In a perfect world, we would have been married happily ever after. In a perfect world, he would have loved me more than he loved himself, more than his own life. In a perfect world he would have nurtured the light at the center of my being until it was a great roaring fire that could never be extinguished. He would have seen me, my soul, who I am. In a perfect world, he would have known me, deeply, intimately. He would have desired me and made me feel desireable. He would have looked at me with eagerness, joy, and consciousness. He would have encouraged me in my passions and pursuits. He would have filled me with confidence He would never threaten or terrorize me. He wouldn’t scare me or make me cry. He would never hurt me in any way. He wouldn’t look at me with hatred and disgust. He wouldn’t have torn me down with his arsenal of cruel words day by day, month by month, year after year. In a perfect world I would have felt his love encapsulate and warm me in every look and just by his physical presence. His nearness would have soothed and comforted me. Instead, I was his to misuse and I felt him wage war against me like the pain of a thousand lashes shredding the skin of my soul.