We are honoured to share this poem about domestic abuse, written by a woman known to us. The poem is not particularly about additional needs but families who are embracing and managing additional needs are not exempt from other issues, including domestic abuse. Thank you to the brave young woman who wrote this and congratulations for having the courage to believe in the possibility of a new beginning.
There is a link to a helpline at the end of the poem.

Bruises on the outside everyone can see.
Bruises on the heart no one knows but me.
Long ago I loved you, thought you loved me back.
All you did was hurt me with another verbal attack.

“You’re useless, you’re worthless, you can’t do anything right.
You annoy me, I hate you” – I would hear day and night.
Eight o’clock, time for his cans and console, so up the stairs to bed.
I try to sleep but cannot rest, too many things going on in my head.

My self-esteem was going fast, along with my confidence and smile.
Replaced by stress and anxious thoughts, how can this be worthwhile?
Excuses and apologies, I would make every day,
For why I cannot make it. I wish it wasn’t this way.

The old me has disappeared, no more ladies that lunch.
My school run breakfasts are over, how I miss the crazy bunch.
I wish I could change things, but I really don’t know how.
I haven’t got the strength to fight, the time’s not right just now.

Early one morning I argued back “Please leave me alone, just go away.”
He packed a bag and off he went. “Don’t return” I would sit and pray.
Life was different on my own, time for changes to be made.
Being a single parent but it was good not being afraid.

The days alone turned into weeks, then months and now its years.
I’m slowly getting stronger, and don’t cry as many tears.
Me and my child are happy now. We laugh, we love, we dream.
It’s hard at times I will not lie, but we make a fantastic team.

The years of abuse are over, but the scars still rule my mind.
I often sit and wonder what made him so unkind?
Domestic abuse is awful, often hidden behind closed doors.
Please speak out and make it stop… It’s not their life it’s yours!

If you, or someone you know need help then do contact: http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/ 

In any emergency dial 999