There she stood. Her face wore the stress and anguish of many teary and agonizing nights.  She had not left him. She said she stayed because of love. But I think she stayed because of fear: the fear of standing up to him, the fear of dealing with the drama that would unfold because she did, and the fear of living life without him.

“Better the devil you know than the one you don’t know,” she would say.

He had cut her off from the world, isolated her. He shattered her self-esteem and anything that made her value her self-worth. He shielded her from experiencing anything or anyone he knew could make her realize she could do better without him. For lack of a better term, he brainwashed her. He clouded her mind with lies about a world that was constantly conspiring against him and her.

He told her, “No one loves you like I do. I’m the best thing for you, and you will never do better.”

Deep down inside she must have known better. During fleeting moments of clarity, she would gaze into that metaphoric mirror and not recognize herself. In those moments, she would remember a time when happiness and prosperity was within reach and her dreams and aspirations were obtainable. But now all that was left was a cracked and empty shell of her former self. No hopes. No dreams. No happiness. Just struggle.

Zimbabwe finds herself gripped in the clutches of an abuser. Manipulated and exploited, she ignores the unhealthy nature of her relationship while clinging to the illusion of a healthy one. She hopes it will get better, but everyone on the outside looking in understands it won’t until she stands up for herself, turns her back on the abuser and dares to dream of a future without him hindering her aspirations and exploiting her potential.

Sincerely, Kwapi Vengesayi

FB: @kwapivengesayi | IG: @kwapiv | SC: @kwapiv  |  Twitter: @kwapiv

Kwapi Vengesayi is a three-time Amazon bestselling author. You can purchase his books on Amazon: Men Cheat More, Women Cheat Better: Stories and Conversations About Love, Life and Everything in Between (2017)Love is Work: Hashtags About Love, Life and Everything in Between (2014)Hashtags: The Dumbest, Smartest, Funniest, Deepest Things I’ve Ever (and never) Said About Love, Politics, and Everything in Between (2013)

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