Week three of the IndieInk Challenge, ladies and gentlemen. Even more fantastic writers have jumped on board. This week, my prompt (only one word this week) comes from the talented (and totally adorable) Evenstarwen:



Nobody ever acknowledged how weak I felt. How, instead of the venom, power was sucked from my veins. I allowed the abuse to continue. So I would suffocate underneath sheets of hatred and resentment, because breathing didn’t seem worth it. The weight of guilt might collapse my lungs and, if it did, the fight was over. That’s all I wanted anyway.

The blood, tears, and bruises fade, but the desire to deem myself useless lived. The nightmares continue.

I’m lost in  a war trying to remind myself that I was worth more than some man ever allowed me to be. Everything except the physical abuse continues. At least those injuries healed.

Friends tried to provide comfort, but the gap between us grew because they couldn’t understand.  It really was my fault.

I backed away from those who didn’t know ‘me’. If they couldn’t see it, if they couldn’t see flaws, they never really knew me anyway. Alienation is the nature of this beast. Tell me I’m worthless and I’ll love you for your honesty. Tell me I’m better now and I know you don’t know me.

I took the blame. I suffered, used to my heart’s wretched wailing and the cold sweats after a night terror. I begrudged others of seeing my beauty because it was fake anyway. Nothing I knew before the abuse was real. And, after, nothing will ever be.

I was saturated. Colors were deeper. Feelings were raw. Pain felt good. Life shouldn’t be this way, but I kept going, forging forward, hoping to be rescued from the nightmare, all the while knowing that I was my only savior.

How do you pick up the pieces of a shattered life? There was no pulse, there was no heart, there was no core or gut left to tell me where to go. The only things left were hatred and pain and suffering. Tears and sadness and longing. I spent time recalling every moment that I could have walked away, noting how ignorant it was to continue. The red flags and sirens wail, yet it’s too late to change it.

The bed was made. Sleep in it, bitch. Wallow in the foulness that you created, whore. Put on makeup to hide the real you. You aren’t pretty. Drink to escape. That’s what stupid women do. Women like me.

Cleanliness is only felt under the artificial rain of a shower. That’s where you find the battered women. Hiding from life.  Cutting their legs while shaving, to make sure they’re still human, to be certain they still bleed.


The snow and ice gifted me more time than a mind like mine should be allowed to have.  My heart finds it difficult to breathe underneath the weight of Winter’s storms. Yet I only feel this way when I think about the times when I wanted to escape myself. And it’s silly, really, because I’m all I have. I control my happiness.

I control my happiness. That thought makes all of the difference.

I can’t help but think of life before him. I remember what it felt like to smell Spring as it blew wisps of hair across my collarbone. Blades of grass tickled my feet as I plucked weeds from the landscape. In those moments living wasn’t a chore. I was human.

As day lights the sky longer, I feel freedom hanging in the air. Self recognition is easier. These days feel like Spring. They’re helping me rebuild my life.  No inner turmoil waits behind frosted windows. I’m eagerly waiting for gusts of mid-April winds to renew my spirit. The whispers of his voice, the words he once said, aren’t haunting me any more.


45 thoughts on “Free

  1. Oh, sweetheart. This…broke my heart. I am in tears right now. It seems so, so grossly unfair that a light as bright and warm as yours would be dimmed even for one second. I wish I could say that I understand, but I don’t, I really don’t. I have no desire to diminish what you survived by saying I get it.

    Instead, let me just acknowledge your strength. You survived it, Fina, you did. You. And now you are picking yourself up, and loving others, and healing them. You are fighting, not only for yourself, but for your children. And that is something so beautiful that it is a joy to catch even a glimpse of it.

    The lies are so damned easy to believe. Those lies were brutally, repeatedly drilled into you by a liar who didn’t know you half as well as you think he did. He only saw what he wanted to see to make hurting you acceptable. And he made you believe what he saw. He lied.

    As you repair your heart, I want to add my voice to the chorus that drowns out the lies. We’ll say it as many times as you need to believe it, sweetheart.

    You are beautiful, Sara Fina.
    You are worthwhile, and you are worthy.
    You are strong.
    You are precious.
    You are brave.
    You deserve freedom.

    And, sweetie, that really is something to celebrate.

    • Celebrating is so much easier when you have great people surrounding you. Most days I believe everything you’ve said, darling.
      A wise person recently told me that I didn’t need to be fixed, that I was fine the way I was, and should stop apologizing for myself (and my writing). I’m on a mission to just ‘be.’ Until then, I’m celebrating the small victories. They have made all of the difference.

    • Can’t a girl interpret her prompt and write, dammit? 😉

      We do need to talk, but it’s not because I’m unhappy. I’m free of all of this now. And that’s what I wanted to say. Freedom is determined by perception. Mine happens to be that all of this held me back for a long time. I won’t waste another day on these fears/nightmares. They aren’t worth it. He isn’t worth it. I am.

  2. Oh, Fina. You are so much more stronger than you will ever give yourself credit for. I know this for a fact. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes.

  3. I know you’re free of all this now, but part of me aches for you because that part of me thinks you blame yourself for being broken, or for not recognizing evil, or for something or a thousand other things that are hidden underneath so far that they can’t really be accessed. I still see the pain in your eyes. You may have been beaten, but you ARE NOT beaten. You never deserved any of it, and you don’t deserve to think of yourself in some lesser category. You are not, nor have you ever been, a “stupid woman.” These pieces of shit are good at what they do, they’re masters of manipulating. All you did was try, even though you don’t think you did. You tried not to judge, you tried to think the best, even when the worst was happening. Is that stupidity? No. That’s compassion and character.

    You are more free than I think you think you are. And I hope you know it soon.

    This is beautifully written and I can relate so much to some of your words it feels like I’m being stabbed in the heart.

    • It’s almost frightening how well you know me after only spending one weekend together. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being someone I trust.

      I love you. I really, really do.

  4. Free! Amen. All of this is unfortunately/fortunately always going to be part of who you are. You are strong and stunning. It is a beautiful freedom that rings loud from your lips this day. ♥

  5. So glad you are free. Broken heals, eventually, and you have the heart and the courage to get there. I’m glad you are happy now, and I’m glad you are looking towards good things.

    *hugs* powerful writing, my dear.

  6. ‘I am all I have’. perfect. that’s my catchphrase for life.
    Great writing and glad that you are on the good side of the tunnel. Hugs!

  7. I just want to hug you. You are such a brilliant writer, and so strong and brave to share such vulnerabilities (though this should not be such a thing – I am pulling that moment between Robin Williams & Matt Damon…’It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault”).

    You are amazing.

    • I like hugs. I like you. I think hugging is a good idea.

      That moment is beautiful and I’m glad you pulled it from your memory bank to share. Thank you so much.

  8. The ability to write this eloquently about something so raw and painful requires a level of talent that I genuinely hope you’re able to recognize in yourself the way that everyone else recognizes it. Beautifully done.

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  10. “In those moments living wasn’t a chore. I was human.” In this one sentence you have captured such depth of human experience. To be at a point when you can feel that living isn’t a chore speaks volumes about what you felt before you got there. To be able to convey that so simply and so powerfully speaks volumes of your strength as a writer and, more importantly, as a woman. I commend you on your ability to write and live so beautifully.

  11. This was so raw and powerful and I don’t really know what to say except thank you for sharing it. Your strength is so very evident.

    (Also “In Repair” is one of my all-time favorite of Mayer’s songs.)

    • Kerri Anne,

      I love “In Repair.” It’s right up there with “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.” JM can write the junk out of some lyrics.

      Thanks for stopping here today.



  12. “Tell me I’m worthless and I’ll love you for your honesty. Tell me I’m better now and I know you don’t know me.”

    “The bed was made. Sleep in it, bitch. Wallow in the foulness that you created, whore. Put on makeup to hide the real you. You aren’t pretty. Drink to escape. That’s what stupid women do. Women like me.”

    Have we met??? Seriously, excellent piece!

  13. Thank you for being vulnerable and writing this in response to the prompt. Showing where you were, so clearly and powerfully, so raw.. and then your thoughts as you gain clarity and find hope. Breathtaking. I understand from my own journey into recovery many of the emotions you shared here. I featured you on my “What I Thought Was Awesome” this week. So glad we’ve gotten to talk this week in response to your writing, I am privileged to have met you. So strong and brave. And so worth it. ❤

    • The privilege is mine, beautiful. I mean that. YOUR words inspire me. It’s through meeting other great writers that I grow. My story is one that many feel and, unfortunately, so many hide. I can’t wait for you to feel the same freedom. I’ll be here, cheering you on from the sideline, reveling in your success.

      You’re one of the greats.


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  15. I once wrote something in the way of; women who have experienced some form of abuse, forget how to live in a world of norms. The pain and anguish became the only thing they even remotely recognize.

    I believe that was in answer to being asked why, why would a woman return to this kind of life time after time. It took me years to fully grasp my own reasoning. There is courage in such a telling even if it were for a prompt. (Hugs)Indigo

  16. ((Hugs)) I know exactly how you feel. I feel these things and you just put them into words. Beautiful words.

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