This is a story I’ve told before. The one where I played the damsel in distress, in love with a man I believed was a knight. Little did I know, he was a monster wearing a mask. I was the poor, helpless peasant girl while he, on the outside, wore armor fit to make me fall in love.
But was this love? I don’t know, is being cowered on his cold, basement floor, love? Is crying into your trembling hands, because he’s drunk and just pushed you off a stool, love? Or, what about him placing you in front of a dusty mirror, revealing all the imperfections that made you un-loveable? Is that love?
Unfortunately, I believed it was. I called this love. I look back now, and laugh at the fool I was. But there’s an important part of this tale that has yet to be told; the ending. Yes, we know that the final pages of this chronicle illustrated a tragedy, but there was a chapter I left out, how I got out.
One word, poetry. I know what you’re thinking. How could poetry get someone out of an abusive relationship? Well, my friends, although they may say poetry is a dying art, it’s one of the sole reasons I am here today. It’s the reason I’m able to share this saga.
If you didn’t already know, I’ve always been fond of anything poetic (some may tell you it’s an obsession). I fell in love with the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare at the age of 13. Since then, I’ve filled journals, notebooks, and scrap pieces of paper with my very own poetry.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the story.
So, there I was, tracing my fingers through the not so crowded shelves of the poetry section in a place I like to call home, some call it Barnes and Noble. This small region of the store’s wonderland is usually quiet and almost abandoned. I often spend many hours sitting in this area on my bad days. It’s filled with poems of lost souls and weary hearts.
Anyway, it was a cold, rainy day, about mid-February. My ex-lover was bombarding me with texts demanding he knew where I was. Of course, I had to send him a photo every half hour to remind him I was where I said I was. This was disturbingly normal. He believed that if I wasn’t with him, I was doing something only his insecure little mind could think of.
There I sat, cross legged, scanning through all the poetic authors who weren’t ashamed. The ones who were brave enough to put their hearts on paper, and share it with the world. As embarrassed as I am to tell you this, I do judge a book by the cover. So, when the binding of this little black book with white print and strange artwork stuck out farther than the rest, I surprisingly pulled it out.
As I flipped through the pages, let’s just say epiphanies occurred inside my poor, emotionally unstable head. I felt like this poet was speaking directly to me, that these poems were written for me. I don’t care how selfish it sounds, that is truly how magical it was. In that moment, as I was sitting on that dusty blue carpet, I started to weep onto the pages. He understood and I no longer felt alone.
Who the hell was this poetic mastermind? His name is r.h. Sin and this book is called ‘Whiskey, Words, and a Shovel’. This was the book that changed my life. I bought the book that day, obviously, and read it every single night and every possible second I could, astonished at his words and how perfectly they portrayed what I needed to do. I needed to leave.
So, this is for you, Sin. Thank you for saving me.
Here are just a few of the many poems that helped me realize who I was and what I deserved from a man.
I know it’s tough because you’ve given
all you’ve had and they’ve decided that it
isn’t enough. You’ve taken all that you
can and in this moment, you feel like
breaking but there is lesson in the
heartache and power within pain. You
are who you are and you deserve the
type of love you’ve been brave enough to
-- r.h. Sin
"You’re sitting there, phone in hand. You’re reading
this now with a heavy heart but no one knows.
Right now, there’s only you and I, you’re not alone.
You feel hurt, you feel angry, you feel neglected
and taken for granted. You feel pain and yet you
smile, symbolizing your strength but it’s okay to
feel weak. It’s okay to break down. Its okay to feel
what you feel. That doesn’t change the fact that
you’re beautiful, that doesn’t change the fact that
you’re strong. I get it, I understand…"
-- r.h. Sin
"There were always those nights
where her mind went to war with her heart
the fight between what she knew, what she felt
and what she had to do
sometimes the hardest decisions
are made under the moon"
-- r.h. Sin
So, again, thank you Sin, you are a poetic genius and you have played a huge role in helping me become the strong woman I am today.
Okay, here’s one more just for laughs!
‘I’m not worried about hell, I’ve already dated it.’
Whiskey, words, and a shovel"
-- r.h. Sin