Hidden Hurt Domestic Abuse Information

Domestic Violence Poems 1

Domestic violence poems about their experiences of and feelings about abusive relationships by survivors of domestic violence and abuse, and the Joy of finally being free of abuse!

Learned Helplessness
He comes, seeking veni vidi vici
Stopping the War
A Lie
The Seed
Standing Tall
Please don't put me in this box ...
Silence of a Bird
If I cry alone
Epitaph to a Marriage
We open our hearts so freely
I can say No
False Affirmations
We hide in Silence
Lessons from a walk in the dark
Like a bird
2 o'clock
No Happy Ending
Deadly Storm
What a Lad!
A Childhood Lost
At the top of the stairs
I Can't

If you have a poem or anything else you have written to share with us, please email me. Thank you.


    Learned Helplessness

    They say
    These clever scientist folks,
    That there is such a thing
    As learned helplessness;
    Cage a rat
    Subject it
    To repeated trauma
    Until it is so tired of fighting
    It will lie in the corner
    And take the pain

    Not leaving
    Even when the door is opened

    I know this to be true
    This has been me
    In the corner
    With imploring eyes
    For you to shut the door
    And stop confronting me

    With impossible choices


    He comes, seeking veni vidi vici

    My body
    Is the landscape
    Over which
    You wish to roam
    New territory
    To claim for your own

    I am no longer an easy surrender

    Be tender
    In your approach
    And I may let you enjoy

    For too many
    Would-be conquerors
    If they cannot possess
    Will seek instead
    To destroy


    Stopping the war

    Every bruise you gave me
    Has become
    a battleshield

    Every scar you gave me
    Has regenerated
    Stronger skin

    You can't touch me now

    Every bone broken by you
    Has healed

    Every tear shed for you
    Has long since dried

    You can't reach me now

    I'm peaceful
    I've stopped the war
    You can't hurt me
    Any more


    A lie

    There comes a time
    When you have to forget
    When nothing is left
    When things buried
    Have been brought to light
    Burned away
    And the ashes scattered
    To the winds

    There comes a time
    When nothing is left
    When all sounds
    Have faded away
    Even that
    Of goodbye

    I would love to say
    Part of me still cherishes you
    But it would be
    A lie.


    The Seed

    For Eighteen years as a tiny seed I was buffeted
    Swirling through the eddy of a tumultuous young early life
    No chance of settling anywhere
    No chance of tentatively putting out a root
    No chance of a tender green shoot

    At twenty I was scooped up
    Longing for roots to grow and shoots to appear ~ this was it
    I was excited, my life adventure awaited
    Soon I would know who I was
    What I was capable of becoming

    By twenty three I was in full bloom
    A fantastic family
    A beautiful house
    A wonderful lifestyle

    At forty I knew something was wrong
    These weren't my roots, neither my shoots
    It all began to feel very uncomfortable
    My shoots only blossomed when I behaved in a certain way
    No freedom to express ME ~
    These shoots were carefully tied to an immoveable frame
    The blossom only appeared under the most controlled of circumstances
    Clipped and pruned to within an inch of my life
    One exquisite blossom a year
    These weren't my roots, neither my shoots

    At forty five I realized
    Me, the tiny seed, scooped up at twenty
    Put in a cold store to prevent true germination
    Carefully packaged to show the world a wonderful extension of someone else
    Packaged by a promotions expert
    So expertly done ~ all saw the blossom, none noticed the lack of perfume
    No one could see the seed in cold store ~ not even me

    And then I did

    I saw a tiny seed slowly dehydrating, dark and cold, life force slipping away

    And I made a decision

    I wanted to see what that seed would grow in to

    At forty seven the seed rattled and rattled in the packaging until the layers came loose
    The seed was free
    Vulnerable and new, the seed took stock
    In shock the seed stood still awhile
    And then it started to happen
    The seed began to grow
    The virgin shoot pushed and pushed at the tough outer shell until one day
    There before the world stood a brand new plant
    A plant with true roots, a firm stem and tender leaves unfurling
    Feeling the sun and the moon, the rain and the stars

    This is different
    This is so much better
    I may never make it to full bloom or be a prize specimen to be gasped over again
    And it's great
    This is real
    Who knows how I will grow, grow I will and it will be ME

    I turn to face the sun every day
    I rejoice in the adventure of life
    I grow into being all I'm capable of, the best that I can be
    This is real
    This is living


    Standing Tall

    Breathing, looking, feeling and walking
    Deciding, choosing, living and talking
    Just like a developing child; an adolescent learning
    Just like an endless beginning a genuine yearning

    Independent, supported or alone
    Beg, borrow, or maybe one day I'll even own
    There is definitely a light and it is calling me
    Close my eyes spread my wings and I will fly free

    No more shame, pretend, cheap smiles and lies
    No more ifs, buts, maybes or whys?
    Who are you? What do you want? How do you sleep?
    I know now I am not your possession to abuse and keep

    You were right, it's dramatic, and all for show
    But it was you in the lead role, so desperate to grow
    Like a parasite you tried to consume and destroy my life
    Like a human being I tried to be your partner, friend and wife

    Go back to where you came from; it is what you do best
    Go back to being nothing,; an annoying little pest
    And when you get there be sure look up high
    Can you see me beaming brightly, lighting up the sky

    Each night I am reminded that you are evil, selfish and vile
    Each night I am reminded how lucky I am, blessed and smile
    You should see them now you've gone; happy, confident and born again
    All their own work, they erased you and survived any pain

    It was much easier than I thought; you can't miss what was never there
    But unlike you, I did feel true love, I wanted to grow, experience and share
    What a waste, a pointless thought and an unwanted gift
    All you saw was credibility, an excuse and blame to shift

    It is getting closer, that beautiful light calling me
    Close my eyes spread my wings and I am flying free
    It's over, just give up and please let us be
    Never again imprisoned, now and forever I'm holding the key

    Your self-pity and fairy tales fall on deaf ears
    Your stories and lies create no sympathy tears
    One by one everyone is hearing the truth
    T.R.U.T.H. comes with real evidence and proof

    I swear this is the final night you will give me no sleep
    There's no master plan or cunning revenge for me to reap
    You are a lonely little man, idiot, bully, gambling fool
    You've lost again; tough guy but I've got it all
    Do you feel small?
    Pathetic and cruel
    Down, down you fall
    At last I am standing tall
    ...We've got it all


    Please don't put me in a box....

    You've got that look again
    It is a sure thing ... there will be pain
    I try to make things calm, quiet and fast
    You try to justify, lie and buck pass
    Please don't put me in a box

    It doesn't hurt anymore, that's just how it goes
    I can cope; survive as long as the world never knows
    Keep my cards to my chest and my true feelings very near
    But you are getting more powerful, your greatest weapon; my fear
    Please don't put me in a box

    A moment of clarity, I'm not protecting them, like I think
    My greatest failing, my babies, I begin to sink
    Do to me what you can; they are my reason to fight
    Tear up all the carpets, there's no where left to put this out of sight
    But, please don't put me in a box

    There are agencies a plenty desperate to stand by our side
    They promise to make a difference; there will be a change of tide
    Stop, shock horror there is a pigeon hole on reserve
    Wasn't expecting that, a real ball with a curve
    Why are you putting me in a box?

    I have rights, and a voice, how loud must I be before I am heard
    This is all mixed up, not me, the system; crazy and disturbed
    Now it's you with that look again
    And I've got shame, isolation and even more pain
    Why are you putting me in a box?


Silence of a Bird

Sitting the dark
The TVs on
No one speaks
But the furry I feel inside my stomach lining is turning
A bird with no sound many nights laying in bed, you beside me, a million thoughts 200% full of emotion and if I were to speak, I would then have to bare your revolt
And I grow resentful inside of who I have become, paying too high a price for peace
This trap, you rescued me, but then you wanted my soul
So I holdback my talking, to make things okay, when they clearly are not
But my wings are down and to fight with you would leave me exhausted the next day
And I have to keep flying, 5:00AM report to work
Take care of to others emotions
and there are so many bricks on my shoulders to support
So my silence was your enemy
I realized I could never give you enough
It was your fear of abandonment that made me leave
And there is no fixing this
There is only separate lives
And I need to soar once again.


If I cry alone

If I cry alone,
am I like the tree
falling in the forest?

the one that

if there's no-one to hear it

then does it make a sound?

Does pain have a voice?
Or a shape,
Or a form?

And if it does,
Is it the shape
Of a tear drop?

And if a tear drops
Where does it go?
Does it still exist?

And if pain has a voice
Is it a sob,
a cry in the dark?

And if I cry alone,

Then no-one will hear it,


And if no-one hears it



Does it make a sound?


Epitaph to a Marriage

You met me in the spring; my garden was just beginning to bloom.
Tentative shoots reaching up through the soil
Green, tender, cautious, unsure.

I was just beginning to learn as a gardener, other hands had not taught me; I had to find my own way.
I made mistakes; planted the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sometimes I tended the weeds and neglected the flowers; ignored the weaker delicate ones, not knowing their worth.

And then you came. I opened the gates and you entered where no other had been before.
At first you helped; you showed me how to support the young trees, so they would grow straight and strong, you brought new flowers to my garden and we planted together. We planted two trees right in the centre.

But I could not maintain it and the weeds encroached.

I realised my lack; that my garden was not comfortable for you. So I went and learnt how to nurture it. I learnt how to use new tools; I learnt that weeds grow deep, and how to dig to the roots. The roots were widespread; it took time but soon they were gone. In their place I planted new flowers: their scent sweet.

Summer had come and my garden grew, I thought you would be pleased. You came, you looked, but you didn't see and you never noticed the new flowers, or stayed to enjoy their scent.

My garden still grew, but you never did approve of the wild beauty of my garden did you? You had to come and straighten plants that should have been left and trample those that needed support. You came with your scythe; cut down, and trampled the ground, leaving your prints all over the soil.

And all the while you forgot your own garden because you chose not to see the weeds that grew there your eyes were too haughty.

So I hid my garden, and grew it in secret; my flowers bloomed but not under your gaze.

I trusted you! You said you knew how it was all to be done, so I trusted you.
But among my flowers you grew thorns; you did not feed the soil, you destroyed where you should have built. The flowers we once planted together in the spring grew weak and now are dead.

Only the two trees remain.


We open our Hearts so freely

We open our hearts so freely,
We surrender our all,
But when the bruises show,
We pretend it's just a fall.

We allow it to continue,
Each and every day,
We scream silent cries for help,
But no one hears, no one sees, no one say.

Even when we wince in pain,
We think it could get better,
Deep down we know it can't,
To them we do not matter.

Each and every day we live in fear,
Could this be our last?
In front of others we joke and laugh,
As not to show our past.

We allow ourselves to be bullied,
In every abusive way,
It happens in every shape and form,
Day after day after day.

We fear in life we fear in death,
But which of the two evils are better,
We are tormented in both,
So it doesn't really matter.

All I want is to love and be loved,
Is that too much to ask?
But every time I find it,
It becomes an impossible task.

I look all around me,
And I see it all there,
Couples so much in love,
It's more than I can bare.

I feel so alone,
Altho' friends are all around,
I open my mouth to tell them,
But nothing comes out, not a sound.

Never used to have this trouble,
Of sayin' what needed to be said,
Perhaps this man has changed me,
By the living in fear an' dread.



The sun will learn to smile again
The waves will soar and toss
When we have sifted out the mud
From hidden pearls in dross

The wind will whisper soothing words
To all who hear in peace
the raging storm will clear the deck
And then the clouds will cease.

The sand itself will laugh and sing
The trees will up and dance
As joy and peace and love and truth
are given lasting chance.



I sit in wonderment
with the sun shining in the garden.
The trees sway gently in the city
with squirrels chasing each other from limb to limb.

What of my limbs?
They remain still and useless
Bent but not broken
from the terrors of life doled out to me
in one single blow.
The amazement of life is...
that one toss of a coin-
one drop of a hat-
one single moment in time-
can leave behind such havoc.
Who cleans up that mess?
Who will be held responsible?


I can say No

I can say no if I want to
then my mouth was shoved full of soap

I can so no if I want to
then I got a belt

Now I say no if I want to
and now they really hear

as boundaries around me
make it very clear


False Affirmations

Both doors were left wide open again
for the dog and the boy to get out
it never seems to occur to you
that I may not be about
Your filthy jeans I found
amongst the clean washing of course
as were your overalls and your socks
Through the window the sun will force
it's light to shine upon the stained covers
of the shredded settee
picking up every scrap of dirt
and fag ash on the patterned carpet
which I chose to try and conceal the mess
to which it adds its subdued hues.

You put me on a pillar which you can't support
plastering the ever increasing cracks
with verbal confirmations of your ideal.
I did not ask to be put up there
just a fair hearing and trial
yet when your column of false images fails
I will be to blame


We hide in Silence

We hide in silence
Keeping our thoughts in safes
Locked away for fear of not being believed

We hide in our homes
In the comfort of the known
The prison where we know to follow rules

We hide in isolation
Self-imposed through lack of self

We hide behind our roles
Our duties to each other
Never letting on the person behind the scenes

We hide for fear of being
Lest we should wake up and try to live.


Lessons from a walk in the dark

Meandering out on a moonlit night
Avoiding the lanes with neon light
Feeling the cold against my cheek
Gathering strength for another week

Mind crowded out by trouble's the norm
But Jesus slept through the storm
I look at the moon and the world at large
And try to remember who's in charge

My life is so transient next to a star
The heavens so high yet God not far
As dark surrounds each forward stride
So God does catch each hurt I cried


Unbroken vows

If I had only known you'd give just one thing to me,
It was your promise on our wedding day-the one didn't keep.

You promised you would cherish me until we both grew old,
The only vows you took to heart was "To Have" and "To Hold".

"To Have" me? I'm a prisoner, an object standing still.
"To Hold" me? Yes, you've done that too, but against my will.

If walls could tell their stories, and doors unlocked themselves,
Everyone would have a view into my secret hell.

Crazy? That is what you want me to think I am,
Telling me you meant no harm....and that you never will again.

The nights you tower over me just to make me feel
As if the blame and shame are mine-and my feelings are not real.

But you don't know that with each blow and hurt you have to give,
The more you build my silent nerve, and my will to live.

You think that you have won, I'm broken on the ground,
But you don't know the plans in place and strength that I have found.

Just know there will come a day, not far within my reach,
The only things to grip my soul are happiness and peace.


Like a Bird

Like a bird shot to the ground, just as she learns to fly
Pulled from the warm winds, on the weight of all the lies
Her saviour's silence deafens her, shadows embrace her all around
She listens in the darkness, broken winged and never found


2 o'clock

Its almost 2 o'clock this is where it begins
Bang goes the door,
In he walks tall and thin

He looks all around
Looks me up and down
Then he grabs for a drink
Not making a sound

Within a second
That drink has all gone
Get me another,
Or else is his song

I get up from the chair
My head to the floor
But before I can get it
He's there at the door

Thump that's the first punch
Followed with a clip
Get me a drink,
I do with blood flowing from my lip

Where is my dinner, u stupid fat cow?
Get rid of that baby, put her to bed
Right now
This is the time
I plan our escape
I should never have met him
It was such a mistake

I walk back in the room
He's standing, in wait
He kicks and punches me
My face is a state

I rise from the floor
Room spinning around
I walk to the kitchen not making a sound
I cook his dinner I get him a drink
And then I stand and wait at the kitchen sink

Take out this plate, and get me a drink
I walk towards him not daring to blink
I grab for the glass to replenish he's needs
But before I can touch it
I'm down on my knees
A slap round the face
A punch in the head
I sometimes think
I would rather be dead

He calls for another, and another again
He says he drinks to kill the pain
What pain I think I'm the one who's bruised
I'm the one who's battered and abused

At last he's asleep I can now go to bed
At least for an hour
I don't sleep, though, to many thoughts in my head

Its almost 2 o'clock he's awake now it begins
Bang goes the door,
In he walks tall and thin
Another slap to the face
Then I love you with a grin

I wait till tomorrow when a new day begins


No Happy Ending

by Hayley, not a princess.

I believe in my destiny, and believe in my fate,
I know that whatever, my life has its date.
And while I have choices, and things I must do,
I trust that my heart will carry me through.

You think you can see what I feel, what I am,
With your shallow vision, there's no way that you can.
You know that I'm broken, but call me insane,
To me it was special, to you just a game.

The good times were false, not one of them real,
You took hold of my heart and fed me the spiel.
Conquered my body, then mastered my mind,
Now I can see why they say that loves blind.

You cheated and conned me so evil and cruel,
Called me your stalker to make me the fool.
I loved you so deeply with nothing to gain
All that you gave me was heartache and pain.

You shouldn't have hurt me, no one deserves that,
Then thought you could fix it with coffee and chat.
I played on your team for two solid years
Bitter and angry I'm all out of tears.

The thing is darling; I'm stronger than you
And Insane, I agree! Who knows what I will do.
Plans to destroy you race through my brain,
The way you destroyed me again and again.

Full time already, you say that I've won
There's no defeat yet, the games not begun.
You'll be the one to surrender it all
Because I'm in your court and I have the ball!

If I were the person that you now perceive
I would take out revenge, that, I'm sure you believe.
However, I'm not, you still don't know ME
My name is Hayley, not psycho or she!

No feelings of hatred or wanting you dead
That of sadness, disbelief and lost love instead.
Honesty and respect what I wanted from you,
Left with just memories but which ones were true?

Sometimes I pray that my broken heart stops
Or that I might drown in my endless teardrops.
My emotions a blur, so much which needs mending
I can't be a princess, there's no happy ending?


Deadly Storm

Its time for me to start listening to me,
The day has come to set myself free,
My head and my heart always at war
My head saying go, my heart shuts the door.

Suffering each day with the hurt and the pain
Yet wanting to hold you again and again
Feeling your strength as I hit the ground
An explosion of anger too tightly wound.

There's nowhere to go, you've locked the door
Eyes shut so tight, please god no more!
Numb yet in pain as I struggle to stand
Then my lip splits from the force of your hand

I can't get away there's no place to run
Just ride out the storm, the worst of its done
Blurred from my tears or the blow to my head
I can't seem to focus perhaps I am dead?

Lying on the floor I pray this is the last
Then a kick to my stomach as you stride past
I crawl to a corner where I cower and sob
“You pushed me to it now shut your gob”

Back again this time to silence my question
Your hand covers my mouth to teach me a lesson
I struggle to breath so you grip even tighter
I'm scared that I'm dying my heads getting lighter.

One final shove as my head hits the wall
I scream, “if you cared why be so cruel”
Then like a switch as you turn on a light
“Please let me hold you, are you alright”?

I'm stunned but relieved that it's finally ended
You kiss all the bruises, to you now its mended.
For me it's not over, I still question why?
To hide what YOU'VE done now I have to lie.

Friends aren't stupid they guess what's gone on
I lie to protect you and say nothings wrong
Gradually the damage starts to heal and fade
I stuck to my story and kept up the charade.

I'm Clumsy you see and have two small boys
Always getting bumped in the face with their toys,
It's not fair to them when you are to blame
Why do you not feel embarrassed or shame?

It's your reputation that must stay in tact
You won't do it again and that's a fact,
I cannot predict when the next rage will be
But I know before long you are sure to kill me!


What a Lad!

His love was a sham
he did not give a damn
He kept me in the dark
Upon my doubts
He predated
What little that I asked
To him was a pressured task
What I gave to him
He took upon a whim
What joy I had
He turned bad
What a lad!


A Childhood Lost

I am the eldest one of three
I have two brothers younger than me
When we were growing up our lives were sad
Living at home with our mum and dad

We had no money and very little food
He spent it on drink and came home in a mood
The teachers at my school said how well I did
They must have known the secrets I hid

How may pairs of glasses can one woman break?
The bruises, the marks, the lives at stake
That's why we slept out on the streets at night
For me it was safer, so we used to take flight

Away from the man supposed to protect
Out into the darkness, did anyone suspect?
For if we stayed I knew what it would mean
A beating for mum would be heard or seen

I envied my friends, they had happy lives
With dads who actually loved their wives
I am now older with kids of my own
My dad's 56 and now lives alone

He lost his kids, his home and his wife
He's dying of cancer, now he's losing his life

He's no longer scary, he's no longer bad
He's a Grandad who's dying, but he's still my dad.


At the top of the stairs

The young boys sat sobbing
At the top of the stairs
Trying not to make a sound
Hearing the drunken bully
Shouting his abuses
Knowing that justice won't be found

Torn over what to do they just sat
At the top of the stairs
Awoken from their dreams
For what seemed like ages
They had laid quite still
Hoping the sounds were not what they seem

The familiar sounds of crying met them
At the top of the stairs
When the finally ventured out
Courage taking them down
Only a few steps
Before finally wimping out

For many times they had sat
At the top of the stairs
Wishing they were bigger and older
Wanting to run downstairs
And pull the bastard off
But knowing they'd need to be much bolder

The guilty fearful boys that sat
At the top of the stairs
Heard the pleas for an end
'Til one day their brave Mother
Decided her bruises
For the last time she would mend

The boys now grown men
Dearly love their Mother
Who for them unconditionally cares
Since the day of their Mothers independence
They vowed never ever again to just sit
At the top of the stairs

~ written by the son of a DV survivor


I Can't

I can't tell you how I really feel. You'll just get mad and yell.
I can't do the things I really want. You cop an attitude.
I can't feel things the way I really do. It hurts too much.
I can't talk to you about my dreams. I had to give them up.
I can't cut or dye my hair with out you getting mad.
I can't be free to make my own choices, you don't like them.
I can't see the light; your darkness is too over-powering.
I can't live like I want, you criticize what I do.
I can't ask questions, you say I don't listen and ask “what kind of stupid question is that?”
I can't trust you not to break my heart; you've done it over and over.
I can't believe you anymore, you've lied too many times.
I can't say the things I want to, you say I'm nit-picking and we fight, more.
I can't rely on you, you are too irresponsible.
I can't be close to you; you just push me away with your words.
I can't make love to you; you leave me hanging.
I can't plan for the0 future; you only live in the present.
I can't have a life; yours is too busy.
I can't get ahead you spent all our money.
I can't parent because you undermine me.
I can't take a break or you'll call me lazy.
I can't help; you tell me I don't know what I'm doing.
I can't call you; your minutes are too low.
I can't drive my own car because you won't ride passenger.
I can't have an opinion, it will contradict yours.
I can't be right, because you're never wrong.
I can't cry. I'm tired of crying.
What can I do? Wear sunglasses?


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Recommended Reading:

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To order in the US: Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for women sexually assaulted by male partners

To order in the UK: Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for Women Sexually Assaulted by Male Partners

Life after getting out of an abusive relationship often continues to be a struggle, and It's My Life Now offers guidance to overcoming common pitfalls, blending worksheets with insights on self exploration and ongoing growth. From handling feels of loss and guilt to overcoming feelings associated with having loved an abuser, this book continues to offer invaluable lessons and be a real source of help and strength:

To order in the US: It's My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence, 2nd Edition

To order in the UK: It's My Life Now

Maya Angelou - best known for "I know why the Caged Bird Sings" is a wonderful woman and an inspiration. Her books and poems are like sweet melodies that flow through your head. She writes words of wisdom and truth and gives hope, encouragement and strength to all women everywhere. If you need to fill up your spiritual and emotional well, read this book:

To order in the US: And Still I Rise

To order in the UK: And Still I Rise


You can now also download some of the poems submitted to Hidden Hurt to your Kindle! Read the thoughts and feelings of other victims and survivors and give your little bit to help support Hidden Hurt.

In The UK: Hidden Hurt Survivor Poetry I (Hidden Hurt Series)

In the US: Hidden Hurt Survivor Poetry I (Hidden Hurt Series)

Click on the donate botton below to support Hidden Hurt. Thanks you.

UK National Domestic Violence Freephone number 0808 2000 247


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