Being abused isn’t pretty, but then again, anyone can tell you that. What they can’t tell you about are the scars that are left behind, the memories that haunt you day in and day out, and the fear that comes to consume you, even after you leave behind the people that felt it was acceptable to hurt you. Trust me, I would know.
The bruises that cover your skin and the words that scar themselves on your heart and in your mind aren’t beauty marks; they are the blemishes you attempt to hide from the world, and from yourself. You try your hardest to rationalize what has happened to you, and you try to ignore that fact that you are in danger. You are scared of the people who are supposed to love you, but you are even more terrified of life without them. They led you to believe that you need them and that you are nothing without them. And this leads you to be convinced that the abuse and the pain and the fear is all there is to life.
You live in fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. You live thinking that you are worthless and that you do not matter. You live a life where you feel more dead than alive. You don’t show your fear but instead learn how to plaster a smile on your face and pretend that everything is fine. You live in a world of lies. Where did that bruise come from? Oh, I just ran into the door. You know me, I’m clumsy. But no, you didn’t actually run into that door. You were pushed, and that was after you had been slapped. You are scared but not scared enough to open your mouth and finally speak the truth. But one day, you will find the strength and the courage to leave that situation that you never deserved to be in.
The truth about abuse is that there is more to life. The pain you have suffered does not define your entire life. There isn’t only abuse, pain, and fear. There is so much more in the world. There is happiness, safety, and, most of all, love. And you will find it. I promise you that.
You will find joy in the blue skies rather than sadness in the gray clouds that once blocked out the sun. You will find something you are passionate about, and it will fill you with a happiness, and nothing else will ever compare.
You will feel safe someday, rather than being scared for your own well-being. You will feel warm, and you will feel nurtured, and you won’t live in terror of being hurt because you left those who hurt you far behind. And that’s where they belong. They are part of your past, as is the abuse, and they do not define you.
You will be loved. You will be loved truly and deeply. You will find friends who become your family, and they will lift you up when you fall and will wipe your tears when it all feels like it’s too much. They will have faith in you, and they will care for you like your abusers should have.
Being abused isn’t pretty, but, darling, let me tell you, life once you break free of those binding chains is goddamn beautiful, and so are you, scars and all. The truth about abuse is that it doesn’t last forever and that there is a life after it that you deserve, and you will replace your abuse, fear, and pain with happiness, safety, and love. Trust me, I would know.
Deann “D” Davidson is a Creative Writing and English major at Cardinal Stritch University. D loves helping people, and her main goal is to write something that helps someone when they need it most. Books were always there for her when she felt no one was, and she wants to write a book that does the same for someone else. She is known as “Queen of Dark and Twisty” by some close friends due to the fact that she doesn’t shy away from tougher topics to write about, but even though she focuses on dark things, she attempts to bring hope to the situation, because hope is always present, even when we cannot see it. Along with reading and writing, D loves the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Kings, LA Dodgers, babies, puppies, and puns. D has finished a YA novel and is working on her second with a few more ideas in the works and being published by Germ Magazine is a dream come true considering the fact that Jennifer Niven is one of her role models.