The worse things are the quieter I am. The more he hits me the more pieces break off and shatter apart leaving a little less of me behind. There is no strength left. The outrage felt inside that he dares to hit ME! The angry fuel has long since run out.  I am in shock. Every time I am in shock. Every time he promises, “ Never again!”. Then it is again, and I am stunned that the fifth sixth and seventh time happened after the first second third and fourth promise of “never again”.

               I can never understand there WILL BE a next time, every time it happens I am confused.  He is hurting me. Shock. I am being bloodied and beaten by his hand. Shock. The man who made me his queen fragments and vanishes under blows from a stranger wearing my lover’s face. I shrink away, I must get away from him. My body cannot get away so I send my mind. I below, pulling myself away and hiding underneath.  I close my mind and let the pain be endured by the body left behind.

When nightmares escape the dark and instead tower above you in daylight, how do you escape? The brutal stranger gone and the lover returned looking innocent and childlike. Bright blue eyes and dimples not threatening, eating cereal in underwear. Smiling at him breaks open the cut on my face and brings up the acrid taste of fear. It fills my mouth, but I swallow the terror and vomit so he won’t see.

What could possibly be gained by speaking of my life? If I escape for one minute the cage of this life, why waste the freedom by talking of my chains?  Words can never convey the depth and breadth and length and width of my life.  No. I don’t speak of them now, I didn’t speak of them then. I escaped the night and left the nightmares in the dark.  Let them be buried under cold snow within an iron box.  Bury it beneath a tower cloaked with thorns. Let the ice encase that tower till it cannot be seen and ignored forever after.

If I do not look. If it is,

Not looked at.

Not Spoken of.

Not thought of.

Not acknowledged or admitted.

IT IS Not Real.

Just a blur that can’t be quite seen. Just a hole in my memory that I threw far from my sight. It is far preferable to ignore the wounds and welts that smart and swell under layers of careful makeup, than to let my bruises be seen.  Pay no attention to the thick rope like burns of fear lashing tightly around the smallest most secret well hidden part of my heart. You would be surprised what I can endure.  Don’t cry real tears. It is better to fake it. Better to don a mask and smile. Grin and bear it when I’m in front of the door in a room where I’m seen.  I soldier on and get up. No matter how strong the force that pushes me down, I must rise up.  Even as weariness seeps through my bones and muscles making me doubt that I have it within me, I rise.  When the weight starts to round my shoulders and I’m shrinking in, I push out. When I cannot breathe because my heart beats too hard and large in my throat, I hold my breath and move on. Then I am alone and I crumble.  All my inner strength has been depleted, and I stumble. I am confused, so I falter. I can not see my way and I fall. All unseen by the world.

If it is not seen, then it is not there. If it is not there then it is not real. How can I explain what isn’t real to real people? I do not. I simply smile, and nod.



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