Oh, My Tattered Soul
The Bible tells us to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). In that spirit, we share this lamentation with all of you whose souls have been tattered by abuse.
Oh, My Tattered Soul
The days are dark; the nights even darker.
The things he says, are they true? Oh how I wish I knew!
Nothing I do is right. He controls everything in sight.
Money — It is all his. Groceries — “Why did you buy this?”
Don’t question anything he does. He says I’m unfit to raise my kids.
He says my children’s lives I’ve ruined. Is it true? How could I do that?
Perhaps he’s right. What does he see? Is there really all that bad in me?
He must be right; he knows me best.
What did I do, what did I say? Why does he tear me down this way?
Why don’t I leave? The things he does no one would believe.
My mother’s chair he chopped and burned.
My neighbor’s cat he stalked and killed.
What’s wrong with me? It must be me! To others he’s so great!
He’s kind and giving and makes a clean living. He is generous beyond belief.
His friends all bow at his feet. In front of others he is so kind.
It must be me; I’m out of my mind. It has to be me!
When did it start? I gave him my heart.
Our love seemed so great from the very first date!
But it happened so slowly; he took control of me; Just little things at first.
Step by step until he had complete control of everything that was me!
My heart, my very soul came under his control.
Where do I turn, which way can I go? I hurt so deeply but no one knows.
His words cut deep to my core. Away from him I’d like to soar.
No, I must keep going. Without him I can’t survive. On my own, I’d surely die.
But how can I stay? It gets worse every day!
I have no bruises, anyone can see. Oh how I wish he would slap me.
Then I’d leave, I know I would, but where would I go? I do not know.
Oh, help my tattered soul!
* * *
Thank you to Fred and Bonnie Wilt and the Overcoming Powerlessness team for providing this poem to us and granting permission to post it. Written by an abuse victim, this poem is read every year at the Overcoming Powerlessness luncheon in York, Pennsylvania.