I’d stopped seeing my myself. The reflection before me had become a stranger. Who was this woman? Her wings had been broken, her eyes carried the weight of every dark corner that her marriage projected onto the back of her eyelids; nightmares. No emotion in her eyes as if every murky memory had blown out her existence, her mouth the grave.
A once flawless smile was now chipped teeth hidden behind busted lips holding an unspoken tragedy and each scar held a memory from being slammed into doors, floors, cabinets and above all, abused by the hands that held hers before God with a promise to love and protect her from the world around her. Those hands of protection were the reason for broken bones, permanent scars, a child resting in peace, hospital bills longer than grocery receipts, but that was ok because, well, he could afford them.
Bald spots from where she had been dragged up and down the eighteen steps built custom into the house of her dreams. She had eyes that couldn’t close without trembling in fear of what she would see if she blinked for too long. Her posture began to deteriorate as she did her best to stand with a broken hip and a sprained ankle. She spent so much money on high-end makeup and clothes to keep her scars hidden from the world around her but as time went on, she had mutilations that peaked from every surface on her body.
Endless times, she stared into the beauty of the moonlight knowing that happiness was somewhere under the stars, those same stars that witnessed her damn near dying every time he attacked her. She knew that it was time to find the strength and the courage to escape but was fearful that her only escape would be six feet under; or would that be her safety? The woman staring back at me had lost her worth. Although he tore her to pieces, somewhere deep down, she felt that all of the pieces were still for him.
Author: Moneeke Byrd
Author Bio: Just in time for October, Domestic Violence Awareness month, I constructed this piece of art from past experiences shared by myself and other survivors to let them know that they are not alone!