If the shoe fits…

I cringe at some of the words describing Domestic Violence.

Battered. Victim.
Those are two words I don’t like describing women.
They just seem so excessive,

But if the shoe fits?

Being married to a man who uses anger to control a home and its inhabitants is like going to school every day to deal with a bully.
Maybe they’ll take your lunch money that day,
And maybe they won’t.
Maybe they’ll be distracted from noticing you
And maybe they won’t
But you live in a state of anxiety waiting for the blow to come
Thinking maybe if you alter your behavior enough
They won’t ________.

The torment of such an existence is not a marriage, but some will call it one, and in Christian homes, where women love the Lord and trust in Him to direct their paths,
It isn’t a stretch to believe they will add fervent prayer, for themselves or for their husband to change, to the list of things they must do in their desperate attempt to alter the very real
Thoroughly draining
::Exhausting:: excuse
of a twisted relationship that people call a marriage.

I used to think that if I changed…

If I was less bold
Less opinionated
Less strong-willed
Less ambitious
Less…. alma,
He’d be nicer.
He’d love me.
He’d be gentle.
He’d be kind.

Even after I left I told myself
He would find a more quiet gentle-spirited woman and they would get along famously.

I still blamed myself
and my personality
for the discord.

Now I know that a man with clarity of vision would have seen the gifts in those characteristics and even been glad,
Maybe even proud
to have a woman like that supporting him.

Thought processes like that
The self-loathing ones
They are like a labyrinth with corridors that were built during the developmental years.

They become your normal.
Your world.
You live in them.
And one day someone tells you there’s a way out and you look at them the way a fish would look at another fish, a flying fish that tried to describe the sky at night
Velvet blue, full of stars and pinpoints of twinkling lights,
And after you’ve decided that they aren’t full of shit you start to look for it.
You start to look for a way out of the depths of depression and despair.

That’s the day a life changes for the better.
The day one begins looking for the way out is the day they’ve found the key to change.

After that it’s only a matter of a few footsteps lying between them and the very last passageway.


I still cringe at the words.
But the shoe did fit.
I wore them for a long time.

I don’t wear them anymore.
I left them in the labyrinth.

And you don’t have to wear them, either,
If you don’t want to.


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