woman sitting on hammock

Home Can Only Be Found In His Absence

Trigger warning: Domestic abuse

The damage
is starting
to feel like home.
You make a habit
of romanticizing bruises
and celebrating broken bones
as measurements
of devotion.

If these bones can heal,
you tell yourself your heart can, too.
So can his fist
and his temper.
Someday,
maybe even his mind.
You tell yourself
that all you both need
is a little time
and you’ll both be good as new.
But with each day
comes another empty bottle
and another bruise.
Another slip up,
another excuse
to make a target
out of you.

What would people think
if you just left
after years
of spinning this intricate web
of fragile delusion
for everyone who cared
enough to stop and look
at the pretty little corner of the world
that you carved out for yourself?

It would be a dishonor
to your mother’s wedding dress,
the same one you wore
on the day you said Yes,
to just turn around now
and say No,
to just pack your things
and go.

You’ve spent so much time
convincing everyone
that everything is okay,
but you’re losing your touch
and running out of paint.
These bruises
are a few shades darker
than they used to be
and it’s getting harder
to make people believe
that you and him
were meant to be.
You’re running out of ways
to pretend to be happy.

One day,
you’ll realize
your heart
beats stronger
alone.
It was destined to lead you
off these tracks of tradition,
built only to travel
in the wrong direction
of where you’ve always
wanted to go.

One day,
you’ll realize
it’s okay to live a life
that is a little bit
derailed.
It doesn’t make you crazy,
doesn’t mean you failed.
It just means
you broke the cycle
and escaped from that hell,
you have finally found
your way back to yourself.
You finally feel whole.
Now that he’s gone,
you know
you have finally found
the true meaning of home.

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