No one knows the pain, and no one knows the suffering. No one knows the secrets. No one knows the feeling. After every blow, after being told she is less than who she is, after being cheated on and misused, raped, and sexually exploited, after having abrasions and bruises from a past that keeps becoming her present. She still believes nobody knows. After praying and seeking, after hurting and feeling better off dead, after being drug by cars, after being set on fire, after all the things a man could do, she questions her truth. She wonders why she is still loved; asks if she is worthy.
She thinks she’s facing the world alone; her mother never wanted her and didn’t care how men treated her; her father never thought to protect her, and he treated her like a sex doll, often releasing himself and ejaculating on her. All the adults in her life seemed to cherish one thing abusing her need for love and loving the idea that she was needed. She went from victimhood to victimhood, crying out in a voice nobody cared to hear and crying out in silence that can only whisper half her life.
The voice of domestic violence. The voice that keeps many strong women stuck in poverty, afraid to speak out, the voice that tells a truth that welcomes tears, that voice that leaves one abandoned and alone with fears of today but sorrows of tomorrow. The voice that many great women have faced and overcome. The voice that many still silence. She has a voice that needs to be heard because the little girl inside of her means life inside another.
Because one day, she welcomed the scream of her healing and embraced the dignity of her reasonings. The police might have never convicted the men and women poking her wounds, but with her strength, she was able to. With her willingness to fight back against all the bullies and all the insecurities, she found herself with open arms. The arms of strength no one seems to recover her from. She found her voice, her loudest cry, and it said healing is the process that reprocesses outdated memories.
She carried her voice from day to day. She lifted her voice, and she fought back without being anybody’s victim. She leaned on her wounds and bandaged them with care, and she found strength from yesterday so that we could be here today. She is a mother, she is a sister, she is a warrior, she is a grandmother, and she is essential. She is the soul that carries the voice to cherish its silence, and she is a survivor.
To anyone experiencing abuse of any kind, please know that there is help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233. Text “start” to 88788. Any sort of abuse is never okay. You have a voice. Please note that you matter, and you are essential. Your story is important; your life is meaningful. We need you!