GROWTH- The journey of domestic violence with Briesa Conners

Original hand written poem

I have scars on my hands
that remind me of you
with your hands between my thighs
while I didn’t know what to do.

I said “no” so much
you must’ve forgotten the meaning
I didn’t. I just stopped repeating it

It took so long to recognize this.

How much you hurt me.
Weeks… Months…
Your manipulation was hard to see.

But when the fog parted,
My temple crumbled
because I realized the doors
were knocked down by you.

I just wish you heard me the first time.
The second time.
The fifth time.
Instead of just letting me give up.

How could you be so *selfish*?



“Please, Briesa” constantly rings through my ears at night as I recount what I did and didn’t do throughout those many hours in his basement. The “fresh start” of winter break kicked off with my first kiss, but it only snowballed from there. He isolated me… no friends or parents, what else would a dumb seventeen-year-old boy want to do? The snowball quickly turned into an avalanche. My first ever relationship was tarnished by his sweet nothings and my silent pleas to someone that could, by the slimmest chance, be listening. I just wanted to go outside and see the light as it was, not through the basement window that I so often looked towards to avoid holding eye contact with him. The days I would spend with him turned my “no’s” into silence. I had no way of standing my ground because of the constant guilt he had me feel every time I refused to do something he wanted.

Freshman year, I gave a presentation on sexual assault, and I made it very clear to everyone that it was possible it could happen to them, counting the statistic amount of people it could happen to in that very room, including myself. But, I never thought it actually would. This is partially why I never recognized all the manipulation that went into keeping the relationship on the path that he wanted to go down. Once I realized what happened, once I was buried deep in the snow, I cried for days. I lived in a blur of sleeping and going to school. I had become the statistic that I never expected to become. I had become the one out of every three girls that got sexually assaulted before the age of eighteen, a statistic that I mentioned in my presentation.

I had failed to say no,  I had failed to keep my pride and say no to protect another’s. Because of that, I blamed myself for weeks and months, even though in the back of my mind I knew I wasn’t to blame. Every time I told my friends what happened, I would still defend him, telling them that “I stopped saying no, so it’s fine”.  I figured that since it wasn’t as traumatic as others’ stories of being held down while kicking and screaming that it wasn’t the same thing. Because I had just let it happen, I thought I could’ve just been overreacting.

But it wasn’t me. He failed to listen the first time. He chose to disregard my verbal and nonverbal queues. From this, I have grown and learned what to look for in a manipulative or negative relationship. I have learned to put myself first in certain situations. I have learned that no matter how bad times get for me, I can pull through and become stronger because of it. I finally reapplied myself in school, I have a new job and amazing friends, and I was able to put my pain and struggles into my music and poetry. Through my pain and heartache came light and a new outlook.

This song was written during the relationship I never was sure of how I felt for him, I knew something was wrong with the relationship, but I wanted to make it work for his sake. Click HERE

This one was written after the breakup and the realization. When I was dealing with the emotional repercussions of it all and having a boy play with my feelings (he used me to try to get over an ex but I genuinely liked him). It also touches on my anxiety and depression that I was feeling really intensely throughout these past couple months and how I changed my perspective. Click HERE


You can find Briesa on instaram @brizzahut

3 comments Add yours
  1. This was painful to read and I’m sure, incredibly painful to write. Thank you for sharing, and thank you Maddie for providing a space in which stories that NEED to be told can be read. Your growth is a beautiful + inspiring thing… may you always keep growing.

  2. Just wanted to say wow you are honestly so strong and i cant imagine how you feel . Thank you for sharing!! The poem was incredible 🙂

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