Submitted Date 01/14/2022

You were the normal one…no drinking or drugs.

You accepted me-baggage and all.

That was my first mistake…thinking

I would be acceptable to anyone but me.

The I do's quickly turned to I don't like you this way.

Your words were cushioned by securities of home,

health, family.

My fears of physical abuse blinded me to your lashings

from a seductive tongue.

I've lived through physical bruises lasting for weeks.

Sexual assaults that bruised body and soul.

Beatings so painful, I prayed for death.

None of these prepared me for the hidden assault

you played.

You made me question myself…leaving me a hollow

shell of who I once was.

Your words lovingly caressed my mind until the bruises

left only cranial mush.

I prided myself on never accepting abuse.

But how do you defend against the grenadine words

that stain the mind red with their acidic aftertaste?

I accepted the words because they were safe…

until they weren't…

until I wasn't.

But then, it was far too late.

The realization was devastating,

but not nearly as much as the time

wasted on self-shame.

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