And I cried in the shower knowing that the bathroom was the only place he respected “my space”.
And when it was all said and done. He would love me again.
Like a wounded puppy, I took shelter in his arms knowing what would become of later days.
I once said, that this would never happen to me.
I blamed him. Blamed him for my escape, blamed him for how I now viewed myself, I blamed him – simply because I became everything he told me I would be – or so I thought. But it takes two…
It took years to find me. It took years to shower off his hurtful words, to rebuild a broken heart that splintered from constant burden, it took years for my soul to shine from the shadows.
It would never happen to me. But it did. And I can honestly say if you are in an abusive relationship, even if he doesn’t put his hands on you – get out now. Love is often associated with pain. And if you’re like me- you believe that love IS pain. But it is not. Love is when you’re able to stand in front of a mirror and with loving eyes and a heartfelt mind be able to justify and love who you are. It is when you’re able to be you, all of you – not the half time special in which he only knows part of you because he doesn’t “like” other sides of you. It’s when you’re able to laugh more than you cry. It’s when he’s not the cause of your weeps in the shower, it’s when your closet is only made to store things, and it’s when corners are only meant for two walls to meet up.
Love yourself. I can’t ever explain how important it is…to love yourself.