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i want to shake you. warn you. 

get out while you can. he’s lying. 

he will never choose you. never love you. 

he will take and take until you’re a 

lifeless husk and you blow away 

in a gust of wind. 

what could i possibly say to you?

he will never change for you,

love you, support you.

he can’t function on his own. 

he will assault you. 

he won’t take no for an answer. 

i want to scream this at you. 

shake you. make you hear me. 

but i know you’d just scoff

“he isn’t like that” and continue. 

after all, we all know

that when you’re wearing

rose colored glasses, 

red flags 

just look like flags. 

Join the Conversation


  1. ajklessig Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,
    I just responded to your last post, but I wanted to say how powerful this piece of writing is. I hope that it was beneficial for you to write, and I am sure it took a lot of courage to share.
    I can feel the emotion throughout, and it resonates a lot with me. I loved how you wrote at the end that red flags just look like flags because that is absolutely true. We are so often blinded by love in both healthy and unhealthy situations. Thank you for sharing, and please feel free to come back.

  2. slozoya1120 Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It is very well put together, and I get the imagery that is being translated. You’ve been put through a lot, and even if others would or do say that “he isn’t like that” we are here for you, and we believe you. Don’t stop writing if it brings you some form of comfort, you do it so well. I hope you are soon able to find peace and a path to healing. Please come back and continue to share with us anytime you feel like doing so. We are her for you. Stay strong.

  3. Neesha Volunteer

    That was beautiful, your rage and irritation came through so clearly. It resonated with me that people respond with ‘he isn’t like that’ after you tell them horrible experience you had with him. My heart breaks knowing you had someone in you life that wasn’t supportive and hurt you.

    Thank you for sharing this, and please continue to share as you please. We are here for you.

  4. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for coming here and sharing your beautiful poetry. Your line breaks are so well placed. I’m sorry to hear about what he did to you. The end of your poem is so true. When we wear “rose-colored glasses” it’s so easy to miss the red flags. It’s so hard to imagine someone you care about hurting you. If you are looking to talk to someone further we have some amazing resources here: If not we are always here for you.

    Stay strong,

  5. Jiggy Volunteer

    Hey ktb1928,
    Your poem is very powerful, I can really feel the emotions with each line. From what I read, this sounds like a poem to yourself when you were younger. You should not blame yourself to not leaving sooner, your abuse is not your own doing. The fault is entirely on the abuser. It is easy to place blame on ourselves, especially when we are younger, but you did not ask for any of this.
    Hope for the best!!!

  6. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi ktb1928,
    When I read this poem, I see you telling your younger self what you wish you could have known. This is vulnerable, and it resonates with me. It can be so painful to look back and see the signs we couldn’t see when we were in the situation. We want to see people in the best light, and sometimes we overlook certain things. We were not at fault for their abuse, whether we were wearing rose colored glasses or not, and I believe you can reclaim yourself and become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
    Thank you for sharing this honest and well written poem with us. I hope it helped you express your feelings. We’re here for you, and please write back whenever you need anything. I hope you’re doing well.

  7. Stark21 Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,
    Thank you so much for sharing this poem with us. These words are both strong and deeply filled with emotion. I resonate with the words of this poem and the feelings of wanting to see certain situations and people with rose colored glasses on. Please keep writing and using this space to express yourself, emotions, and thoughts. We are here to listen.

  8. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,
    You have such a way with words! This is such a strong poem. Thanks for sharing it! I am glad that you are using writing as a way to release what you’re feeling. Sometimes writing can be better than talking because I believe writing our thoughts down may come easier than to speak them. Keep writing, & keep pressing forward you deserve to walk with your head held high & not have to live in shame. Come & share with us any time!

  9. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for sharing this poem with us. It can be so difficult to be on the outside and wanting to warn someone, but to know that they will not heed our words. Unfortunately, people typically learn for experience rather than someone telling them when they need to be cautious. The words “he will take and take until you’re a lifeless husk and you blow away in a gust of wind” really stood out – such powerful words. This really speakes to your experience and how you felt like the person you were was stollen by this person. I know you have the strength and power within yourself to find who you were before again. You are a fighter and everyone here is cheering for you.

  10. heretohelp101 Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,
    this poem is beautiful, words are so very powerful.
    It can be hard when someone you are trying to help won’t take the help or advice you are offering.
    Whether it is you giving or receiving the advice, its rough.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  11. sarahj Volunteer

    Hi again, ktb-
    This poetic expression is beautiful, though it tells a sad cautionary tale. While reading, I could feel my own story alive in your words. They are strong, you have a wonderful voice. Sometimes it is painful to look back and think of all the “red flags” that might have been dismissed, but I certainly hope you do not blame yourself for not “seeing” them. You are right, rose colored glasses change our perspective. Though, being blissfully “blind” doesn’t give anyone permission to hurt us. I hope you continue to write.. your style is beautiful and full of power. I also hope this form of expression lends itself to your healing journey. You deserve nothing but love and happiness.
    Take care of yourself,

  12. t3nnis_player18 Volunteer

    Hey ktb1928
    I know how hard it must be for you to watch someone go into the same situation that left you so scarred and hurt, but you have such a big heart for caring about her and wanting to warn her. If you feel like you need to talk to her and try to help then you should try, but if you think she won’t listen to you or he’ll just spin the story then as painful as it may be the only thing you can do is be there for her when things go south. Thank you for sharing this with us and for caring about her as much as you do.

  13. KevionS. Volunteer

    Hello ktb1928,
    I would like to say that you for this very powerful and heart felt poem that you shared with us. Thank you for also having the courage to share this poem as well. It takes a lot of strength to be able to do something like this and I would like to thank you once again for doing so. You are very strong and what has happened was not your fault. We are here for you and we believe you.


  14. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing this with us. This is a very powerful and deep poem. You describe your frustrations and concerns here clearly and I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through. You didn’t deserve that nor was it your fault. You have done a lot of self-reflection here and it’s obvious that you are so strong. You’ve got this!
    Stay strong <3

  15. Lex Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for sharing this poem with us! You have a beautiful way with words. The last part of your poem is so powerful, as it is true that we often are so optimistic that we miss or ignore all the warning signs that were right in front of us. I am glad that you have been able to express yourself through writing poetry. Please share more with us, whenever you like! We would all love to read it!

    – Lex

  16. SarahLove Volunteer

    Hi again Ktb1928,

    Thank you for sharing your powerful poem with us.
    It seems you have done all you can to warn this new person about who he really is. Some people are really good at masking who they are and unfortunately, it seems the new person won’t hear you out until it happens to her. I know it can be frustrating because you do not want anything bad to happen to her, as it did with you. We are always here to listen to your strong words.

    Take care,

  17. Karenv12 Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    I would like to thank you for sharing this amazing powerful poem. I really liked the way that you chose to word this poem and I can see and really feel your emotions through the poem. please share more poems like this and express yourself in whatever way that you need to. We are here for you and we support you.

    sending love and positivity,

  18. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey ktb1928,

    Thanks for sharing this powerful poem. I love that last sentence. I’ve never really thought about it like that, but you’re so right. Unfortunately, no matter what you say, it sounds like this new person won’t realize who he is until after he shows his true self. No matter what you do to warn them, they won’t listen. I’m sorry you are being ignored. It’s tough to be in that situation. You’ve done all you can, though. Hopefully he treats them better… even though that’s not fair to you.

    You’ve grown a lot through those experiences. You are a much stronger person than before. As always, let us know if we can help you in any way. We are here for you!


  19. JudithT Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,
    Thank you for sharing your poetry. It is so powerful and so relatable and I know many people will be able to identify with that feeling of frustration, of wishing you could have saved yourself from the pain and heartbreak. Looking back at past decisions can be hard to accept, but it shows that you’ve grown and that you know you deserve to be treated better. Thank you again for sharing this with us. As always, we are here for you whenever you have anything you want to share.

  20. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi again ktb1928,

    Wow. Another wonderful and powerful piece of poetry. Thank you for sharing it with us. Please, always feel free to share your poetry and other thoughts with us. You are not alone. Hang in there!

    All the best,

  21. lizzi

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s so incredibly powerful. It applies both to wanting to tell your younger self to get out of that relationship, but also to a friend that is in a bad relationship and doesn’t see it. I’ve been in both situations, and this hit me hard. It’s hard to wish you could go back and see the truth in a relationship. Now you’ve left and you’ve grown from it. You know that people don’t change. You hopefully know you deserve to be treated better, and if you don’t…. I’m telling you that you deserve to be treated like a princess. It’s also hard to see other people in toxic relationships and not see the bad part. This is written so beautifully, and so painfully at the same time.

  22. haesol Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for sharing. Your writing is really powerful and I’m sure it will cause an impact to people who need a little warning to realize the situation they might be in. I hope writing this has helped you some way, please feel free to share more any time you want.

    Take care.

  23. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Wow you’re writing is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing your poetry with us; I know it will touch many people. I also hope writing this provides you with some sort of release. Please feel free to share more anytime!

  24. Northlane1991 Volunteer


    Thank you for coming and sharing your poetry with us it was truly powerful to read. I hope you continue to write on here when you feel like decompressing or cope. We are here for you.

  25. jcas120 Volunteer


    Thank you for coming here and sharing this poem with us. It takes so much bravery to do this. I hope your words bring comfort and peace to not only you but others who may need it as well. We are always here if you want to write another update!

  26. jenniferb Volunteer

    Hello ktb1928,
    I want to thank you for sharing this poem with us. I read your letter and I am glad that you are writing to cope with what you experienced. You are such a brave person and we are always here to support you. I hope to see you post again. Please stay safe.

  27. pfuentes Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for these profound words, it truly is a powerful poem. I’m glad you are able to express your pain and transform it into something as deep as this. I hope this helped you cope with what you are feeling. We are always here for you!


  28. Caitlin Volunteer

    Your journey is on its way. Very well written. Nice job channeling the screaming into words.



  29. AlisonDKaufman

    Hello ktb1928:

    What a POWERFUL and beautifully written poem – thank you for sharing this, honestly, it gave me chills. You were able to capture how so many of us choose to feel to overlook an abuser’s true colors and continue to make excuses. I encourage you to keep sharing your art because I believe you have the power to help others.

    Thank you for sharing this with us and I look forward to future readings.

  30. lilyk Volunteer

    Hey ktb1928

    Thank you for sharing this poem. You are incredibly strong for using your writing as a way to address these topics. Hope to hear from you again.

  31. jyoung Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    This is a powerful piece of writing; I’m so sorry for what you’ve had to go through. You did not deserve any of it. I hope that sharing allows you to express yourself and find comfort. There is nothing but endless love and support within this community – I’m happy you were able to find AVFTI. Please know we hear you, and we are here for you.


  32. chompyapple1 Volunteer

    Thanks for sharing with us and you’re a fantastic writer. It must have taken a lot of strength and courage to pour your emotions into this poem. Art is a great method for healing. Stay strong!

  33. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    I just finished reading your letter and I need to repeat myself here and say how great of a writer you are. This is a powerful poem. Thank you for sharing. I hope expressing yourself has helped you.

  34. Ashley Day Captain


    It seems like this was a piece written for your past self. It would be a relief if we could know who’s going to hurt us before they have the chance to do so.
    When we’re wearing rose-colored glasses, red flags certainly only look like flags. The blame lies on his shoulders.

    You did nothing wrong.


  35. tania Volunteer

    I just read your last post, but WOW the way you can move people through your words is amazing. I hope you can push forward and allow writing to help you heal.
    We are always here for you!


  36. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hello again ktb1928,

    I appreciate you sharing this writing with us. I always admire those who can take their pain and transfer it into something beautiful like poetry. I hope that writing is bringing you peace and healing. Please feel free to share with us anytime! We’re here for you.


  37. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there ktb1928,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Writing can be such a great tool in the journey toward healing, and you have a gift in your ability to express your thoughts and emotions. I especially felt connected to the part about rose colored glasses and red flags.

    I am sorry for what you have been through. We are here for you, and we support you. Thank you again for sharing with us.


  38. colton95 Volunteer

    This is well-written but also hard to read. I hope that you will be okay and safe.

  39. Araceli1090 Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for writing such a wonderful poem.
    When you say “he isn’t like that” shows that how at times we wish people were different. Or at times we try to see the best in them.
    Im sorry to hear that you went through such difficult times, at young age. We hear you. We are here for you. Never forget how strong you are.

  40. CSUN Student1 Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,
    Thank you for sharing this well written poem, it has a lot heartfelt meaning in it. I am sorry that you had to go through this at that age, but you are very strong and I believe the more you write, the better you will feel and you can express all your emotions through poems rather than keeping them to yourself. Once again we are here for you and support you and just remember that you are strong and always look at the positives that life throws at you.
    Thank You

  41. Tokyo_Kaneki Volunteer

    Hi Ktb1928, thank you for this wonderfully written poem. I am so sorry that seventeen year old you had to go through this. It was so brave of you to share your story with us, and I hope that writing can help to be another resource in helping you cope. I hope that you are doing well and I hope to hear from you again. Sending you lots of love and support ! please come back soon

  42. Breanna Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderfully written poem with us. I hope that writing has been a helpful coping mechanism for you. I get a sense of hopelessness in trying to help this person, and preventing what happened to you from happening to them. I think that it can be important to remind yourself that you can’t protect everyone, and you can only do what you can. The best way to help others is when you are also in a good place. I hope you’re doing well and taking care of yourself. Stay strong and keep your head up.

    Sending love and support,

  43. Pamela Z Volunteer

    Hello ktb1928,
    Thank you for posting this amazing poetry. This is a way of expressing how you feel or a message to others. This is a way to heal and release all of that anger and built-up emotions. I hope this poem impacts others, just like how it impacts me. I like how it surrounds itself with red flags and a wake-up message. I hope to read more of your wonderful art.


  44. coachdiggs Volunteer

    hello KTB,
    I wanted to say thank you for sharing another story. I am glad that you are comfortable with AVFTI to keep everybody updated. I like how you told your story into a poem. I wanted to say it is good that you are not keeping your feeling inside and letting it all out. From the story it helps me out to tell me that I should not let anybody hurt me. I wanted to say again keeping everybody posted on your story and do not let anybody tell you different. Lastly, thank you again for telling your story.

  45. lmc83823 Volunteer

    Hi ktb1928,
    That was a brave piece of writing, thank you for sharing. Despite the trauma behind it, you’ve managed to translate it into such a powerful poem. We hope to hear from you again and wish you all but the best.
    – Luna

  46. karinakalke

    Hi ktb1928,

    I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to post a second time! You are an exquisite writer, and I hope that writing has been a helpful resource in your healing process. I’m proud of you for expressing your feelings and for not keeping them bottled up. If you need anything please let us know!

    Sending support and strength,

  47. zelda Day Captain

    Hi, ktb! Thank you for posting again. I love how you incorporate poetry into your writing. Whether you’re writing in a journal or expressing yourself poetically, you’re releasing some of that anger and hurt. I applaud you for that. It’s not easy putting our feelings down on paper.

    I can really relate with your last couple of lines; red flags just look like red flags, when you’re wearing rose-colored glasses. Trust me, you are not the only one who has been blinded by love! It happens to the best of us. There is good that can come out of your experience, though.

    You now know what you’d do differently the next time you get into a relationship.

    You won’t tolerate someone hurting you, abusing you, or mistreating you again. You know what to look for now, and what to watch out for.

    One day, you’ll meet someone who treats you the way you are supposed to be treated. You’ll find your person. And they won’t ever hurt you like your ex did, because your person is someone who will love you, respect you, and protect you.

    Take care of yourself, and keep working on yourself. We’d love to hear from you again, so come back soon. Have a great day, ktb!

  48. alexiswilliams


    You have a gift for writing. Despite the sensitivity of such trauma, expression through art can bring survivors so much healing. You are so strong! Thank you for sharing!

    Sending love,

  49. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear ktb1928,
    Whew! That one….thank you for sharing with us. Your writing is beautiful and has an impact. I feel like you were telling my story and warning seventeen year old me. Hopefully, this will help some other seventeen year old avoid our lessons. Please continue to share with us anytime you want.
    Sending you love and strength,

  50. Starling Volunteer

    Hi there,
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. I’m sorry you had to go through this. You were not treated how you deserved to be treated. I’m glad that you have realized how negative your relationship with him was. Your writing is intense and very impactful. I like how you ended it with the lines about rose-colored glasses and red flags. It’s very well written and incredibly relatable to anyone who has been in an abusive relationship. Please continue to share with us or keep us updated. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  51. 123Ahmet Volunteer

    Hello ktb1928,

    This is a wonderful poem and we are so pleased that you have shared this with us. It is very meaningful and also insightful. Everyone if not the majority of people can relate to this poem because many of us go through this cycle of not respecting ourselves enough and giving importance to the other person. For you to be able to write this lovely poem, I know you probably have gone through the same hardships, but it seems like you have overcome it to be able to write this. I hope that is the case.

    Feel free to share your story or thoughts whatever you want, we are here to listen to you

  52. musicislove

    Hi ktb1928,

    Thank you for sharing your poem with us, you write beautifully. I have gone through a somewhat similar dilemma and I know it is so, so frustrating. I have to say I really love the last part, “when you’re wearing rose colored glasses, red flags just look like flags” is an incredibly well written verse. Please come back any time, we’re always here!


  53. morganndelacruz


    I want to say that I appreciate you on sharing with us about your story. I am truly sorry for what happened to you and what you’ve been through. I can sincerely feel your pain that I had to actually take a hold or big inhale in order to continue on reading your poem because I really truly felt what you had gone though and I am sorry and it is not your fault. AVFI has amazing resources to help you through your healing journey and we are also here as well.

    – Morgan

  54. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi ktb1928,
    I want to start of by saying, I love your writing. Your writing is so beautifully written. It’s very tangible and the simile and the end is really great. I like that saying a lot. Thank you for sharing this with us. You can write back anytime.

  55. rachelb098 Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing those incredibly powerful words. You have a real talent, and that last stanza is especially insightful and I’m sure will resonate with a lot of people. I hope that expressing yourself here has allowed you to feel some peace. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, but we’re here for you to give you support in any way we can, so don’t hesitate to share again.

    All the best,

  56. Lusine05 Volunteer

    Hello ktb1928,
    I appreciate you trusting me with this information and a poem( which is absolutely breathtaking, and I cannot stop reading it over and over again). I can feel your pain through that poem, and I know that this is hard, but you’re doing the right thing. Writing your feelings down is very good and healthy, so you are doing great. You seem not to be wearing those “rose colored glasses anymore” and that is good; it takes a lot of courage and strength to take them off, and you got it. You got a lot of talent, and it is a gift that no one will take away from you.

    P.S if you enjoy literature, we have a collection of books that you can read. You can find them on this website just click on “find help” tab.

    Your friend and a new fan of your art,

  57. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for sharing more with us. I am sorry for what happened, and what you’ve been through. You didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t your fault. I know I have felt similar sentiments that you expressed here, and I know it can be easy to look back at our previous selves and want to shake them, warn them, tell them what’s coming. I have grappled with that myself a lot. Therapy definitely helped me with that, and I hope going is helpful for you, too.


  58. seanprender34 Volunteer


    I want to start off thanking you for sharing your story and also say I loved your poem. I found it to be thought provoking and loved the last stanza especially. In my opinion, one of the most important things in overcoming your trauma is to find a positive and healthy outlet for your emotions. I am hoping that poetry or writing could be that for you because sometimes it is easier to write down your feelings and thoughts rather than say them out loud. I am sorry for everything that you had to go through but I hope that everything becomes easier for you. Everybody deserves peace of mind. You are always welcomed back to our community and will never be judged. I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors.


  59. ericasarkisyan Volunteer

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. This poem is so impressive, I hope you are channeling all your emotions into poetry writing because you are great at it. I am so glad you have come full circle and realized what he was doing to you was not okay and that you will not put up with it any longer. It is safe to say that we have tried to see the good in people until we could no longer defend them for own sanity. You did the right thing by leaving. You did not deserve to be treated that way. You are deserving of peace and happiness. We are all always here to listen whenever you want to talk. Wishing you the absolute best.

    With love,