A survivor’s poem about escaping abuse

A woman we have had the privilege of helping has written a poem, taking us through her experience of domestic abuse.

The poem was recorded and played out as part of the virtual White Ribbon coffee morning with Broxtowe Borough Council on White Ribbon Day earlier this year. It was a highlight of the presentation, sparking emotion in many of the attendees.

Please take the time to read Freedmum’s poem. Maybe you can relate to it, or maybe you could share it in case someone you know does.

Remember, if you are experiencing domestic abuse or are affected by past domestic abuse, we are here to help you. Call our support line on 01773 719111 or text 07914 634 190.

Who are they?

I stare at the paper, screwed up and torn

Retrieved from the bottom of my bag

Shoved away

Deep down forgotten in the depths of the dark lining

 

The number I was given

She said they could help me

But who can help me now?

This is how it is, How it will always be

 

01773 it’s so near to me

Broxtowe it says

What if they know me?

Who are they, these women?

 

It’s always my fault

So surely they will agree

Just laugh and belittle

As it’s always me!

 

I look at the number,

Stare at the phone

Wishing it would just

Ring, ring

 

It’s him, my heart pounds

I grab at it, taking his call

My hurried response

Deceived with my words

 

Where were you, certainly took your time

 Is growled down the line

Just doing some washing, is my courteous response

Well make sure it’s ironed, the ungrateful retort

 

The orders continue,

barked down the phone

My heads in a whirr

Okay, no problem, in my calmest tone

 

Don’t forget, it rings in my ear

Dinner at 6, with creamy mash

The sneers echo around

Not the usual crap

 

The number’s still there

Beseeching me

Make the call

Just make the call.

 

Times passes by,

Days become weeks

Weeks are soon months

Should I make that call?

 

What’s up with you, you look so sad,

An old friend calls as I scuttle past

Daren’t stop to chat

Hell to pay if I am late

 

Don’t go, the friend calls out

Stay and chat a while

I push them away

No chance to talk today

 

A message appears

A friend request,

I can’t be that rude

So I quickly accept

 

Within minutes a ping

Request confirmed

Hey, what’s happened to your smile?

You look so sad!

 

Yes I am ok, my hurried response

Busy life, busy wife,

Stressed at work

But a really happy mum!

 

That’s great to hear

The friend’s immediate response

You see to everyone

But are you okay?

 

Thanks for asking, is my usual reply

No, not really

I don’t think I am

Splutters from my mouth

 

Did I just utter those words?

To this friend I can trust

How did they creep out!

Was that really my voice?

 

You look so sad

The friend repeats

You didn’t stop,

You wouldn’t speak.

 

Couldn’t stop, can’t speak

Too busy, I declared

Too scared

The whisper escaped.

 

Tell me what’s wrong

The friend persisted

Don’t be so sad,

It can’t be that bad

 

So I shared a secret or two

Between us as friends

Their horrified reply

This is abuse!

 

I think of the number

Still screwed up and torn

Shoved to the back

Of the bag and my mind

 

Can I make the call?

After all it’s not classified now

I have been called out

So maybe it’s time!

 

The minutes pass,

Minutes become hours

Ticking away in my brain

Make the call, make the call

 

Like a train in my head

Make the call, make the call,

I can’t, I can’t, I can’t

Pick up the phone, you cry

 

Make the call, make the call,

Pick up the phone

It echoes around

And won’t go away.

 

I have to make this stop,

It’s got to go away.

I pick up the phone

I make that call.

 

Broxtowe Women’s project

A clearly friendly voice

I want to listen

Are you safe to talk?

 

I talked, I told

Sobbed and screamed

Wept and wailed

Forever, it seemed.

 

They heard word

That retched from within

All the fears,

Shames, dreads and doubts.

 

I shouted and yelled,

Anger rising in me

It was never my fault,

Not once, not ever!

 

It all spilled out

The demons from within

Dragged out from my soul

Escaping within.

 

I raged and ranted,

Its all out the closet,

No more hiding,

No more surprises!

 

Those brilliant women

They listened and believed

They understood,

that it was never me.

 

The secrets are all shared,

The tales all told,

Every word believed

By someone who cared.

 

A new path for me

Lies untrodden ahead

With exciting adventures

Nothing to dread

 

No more fears

Or sneers

Taunts or names

No more tears!

 

Those days are gone

Departed and past

A life free from abuse,

The future welcomes me!

 

I am Freedmum

Who loves her life

Who now wears a smile

That will never be taken

 

I am Freedmum

Who’s free to choose

This can be you,

Just please make that call!

 

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or are affected by past domestic abuse, we are here to help you. Call our support line on 01773 719111 or text 07914 634 190.