Photo & Poem: Scream

 

Her crusty old body wobbles,
too frail to run on uneven hooves,
no energy to eat. Don’t call her cute,
don’t trivialize her reality. Stepping

closer to check an angle in her spine,
her eyes go dark as she holds her breath.
Feeling her fear, I’m dragged back to his
voice, “No one will believe you!” His laugh

boomed through the bathroom door,
drowning my threat to call the police.
Moments before, he pinned my wrists,
his body heavy with rage and moist violence.

My jaw locked open, without the air to scream.
Another laugh, as his boot lands, the doorknob
rattled but held. In an hour, the front door
closed behind him; I hurried a few things into

a trash bag and ran. Months later, I told my
parents, from the back seat of the car. Forty
miles of silence then, forty years of telling since,
bring me to this tiny moment with a small life of

no more consequence than mine. She deserves
rage more than sympathy. She deserves a scream
shrill enough to burst the eardrums of people who
ignore the muted cries of women, children, animals.

 

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Clinician, Equine Pro

57 comments

  1. this made me cry. For her, for you, for us. I have never been not safe in my own house. I cannot imagine a world without safe as a cornerstone. You are a hero, a warrior, and an emblem of courage with every blink, every breath, and every word. Love to you from your corgi and horse friends here in Texas. You are worthy, you made it so.

  2. Oh Anna! I lived that. My first husband beat and raped me several times. I reported it the first time. Tried to get help. But his command listened to him “The bruises are because she rides horses”
    After my trying to get help the first time, the abuse got worse. Neighbors heard, they knew. But stayed silent. Even hurrying into their homes to avoid making eye contact with me. My horses were my only escape.
    My dad knew something was up, he called the state police several times to do a welfare check. I only got out when my dad had a massive stroke. I ran back North with two sea bags full of some clothes and my saddles. Dragging them through Greyhound bus terminals, then onto the trolley and trains when I got back to Boston. Thinking I would be back for my mares. I never was able to get them back home.

    He wouldn’t fill out and sign the divorce papers. Even though we had been separated for 4 years. I finally got the guts to sit on his mothers front steps and demand he fill out and sign the divorce papers. And then he refused to show up at court! The judge gave me my divorce without him being there.

    I have since remarried. To a wonderful man. We have a daughter. A home. Lots of pets. 🙂

    However the worse part, was not having strangers look the other way. Or my supposed friends. Or his command. It was telling my mom years later; about what my ex husband had repeatedly done to me. And having her say “A man can not rape his wife”

    She wonders why I don’t go to family events anymore.

    I stand up now. Because I survived. And because I have a daughter.

  3. Maybe, all of us together, this week.

    At least for those of us who have spent years trivialized, we know we’re not alone in our small lives and our tiny moments, thanks to you Anna. Thanks.

    >

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I am unable to find words without some trite cliche finding its way on this tiny keyboard. It hurts my heart to know those experiences but hopefully your voice can give strength to those who need it. Wow.

  5. I can only hope and pray the screams and rage coalesce into ACTION against the powerful, the brutal, the complicit, the apathetic, the willfully ignorant.

  6. This is very powerful. I’m so sorry this happened to you and to so many,including me, who never talk about it. Thank you.

  7. Yes it was a hard poke Anna, but that’s reality. People think I’m brave living on the road, but I tell them strangers have never been the issue, only danger has ever been from those I knew, starting with my mother.
    However, I am still careful to get the facts before making judgments, having grown up with both sides of the coin. Hidden agendas…

      • I didn’t tell my mom because I was a very little girl and he told me not to. He most likely molested others also, and I suffered guilt over that growing up. Thank you for telling now. It’s kind of hard, even now, to click the “post comment” button and I am 67 years old. But I believe you and support you and hope that things will change now, the time has come.

      • Thank you, Ginny. The painful gap between those who share this experience and those who don’t understand needs to change. Thanks for bridging that gap.

  8. What’s so awful is the chronic helplessness that gets ingrained. The fear and sometimes reality that “No one will believe you!” And the lurking belief that you deserve it. Anger helps to break one loose, but it takes years to heal the broken pieces inside.

    • I am thinking you most likely have friends who have had similar experiences that hurt too much to share. It’s hard to speak out in our culture.

  9. Oh Anna.
    Oh.
    Raw.

    A very, very old medicine hat paint named Kachina, who deserved to scream but could not, taught me so much about bearing the atrocities of life in silence…

    and about healing, but remembering.

    Peace is with him now. Peace to you.

  10. I hope you sent this to your Congressperson. For the first time in my life I contacted my Senators to ask them to respect women and do what was right. We are at a crossroads and there is no turning back. Our time has come.

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