A Story of Domestic Violence

Posted on April 18, 2013

Today, I want to invite you to take a walk with me through a powerful piece…a poem that was written for the purpose of bringing attention to domestic violence awareness (domestic abuse, or  intimate partner violence). I have used this poem during individual and group sessions with those who have experienced domestic violence in their own lives, and it was able to put a voice to their feelings from and experiences of abuse. This poem entitled, Recibí Flores Hoy (I Got Flowers Today), was originally written in Spanish by an anonymous author; so I have translated it in order that I may share it with you.

Recibí Flores Hoy (I Got Flowers Today)…

“¡Recibí flores hoy! / I got flowers today! 

No es mi cumpleaños o ningún otro día especial; / It is not my birthday or any other special day; 

tuvimos nuestro primer disgusto anoche, y el dijo / Last night we had our first argument, and he said

muchas cosas crueles, que en verdad me ofendieron. / many cruel things, that really hurt me. 

Pero sé que está arrepentido y no las dijo en serio,  / But I know he is sorry and he did not mean it, 

porque el me mandó flores hoy.  / because he sent me flowers today. 

¡Recibí flores hoy! / I got flowers today! 

No es nuestro aniversario o ningún otro día especial;  / It is not our anniversary or any other special day; 

anoche me lanzó contra la pared y comenzó a ahorcarme.  / last night he threw me against the wall and started choking me. 

Parecía una pesadilla, pero de las pesadillas / It seemed like a nightmare, but waking nightmares 

despiertas y sabes que no es real; me levanté esta / and you know that is not real; I woke up this  

mañana adolorida y con golpes en todos lados, pero yo / morning sore and bruised all over, but I know he is sorry;

sé que está arrepentido; porque el me mandó flores hoy. / because he sent me flowers today.

¡Recibí flores hoy! / I got flowers today!

Y no es día de San Valentín o ningún otro día especial; / And it is not Valentine’s Day or any other special day;

anoche me golpeó y amenazó con matarme; / he hit me last night and threatened to kill me; neither makeup

ni el maquillaje o las mangas largas podían esconder las / nor long sleeves could hide the cuts and bruises that he caused

cortadas y golpes que me ocasionó esta vez. No pude ir / me this time. I could not go to work today, because I did not 

al trabajo hoy, porque no quería que se dieran cuenta. / want anyone to notice. 

Pero yo sé que está arrepentido; / But I know he is sorry; 

porque él me mandó flores hoy. / Because he sent me flowers today.

¡Recibí flores hoy! / I got flowers today! 

Y no era el día de las madres o ningún otro día especial; / It was not Mother’s Day or any other special day; 

anoche él me volvió a golpear, pero esta vez fue mucho / Last night he hit me, but this time it was much worse. 

Si logro ¿dejarlo?, ¿qué voy a hacer?, / If I, leave him? What am I going to do?

 ¿cómo podría yo sóla sacar adelante a los niños?, / How could I take care of the children alone?

¿qué pasará si nos falta el dinero? Le tengo tanto miedo, / What would happen if we don’t have money? I am so afraid,

pero dependo tanto de él que temo dejarlo. Pero yo sé / but I depend so much on him that I am afraid to leave him.

que está arrepentido, porque él me mandó flores hoy. / But I know he is sorry, because he sent me flowers today. 

¡Recibí flores hoy! / I got flowers today! 

Hoy es un día muy especial: Es el día de mi funeral. / Today is a very special day: It is the day of my funeral. 

Anoche por fin logró matarme. Me golpeó hasta morir. / Last night he finally managed to kill me. He beat me to death. 

Si por lo menos hubiera tenido el valor y la fortaleza / If only I would have the courage and the strength to leave

de dejarlo; si hubiera aceptado la ayuda profesional. /  him; if I would have accepted professional help. 

¡Hoy no hubiera recibido tantas flores! / Today I would not have received so many flowers!” 

~Anónimo / ~Anonymous 

Perhaps reading this poem hit pretty close to home. Perhaps it didn’t. Perhaps there is someone you know who is in a violent relationship…someone who is asking themselves, “How did I get here?” “How do I get out?” “What would happen and how would I survive if I did get out?” “What would happen if I stayed?” Perhaps that someone is you. Perhaps there are some of you in which this was and is no longer your current story, yet sometimes you find yourself either emotionally numb or even lost in an abyss of despair, wondering how you will get past the pain and heal from what has happened.

Regardless of the type of unhealthy relationships or domestic abuse (physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse) that you or someone you know may be experiencing, I want you to know that there is hope and help available. There are counselors and advocates that can help you to develop a safety plan to leave the situation and help you to transition from victim to survivor, starting that new life of peace, safety, and well being that you deserve.

If you need help, please take that step and contact a local counselor or domestic violence agency. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), where advocates are available 24/7.

Written by: Jada I. Rush, M.Div., M.A.

Jada is a Marriage and Family Therapist Resident at Groff and Associates, LLC in Indianapolis, IN. Her passion is to walk alongside and assist individuals and families in their goals to live out lives of health and wholeness. Bilingual (Spanish-English) therapeutic services are also available. If you are interested in seeing a counselor and think that Jada would be a good fit, please contact her at Jada@groffandassociates.com.

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