Scars That Never Heal

A smooth line, a centimeter long
At the base of my left thumb
A 2×4 aimed at my head
That I managed to avoid
My hand quicker than his swing
Ironic that he taught me how to block
The nails made a squelching sound as they entered
And ripped a bloody path as they left
Another line, thinner this time
Along the top of my hand
To prove the knife was sharp enough
In case I thought of leaving
Just a warning, just in case
And never tell

A strip between my eyebrows
Where hair no longer grows
His fist buried the glasses in my skin
Before he snapped them in two
To teach me to watch what I was doing
And not to look at things I shouldn’t
These are the physical reminders
A promise never to live in someone elses’ house
A legacy of the times he locked the door
And I shivered on the doorstep
Too afraid to not be there when he called
In case the punishment was worse

A mind made up of switches and locked doors
Safe rooms to hide in and a mask to wear
To keep my mind and body separate
To keep ‘me’ safe when bad things happened
To make sure no one knew
The ability to cry in silence
A need for control, for independence
To always have an escape plan in place
And never get too attached
To places, possessions or people
So that leaving is never reliant on
Not leaving something behind
These scars left no mark and yet
They were the hardest to heal


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