Growth

I think it all began when he started to get silent more often

My mama had always told me not to date

She said to wait until seventeen 

To focus on my education so that I could graduate high school

To wait and not make the same mistakes she did

And I didn’t. Because mine were worse.

When I met him I thought he was the best thing that could have happened to me

He was seventeen and I was fifteen but he didn’t mind the age difference

He didn’t care about our different levels of maturity 

Or the fact that I still had a curfew before ten o’clock on weekdays

All he cared about was the fact that I was still young and naive enough to fall for his bullshit

When he told me he would wait for me to be ready I actually believed him

Until I gave into the pressure and gave into him and lost something I can never get back

When he told me I was the only one I knew he was telling me the truth

Until I realized he was going to Chicago way too often to just be visiting family

I ignored the messages from other girls

I could overlook the way he treated me

Because I was fifteen and I didn’t know any better.

But when he started to get silent I would start to get scared.

I almost felt like a dog with the way he seemed to have me trained.

I had to be seen not heard

Don’t talk to his friends, especially if he’s not around

Don’t leave the house in something he wouldn’t like other people to see

Be ready, willing, and able to come if he called because he didn’t like to wait

He never hit me

No it wasn’t that type of abuse

This was the abuse that made me hate myself and everything about me

The kind that made me blame myself for the way he treated me

Made me ask myself whether or not I could have been more quiet

Whether or not I could have been more docile

Would he have called me worthless if I got there faster?

Would he have called me fat if I didn’t ask him so many questions?

Would he have called me a waste of space if I acted less suspicious?

Maybe I should listen more. Question him less. Be seen and not heard.

Just do what he says Desi then he’ll love you.

Until I realized I was changing my whole life for this guy

I was making all these sacrifices. I was lying to my parents. I was hating myself.

And for what? A guy that only used me for sex and a verbal punching bag?

I realized then that I would have to grow up

I had decided I wanted to be an adult before I was ready 

Now I would have to deal with adult issues.

And you know this man cried when I told him it was over?

He begged me not to leave him and said that he would change

But it was time for me to grow up

And grown up Desi didn’t have the time to wait on a grown ass man to start acting like one

It felt so good to walk away from a relationship that I never realized was slowly killing me

It took me a long time to stop hating myself and blaming myself for things out of my control

It took even longer to talk to someone about it and come terms with the fact that I was abused

Growing up is hard for anyone to do

It was especially hard for me with my circumstances

But sometimes it’s necessary 

I know now that if I had stayed where I was it would eventually turn physical

He would eventually get tired of me never wanting to be around him

He would want more than I could give him

And the weird part is that I don’t hate him.

I will never look at men the same. I won’t be able to trust for a very long time.

He took my life away from me before it could even begin and yet I can’t hate him

Because part of growing up is learning to forgive and forget

And while I’m still working on the forgetting part

The forgiveness was easy.

Because I know that I won’t make the same mistake twice.

 

 

 

 

This poem is about: 
Me

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