The China Shop

Trigger warning: physical/verbal/psychological child abuse

You were the first person I met,
I knew you even before
we saw each other,
Before I took my first breath.
You were supposed to
Protect me, love me,
Not hide me away.

I guess I was kept a secret
Because you were ashamed.
I was baggage.
I was the product of your
Relationship with a man
Who held your life hostage.
He was the ball
And I was the chain.

I never asked to be
Brought into this world.
To be the constant
Reminder of each hit,
Each instance of
Manipulation and isolation
He forced upon you.

I just wanted love.
The unconditional love
I saw on tv.
The everlasting,
All-encompassing love
A mother is supposed
To give her daughter.

Instead I was your
Verbal punching bag.
Sometimes your literal
One as well.
Your threw punches
My way,
And brutal spankings
And hair yankings
That skewed my
Understanding of love.

As a child, I was clumsy
And you were careful,
But not all of my bruises
Were of my own doing.
And the contusions
On my soul
Were not visible,
But still felt.

As I got older and sicker
And smarter,
I was your tool.
I was your means of
Obtaining sympathy
And ego-stroking.
I was never given
An honest smile,
An loving hug,
Everything was a fa├žade.

I try to forgive you
But it’s hard to ignore
The pain of a wound
That hasn’t yet healed.
I can’t forget
All the times you
Betrayed me.
Broke me.
Time after time.

There’s no way
I can ever say I will
Be whole again
When I was broken
Since birth.
Born into a China shop
Filled with bulls.
Left to pick up
The pieces on my own.