Baby Michelle was Melodramatic

It’s Poetry Tuesday! We are going to go back through all my old notebooks and look at the god-awful poetry I wrote when I was an angsty teen and then you will get present day Michelle’s re-interpretation/headdesk horror-filled embarrassment.

Deep Down

He didn’t mean it
Defenses rise
Out fly lies
Why do I do this?
Protect him so?
Drag me down so low?
I feel I must
No matter what
Act like his words don’t cut
He degrades me
And I accept
Become his pet
Tears burn and clog
But it wasn’t his fault
I cannot halt
I feel like a battered wife
But we’re not married
In his heart I never tarried
It kills me
But to me, he’s never wrong

……and I REALLY didn’t understand intimate partner abuse. I do have to say that I commend baby Michelle for at least trying to understand and empathize with such deep and difficult topics. As someone on the other side of two emotionally unhealthy and emotionally manipulative relationships, I can say that parts of this are right, which is kind of scary. There are certain moments that are carved into you, that might fade with time, but always remain. With my first boyfriend it was the moment when he essentially told me that we should never break up because no one would be able to put up with my anxieties and neuroses like he did. With my second boyfriend it was the hysterical nightmare of learning that he had cheated on me and the mess of stories that I had to pick through, which was followed up with him admitting that he had had a condom in his back pocket when he left the house to meet her. What makes those moments is you feel like you have been slapped and it is that emotional hurt and recoil that stays with you the longest.

When I was young and dumb and running around high school with a shit ton more bravado and confidence than I do now, I didn’t know that someday I would be one of the people I had written poems about. That is what is a little unnerving going back and reading these poems. Sometimes you wonder if that wild-eyed middle school/high school girl had some sort of link to the future, how much was she absorbing through osmosis and vomiting out in poetry and poorly written fanfiction? I know for a fact at that age I really had no understanding of intimate partner violence, I only knew about domestic abuse, something that ONLY occurred if you were married. But I was able to make that intuitive leap to connecting the dot that anyone in a relationship could be abused. I just hope that I continue to be that open and intuitive. As it is I am still struggling to accept that certain things have happened to me and what they mean.

I honestly believe that I originally wrote this poem to try to understand what it was like to be an abused partner and why it is that people who have been abused stay. With an extra ten years on me, I have a better understanding, but I don’t completely know. As a result, I encourage everyone to educate themselves. The reasons why people stay in abusive relationships are not as black and white, or simple as we have been told, read this for a good place to start. Keep your heart open and please stop blaming the survivors. We need to teach people not to abuse, not teach people to shove the blame of abuse onto the survivors. There is no excuse for physical, mental, emotional, financial, sexual, spiritual, etc abuse. Knock it off.

Thank you for reading this, I know it was heavier than usual, but this subject is very near and dear to my heart. There is no need for the hate, discrimination, prejudice, and victim-blaming that this society continues to support and perpetuate. Raise your kids right. Call your friends and family on their bullshit. Listen and support people who are in bad places even if that means, just holding space for them while they figure out they need to leave.

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