This is written in honour of women who suffer from domestic abuse and violence and in particular for my friend Zoe. She is emerging from the shell of the person she had become, to blossom and shine through and to once again embrace the glorious woman she has always been and will continue to be.
What happened? What is love?
Is it the tingle, the rush to see each other,
The bliss of togetherness and the desire for more
In a light-hearted yet relenting onslaught of your
Perceived kindness and outward caring
That all can see and wonder about
In admiration and perhaps envy?
I, who love you am left in confusion and more
And my self-image torn asunder under your
Tutelage and careful grooming to morph
Myself through your sculpting hands into
Your idea or the model of your notion
The constant sound of your voice
Instructing me in how I should present
Myself to compliment the image of
How I appear in your imagination
Your perfect muse to my pathetic
Attempt to mound myself and be your
Everlasting ideal of perfection
Even my culinary creations no
Longer please you, nor the
Outfit that earned the compliments
Of others. The invitations no longer
Arrive and my friends avoid us or shun
You’re right as my carefree laughter
And sense of the ridiculous are at odds
With all and anyway, I no longer find
Life amusing or entertaining
How is it your kind instructions only
Make me more useless and in following
Them, more clumsy and inept?
I creep down the stairs in strained silence
To ward off your irritation at the sight of me
Does this outfit become me? Is my hair in place?
I did not wear my mother’s necklace nor the
Lipstick that matches so well. I seem to have
Lost my way and no longer want to shop
My voice seems to irritate you as does the
Once lilting laugh that you treasured
How can I please you, I ask myself in vain.
Why am I a constant source of bother
A rash that itches to cause you undue pain
I feel so unworthy of your time and effort
And your patience is beginning to wear thin
I’m trying to please you but I no longer
Have it within me to conquer the fear
That is my constant companion
How did I get to where I am
Why am I so pathetic. I don’t deserve
Your kindness nor your attention
It bewilders the pathetic person that I am
Why are you still with me?
More importantly, why am I still here?
(C) Wendy Robinson September 2015
Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it became a butterfly. ~ Proverb
White Ribbon Day began on November 25th and this Australian and international, male-led campaign will incorporate 16 days of Activism in promoting protection of and preventing domestic violence against women.
Domestic violence is often mistakenly viewed as a physical assault when it can also comprise of mental, emotional and psychological abuse. Mental abuse often erodes the confidence of the abused and robs them of their dignity and independence and they can end up questioning their self-worth as did my friend Zoe.
I would recommend reading Susan Chenery’s essay in Fury: Women Write about Sex, Power and Violence. “Still wrapped up in the glow of the ‘great love,’ you don’t know you’re in danger,” she states. A smart and educated woman, the author candidly relates about the mental and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of the handsome and charming Marco and her essay piece gives a clear account of ‘mental and emotional’ abuse.
Disclaimer: The images are from the White Ribbon Day photo gallery and my thanks go to the various photographers for their work.
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