It’s a role I relish.
Confidante. BFF. The person who will tell it like it is to her friends with as much love as she can muster.
Recently, one of my dearest friends went through a miserable break up. While she honestly loved her ex, she would routinely ignore red flags about him—even when they were staring at her straight in the face.
“It can’t be abuse when he isn’t laying a hand on me,” she would say while I would remind her that words can pierce the soul, too. When he did hit her, she said it was because he was drunk and didn’t understand what he was doing and he apologized.
Watching her go through this on the sidelines was painful because she was clearly suffering and those of us who love her couldn’t stop it for her—only she could. As for us, we could only support her while she figured things out on her own and, fortunately, one day she did and she left him for good.
Remembering my friend’s strength and wishing to honor her journey in this relationship, I was inspired to write the following poem with the hopes that it will help someone else who might be going through the same thing:
It’s abuse when he says he loves you, then says you’re crazy.
It’s abuse when he tells other girls they are beautiful, then yells at you for getting upset.
It’s abuse when he puts his hands on your hips, pulls you close, leans in and whispers in your ear, “these need to go.”
It’s abuse when he tells you he doesn’t like how you wear your hair or how you dress.
It’s abuse he says he will call, then doesn’t, then gets angry with you for asking why.
It’s abuse when he texts you to tell you he never loved you, then texts “just kidding” several hours later.
It’s abuse when he slaps you so hard you cry out in pain after an argument.
So why did you stay?
You stayed because a part of you believed love conquered all.
You stayed because you believed every single apology, even when he continued to hurt you.
You stayed because he had you convinced that no one else would love you as much as he did.
You stayed because you wanted to believe that the man you fell in love with was hiding somewhere inside of him.
You stayed because he promised you he’d change.
You stayed because you no longer had the strength to walk away.
Until one day, you did.
You found your lost strength.
You stopped making excuses for him.
You stopped making excuses for yourself.
You put one foot in front of the other and walked out the door, vowing never to let him back into your life again.
If you are reading this and these words resonate with you, know that you are not alone. You have people out there who do love you and who wish you nothing but the best that life has to offer. You are worth so much more than someone who can’t see your value. You are a treasure and you deserve true love, not abuse of any kind.
Put one foot in front of the other and walk out that door. You can do it.
Author: Stephanie Longo
Photo:Flickr/Jeffrey ; NataliaDrepina/Deviantart
Editor: Travis May
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