Survivor Poem: An Ode To My Former Self
The poem below has been written by a survivor of Domestic Abuse Kat.
Kat has been supported by BWP, attending our Survivor’s programme, and recently a Writing into Wellness event run by our Wellbeing team.
As you can read below, Kat is an incredibly talented writer, who manages to convey so much about her experience in a few powerful phrases.
Thank you for sharing this with us all Kat.
An Ode To My Former Self
You’re stronger than you think you are.
Though that notion may feel so very far
Removed from how you feel right now.
Never knowing when or why or how
The lion will bring you to your knees.
Fight, flight, freeze, appease…
Anything to stay alive.
And yet each day you lose some drive
To try. Along with your mind.
Or so you’re told.
You must be crazy – you can’t find
Anxiety, tears, depression, fears.
Locked down, locked in. There’s no escape.
Watch the knife draw blood, watch the skin scrape
Back, above weary hands.
You feel like no one understands
The guilt and shame…
But you’ve been carrying the blame
For things that were never your fault;
Isolation, manipulation, triangulation, assault.
Accusations of cheating were merely projecting
His own insecurities like a mirror reflecting
His covert narcissist.
The mirror you tried to avoid
As with your self esteem destroyed
You saw what he wants you to see
And tried to achieve what he wants you to be.
Too skinny, too sensitive, you can’t take a joke,
Your haircut that made you look like a bloke.
The rules ever changing, first Jekylll, then Hyde;
Never enough despite how hard you tried.
Not allowed to breastfeed, you’re ruining ‘his’ tits
But it’s not abusive ‘cos he never hits
You. Is it?
Forced kisses. Withheld love.
Always an ‘accidental’ shove
That was forgotten about by morning.
The times he said you’d “had your warning”
And fear rained down because you knew
That consequences would ensue.
Prolonged silence, abusive texts;
Never sure what happens next.
The sulking glares, the threats & stares,
Convincing you that no one cares
Apart from him, omnipotent.
Grand gestures post sudden break-ups
Followed by a “sorry, but…”
The phone would ring, you must pick up
The pieces of your broken heart
Every time he did depart
Or risk more eggshells to evade.
The strength to leave when others stayed
The tenacity in each tear wept
The courage to openly reject
His threats “you can’t get rid of me”.
But my darling, don’t you see?
The lion was not you, but he.
The taunts and sugar-coated lies;
He was the lion in disguise
A mask that slowly fell apart
To reveal his cold and empty heart.
Your strength led you to get away
Such might not be true of his next prey.
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