To Ivan – Questions I will never ask



should I forgive you?
for every kick on each tender shin
those thick fists driven into my belly
the long scar hidden beneath my hair
the squelching mechanism in your head
which gave them the order to smash me
to mash spent cigarettes on my face
to rape me whenever you felt the need
to throw me down the stairs

should I forgive your indifference
when you saw me unconscious, crumpled
lying still and silent while the dust settled?
you planned your escape, believing I was dead

should I forgive the treacherous threats
of death to members of my family
if I had the temerity to rebel?

should I forgive the filthy smell
you injected into my ravaged skin?

you are ill and soon you will die
should I shelve my life to rush to your side
and forgive?
should I forgive you?
and could I, even if I tried?

©Jane Paterson Basil


12 thoughts on “To Ivan – Questions I will never ask

    1. Thank you for the advice Judy. I don’t know what is necessary for my peace of mind. I’m writing my life story and learning a few thing which I’d blocked out. I’ve written over 44,000 words in the past 16 days and my head is a jumble of racing thoughts and emotions. I’ll see where I am when I’ve finished.


    1. He has cancer. A friend happened to spot him in the street a couple of weeks ago, and said he looked as if he was dying, but he may not be. I won’t go to see him. If I did it would not be to forgive him, but to gloat, and gloating is an ugly way to behave.
      I was 14 when he began abusing me, and I didn’t get away until I was seventeen. I had to pretend I was fine, because he said that if I breathed a word of it he would kill my brother. I think he broke my arm once, and when he threw me down the stairs and thought I was dead, all he could think of was escape.
      You tell me I’m strong. If I had been strong I would have killed him.
      But it’s in the past – I don’t know why it came up. It’s not something I have touched on in my memoirs. (so far)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh honey! Killing him wouldn’t have proved you were strong! Surviving and finding your own life in SPITE of what he did to you is what shows how strong you are. I don’t think you know even yet how strong you are, girl! {{{Janey}}}

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It went on for 3 years of my teenage life. If it’s deep it is because I have buried under so much more recent gunk…
      There’s a lot going on in my head at the moment, but it’s healthy stuff. 🙂 xox


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