TRIGGER WARNING: Spousal abuse is no joke

The First Husband

April is Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness month (among others). I am a survivor of Domestic Violence.

April is Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness month (among others).
I am a survivor of Domestic Violence.

I felt the wash of rage strike through my stomach when I saw you there

With a ONETWO punch of viciousness, I cringed as if it were a physical blow

Violence flashed before my blackened eyes that have long since healed

I remembered in crystal clear detail the fire you created

That burned my possessions forcing me to be your possession

That charred my childhood into echoes of musical damnations

Removing the blessings my mother gave to me

On sunny afternoons in the plant room of my childhood home

And you, with lighter fluid in hand, me begging forgiveness

You tossing key upon key into the blaze despite my please, thank you.

There you were, glaring your judgement on my friend

Turning your nastiness towards someone I love

Every bit of forgiveness I thought I could give was erased

“I think you’re just being vulgar for the sake of vulgarity.”

Fuck you! You’d still have the wife you pledged to protect

If you wouldn’t have pulled her gun on her, or slapped her,

Or pushed her, or punched her, or threatened her, or raped her

Or abused her, or took her love and threw it like your smelly shoes, away.

You no longer are allowed access to me, you son of a bitch.

You are denied access to love from me or my tribe.

You are rebuked and are denied absolution from my heart because of your actions.

Lie all you want to the people in your life now, but we both know what happened.

We both know you are not the “Christian” you claim to be.

We both know what you’ve done.

The door is closed, return to your own hell.

TRIGGER WARNING! How long will you stay? DV/SA

The story I’m about to share with you is intense in emotion, digs into some really dark corners that many keep locked and heavily guarded. I am not opening the door with the spotlight shining in to require pity, request comfort, nor to have anyone claim, “Bless her heart.” I am shining the light into my darkness so that, hopefully, my flashlight can reach someone who feels betrayed, solitary in their suffering, shameful, or guilt-ridden. I end this first paragraph with this:

IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. I BELIEVE YOU.

The month of April is Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence awareness month. For those of us who have survived through these violent crimes, it’s an important month to help educate others about the necessary resources to protect ones physical, mental, and emotional self, commonly without financial ability to pay due to the clandestine fleeing that can be crucial to becoming a survivor and not a victim.

I’m not going to spout statistics, or at least not a lot of them, because those are just numbers. I want to share with you my face.

meage6This is a picture of me at around age six. By the time this picture was taken, I was already quite skilled in how to be the twisted version of the good daughter. I had secrets I couldn’t tell to anyone or my mom and my brother would be killed. I already understood that I was good for one thing. I was so carefully bred to be a victim, I never associated (even up until about six weeks ago) myself with that word or with the fact that things that happened were violent crimes against my person. I just felt like I’d survived, my mom and brother were still alive, life was good.

When I’d reached age 21, I was in full blown PTSD (non-combat trauma). When I read off the symptoms back then I sincerely believed that someone had been following me around writing my every move. It was terrifying to realize that other people had gone through the same thing. It was even more petrifying to realize that it happened to me. Denial is a vicious place to live.

After intensive in-patient treatment, several years of intensive outpatient, and then several MORE years of follow up (as needed) therapy, I feel comfortable and confident in saying that I’m on the other side of PTSD with minimal triggers. It took me 40 years of hard work (30 years actively) to get through the shame, the guilt, the depression, the feelings of being unworthy that were planted from the time I was very young.

The way that I identified myself changing from a total sexual being into a loving human being took devotion, courage, strength, guidance, and determination. It was a life or death battle that left me weary, broken, bloody, and sometimes hanging on by a thread of the Fates. But, as my matriarchs taught me, whether by grace or design, to thrive is the best testament to victory over that which demanded submission.

I ask you this question:

How long does it take before you say enough of a bad relationship? How far will you allow the violence against you to continue before you fight back? How much will have to be stripped of your personal dignity before you look around and say, “I can do better. WE can do better.”

I say, the time is now. Tomorrow may be too late to save one more girl from rape. Tomorrow may be too late to rescue one more child from starvation. Today. This is what we have. Join me, humans, in rescuing ourselves from one of the greatest tragedies and the source of our joint suffering, the lack of equality between genders in the name of LOVE, for the purpose of LOVE, with the intent of LOVE brought into action.

If we do not stand together as the majority population and demand equality, then we fail our sisters, our mothers, our grandmothers, our daughters, our children, our humanity. Men that wish equality are those we should cherish, nurture, encourage to defend, but never to rescue us. You can’t expect those who wish to keep us under their heel in the name of religious or political beliefs to release us from slavery (as the article this was inspired by) stated. That’s like allowing a wolf to watch ones sheep or a (JOKE ALERT) police officer to guard a doughnut.

Maya Angelou kept rising despite the anchors that attempted to drown her. So shall I rise whether anyone follows or everyone shies away from the truths. We must move for unity and equality, but for the right reasons, because it’s the right thing to do.

Fighting

ONE, TWO punch

ONE, TWO punch!

I’m being hoodwinked

I’m being mislead from

my firm belief that EVERYthing

matters

It is irrelevant how tattered

my vision becomes or my

failing belief that *I*

can make a difference

that *I* matter

I pick up the tape

and wrap my hands individually

like Halloween candy

Protecting them from

broken fingers

fumbling grasps

Reinforcing my purpose

as if it matters

to ANYone else but me.

I wrap my hands in justice

eliminating foes

with ONE-TWO punches

Powerful with animosity

Strong with furious passion

of faith and

conviction

Does it matter?

Damn right it matters.

It ALL matters

It matters when my eyes

open in the morning

with deep breathing snoring

lovers wrapped up warm

against my ample body

It DOES matter when

I grab my fists from the floor

where I carelessly threw them

after another violent day

of fighting

for what matters.

It doesn’t phase me

to hear the onslaught

of rage streaming

silently from his lips

second thing in the morning.

It doesn’t occur to me

to let him remain split

into shards of himself

It doesn’t push me

But it pulls me

yanks me

spanks me

drags me

slams me

punches me

infects me

bashes me

beats me

thrashes me

It pummels my beliefs,

stomps and screams

tantrums LOUDLY

FURIOUSLY

But I take it because

it matters. It all

matters

I tape up my hands individually

like pocket tissues

cd’s

candy promises

of sweet

sweet

returns

My taped hands protect

them from

broken fingers

fumbling grasps

reinforcing my purpose

with paladin-like

integrity

honesty

all in perpetuity

all into discarded

thoughts of coffee ground fantasies.

It’s all good.

It’s all real.

It all matters.

*I* matter. THIS matters.