Don’t ask

I am a survivor of nearly 30 years of domestic abuse – that has affected my physical and in particular mental health. The drip, drip nature of coercive control anesthetises you to what is going on. My abuse robbed me of my life. As an older woman I just want people to know why mentally it is so difficult to leave.

 

When they hit you, people see your damaged body
But you lie
What people do not see is what they do inside your head
You don’t understand!
It all starts so well
They tell you are special and they care
They tell you that they need you
They buy you flowers and gifts
You think, you’re special but they do not say that
They tell you they need only you
They ask you to stay home
They say why go out with friends stay home with me.
They tell you your friends don’t care for you like me
You feel wanted you think they need you.
They tell you what to wear to please them.
They tell you that they know what is best for you
They tell you that they want to make you a better person
They tell you not to be late so that you are safe.
They come and meet you to keep you safe
They tell you that they want to know where you are because they care
You think it strange but they love you what could be wrong!!!
You want to make them happy so slowly, slowly, on it goes
And then
They hit you! They are sorry and beg for forgiveness
They cry they plead
You forgive them, they love you
It starts again
They buy you flowers and gifts……..
They say you must try harder and not to make them angry
They are silent, they sulk, they ignore
They criticise your family, your friends, the way you look, almost everything you do
They ask for access to your phone, your email
Not all at once but slowly, slowly
You look around things seem different for other people but you don’t know why
They are so reasonable when they do this
You start to feel uncomfortable but you don’t know why
This is abuse but you don’t know………..

[Image description: Dark writing on a pale pink background reads: “When they hit you, people see your damaged body. But you lie. What people do not see is what they do inside your head.”]

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