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Two Voices

There once was a woman with eyes vibrant and blue
She had seen things…
Felt things…
And had beliefs that rang true.

But where was her voice?

One man was content to steal that voice.
By demanding
And screaming
That she had no other choice.

He shot down every vocalized thought that she had
He began ranting
And raving and
Calling her mad.

When she tried to speak, he was always around
To make sure that
She never found her voice
in the crowd.

He filled her with thoughts that would slowly employ her.
He would fill her with words
That were meant
To destroy her.

What she was saying was wrong.
What she was saying was dumb.
What she was saying would make
others feel down in the dumps.

“That woman over there, she will think this.
That man on the corner will find you amiss.
The ones that you love will stop loving you at all.
The ones that you care most for will wish for your fall.”

And on he went, with one goal in mind.
To crush her.
To flatten her.
And make her voice so defined.

Because you see, he knew what was right.
To think
And to feel.
And to back in a fight.

He knew what she needed
She had no say
He knew what she wanted
At the end of the day.

And for some reason…

She believed it.

There once was a woman with eyes vibrant and blue
She had seen things…
Felt things…
And had beliefs that rang true.

But where was her voice?

It belonged to the man
Who had slowly crept in
And made his demands
And made her give-in.

It belonged to his words
That were there when she walked.
They were there when she slept.
They were there when she talked.

They were there when she ate.
They were there when she sat.
They were there when she
Felt the most ugly. And fat.

They were there whether the man
Was there or away.
They were there when she laughed.
They were there when she played.

But where was her voice?

There once was a man with a smile delightful
He also had seen things…
Felt things…
And what he believed was insightful.

But where was his voice?

One woman never thought twice about stealing his voice.
By insisting.
And claiming.
That he had no other choice.

When he opened his mouth
To say something profound
He found his thoughts quickly
Were pinned to the ground.

She shot down his ideas.
His words.
His passion.
She shot down his dreams.
His goals.
And his fashion.

When he tried to speak, she was always around
To make sure that
He never found his voice
in the crowd.

She filled him with words
That were meant only to hurt him.
She dethroned him with thoughts
That were demeaning and certain.

What he felt that he needed was deemed
No need at all.
What he wanted for some reason
Was never his call.

“You must be plain stupid, to have feelings like that.
You must be an idiot to try and pass off that crap.
You must stop your crazy and ridiculous thoughts,
Before everyone sees you and laughs and scoffs.”

And on she went, with one goal in mind.
To deflate him.
To discourage him.
And make his voice so defined.

Because you see, she knew what was best.
For him.
For her.
For every life’s test.

She knew what he needed.
He had no say.
She knew what he wanted
At the end of the day.

And for some reason…

He believed it.

There once was a man with a smile delightful
He also had seen things…
Felt things…
And what he believed was insightful.

But where was his voice?

It belonged to the woman
Who had slowly crept in
And made her demands
And made him give-in.

It belonged to her words
That were there when he walked.
They were there when he slept.
They were there when he talked.

They were there when he ate.
They were there when he sat.
They were there when he
Felt like a useless doormat.

They were there whether the woman
Was there or away.
They were there when he worked.
They were there when he played.

But where was his voice?

The years trickled on
As we all know they do.
Until one day the man
And the woman were through.

Because the voices which they each
thought the other had taken
Were both somewhere there
Though buried and broken.

And the same voices that once
Said those two words “I do”
Said to each other
“I can no longer stand you.”

“I want my own life.
I want my own voice.
I want my own thoughts.
And it is my choice.”

And so two more people
Who should have been great
Fell prey to the notion
That failure is fate.

So, where were their voices?

O, where were their voices
When they needed them most?
When their determination waned
When their love started to coast?

When a simple “I’m sorry”
Or a sincere “I love you,”
Would have carried the power
To make all things improve?

When one compliment
One remark
One moment of praise
Could have lifted their heads
And united their gaze.

Sadly, soon the voices they had
Which were both in full use
Looked back and recalled only
Years of abuse.

And those who would hear them
Wouldn’t hear them for long.
They got tired and weary of
The same angry songs.

Then one day they found
That they were each truly alone.
Their laughter had left them.
Their souls were bare-boned.

They’ve both found their voices.
But, pray tell, at what cost?
They’ve used up their choices.
And they truly are lost.

Until one day new voices
So cheerful and sweet
Somehow find them, and love them,
And lift them clean off of their feet.

And they’re given a chance
To use their voices again.
Or to lose them.
Or to give them.
Or to meet the same ends.

Two voices once heard
By no one at all
Are given the chance
To now make the right call.

Voices come and voices go.
Where, this time, will your voice go?

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

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80 comments
911Duck
911Duck

I don't know how I missed this before but WOW, does this one hit close to home. I was the woman in the beginning of this poem and my kind, loving fiance was the man written about here. This poem doesn't describe our relationship together but it does describe emotionally abusive relationships we were each in before we ended up together. These bad experiences have made us stronger and taught us a lot, mostly just to appreciate each other more. I never have to worry that I will say something that will set him off, that I will speak to a man for any reason at all and he will go crazy with jealousy, or that we always have to do what he wants to do with HIS friends and HIS family. My fiance knows that I will never belittle him, never call him names and never completely discount his opinion on every subject. We have been best friends for over 10 years and we each saw that the other was in a bad relationship but we never talked about it, just silently offered each other support. Our friendship has led to an amazing love, many years later. <p> I really struggle with how to respond to this. In some ways I could go on all night and in other ways, I want to delete every word I have written and keep my thoughts to myself (which I have done a few times already but find myself compelled to come back and start typing again). Thank you, Dan, for writing this. You have touched me more than you will ever know.

Kathy Creger
Kathy Creger

This one brought tears to my eyes. Well written.

Robert Zalazar
Robert Zalazar

This is a tough topic. Though most people ideally want someone happy and without problems, many of us really want someone to understand who we really are and what makes us cry, hurt, laugh, and smile. A person who is really in tune with who you are wont mind listening. I am someone who is intruiged with someones struggles and triumphs. Those strong moments are what make us who we are. .. this is the kind of person I am. I hope to find someone who understands people and maybe me in the same way.

Helga Freeman
Helga Freeman

Mistie, it seems you have missed the point of this post completely! Please read his poem. The circumcision discussion can be another day.

Rhonda Anne Zeiler
Rhonda Anne Zeiler

Really, Mistie? Seriously? This is the thread for anti-circumcision talk? Weird...

Kim Bischoff Rampton
Kim Bischoff Rampton

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but if you want to hurt someone...way down deep, use word." Charles Martin

Jaye Lawrence
Jaye Lawrence

Love the quote, but of course the man who said it was assassinated, so it's a bit ironic...

Leigh Summers Dickenson
Leigh Summers Dickenson

Love the quote and your poem! My Mom used to tell me...."You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, therefore you should listen 2x more than you should talk." I love words and gather them to myself through music and the written word. Words have the power to give hope & joy, they enrich our faith and surround us with love...but they can also wound and scar us. Here is a poem i wrote..."Let the silent words of Love be heard...A touch, a glance, a kiss...Never falling on deaf ears." We all need to remember that actions often speak louder than words.

Brenda Hardie
Brenda Hardie

This poem packs a punch and makes me remember my failed marriage....the first part fits...the second not so much because I was so broken I had no voice...I had become an empty shell. But in the end, after much hard work and many many prayers...and by the Grace of God...I survived and am healthier and happier than ever before! Praise God!

Tara Timmons
Tara Timmons

I felt that a little more than I thought I would. Wow. You're awesome.

Gina Ambrose
Gina Ambrose

Incredibly written and so insightful. I am sure this will hit home to man, as it did to me. Thank you for sharing. xx

Aimee Szikszay Holthaus
Aimee Szikszay Holthaus

Reposting quote...........because "Nobody can hurt me without my permission" ANY MORE EVER AGAIN. Thank you. "Shared" your poem as well. It spoke volumes..........

MaryAnn Ahrens
MaryAnn Ahrens

WOW! What a poinant poem. It says so much that needs to be heard.

MaryAnn Ahrens
MaryAnn Ahrens

People do thoughtless things every day. . . and how does it not affect us? And how do we develop this unpenitratible armour?

Liz Goldsberry
Liz Goldsberry

compassion for the "enemy" - understanding the root of their hurtful ways always keeps me from being hurt.. most of the time.. it's not easy, lol.

Shelley Dornes
Shelley Dornes

There's also the quote, " No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."~Elenor Roosevelt

Shanna
Shanna

Oh, Dan. You made me cry this morning. Such a well-written and bittersweet poem. Thank you for sharing this.

Rhonda Hare
Rhonda Hare

I wasn't prepared for tears today. AGH, this hits too close.. The cycle must stop.
Beautiful poem, thank you!

Robert via SDL's Facebook Page
Robert via SDL's Facebook Page

This is a tough topic. Though most people ideally want someone happy and without problems, many of us really want someone to understand who we really are and what makes us cry, hurt, laugh, and smile. A person who is really in tune with who you are wont mind listening. I am someone who is intruiged with someones struggles and triumphs. Those strong moments are what make us who we are. .. this is the kind of person I am. I hope to find someone who understands people and maybe me in the same way.

Endang
Endang

Poetry that touched ....

smilingbird
smilingbird

With permission, I'd like to adapt this for my son, who's going through something similar with his dad. It might help reinforce that he's OK; the problem lies with his dad's voice superseding his.

Annie from CA
Annie from CA

Simply stunning. Thanks again for the eye opener, a different prespective can often change people.

Hidayah
Hidayah

love, love, LOVE this post.......

Desirée
Desirée

*applauds*

Absolutely wonderful, please keep sharing your poetry! I love it.

This really hit me hard, especially near the end where I (finally) realized that the man and women were together, rather than two abused parties of different relationships. So often I focus so much on helping the 'victim' in a relationship, that I forget about the close-mindedness and backlashing abuse causes. It's never a good idea to just sit and take being put down or made to feel badly, but things only get worse if you lash out back. I think relationships are so hard to fix, because even when one person starts to try to fix it, the other can't realize it or thinks it's not enough, and vice versa. I'm starting to see this more and more in my own relationship recently, and this poem helped underline it so maybe I can start fixing it. Thank you =)

marcia
marcia

I love that, Dan!! Awesome poem. It unfortunately reminds me of how I treat my wonderful husband sometimes. Thanks for the poke and nudge to treat my amazing man with kinder and more positive words and actions.

Jenn
Jenn

Poetry makes these voices resonate--we've all been beaten down by someone, but your poem reflects the genesis of both voices in a poignant, relevant, personal way. It made me remember who I was twenty years ago, when I was both voices--I was a manipulative victim, using words to tear a man down, then turning around and pitifully claiming he'd wronged me and "made" me feel worthless.
I am not that girl anymore--I am a joyful, married woman who knows what both voices sound like coming from one mouth. I pray I can continue to grow more positive and encouraging all the time.
My recent post Praying for Osama

Kristina Habib Boberg
Kristina Habib Boberg

I've been watching that happen for years. My stepfather has stolen my mother's voice, just as she had stolen mine and my brother's.

Now, I watch a friend do the same to her husband. It saddens me deeply to watch people disappear like that.

The Real Dave
The Real Dave

Reading this reminds me of an old song from my high school days, a one hit wonder called "Voices Carry" by 'Til Tuesday. Great tune, but haunting, and the lyrics sound awfully close to what you just posted. If you've never heard it, you can probably find it on Youtube.

alibel
alibel

It will be interesting to see if a viewpoint ever comes from the other side.

All acts of control are rooted in fear.

Helga via SDL's Facebook Page
Helga via SDL's Facebook Page

Mistie, it seems you have missed the point of this post completely! Please read his poem. The circumcision discussion can be another day.

Helga via SDL's Facebook Page
Helga via SDL's Facebook Page

Mistie, it seems you have missed the point of this post completely! Please read his poem. The circumcision discussion can be another day.

Heather Reese
Heather Reese

That is amazing. It really tells it like it is. I know a million and one real life stories, just like that.
My recent post We need some positive vibes.... FAST!

Kim via SDL's Facebook Page
Kim via SDL's Facebook Page

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but if you want to hurt someone...way down deep, use word." Charles Martin

Marilynne
Marilynne

This should be required reading for men - and women as it applies. The sad thing is, when they have you molded to what they think you should be, they don't like the result.
My recent post Tomatoes, tomatoes

alibel
alibel

They don't like the result because it's not about you to begin with. They don't like *themselves*

Diana
Diana

SO true Marilynne!