you and me

It Counts, and You Deserve More.

 

It counts…

When you don’t turn down his advances because you don’t want to deal with his bad mood the next day.

It counts…

When you’re afraid to ask for more money because you’ve already spent what was allocated to you for the month.

It counts…

When you hear his car pull up outside and wish you had just a few more minutes being you.

It counts…

When you hear his key in the lock and look around for any bits of mess lying around that he might be able to criticize you for.

It counts…

When he says he’s going away for a few days and your heart cries out “FREEDOM!”

It counts…

When he walks towards you and you feel kind of uneasy, because you don’t know if he’s gonna peck you on the cheek and tell you how much he loves you, or walk straight past and not even acknowledge that you exist.

It counts…

When you don’t know who you are anymore because you’re so used to being the woman you think he wants/expects/needs you to be.

It counts…

When you look behind you and see the decrepit remnants of your former self rotting away on the wayside.

It counts…

When the fake smile and the porcelain happiness become the only acceptable way of presenting yourself, so that when you take them off at the end of each day, you no longer even recognize the face that lies beneath.

It counts, sweetheart…

When you don’t feel good inside your home, then it counts. When you don’t feel comfortable being yourself in your own home, then it counts. When you’re watching what you say and how you say it, when you’re walking on eggshells to avoid spilling milk so that no one else can cry over it, then it counts.

Darling, this is the man whom you married, the man you’re choosing to share your life and your very self with. You deserve for that relationship to be one that lights you up, ignites your soul, makes you feel good from head to toe, inside and out.

Honey, you deserve more than keeping your head afloat, constantly treading water so as not to drown under the seemingly constant moving goalposts and tall orders.

Baby, you are an angel, a child of God sent down from Heaven to live on this earth. You are a blessing and you are a gift. The world needs your light to shine. You need your light to shine. You’re here for a reason, and as long as there is someone cowering over you, casting a shadow on the gorgeous divine light that you are, you cannot be living your purpose.

When there is someone who is squeezing you so tight — even though it may look and sound like he is giving you space to be you, and even though he may claim to be giving you space to be you — that you cannot breathe, that the air cannot descend past the top of your chest because of the chains around your lungs, around your sense of self, around your insecurities, keeping it all trapped, stagnant, inhibiting your growth, it counts.

I don’t know what for, but it counts, whether it’s domestic abuse, emotional violence, or simply an encaging of the female spirit. I don’t know, but it counts, and you deserve more.

Sweetheart, free yourself so that you may breathe easy.

Remove those chains around your soul, one chain-link at a time, with your bare teeth, with your bare hands — blood, sweat, and tears if need be — just do it. Free yourself, leave the chains of his impossible demands and expectations at the foot of the bed where you have offered yourself against your true will far too many times, and walk away.

Walk away into the arms of the women who have gone before you, the ones who have trodden the same path, who too have freed themselves from the toxicity of the patriarchal remains of silently angry men. You will be welcomed there in their loving embrace, and there surely your light will shine…

… and you will love again.

***

Butterfly Maiden is a spoken word artist, coach, dancer, and all-round creative rainbow mama. She lives and works in the UK, where she spends her time living and learning alongside her three beautiful children, crafting little sparkles of healing magic along the way. She shares her work on her website, YouTube and SoundCloud under the artist name Butterfly Maiden.

***

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