Poem: Unequally Yoked

Missions Inc.Domestic Violence

Content Warning: This poem contains descriptions of domestic violence.

This poem was shared by Yandia Best to shed light on experiences with domestic violence.

Best wanted to share her poems because they can mirror the experiences of others going through similar experiences, particularly those on the fence about leaving an abuser.

You could be on the fence because the abuser is not physically hitting you, but their words are crushing your self-esteem and diminishing your spirit and sense of peace and wholeness by making you feel ashamed and undignified.  And that is definitely a reason to leave.

Unequally Yoked

By Yandia Best

You are listening and not speaking

You are doing things that go against your inherent values

You are making yourself believe that this relationship is right

When you know in your heart of hearts, it’s wrong.




                    Put Downs

CYCLE        Beat Downs with lips

 Beat Downs with fists

The morning after honeymoon pill

That makes you relieved not to have to

Think about the cons and truths of this situation

Just happy “things” are “back to normal”

I am not myself – not free

          Walking on eggshells

Perpetually second guessing

myself – not Free

Growing fear sits on your chest

Soft hits in the arm

Play fighting, orchestrated to

demonstrate the other’s strength

When he claims he’s “protecting you” from others whom you know have never

hurt you

You live in a remote area, from which

you can’t get to your parents or any of

your family easily

You begin cultivating verbal responses

ahead of time so you don’t

feel the reality of walking on egg shells –

and to feel ‘safer’ and not humiliated

by the responses you would get from

him if you didn’t put up this ‘shield’.

It is your shield of peace, a plea for real

love; a plea for peace;

a shock absorber from the fear and pain

you feel inside.

You begin going above and beyond to

show ‘extra love’ as a way of proving to

yourself and your abuser, your own

virtue of being forgiving and more loving,

even though you are being hurt and

humiliated, and dragged in the dirt,

layer upon layer, through and through. 

In some twisted way you feel

courageous coming back week after

week, cycle after deranged cycle to

‘make things better’. 

The fact that this existence is stagnating

you and your children may be the

furthest thing from your mind. 

You’re expected to believe and act like

you believe that a ship can only have one


Your personal authority is undermined.

Deep hits to your self-love occur.

Your hair leaves your body in patches.

Requests for the unthinkable…

Commands, indirect…