Watercolor Wednesdays: I Got Flowers Today

29 Jul

I got flowers today
It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day.
We had our first argument last night;
And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt;
I know that he is sorry and didn’t mean to say the things he said;
Because he sent me flowers today.
___

I got flowers today.
It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.
It seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn’t believe that it was real.
I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.
but I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

___
I got flowers today
And it wasn’t Valentines Day or any other special day;
Last night he beat me and threatened to kill me;
Make-up and long sleeves didn’t hide the cuts and bruises this time;
I couldn’t go to work today because I didn’t want anyone to know—but I know
he’s sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.

___
I got flowers today
And it wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day;
Last night he beat me again, and it was worse than all of the other times;
If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of the kids? What about
money?
I’m afraid of him, but I’m too scared and dependent to leave him! But he
must be sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.

___
I got flowers today
Today was a special day—it was the day of my funeral;
Last night he killed me;
If only I have gathered the courage and strength to leave him;

I would not have gotten flowers today.

by Paulette Kelly

__________________________________________________________________________

I just got back from our 3 day gender sensitivity training. I just wanted to share a poem that was introduced to us at the seminar. It is about the cycle of domestic violence, and is entitled “I Got Flowers Today”. Coincidentally, I have painted something related to this in the past. I called the artwork “The Bride”.

As an advocate of women’s rights, it is my duty to open up the eyes of as many women and men possible about the complexity of domestic violence. Most of the time, we are so quick to judge a woman who seems to be letting her husband beat the hell out of her. This issue however is not as simple as it looks like. It needs a little more digging.  See, once a woman falls prey to an abusive partner, it is not as easy to get out of it, as most outsiders would assume. The psychological disposition of a battered wife becomes derailed as the abuse worsens and we cannot just throw the blame on the woman for not choosing to leave the relationship right away. Many factors come into play. there are a lot of deterrents both internal and external to a woman which affects her judgment, her way of thinking, her responses — and these are not necessarily her fault. To be effective saviors and/or support systems, we have to demonstrate unending patience and persistence. We need to help her little by little, no matter how much she tries to resist it at first, until she finally can wake up from the haziness of it all and take the first step out of the house that was never a home. Always remember to never blame the victim.

__________________________________________________________________________

Allow me to just say this as I close this post: To all the women in a potentially harmful relationship right now, at the first sign or instance of abuse, please please please gather your courage and leave. Forget about everything else, and I mean everything else. Save your life and leave at once. Cover your ears and don’t listen to his sweet words, close your eyes and forget about his pitiful face. Don’t listen to anything your abuser will say and NEVER ACCEPT HIS FLOWERS the following day.

Please. try.

try.

__________________________________________________________________________

Below is the video shown to us in the seminar. It is a shorter version of the original poem but the way it was read was so haunting. Please take the time to watch it:

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