Stop Romanticizing Abuse – by Hodan Khalif


He loves me.

I promise he loves me.

In fact, his love for me is so deep he feels the need to draw marks on my body as evidence.

He called my body a canvas and his fist the paint brush.

His paint was the alcohol that gave him power to love me like could…he said.

Love me like a real man should he said.

Love me like he loved to hit.

I embraced that love with open arms,

Glorifying the way it hurt because love to me was that pain he provided.

Love to me was when his temper sky rocketed and that quake like fear it left running through my veins……….the way I should have been running away from him.

But I didn’t.

Instead I accepted the way he gave me his love.

I welcomed the scars of his affection that made a home on my skin for me to see everyday.

I began to see the bruises as beautiful shades.

The black eye in my eyes was prettier than any cut crease ever made

I adored the way his fingers wrapped around my neck,

And the fingerprints resembled necklaces made from fine pearls,

I tried to see it as beauty and for awhile it was,


I began to see what other women were treated like and my eyes opened wide at how I ignored all these red flagged signs….

Because finally I saw that …

Other women got chocolates while I got slaps,

Other women got foot rubs while I got lashes to my back.

When their love was symbolized with words mine was branded with pain.

“Those are other women,” he said with frustration and anger laced in his voice.

And soon… just like that, the beauty of my love began to fade.

The scars became ugly and the bruises looked disgusting.

His words were no longer loving but something I struggle to admit to myself even to this day ….


I told him the kind of love he offered me was wrong,

I told him I couldn’t take it anymore.

So when he told me I could leave,

I never looked back.


  1. Helen

    December 11, 2018 4:26 pm

    Thank you for posting this. Much love xx

  2. Amal Ayan

    December 11, 2018 5:20 pm

    Hodhan, you’ve always been a talented poet, but this is on another level! I love it! Beautiful and so articulate. I hope it’ll reach whoever needs to hear it.

  3. Idz

    December 11, 2018 5:22 pm


  4. Gul

    December 11, 2018 5:35 pm

    No one deserves anything of the sort from any man and should never stand for it or feel it’s there fault they made the made the man do it so go girl look straight ahead and never back

  5. Rasana Khan

    December 11, 2018 6:30 pm

    This was beautiful!!!

  6. Hirah Deen

    December 11, 2018 7:12 pm

    Amazing. This is real shit.

  7. Mara

    December 11, 2018 8:32 pm

    Hodan, your beautiful and heartbreaking words are very touching and sad. But I’m happy for you that you never looked back and are now out here in the world so we can read your words of witness. I wish you peace. ?

  8. Sara

    December 11, 2018 8:51 pm

    This is deep. It is so sad that so many women take such things as love. Thanks to clarify some things <3

  9. Iqra

    December 11, 2018 9:14 pm

    Loved this, thank you for sharing ❤️

  10. Jasmeen

    December 11, 2018 9:32 pm

    Wow just wow ❤️?beautiful and painfull??

  11. Nehaar Sheikh

    December 11, 2018 10:13 pm

    I think the worse part of such a situation is that alot of women just don’t feel they can turn to their families. It’s as though they are expected to endure that kind of treatment. They are made to believe it’s normal that it’s part and parcel and hence those women convince themselves that it’s normal…until ofcourse they find the courage to break free.

  12. Yusra.H

    December 12, 2018 12:05 am

    this is so touching !

  13. Evelyne

    December 12, 2018 12:37 am

    …so sad & beautiful

  14. Harmeet Kaur Channa

    December 12, 2018 4:41 am

    This is amazing! I have worked with individuals who have been Trafficked and Sexually Exploited and the way you have depicted this is so on point. Keep up the good work, you are beautiful and talented!

  15. Intisar

    December 12, 2018 7:29 am

    Hodan never disappoints. ?❤

  16. Minaz

    December 12, 2018 1:24 pm

    Though relating something that I haven’t experienced is tough for me, this was worth pulling out every nerve.
    And the way it ends is very little thing #that she doesn’t look back, it’s blanket over a fearless womens come back,u hv painted in that little sentence.

  17. Maryam

    December 13, 2018 3:42 am

    Poignant and true. I used to work in this sphere. My own husband is a good man and has never raised a hand to me but I have seen the misery, and heard all the excuses made by the wife, on his behalf, as they usually blame themselves. I wish they all had your courage, and talent, to tell it so well. Thank you beautiful lady. ??????

  18. mapi

    December 13, 2018 11:25 am

    grazie, per questo bellissimo brano.

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