Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Broken Girls and Unheeded Warnings
I ignored the well-meaning advice
From friends and family.
They didn’t understand.
They didn’t know him the way I did.
We were in love, and love conquers anything.
In his arms this broken girl
Found salvation in a dream come alive,
A balm to ease the pain of a chaotic life,
Unaware the path I had chosen
Only led to more chaos.
Seductive words from his forked tongue
Slowly weaned me away
From those friends and family,
Leaving me wandering
Coatless through the wilderness
With only him to save me.
His sweet words soured over time,
Turning derisive and cruel,
Stripping away my sense of self
Until all that remained was
A drained vessel to be filled
With more woolly logic,
More twisted illusions,
His viselike grip on me
Suffocating in every sense of the word.
The dream deteriorated into an nightmare,
Days carefully calculated to avoid his wrath,
Nights waiting to see what torture
Lie in store should his temper rise again,
Perhaps another verbal assault
Spiraling into something more physical,
Unwanted invasions of my deepest self,
Lying awake wondering
If this was the night when the
Cold metal of a kitchen knife
Would slide between my ribs
Turning white sheets to crimson.
By the time enough fragments of myself
Had returned to identify the danger,
I was nearly incapable of escaping.
I almost didn’t.
I’ve watched her grow from
Chubby toddler into gawky adolescent
Into a young woman who could be my daughter,
A beautiful but broken girl
Whose steps mirror my own path.
I know his embrace eases that broken feeling,
Brings a fullness to her life she’s never known.
Today I am a much wiser woman
And can see the warning signs,
She thinks no one understands;
I understand far more than she,
Knowledge forged in an abuser‘s shadow.
She shapes her life as he prefers,
Days carefully calculated to avoid his wrath.
She is already slipping away
From the friends and family
Offering advice I know will be ignored.
I find I cannot admonish her.
I can only pray she learns
Before repeating all my mistakes
And walks away from him
While she’s still capable of escaping.