Your Abuse Doesn’t Define You

Victoria Zeoli
Victoria Zeoli

I think about it. I think about you. I think about all you went through. Part of me wants to just wrap my arms around you and tell you-you didn’t deserve that. Part of me wishes I could explain why it happened. But there are no reasons to justify the mistreatment. There isn’t a thing I can think of, for this being acceptable. Because it isn’t. You didn’t deserve to be hurt. I wish I could take away your pain. I wish I could have been the one to take every blow both physically and emotionally. I wish I could have been there to protect you. But most of all I wish it never happened.

But it did.

Hate grows in my heart in a way I knew it could. I hate the person who did this to you. I hate that they didn’t look at you and see someone wonderful. I hate that they didn’t appreciate you and value you and adore you as I have. And I’m left baffled not understanding.

But you aren’t defined by your abuse but rather whom you choose to be from here.

If I can convey anything most clearly it’s how proud I am that you overcame this. There are major factors of our lives that influence the people we become and sometimes people let it define them. And not just define them but consume them.

But you rose above that. You became better than the circumstances in which you were raised in. That takes a lot of courage and strength.

And I know it’s a secret you keep hidden. And people walk by you and judge you and think they know you. If only they knew. But you don’t want their sympathy or pity. You don’t need it. You’ve proved you don’t need anyone but yourself.

But if ever you needed me. If ever there were burdens you couldn’t quite bear. If ever you needed to fall to your knees and weep without someone judging you, let me be that person. Let me be your strength when you are weak. Let me be your voice when there are words you can’t speak. Let me be the one who reminds you of who you are and where you are going. You forgive and I’ll be the one who can live with hate.

Because you are too beautiful to live with hate in your heart. You don’t deserve to carry that with you also.

This affects you. This affects your relationships. But you should know you are still capable of love. You deserve love. You deserve to give it freely. You deserve to receive it in a way you never had.

There will always be voids in your life and holes in your heart. You’ll always see the world with a view that is tainted. Although you’ve been forced to see the world for what it is really is I challenge you to not forget how wonderful it could be as well.

Sometimes the most beautiful things come from the depths of hell. Sometimes the most beautiful people have seen the worst, experienced the worst and have overcome the worst circumstances that enabled them to become more sensitive, more understanding, more compassionate than anyone I can ever be.

I look at you and I see all that is right, despite how many things that have gone wrong. I look at you and most of all I hope you see yourself not for the cracks and the broken pieces. I hope you see the light that has shined through you, brightening the lives of everyone around you. TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

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