They ask me “why do you love the way you do, give me a reason”, I said “I’ll give you a few”. One. I never knew my father yet I’ve seen him a time or two, he wanted no parts of me. You see he lived in the same state, the same city, a few minutes away with my eight other siblings, and I don’t know all their names but the same blood is in me. How do you deny your first born; the one with skin as dark as yours, big lips and wide nose. Two. I can’t remember the last time my mother hugged me or when she last said she loved me. She didn’t teach me to become the woman I was bond to be, she doesn’t know any of my secrets, never known my fears or my feelings, and out of all my accomplishments its as if they bear no meaning. Three. At the fifteen I was coming into my own, a tomboy to most until I noticed the change in my body and boys trying to get close. These were times where there were pagers and no cell phones. At seventeen I said “I do” senior in high school. My first love. He took every part of me,even my virginity. I thought we’d grow old together with a few kids, the happily ever after . Lets fast forward to the abuse. You see there were many nights I’ve cried myself to sleep and many days where I couldn’t open my mouth to eat. I’ve even contemplated on several occasions if life was worth living, I was death ridden with these scars that painted my skin from the abuse I was given. I was a prisoner of love occupying a cell of one plagued with the questions of “what if’s”. What if this time he pulls the trigger, will I be missed? I often prayed for strength to get through it. And Four. I lost my third child; I mourned alone, no visitors, no missed calls could be found. I didn’t even receive flowers for the 3 weeks I lay in a hospital bed bond. Yet I was given strength and a voice said “you got this.” So when they ask me “why do you love the way you do?” It’s because not being loved for so long has given me all the reason to!