i can no longer distinguish pain from pleasure; abuse from affection; contusions from caresses. embraces could be delivered in tightly-clenched fists; words of affirmation in abasement; trust in forced hands. i can't tell the difference between love and hurt; dark bruises and soft kisses; belittlement and support.
all i am familiar with now is the aftermath - the tears, the marks, the aches; hot showers soothing stinging skin, shaky knees and trembling hands; the nauseating guilt; encapsulating, overwhelming fear
and the sickening inability to just walk away.
for every physical, emotional, and ****** abuse survivor out there.