Beneath The Bruises

By Nyar Afrika

Beneath the bruises is a woman healing

Discovering herself

Finding a voice.

Letting go of her fears

Being reborn a new.

Learning to say no.

 

Beneath the bruises is a woman standing up for herself.

She is speaking out because she is tired

Tired of being the victim.

She wants to be free.

She can’t go around coiling up in a foetal position every time they argue

just to escape her blows.

She wants to be herself.

That black eye with hues of red, purple or blue isn’t who she is

She is not her empty heart stripped bear by cruel words

coming from the ones who promised to be there.

She is not her bloody mouth or her swollen neck

She is more than being pinned on the bathroom wall

and penetrated against her wish.

 

Beneath the bruises is a woman who is strong,

who doesn’t flinch when shouted at

Who doesn’t agree with everything for the sake of peace.

There is a strong woman who knows what she wants

who has set her priorities straight

who knows that No means No.

She is slowly accepting

that she loved someone who loved themselves more than her

That she let fear control her

and prevent her from speaking out.

That she allowed words to shred her self esteem into pieces.

 

Beneath the bruises is a woman

out to reclaim her glory.

Respect

Honesty

A kick in her ribs,

a slap on her cheek,

Another word that broke her heart

opened her eyes and

Encouraged her to wake up

to run away with the wind

 

Beneath the bruises,

she is like a phoenix rising from the ashes

She is being reincarnated.

This version of herself is wild

Untamed

Unrestricted

Unbridled

She is like a strom

Powerful…

and strong

 

Beneath the bruises

Is a woman who has learned the hard way

That she is not responsible for anyone’s insecurities

That she is not to blame for anyone’s shame

That it was never her fault she got hit.

That it was never her fault she got damaged

That it will never be her fault she got annihilated.

 

Beneath the bruises

there is this woman

Who is embracing herself again

Who is learn to to let go of the past and welcome her unknown future

Who is rewriting history

Who is setting a legacy

Who is ready to start on a new plate.

Beneath the bruises,

There is woman who finally got tired of being a punching bag

Of being a statistic

Of being used as an example

And so she walked out,

Her pain warped around her shoulders like a a cloak,

ready for a new beginning.

© Nyar Afrika 2017

Nyar Afrika loosely translates to daughter of Afrika. She is a 21 year old queer non-conformist writer from Kenya.
Facebook: NYAR Afrika
Twitter: @NyarAfrika
Instagram: @beryl_opiyo

This piece forms part of  the #QueeringTheCloak series which is part of a larger project exploring sexual, emotional and physical violence in queer women spaces on the continent.  The project seeks to essentially ‘pull back the cloak’ on shame and silence around this violence.

For all the articles and pieces on #QueeringTheCloak click here.

Also an article on 11 Signs You Are being Gaslight in a relationship and another 10 things the author learned from someone using gaslighting as an abuse tacticFor more on supporting people here is a piece on supporting someone in abusive relationship and also a piece where the woman says At least she didn’t hit me”. There is also a piece by a woman who writes a letter to her ex abuser’s new girlfriend. Also some healing words for after the relationship is done. 

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