I was young, beautiful, smart, and my life was just beginning.
You were older, more conniving and from the start, it was all about winning.
I was just another shiny trophy and you pursued me with such haste.
You stole my life with your lies; my God, what a sorrowful waste.
Your life, so different from mine, filled with money, power, and corruption.
Your courtship of me, so swift, cunning, and well-planned, was almost an abduction.
That in the beginning I was treated like a princess, of that there is no doubt.
Who knew a plumber could make more than a doctor and have just as much clout.
Your true self you could not hide for long, and I soon realized all was staged.
And, just like a princess captured by a monster, I was soon locked away and caged.
I was lied to and misled, I wanted nothing more than to escape but I couldn't get out of your lair.
You see, I had made one tiny mistake before you were unmasked, I had given you an heir.
So, I stuck it out, like a lot of women do, in hopes things would get better.
But they only got worse, every day a nightmare, and daily my tears grew wetter.
You perversely watched everything I did all day with cameras all around me.
I soon realized I had lost myself, I was just a decoration for you, there never was a "we".
You restricted everything I did, everywhere I went, every penny I spent, all to keep me close.
And when I dared to question you, you would rip me to shreds with hateful, soul-stealing prose.
And just when I thought things couldn't get worse, that's when I was introduced to your inner monster.
Your sick perversions, the wigs and costumes I was forced to wear, the acts I was forced to perform, I lost myself and you won her.
Thinning limbs and hair, new pale complexion, my body wasting away with my soul.
I knew I had to run away, but your threats of how no one would ever find my body in the river kept me in my hole.
I would have done the job for you, taken my own life to end the pain, but one tiny innocent face stopped me and kept me in my place.
You knew this, of course, so you kept up your torture, its intensity ever escalating so much that I couldn't keep up with its pace.
Then one day, a breaking point came after a night whose incomprehensibly horrific events are unparalleled.
At dawn, as you cut up checkbook and credit cards, your words rang in my ears "Get used to it, this is your life now!", I was suddenly self-compelled,
I had been praying for someone to notice and acknowledge the lie beneath the perfect outward facade, because I was too afraid to tell.
But when my mother came over that day somehow I found my voice, and once the truth spilled out of me, I let out a long anguished yell.
That yell was filled with everything I had been holding inside for so long: pain, embarrassment, terror, and utter humiliation.
For I was so broken down by you, I was just a shell, a product of your abusive, controlling, mind and soul annihilation.
Then the race began to free me from the gilded cage you kept me in like a once free and beautiful animal broken of its spirit.
Family members gathering, placing phone calls, packing bags, making plans; my fear of being caught too overwhelming to hear it.
And caught we were; when you came home on an instinct that I may try to run, that you had finally pushed too far.
I cowered hiding inside with my beautiful perfect boy as my mother screamed and cursed at you, but never stopped loading the car.
An image of myself and my father sitting in your living room as he yelled with the greatest of anger, "Look at my daughter, you have broken her!".
You began to argue, but against a man, not a small woman, you soon gave in with my father saying, "I am taking my daughter and grandson. Let them go or I could **** you if you prefer!".
That day I remember being in the back seat with my son as we drove away from my personal hell, and I was shaking so hard it shook the seat in front of me.
My father pretended not to notice and instead spoke of how he wished he had known sooner and how different things would be.
My fear was still all I could feel and I just knew deep inside that you would never let me go.
No matter what I did or where I went, you had private investigators let you know.
It took years of therapy, anxiety and depression, PTSD, countless court battles, and money spent on lawyers to make myself whole again.
But I finally won the one thing I wanted most, my son, and after that, I felt free of you and like my life could at last begin.
You've threatened me with slander and defamation if I ever told my story; you've called me a liar too.
You have only admitted to all your evils once, in the one marriage counseling session that the courts forced me to do.
After the therapist listened, horrified by what he was hearing, he finally called what you had done to me, ****.
You screamed and protested, but when he asked what you would call it you had no answer and it was your turn to escape.
I thanked the therapist, a stranger to me, for finally acknowledging, confirming, and giving validation to all that I had lived through.
As I walked to my car, I realized I was no longer looking over my shoulder and my mind wasn't filled with fear; I was no longer afraid of you.