The first time I ever saw a woman being abused I was around 8 or 9
My mother left for a date with her boyfriend at the time,
I recall hearing an argument ensue outside
My curious mind led to me peeking out the blinds,
And just as I peered out the window, I witnessed a man punching a woman in the face
He hit her so hard that she fell to the ground
I sat there in disbelief, unable to fully comprehend what had just occurred.
The first time a man ever put his hands on me I was 18
I’d just caught him cheating and of course he flipped shit around and tried to blame me
He hit me in my face so hard that I lost my breath
I sat there frozen, in disbelief
Not fully grasping the reality of what had just occurred.
My salty tears ran down my bruised face
I was too ashamed to tell anyone so I kept it inside
I forgave him and he made empty promises that he’d never do it again
I felt any self-worth I had left diminish each time he’d raise his hand
The last time I allowed a man to hurt me physically I was 21
We’d been together for years and in an instant, it all went downhill
He had me pinned against the wall with his hands around my throat
I saw the demon within him as I tried to escape his grasp
I wasn’t aware of the impact this would have
Of the vivid flashbacks I’d get from the trauma he caused me
I still think about that woman from my childhood.
I think about whether or not she chose to stay or,
Was she brave enough to walk away?
I wish I’d left at 18.
I wish I’d never ignored the warning signs at 21.
I wish I’d loved myself enough to never settle for a man who thought beating women was ok.
And some days I’m ok,
Until I’m not.
Until the images flash and I’m back in that space I fought so hard to get out of
Some days I’m ok.
At least that’s what I tell myself.
Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma’aji on Unsplash