Breaking Ground 91 Arts - To My Battered Sisters

by April Meredith


Such a simple concept

With such complex origins

And painful truths



When intertwined with reality

Fuels his rage

And cloaks us in fear


But what is truth without the fear

That sparks our courage

To face reality

To fight the monsters we invited


No matter the innocence

It is that subconscious invitation

That binds us tightest

To our self-doubt and lies


We think ourselves weak

Knowing deep within

That we resent our own reflections

More than him


Because we allow him

To rape our souls

Like a parasite

He feasts off our heart

And thrives on our pain

And we dare not separate us from his grasp

For we cannot bear the thought of causing his peril


His fate

Is connected, dependent on, our own

And surely this means

Things would never go too far

Surely he realizes this


But I tell you now, sisters

A parasitic life is no life at all

It’s a mere existence

Sustained on your blood

And he is in no hurry to end the suffering

Nor is he wiser than that battered face

Screaming at you in the mirror


In fact

The control you think you don’t have

And the strength you tell yourself is gone

And the love you feel you don’t deserve

And the happiness you have long forgotten

Or never had

Is waiting for you

When you are ready to face those demons


I will not give you false hope

Nor unrealistic expectations

Nor embellished promises

For a clear passage


Or open arms

Everywhere you go


Your journey would be

Just as you are

Beautifully unique

Filled with simple complexity

That is how one must be

To take back and maintain control

You understand its value

Its power

Better than any woman

Who was granted it


It is time

For you to wake up

And seize what is rightfully yours

I don’t know where your journey will lead you

But it will be yours

I speak from the other side of the threshold

Having survived my own hell

And outlived my own parasite

And conquered my own demons


I say to you

That this sister stands

Scarred, yet stronger than ever

Ready to share your burdens

Until you can carry them alone


Forward we can charge

Collecting all the pieces

Of your shattered spirit

And replacing the lost ones

With self-love and sisterhood


Rise up

Just as you are

You must make the first step

Towards your brighter future

That is the reality

And believe me

I get it

It will be harder

Than staying

At first


But sometimes, sister

In order to establish

Who you are

And commit to freedom

You must go

Through open doors

April Meredith is the Independent Living and Advocacy Specialist for Empower Tennessee. She is a wife, mother of three, and has Retinitis pigmentosa.