I endured your hateful words, because you said I never would. That I would be emptied out, depleted of my will, so you could walk all over me. That I was weak and feeble, unintelligent, fat, ugly, and better off dead. Everyone would be better off without me, you said. You said that I would give, let you have your way. That I wouldn’t somehow get by. But I did, because you said I never would.
I fought back against your assaults, because you said I never would. That I didn’t have the physical power to win against you, that you wouldn’t stop until I learned my lesson. Because I was obstinate and talked back too much. You had the right to bring me under control, as I was your property. Boldly you told others what you were doing and got them to agree with you. You thought I would tire out and just give up, that I couldn’t fight to the end. But I did, because you said I never would.
I took a stand and left you, because you said I never would. That I was too stupid and couldn’t make it on my own. That everything I was able to learn, do, and achieve was because of you. Because you taught me everything I needed to know. You didn’t train me to be a wife to anyone else, and you’d rather see me dead than let me out that door. In your heart you were sure I’d wouldn’t leave. But I did, because you said I never would.
I raise my voice against your transgression, because you said I never would. That I was not worth it and should therefore take my punishments as a way to fix what was broken in me. That I was a brush pile, unruly, ugly, and overgrown, that needed to be cut down to size, so you took your axe of words and split me in two. You stood there and mocked me as I cried, and reveled in the silence you thought I would never break. But I did, because you said I never would.
I raise my voice and bear my scars and wounds to the world, because you said I never would. That if I wanted it to stop – your brutality, your verbal assaults, your stealing, your lying, your cheating – I would comply with your demands. That I would stand aside and let you use me as a puppet to achieve whatever ends you were chasing, by whatever means you could employ. Your Machiavellian way of justifying the bruises, cuts, welts, busted lips, limping, and black eyes. You sat in arrogant satisfaction, up to your neck in false hope that I would keep them hidden from view and never reveal my shame and suffering to the world. But I did, because you said I never would.
I went on with my life, and learned I am all the things you said I wasn’t.
In spite of you, I am all these things. Because you said I never would be.