Dear Abuser: I am the Revolution You Never Expected

By Shahida Arabi

rise

Photo Credit: Photo CC-BY Gisela Giardino. Modified.

Who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I am the light you tried to strangle, the light you tried to stifle in your chokehold

but my light bled all over the pages of your book, your preconceived narratives,

your filthy words and your attempts to bring terror

back into the blank space of my eyes.

Who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I birthed revolution in my bones like the many women that came before me

I ignited flames beneath my skin, using the fiery spirits of women who walked beside me

as matches; we breathed fire into each other’s hearts

until the world could see us

and from the ashes we were reborn.

Who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I am the fear in your hatred, the pain that you tried to use to violate my sacred

spaces, rip me apart until I was nothing, but I knew I would always be

something, somebody, and now I am.

I am layers and layers of the love and power that act as your kryptonite,

and with the words and actions of all those who rose with me,

I’ll build an impenetrable wall.

Who am I?

I am the thing that nightmarish people have nightmares about

wake up sweating about, thinking about —

their furrowed brows tense with self-doubt —

wondering if I and the other warriors I march with

could ever come back to life.

Who am I?

I am the restless rebel you tried to bury,

the one you tried to pull out by the root and eradicate

when she began to grow from the seed.

Who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I am the girl you left for dead

thinking she’d always fall and never rise again.

I am the girl you cut with your razorblade wrath,

the girl you thought would never fight back.

I am the girl you underestimated, the woman you tormented, the child whose shackles you tightened.

Who am I?

I think you already know –

I think you understand.

I am the prisoner you tried to cage, the little girl you made afraid –

I am the woman who never gave up, the one who exposed your charade —

who am I? I am everything and anything that you will stand against

to try to regain control.

For every source of darkness, there is a bleeding soul,

one that shines so brightly that the entire war zone

becomes illuminated.

I am the truth, your karma, the revolt —

I am the resistance, the pieces you tried to keep shattered,

coming back together again.

I emerge quietly, but I resound loudly —

reverberate through your skin.

My power was never yours, and it was never yours to take

Who am I?

I am the second coming,

of everything and everyone                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         you tried to break.

Copyright © 2016 by Shahida Arabi. 

All rights reserved. No part of this entry may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. This includes adaptations in all forms of media.


Get a signed copy of my new poetry collection for survivors, She Who Destroys the Light: Fairy Tales Gone Wrong, here.

 she-who-destoys-gold

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6 thoughts on “Dear Abuser: I am the Revolution You Never Expected

  1. Good morning. I have to tell you that this Beautiful deeply felt poem came at a time this morning that I was at my lowest, feeling that once again I couldn’t get much lower due to 25 years of verbal abuse and narcissism. I just want to thank you for giving me the power today to rise. Bless you ! Kim

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    1. Aww thank you so much Kim!! I am so happy to hear this was a timely poem that resonated for you. You are such a strong, badass warrior. I know you will overcome. I know you will keep fighting. You are more powerful than you know. Blessings to you!! ❤ ❤ 🙂

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