Abuse and neediness pick your partners
I found this poem in some old dusty papers, written as my 3rd marriage was ending. I decided to renew it and post it to show how I felt at the time. I am not the only one. So many of us.............
In my case, he made me feel like this without striking a blow, using looks and anger and derision and threats and booze. Others are not so lucky.
You've arrived home from work, Do I detect any signs?
Deciphering your face for the ninety-ninth time.
What mood are you in? Can I smooth you out,
so, I don't shrink with fear that imposes self-doubt.
Loud crashes of thundering, your voice is so near,
Insidiously wrapping me, fueled by my fear.
Stroking my muscles with small feathery touches,
Erasing the strength, the courage it crushes.
Being on guard is tiresome work.
Do I talk, do I move, inviting assault.
The dark mood you're in, it's entirely my fault.
It wasn't me who fought with your boss.
The fight with your dad is always my loss.
My talents are secret, my needs are obscured.
I can't create words; my ideas are not heard.
No compliments my way, you invariably hear.
My price is the pain from your love, always near.
Why does he call this love?
To visit my brother, I have to sneak out,
Leave a note on the fridge when you're not about.
My daughter is not welcome, I need her so bad.
Your cruelty and envy erode what we have.
Never go out in public, you always complain.
Can't like anything special, it's not worth the pain
No friends can I have, all secrets kept in.
Can't keep any privates, you burrow within.
My world is too heavy.
My job that I wanted; you said I could choose.
Stupid me for believing what's coming from booze.
My first paycheck is welcomed, it gives me some pride.
No cruelty at work, I don't have to hide.
Just one word of happy, just one word of good.
Not even OK, why hope, become wood.
Myself, I get smaller, submerging in nil.
Smoke dope, drink beer, disappearing with pills
Why does it hurt to be your wife?
You are the king; the rules are all yours.
I can't even breathe; I don't have the doors.
Living around the grey edges of rooms.
Anticipating the pain, so tired by noon.
Depression and darkness, your gifts to my soul.
Must fight for the sunshine, erase all the mold.
It's never gone far, it's with me long nights.
You taught me so well, how blackness's my right.
My shameful choices tell me to run.
I've made the decision, too little of me left.
Death quietly advances, so persuasive and deft.
What do I take? And will I get out? Fear makes me pack.
Remember essentials, I am not coming back.
The policeman is waiting, outside in his car,
just for my safety so there is no war.
Must leave my dogs and my flowers, my things.
My daring is scary and mournful and sings.
Are you coming? Are you on your way?
I'm out and away, disappearing nowhere.
No car and no money, but my own little square.
My food and my couch, my table and bed.
Freedom to live as solo quiets my dread.
Starting over without you is sadness, regret.
No love or the trust, never again be my net.
Do I now hide forever? Will I ever be safe?
Will I ever regain in others, my faith?
I am learning to live.
I keep telling myself I did the right thing
as I beg for work rides and throw away my rings.
I do sleep at night, the boogeyman's gone.
And the peace in my soul increases each dawn.
I am free.