What is Abuse?

Delta Winds cover 2000Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


What is Abuse?

Jamie Lee

What is abuse? It is the dark secret of a little girl, the dark circles under a woman's eyes, or the bruise on the cheek of a little boy. Abuse is a deep dark sorrow that flows through our society, flows through different ages, races, and levels of society.

Abuse is a cloud that covers a little girl in shame. It is the secret she has kept from her mom for over ten years, and from all her family. Abuse is the nightmare that haunts her at night. Abuse is what has forever changed her personality and her appearance. It has destroyed the young lady she could have been, and stolen the innocence of her childhood. Abuse is the poison that has stolen her self-confidence. It has also stolen her love of life. Abuse is a father she cannot get away from.

Abuse is the dark circles under the eyes of a woman who is tired and angry. Abuse is a thief who has stolen this woman's life and her love for others. It is the anger that fills her heart with hate and her mind with bitter memories. Abuse is fear, the fear that haunts her when she steps through the door of her house. It is the fear that she will be beaten yet again. Abuse is a man she cannot get away from.

Abuse is the bruise on a little boy's check, the bruises that no one ever sees. Abuse is in the form of a mother who looks the part of the perfect mother, but behind closed doors, she takes out her anger on her little boy. Abuse is the lesson that teaches this boy to hate women, the lesson that will teach him to abuse his own family. He will not think he is like his mother. No, he will think he is a good husband and a good father. Abuse is the lie that tells him it is all right to be mean to others. Abuse is this boy's legacy.

Abuse is the dark passageway to your apartment where you were violated while others stood and watched. Abuse is the shame you feel when you take a scalding hot shower to remove every remembrance of him. Abuse is the smell of hot sweaty, sticky, putrid skin. Abuse is the red choke marks on your neck, the bruises on your arms and face. Abuse is not having an intimate relationship or trusting a man ever again. Abuse is always looking behind you when you walk home from work. Abuse is always hiding. Abuse is the memory you cannot hide from.

Abuse is the empty stare of a lonely girl in a dirty diaper, in a broken-down stroller. Abuse is the hunger she feels every day. Abuse is the dirty fingernails, the lice-ridden hair, or the dress that does not fit. Abuse is the playpen she spends twelve hours a day in and its endless hours of boredom. Abuse is growing up not able to love another human being because you were not loved. Abuse is the neglect this little girl feels.

Abuse is a deep, dark, consuming sadness that has affected and is affecting many different people of our society. Abuse is an endless black pit that one cannot see the end of. Abuse is all around you. Abuse is your father, mother, uncle, teacher, pastor, friend, lover, husband, wife, or is it you?