Abuse Poem

Poem About Abusive Relationship

This is about a friend I used to have that had been abused for almost her entire life. She was almost 30 and had seemingly been abused by almost everyone who was supposed to care about her. I watched people who didn't know anything about her treat her like garbage. I used to think, "They don't know any of her past, and if they did, they'd be ashamed they treated her this way." The last line is encouraging any victims to get help and the couplet before it is encouraging the people they ask for help.

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They Don't Know

Brian E Pardee © more by Brian E Pardee

Published by Family Friend Poems May 2020 with permission of the Author.

They don't know
About struggling through the sleepless nights, anticipating that next big fight,
About envisioning that same depressing sight, then staring at it until daylight.

They don't know
About him leaving with her jewelry, her food, her savings, her every possession,
About him leaving with her peace, her trust, her perception of her own reflection.

They don't know
About the way he degraded her, the beatings he gave her,
About the way he enslaved her, how afraid he had made her.

They don't know
About the narcissistic mind games, how he purposely planned her misery,
About the dehumanizing names, how he stripped her of every liberty.

They don't know
About the evil she had absorbed for so many years,
About those desperate screams that preceded the tears.

They don't know
About the pain and the sorrow, when a heavy heart can feel hollow,
About the confusion that will follow just trying to make it til tomorrow.

They don't know
About the beautiful person trapped inside this petrified shell,
About the brave warrior inside that helped her survive this hell.

They don't know
About being manipulated in your own home with constant lies and trickery,
About the overwhelming possibility they'd treat her much differently if they knew her history.

They don't know
About treating this like it's your last chance to help, because it might be,
About treating this like it's your chance to reverse all the pain this girl had to see.

They don't know
About the smiles she forces daily so the pain won't show,
About the fact no one can ever help if they don't know.


I started writing inside a mental hospital when I was 18 and I guess I never stopped. Most of my writing has been about mental illness but in recent years I branched out into other topics I'm familiar with. If my poetry had one central message or theme it would be understanding. Once a person can understand another's mindset they tend...

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