Why I Stay
Submitted by ~ Anonymous~
I dream of the day when the chains are released
When I’ll say with pride, “I’m free from the beast.”
The mind games are over, no longer ignored.
With my head held high, I’ll walk toward the door.
I want it; I need it. I see it so clearly.
But then he strikes again, and it’s suddenly bleary.
He twists and turns things- am I losing my mind?
Did I imagine that slight? Am I stupid or blind?
I am filled with self-loathing, fear and doubt.
I want a better life; I want to get out.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been on my own.
And as hard as this is, it’s all I’ve known.
You get angry with me; you think it’s so easy.
“Just leave him already!” you say feeling queasy.
And “I wouldn’t take that,” you quietly think.
But it shows on your face, and my heart sinks.
In case you don’t know, I’ll share my reasons, dear friend.
One’s 15, one’s 14, the other is 10.
I struggle each day with what they are feeling.
I fear my every move will leave them reeling.
Now its dinners together, every night at the table.
I’ve convinced myself it’s really quite stable.
I pray that the sports, hobbies, and the homework they do
Are enough to distract them from what’s really true.
I lie to myself and pray they don’t see
The transformation that’s taken place within me.
I used to be strong, witty and bold.
Now I’m invisible. I’m tired. I’m old.
I look in the mirror—I’m unrecognizable.
The mountain in front of me is scary and sizeable.
It’s had me paralyzed; frozen with fear.
Can I do it today? This month? This YEAR?
I worry I’ll cause irreparable harm.
Will I break the family? Cause undue alarm?
That’s what he’ll say. I can already hear it.
And I worry they’ll hate me– I dread it. I fear it.
My daughter’s already told me her thoughts on love.
It’s phony and fake, not a gift from above.
Who could blame her, with the example we’ve given?
Feeling shame to my core, I am weak, not driven.
But maybe it’s time. Enough is enough.
Can I channel my anger and finally get tough?
Protecting my babies is all that ever mattered
Even if it causes some dreams to be shattered.
Be patient with me; it might take a while longer.
I need time to heal—time to get stronger.
The fight of my life will be worth it in the end.
So stand by my side- it’ll be worth it, my friend.
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