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poems                                                                                                                                         Registered Charity Number 1161380

Unbroken vows

If I had only known you'd give just one thing to me,

It was your promise on our wedding day-the one didn't keep.

You promised you would cherish me until we both grew old,

The only vows you took to heart was "To Have" and "To Hold".

"To Have" me? I'm a prisoner, an object standing still.

"To Hold" me? Yes, you've done that too, but against my will.

If walls could tell their stories, and doors unlocked themselves,

Everyone would have a view into my secret hell.

Crazy? That is what you want me to think I am,

Telling me you meant no harm....and that you never will again.

The nights you tower over me just to make me feel

As if the blame and shame are mine-and my feelings are not real.

But you don't know that with each blow and hurt you have to give,

The more you build my silent nerve, and my will to live.

You think that you have won, I'm broken on the ground,

But you don't know the plans in place and strength that I have found.

Just know there will come a day, not far within my reach,

The only things to grip my soul are happiness and peace


Please don't put me in a box....

You've got that look again

It is a sure thing ... there will be pain

I try to make things calm, quiet and fast

You try to justify, lie and buck pass

Please don't put me in a box

It doesn't hurt anymore, that's just how it goes

I can cope; survive as long as the world never knows

Keep my cards to my chest and my true feelings very near

But you are getting more powerful, your greatest weapon; my fear

Please don't put me in a box

A moment of clarity, I'm not protecting them, like I think

My greatest failing, my babies, I begin to sink

Do to me what you can; they are my reason to fight

Tear up all the carpets, there's no where left to put this out of sight

But, please don't put me in a box

There are agencies a plenty desperate to stand by our side

They promise to make a difference; there will be a change of tide

Stop, shock horror there is a pigeon hole on reserve

Wasn't expecting that, a real ball with a curve

Why are you putting me in a box?

I have rights, and a voice, how loud must I be before I am heard

This is all mixed up, not me, the system; crazy and disturbed

Now it's you with that look again

And I've got shame, isolation and even more pain

Why are you putting me in a box?

Deadly Storm

Its time for me to start listening to me,

The day has come to set myself free,

My head and my heart always at war

My head saying go, my heart shuts the door.

Suffering each day with the hurt and the pain

Yet wanting to hold you again and again

Feeling your strength as I hit the ground

An explosion of anger too tightly wound.

There's nowhere to go, you've locked the door

Eyes shut so tight, please god no more!

Numb yet in pain as I struggle to stand

Then my lip splits from the force of your hand

I can't get away there's no place to run

Just ride out the storm, the worst of its done

Blurred from my tears or the blow to my head

I can't seem to focus perhaps I am dead?

Lying on the floor I pray this is the last

Then a kick to my stomach as you stride past

I crawl to a corner where I cower and sob

“You pushed me to it now shut your gob”

Back again this time to silence my question

Your hand covers my mouth to teach me a lesson

I struggle to breath so you grip even tighter

I'm scared that I'm dying my heads getting lighter.

One final shove as my head hits the wall

I scream, “if you cared why be so cruel”

Then like a switch as you turn on a light

“Please let me hold you, are you alright”?

I'm stunned but relieved that it's finally ended

You kiss all the bruises, to you now its mended.

For me it's not over, I still question why?

To hide what YOU'VE done now I have to lie.

Friends aren't stupid they guess what's gone on

I lie to protect you and say nothings wrong

Gradually the damage starts to heal and fade

I stuck to my story and kept up the charade.

I'm Clumsy you see and have two small boys

Always getting bumped in the face with their toys,

It's not fair to them when you are to blame

Why do you not feel embarrassed or shame?

It's your reputation that must stay in tact

You won't do it again and that's a fact,

I cannot predict when the next rage will be

But I know before long you are sure to kill me!

Standing Tall

Breathing, looking, feeling and walking

Deciding, choosing, living and talking

Just like a developing child; an adolescent learning

Just like an endless beginning a genuine yearning

Independent, supported or alone

Beg, borrow, or maybe one day I'll even own

There is definitely a light and it is calling me

Close my eyes spread my wings and I will fly free

No more shame, pretend, cheap smiles and lies

No more ifs, buts, maybes or whys?

Who are you? What do you want? How do you sleep?

I know now I am not your possession to abuse and keep

You were right, it's dramatic, and all for show

But it was you in the lead role, so desperate to grow

Like a parasite you tried to consume and destroy my life

Like a human being I tried to be your partner, friend and wife

Go back to where you came from; it is what you do best

Go back to being nothing,; an annoying little pest

And when you get there be sure look up high

Can you see me beaming brightly, lighting up the sky

Each night I am reminded that you are evil, selfish and vile

Each night I am reminded how lucky I am, blessed and smile

You should see them now you've gone; happy, confident and born again

All their own work, they erased you and survived any pain

It was much easier than I thought; you can't miss what was never there

But unlike you, I did feel true love, I wanted to grow, experience and share

What a waste, a pointless thought and an unwanted gift

All you saw was credibility, an excuse and blame to shift

It is getting closer, that beautiful light calling me

Close my eyes spread my wings and I am flying free

It's over, just give up and please let us be

Never again imprisoned, now and forever I'm holding the key

Your self-pity and fairy tales fall on deaf ears

Your stories and lies create no sympathy tears

One by one everyone is hearing the truth

T.R.U.T.H. comes with real evidence and proof

I swear this is the final night you will give me no sleep

There's no master plan or cunning revenge for me to reap

You are a lonely little man, idiot, bully, gambling fool

You've lost again; tough guy but I've got it all

Do you feel small?

Pathetic and cruel

Down, down you fall

At last I am standing tall

...We've got it all

Janet’s story

The first few weeks that I was with Peter were wonderful. He was affectionate, considerate, fun to be with and a great boost to my self-esteem. But as soon as I moved in with him the violence began. I was frightened and shocked but he was always so sorry for what he had done and promised never to hurt me again.

He became very jealous and possessive. He kept accusing me of having an affair but I just thought he was feeling insecure. I felt sorry for him. I believed I could change him. Then he turned against my family and friends and tried not to let me see them. I broke up with him more than once but he was always so sorry for what he’d done that I took him back.

I thought his attacks must somehow be my fault. I found myself asking ‘What have I done to deserve this? Why am I making him so mad that he has to treat me this way?’ I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone what was happening. I was embarrassed and couldn’t help thinking it was my fault.

Peter was cunning. No matter how hard he hit me, he was always careful never to mark my face. My family realised what was happening and wanted me to call the police but I couldn’t press charges. I was terrified.

Then one day, Peter stabbed me in the face with a fork. I started screaming and tried to back away but he just kept stabbing me with it. I tried to run away but he followed me and picked up a glass and chucked it at me. I was bleeding and in agony with a shard of glass stuck in my side but Peter just picked up his keys and walked out.

I called an ambulance that took me to the hospital where they stitched me up. This time I did find the strength to go to the police and they put me in touch with Refuge. I knew I had no choice. If I had gone back to Peter, I might not be here today. I finally saw him for what he was – a menace who used violence to control me.

Slowly I am starting to rebuild my life and my confidence. I have left the refuge and moved into my new flat – a place I hope Peter will never find. I still suffer from headaches and I don’t sleep well. I am cautious of everyone, particularly men and it will be hard for me to trust enough to form another relationship. Nothing will change what happened to me but I know that with time I can learn to live again. My life is getting better every day and I know I’ve done the right thing.

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