The signs were there I just didn’t want to listen. The signs were there I just didn’t want to see it. The gifts you bought, the cruel words you said, the little ways you made me feel like less of a woman. I saw it coming.

You broke me like a wrangler breaks a horse. First you started with things that I swore didn’t hurt but they broke my spirit but by bit until I swore that I couldn’t even feel it. As I lay at home in my own bed I knew that you were killing me bit by bit.

I couldn’t bear the thought of my friends seeing me as a lesser being. My nails, hair and face were always freshly done. I could buy my mother the little things that made her life divine and slowly I could see her esteem of me rise. I could act like the person I fear to be and floss with your money.

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You created my dependence like a drug dealer with a junkie. First it was material things and then it was your laughter, love and your anger. You gave me until I was drunk and felt material bliss, the latest clothing, make up brand, my favourite designer hand bag, the luxury of takeout grilled on an open fire and then you tamed me by conditioning responses like Pavlov’s dogs and the bells.

I saw this coming. I just didn’t want to believe. I knew one day you’d kill me but somehow with every beating you never once got my blood on your sleeve.

You were always so sorry and always so forgiving for my bad behaviour, I knew you needed me, I knew I was nothing without you, only you can/could love me the way you do. If I had just gotten home earlier from my father’s funeral you wouldn’t have gotten mad. If I had just insisted on getting home earlier it wouldn’t have been this bad.

As my body bleeds and I feel my spirit wanting to take its leave I realize that you’ve never really loved me. As my breath is air and blood I realize that they were all right, you’re bad for me. As my body stops feeling pain I realize that you are weak, or else you wouldn’t wait until we are alone to speak to me with your hands, fists, shoes, feet and elbows. As you beg me not to die on you I realize if I ever see you again I will kill you.

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You fill my hospital room with flower, fruit juice, and chocolates. My sons stand with clenched fists. My daughter flinches with me every time you caress my cheek. My sisters roll their eyes. My brothers murder you slowly in their minds. My father doesn’t come to visit and my mother pretends. I swear I will never find myself here again. Shame burns my face when my best friend tells me that is what I said the last time.

This time I realize that next time I might just become dead as well as black and blue.

Next time this could be me. Picture courtesy of