Home is where she guards her fragile heart. She tries her best to be invisible, to not draw any attention to herself. She imagines herself light as a feather as she tiptoes over the proverbial eggshells. She makes every effort to go unnoticed, only leaving the solitude of her room if absolutely necessary. Her home is an insufferable prison and she can’t even imagine being free.
She was a little thing, just a tiny wisp of a girl. She was beautiful, with her big brown eyes that always seemed to be way too curious. Her hair was long and dark and felt like silk to the touch. She was a good student, always thirsting for knowledge and she reveled in the praises of her teachers. She made friends easily and excelled at everything she put her heart into. She loved life and she laughed. A lot.
But over time, everything changed.
She wasn’t sure when or why he began to hate her. It must be hate, right? Why else would he treat her that way? Every word out of his mouth was like a punch to her gut. She was stupid, she was fat and she never did anything right. It was almost as if he looked for reasons to put her down, he really took pleasure in beating her with his words. He enjoyed seeing her cower in fear before him, and oh what a bonus it was for him when she cried. If she managed to pretend it didn’t hurt her, that every time he raised his voice, it didn’t terrify her, he seemed to put more effort into his attack. It never failed, the tears always came. She was powerless to stop them.
Life continued this way for years. Then one day she was free. She had survived physically, but she couldn’t escape the emotional damage she had allowed him to inflict on her. She couldn’t forgive herself, she couldn’t forgive him. That wouldn’t come until much, much later.