In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I present you this poem. Actually, it fits in well with the course of my writing because this was written at the end of my first semester of college. But maybe I should pretend that the timeliness of the content was planned all along.
Along with being unable to accept compliments, there was also this long held concept of being less than and inferior to others, which began early on for me. I struggled in so many ways to match the speed, ease and ability of my classmates that I saw it as a flaw in my very character rather than strictly my ability. It defined me to the core, this idea of not measuring up. That even if I managed to improve, it seemed to matter very little because someone else was still better. My focus was all about how I compared to others instead of establishing my own track of development.
You’re supposed to pay attention to your interests and abilities to recognize talents as those might influence future areas of study to pursue and a potential career path. How do you successfully accomplish this with a negative view of yourself? Yes to a degree I saw that writing and creative writing were more strong suits. But it wasn’t enough to completely draw confidence from it or to see it as an actual talent. I still felt misunderstood for preferring to write in a notebook rather than trying to talk with others.
I twisted most of the compliments I received, convinced that people were just trying to be polite or telling white lie because they felt sorry for me. And with this internal, self-defeating attitude, you can tear yourself down pretty far. I didn’t need extra help in this area. So the emotional and sometimes verbal bullying/antagonizing that I received in previous years just reinforced this feeling of being inferior and incompetent, unworthy.
I wrote this in ninth grade, as well. But the idea for this poem came from a session of using magnetic poetry. I had a pack hanging on the wall of my room and would play with the words. I believe the image of sun-streaked hair and the purple convertible came from the magnets, and then I somehow created a story to go with it.
I believe the title comes from the man in the poem, his attitude. Many times when people are abusive or violent they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. So when things unravel it comes as a surprise.
But looking back, I’m excited to see that I could write a poem about this kind of topic. Mostly, I’m excited that I wrote something where the female wasn’t just a victim, forever taking the abuse. She got out. She broke free.