My abuser will walk me down the aisle
He will smile, he will swell up with pride
Maybe he’ll even cry, who knows
And the audience will put hand to heart
Touched by the emotional moment –
Father and Daughter.
I always feared the day would come
The day this man holds me by the arm
On our journey towards my future
As he “gives me away”
But my abuser doesn’t get to “give me away:”
I am happy not because of him
But in spite of him.
My scars will adorn my arms, exposed
My majestic bridal jewelry
The worst memories in the world;
And the greatest strength.
And my tears won’t be tears of happiness
But of depth and pain and most of all
The aching desire to be free.
I don’t attribute any of it to him
Not my getting married
Not my miraculous self-love
Not even these scars
The scars that remind me I have overcome
And I will overcome forever.
My past weighs down on me like a heavy coat –
At the end of that aisle
It will become light as a feather
No longer bound by gravity
And I will shed my old skin
That never quite fit
Like a shimmery, invisible robe it will fall
To the ground at my bridal feet
And my scars, once binding chains encircling my arms
Will become beautiful joyful like my new future
Far away from my abuser
And closer than ever