It’s my fault, until it is not

Domestic violence has profound physical, psychological effects on survivors. Mercy deals with this issue in her powerful poem - read it below...

 

This is my fault,
All of it,
The pain I feel gnawing at me beneath the surface,
The blood I can feel trickling down my brow,
The bones I feel poking out where they aren't supposed to,
It's my fault,
It always is.

The blows I get for ironing a shirt wrong,
The slaps I get for forgetting to brush the shoes right,
The kicks I get for spending money on myself,
The insults I get when I speak out of turn,
It's my fault.

When he looks at me with such disgust and loathing

As though I am the scum of the earth,
Because I deserve it,

I don't answer back when he calls me fat or ugly or worse
I deserve it,
Because that's what I am,
It's my fault.

Until it's not

For so long I had the wool pulled over my eyes,
I thought I deserved to literally be crushed beneath the heel of his boot,
And to be called vile and absurd things,
I used to think it was my fault that he hit me so hard,
That I made him beat me till I blacked out,
But I know that's not true,
He was always this way,
Everyone warned me about him,

But I was in love and unwilling to see the monster I lay with.

I wish I could do what you did to me,
Make you feel so small that you want to curl up and die,
I wish I could make you feel hopeless and helpless,
I wish I could make you feel as though you were drowning on air,
Because that's what you made me feel,
But I won't do that,

Instead I will leave you behind to live in your own toxicity
I'll let you poison yourself with anger and hate
I will let you slowly sink into the depths of the abyss that you have created,

Only then will you feel what I felt,
For now I will go and never look back,
Because you are not worth the heartache and pain,
You are not worthy enough to have me,
And good riddance.