Revisiting Battlegrounds – A Poem About a Psychopath

Fifteen years ago, Stonelaughter and I had not yet met, but we had begun to have the odd conversation on ICQ (remember that?), having been introduced to each other. We wouldn’t actually meet for another three and a half months, but the events which led to me writing this poem were already lining up, ready to knock me for six.

Those events have been on my mind a lot recently, and no wonder; they threatened to end my relationship with Stonelaughter before it had really begun and caused us both a world of pain. They also led to a conviction for the instigator of that pain. The effects of those events are still being felt too – they’re the reason I still hate answering the phone, amongst other things.


I wrote this poem shortly after the trial that it all led to, after the guilty verdict came, when I hoped, rather than felt that I could get my life back. It was several years before I truly felt that it was behind us, that I stopped being afraid of it all starting up again, that I could leave the house without wondering if today was the day it would start again. But to be completely honest, deep down I know I’ll never be free of that fear. Does a psychopath ever let go, move on? I often think that the best I can hope for is that he’s moved on to someone else but I also hope, for the sake of the someone else, that there’s a cessation of that behaviour. That’s not too much to ask is it?


You thought that you could mould me
and make me just like you,
but I escaped your clutches:
I had a different view.
I wanted something extra,
someone strong and loyal and true.
You said that I betrayed you
when that someone wasn’t you.

You imagined we were laughing
and to start with you were wrong,
but as the pain continued
our laughter made us strong.
You fed your pain to anger
and watched your anger grow
’til it was all-consuming
and you thought the world should know.

You hoped the press would hound me
and reveal my wicked ways;
the career I’d worked so hard for
would disappear in days.
But people saw you coming:
they read your lies and laughed –
not at me, as you’d hoped;
the laughs were on your path.

You said that you had done this
because you loved me dear,
but love knows not the actions
that build themselves on fear.
Your actions came not from love,
but from your insanity
(and tho’ you won’t admit it,
from spite and jealousy)

Perhaps you saw more sorrow
as surely we would part?
But you didn’t hear us promise
to face this heart to heart.
We faced the pain together
and kept each other strong.
You said that we would falter
but we knew that you were wrong.

And now that it’s all over,
do you still think you were right?
Did you forget why you admired me;
that I would stand and fight?
And that was your big mistake –
to think that I would fall.
You forgot that I get stronger
when my back’s against the wall.

So here I am, standing strong,
even stronger than before.
You didn’t win this battle
and you will not win the war.

written by Mahala in 2001

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