Last March, Scripting Change released Breaking Free, an anthology filled with stories and poetry exploring the impact of domestic violence in its many forms. Since October is 2016's National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I've decided to share my story that was included in the anthology, hopefully helping to raise awareness.
Of course, it would be awesome if you would consider getting a full copy of Breaking Free, as 100% of proceeds are donated to support survivors of domestic violence.
Be A Man
- You throw your dinner ’cross the kitchen, furious at its imperfect temperature. She cowers in the corner.
“A man is always in control.”
Doors slam as you rampage through the house. She used to hide us in the cupboards, trembling.
“A man’s home is his castle.”
“Weak,” you’d call me if I run to her side.
So I wait, until you tire of your attack. Wait, to catch her sobs in my embrace. And I hide—my drawings, my feelings, my self.
But your fists find their target, and I flinch. So a smack spins my head as you command, “Man up!”
Precise punches make for easily hidden bruises. Her stomach, her ribs, her thighs—anywhere clothing will cover. Because you’re always in control.
The world outside will never see, but you demand I watch, and learn.
So I wait.
For the strength to fill my muscles and my heart. For the will to stand against your voice. For the courage to take your blows.
Fists hit flesh, blood blooms, but now I do not flinch. You taught me better.
She gasps, hand fluttering to her lips.
You stumble back—shocked. Out of control. Afraid.
But best of all away from her, from them, all huddling at my back. My fingers flex as I stand, a wall you can’t take down. A shield to save them.
At last, a man.