How often have we read an article or seen a news report about yet another woman who was murdered by her abusive partner. As they tell us about the repeated trips to the hospital or the complaints from the neighbors, even as we gasp at the crazy domestic violence statistics, we wonder, “Why didn’t she just leave?”
That is the question, a seemingly simple one. My question: “Why Didn’t I Just Leave?”
Not only that. Oh fool, idiot that I was, why did I go back? Again, and yet again?
“The Skins I’ve Worn” is an exploration of that life and the great need to step out from behind the shadows to better understand:
- A young girl trying to please her father
- So desperately lonely at school
- Hiding on stage, so that somewhere she could release her feelings
- Who entered a relationship and fell so deep and hard
- Who stayed in that relationship long after it was good for her
- Who returned to that relationship even as she hid the bruises
This piece is the struggle to understand why. Who she was. Why she stayed. Why she went back. It is a piece that exorcises my demons and sets them free. It is a telling of my story with no judgment, only truth.
Interesting enough along the way, other voices have come thru, other stories moved onto the page: other women telling their tales, sharing their stories, their grief, their pain.
And blessedly, with this writing came an understanding, an empathy, a compassion for this young girl, this woman I had been. Thru the writings came forgiveness.
So as much as it is for me, it is also for us all. For women and men who were trapped in a prison they could not leave. For all who experienced the pain and survived, stronger and more beautiful than before. For all that deserve forgiveness and freedom.