Please enjoy Abby Barickman’s poem, “You Love Me, Right?”
“I wrote this poem because it’s exactly how I felt and what was going on in my life. I was in a bad relationship, that I now know was abusive, for way too long. That might sound odd, but I really didn’t know it was abusive. I knew that I got hit and that I wasn’t always treated with respect, but I never once thought of him as an abuser or myself as a victim. I rationalized that he just had a temper and that, like he always said, he just loved me too much. I used to think that if someone was abusing me, I would not only leave, but I would hate them. Unfortunately, that is not at all how it happened. After a sequence of events that basically forced me to, I left. But I didn’t hate him. I still don’t. Instead of feeling empowered and good like everyone told me I would, I felt lonely and low. I missed him and I knew that I shouldn’t. I actually missed the abuse, the highs and lows. It was like I’d become addicted it. I was conflicted and hurt and embarrassed by those feelings. They bled into all other aspects of my life. I didn’t understand how I could still love and want this person that did all of these terrible things to me. I was too ashamed to talk to anyone about it, so I wrote instead.”
Abby Barickman is a 23 year old waitress. After taking a few years off, she is trying college for the second time, hoping to graduate next fall with a degree in Communication Studies and an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication. She wants to work in a domestic violence shelter after graduation, helping others who find themselves in situations like she did. Abby enjoys painting, reading and spending time with family and friends.