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Trigger warning: abuse

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The writing below occurred on a Good Friday over 20 years ago. I was verbally abused by a significant other during my mid-20’s. While he never physically abused me, I believe I would have left as soon as hits and shoves began. Instead, I wondered for months if what I was experiencing was verbal and emotional abuse, often convincing myself otherwise and telling myself that it would get better.

*****

From the rolling tears creeping down my cheeks
And the short breaths attempting to fill my lungs with air,
I inhale your disgust,
The grit spilling from your voice
Tastes like clouds of dust escaping from bottoms of sandals.

Our dinner the night before was a beautiful memory-
A time of quiet celebration…
But oh how the tone has changed quickly.

Even when my prayers begged for you not to betray me again, you walk back in.
Your hate-filled, dagger-edged sentiments
Came back to the room.
You weren’t finished.

Hit me, I think to myself.
I can finally come down off of the cross to which you nailed my spirit
And I can flee towards the lands of plenty
Where the God of hope and love has promised me
Milk, honey, vines drooping with grapes and nets overflowing with fish.

Hit me, I say to myself. I want to know where you stand
Instead of you driving the crown of thorns upon my sore spirit-
And removing it.  Then placing it and removing it
Again
And again
And again.

Your repeated accusations and condemnations pick apart my heart.

You might as well smack my face or whip me across the back
Or pierce my side with the dagger you kept in your bag
Because I cannot tell if I’ve done something wrong
Or if you’re thriving from my pain
And stirring
Stirring
Stirring the energy around us to kill the dreams leading me forward.

Your ‘love’ dizzies me
Like a ride on a chariot.
Your ‘love’ lifts me
Like a soldier lifting the Christ’s cross.
Your ‘love’ pierces me
Like nails driven into a body.
Such ecstasy is too much for my soul.
You’ve taken my breath – my will to breathe – away.

*****

I’m ready for my empty tomb and riding on clouds
Because my night in spiritual Sheol has captured all of my tears.

I will no longer allow you to cast your die upon my mind.
And I will shed your sins that you have showered upon my soul.

*****

As we wake for the new day
And you wash your hands of last night’s agony,
I barely feel human.

It’s Saturday.
We say goodbye.
The next time we meet face-to-face,
I’ve left the tomb.

 

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