Beaten but Not Broken

Beaten but Not Broken 

By Ashley Weaver 

 

Torn clothes and a battered woman 

Alone, crying, wondering 

Why did she drink so much? 

Why did she go off alone? 

Why did she wear such provocative clothes?

So, she sits. 

 

Keeping it to herself, living with the guilt 

She chooses not to report and just lives crippling with fear 

Keeping her trapped and chained inside her mind 

She can’t break free

She screams and cries for help, but the chains silence her

 

The anxiety is now messing with her health

She can’t eat, she can’t sleep

She lies awake, constantly assuring herself she is safe

That her door is locked 

The guilt and anxiety eat away heavily tonight 

 

Because why would she report when someone found guilty got out on three months’ time? 

Why would she report when people daily aren’t being helped? 

So instead she lets it eat away at the best part of her

Until the color has faded away and there is nothing left inside but dark grey

The warmth and welcoming of her smile have shifted to cold and distant

Even the bright blue in her eyes has faded to stone cold grey

Her friends and family notice this change

 

One day she finally realizes she’s let it go for too long

She’s victim blaming herself

The thing is she only had two drinks that night, but why does it matter? 

She was sober by the time the incident happened anyway 

She left because her mom always taught her if she’s uncomfortable: LEAVE

Her flannel and leggings from that night still lay crumbled on the floor 

 

Trembling and crumbling 

The wall she had once built came down

As she built up the confidence to be herself

To report, to feel safe in her own skin again

Confidence rose within her and a new her had awoken 

 

Taking back her mental health, she stopped allowing her to be chained down by the voices inside

She sought out help, and it made all the difference

Because now what was once grey starts to be taken over by multicolor 

The dead parts inside start to deteriorate away as a garden came into bloom 

Sunflowers growing in the spaces of her broken heart, mending the pieces together

Until finally she shined as bright as the sun

 

In the end, consent is consent

Clothes don’t give consent 

A voice does

After all, she may have been beaten, but she was not broken