i was the third

i knew enough to know abuse was someone pounding their fists into someone else

and i knew enough to know the domestic violence shelter

was full of real people

they were filled with children i had played video games with while my mother

worked downstairs helping their mothers survive


what i did not know was that i was not only worth

physical kindness and decency

but that the way someone treated me was important too

that even though my father was good and kind and i had a shining example

and i knew

never to let someone hit me

the message never sunk in that i deserved even more

than just no violence


so that afterward, when my ex and i were buttoning our jeans

and he told me he had already screwed two women that same day

instead of closing the door on him forever

i told myself he had ended with the best

and that must mean

he loved me most

and you know, he never hit me

Photo Credit: gui.tavares Flickr via Compfight cc

Amanda Linsmeier

Amanda Linsmeier is the author of Ditch Flowers and Beach Glass & Other Broken Things. Her writing has been featured in Portage Magazine, Literary Mama, and Brain, Child Magazine. Besides writing Women’s Fiction, she loves reading and writing fables, fairy tales, and fantasy, and sometimes she pretends her Hogwarts letter is still coming. When she’s not writing, she works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside, surrounded by trees, with her family, two dogs, and two half-wild cats. For her, writing is the best kind of magic, and her work is heavily influenced by mysterious women, nature, and beautiful images and fueled with lots of iced coffee and background music. She’s the kind of monster who dog-ears book pages, and she has read her favorite book, Beauty by Robin McKinley, probably a hundred times. She loves pizza, tattoos, shopping, and pretty much anything French.


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