Sometimes I still feel like a little girl

When I wake up in the middle of the night, my body curled up into a tight little ball. My teeth clenched tightly, my eyes searching the room trying to remember where I am. Trying to recognize the fact that I am 26. I have my own kids now. I have my own home.

But I still have nightmares about him.

Me-barely 5 feet tall. Him -5’11”, over 300 pounds. Big and black. He’s screaming at me. He hates me. He’s telling me that I can’t do anything right. He’s telling me he’s going to beat me. He turns to get his belt.

I run out the door blindly. I don’t know where to go. I run and run and run. I have no one to call. I hear him running after me. He’s going to find me and beat me. I know he will. I can’t outrun him. He’s going to get me. He hates me. I can’t breathe. He hates me.

Some nights I have the same dream, but the HIM is different. This time HE is my children’s father.

Me-barely 5 feet tall. Him- 5’11”, over 300 pounds. Big and black. He’s screaming at me. He hates me. He’s telling me that I can’t do anything right. He’s telling me he’s going to kill me. He reaches out to grab me.

I run out the door blindly. I don’t know where to go. I run and run and run. I have no one to call. I hear him running after me. He’s going to find me and kill me. I know he will. I can’t outrun him. He’s going to get me. He hates me. I can’t breathe. He hates me.

My stepfather. My children’s father. The two men in my life. They hate me so much. Mimi says I’m just paranoid. That hurt my feelings. My fears are real to me. But she doesn’t have to wake up crying like I do. Wondering who is going to get me first. And why they both hate me so much.

I grew up wondering why my parents didn’t like me. Why they never said nice things. Why they never hugged me. How come I was so bad? I did well in school. I was popular. I did everything my parents asked me to do as soon as they asked. I was very eager to please. But they still didn’t like me. They still didn’t like me. They always punished me. It was as if doing the right thing was the wrong thing.

Why do you hate me so much when all i’m trying to do is please you?

To this day I still do the same thing. I’m super nice to people. I’m very encouraging. I try to do what’s right. All in hopes that I will brighten someone’s day. But still, they don’t like me.

I get the silent treatment from some Black women. I can tell they don’t like me from the moment we shake hands. I get criticized by men. Yeah, you have a lot going for you, but you STILL need to improve in this area and that area. And I question myself. I question my friends. What do I keep doing wrong?

Who will accept me and love me just as I am?

I am finally clear that no man ever will. That hope left my heart a long time ago. Today is the day that I finally admit it.

No man will ever hurt me again. Because no man will ever get close enough.

I have two men hunting me in dreams.

And that is quite enough.

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