PTW: . . . . . . . . . . I cannot even begin to count the number of broken noses, broken bones, fractures, stitches, internal and external bleeding, bandages, blood stained clothes, broken belongings... broken hearts. And the number of times I accepted it and blamed myself. For talking back, for trying to reason, for trying to defend myself. Or the worst, for being an orphan. The emotional, mental, physical abuse. Has lasted since my first memories. To more recent ones. Very few know the main reason I left my apartment, close to the city and work and friends and gym. Blood stained and dented walls. The heated arguments and humiliating nights left in tears. The conversations (lies) at work about injuring myself at the gym, being clumsy at home, or the most ridiculous, head butting my steering wheel. Child abuse is not okay. Domestic abuse is not okay. Abuse of any kind is NOT okay. But at 29 years old, it’s been part of my life longer than anything, anyone. It haunts me at night. It wakes me in panics. It causes me to flinch at a loving touch. I don’t know if I’ll recover, if I’ll ever not cower at a raised voice. But I’ll try. And I’ll keep fighting to get stronger. And maybe one day, I’ll trust a little more, and love a little longer, and smile a little wider.