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Would They Know?

by ShadowVyper

Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

T/W for depression, domestic abuse, and suicide ~ 

A/N: I know this doesn't flow super well. It was mostly a release of bad feelings -- but I welcome any suggestions to improve it! 

- - - 

Mental illness -- such a filthy word; 
Never uttered by proper ladies,
And certainly never brought up
While the family is present. 

I wonder if they would know -- 
If they’d see the cancer behind the smile, 
Or merely treat it as cold,
A virus that will pass if ignored for long enough. 

Would they know of the car rides all alone?
Cold wind slapping your arm through the open window --
The radio so loud you can’t hear yourself shouting the lyrics to your favorite song,
The darkness that obscures the road just past the headlights. 

Would they know of the darkness inside --
More intense than the night could ever be? 
The thoughts that take an ominous form
And pull you in too close to escape. 

Would they know the claws at the end of the shadowy tendrils?
The fingers that wrap around your hips and pull you in close,
Making your chest get tight and heart flutter --
With fear or anticipation you can never tell. 

The Knight of Darkness,
A suitor with unmatched charm,
Inviting you to his home and into his bed
Without telling you the door locks as you go in. 

Would they know the abuse he leaves you with?
The invisible bruises and cuts too deep to share,
The voice mails reminding you what it would do to your parents if they ever found out,
And the glances over your shoulder to see if he followed you back home. 

Would they know the soul crushing loneliness? 
The texts you type only to watch them disappear again
When he reminds you your friends don’t want to listen to you to constantly go on about him. 
The way you eye the cliff as you drive along the edge. 

Would they know what you felt before you start the descent?
Would they know your fear and remorse?
Would they know this was the only way to get where he can’t follow you anymore?
Would they know it wasn’t an accident that you didn’t make it back home?

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150 Reviews

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Reviews: 150

Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:11 am
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KatjaDawn wrote a review...

Hey ShadowVyper, Katja here to review your poem. As with all of my reviews, please feel free to disregard any comments or suggestions I make, should you find them unhelpful. That being said, let's get into the review~

Overall Thoughts

So.... Wow. Honestly, your poem impacted me far more than I was prepared for when I clicked on it. The poem details an abusive partner and the effects "he" has on the narrator. The way you personified depression was well done and didn't overuse the "abusive spouse" to get the point across, but instead used subtle and well-fitting stand-ins. Very well done~

The beginning of the poem discusses mental illness and how it often carries a very negative stigma. From there the narrator ponders whether or not family and friends would recoil upon seeing the darkness behind the smile- the reality of their battle with depression. The narrator then contemplates suicide to escape the "abusive spouse"/depression- all the while wondering if their family/friends would know the reality of what they went through and why they would have taken their life.

So firstly: If you ever find yourself in a dark place, please reach out to someone. There are resources and many people who care- never feel alone because you aren't. ♡

Secondly, your poem is very emotional and really hit hard- Poetry and writing rarely effects me at all, but yours did. I found myself in tears reading this- it really hits home, but that aside- I could feel what the narrator felt. The way you detailed the charm of the "suitor" drawing you in and locking the door... How depression seeps in and often relentlessly lingers... The way the invisible bruises left by depression are unseen by those around you, yet pain you nonetheless... The "voicemails" that little voice in your head relentlessly dragging you with all the worst negativity... and the soul-crushing loneliness. A sad and difficult topic to write about... But well-written and bringing to light what depression is really like~


Or merely treat it as cold,

I would say "as a cold" would flow better given the context.

...your friends don’t want to listen to you to constantly go on about him.

I would remove "to" here altogether

That's all I have for suggestions!


I actually really like the flow here- I know you mentioned it didn't flow well, but in my humble opinion, it pairs well with this topic. I think you handled the topic very well and the idea of personifying depression in this way- was brilliantly done. The poem shows us what depression is really like- dark, scary, and at times- crippling. Just as an abusive spouse will drag you down and bring you into a dark place.... so does depression. Truly, your poem is well-written. As I said earlier, remember- you are never alone~

I hope my review was helpful!

Keep Writing,


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91 Reviews

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Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:16 pm
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WinnyWriter wrote a review...

Ok, the blank message was an accident. Lol :)

This is a deep subject and I like how you've written it. You've delved into a subject that many people are afraid of or deny because they don't know how it works and how to handle it. Likening mental illness to an abusive spouse places it in a fresh, informative light that people may be able to relate to better. Very good work!!

And by the way, I've experienced depression, so I know what it feels like. You are not alone. There is hope for all of us.

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91 Reviews

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Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:13 pm
WinnyWriter says...

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Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:44 pm
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potatoefry2001 says...

Here for you if you ever need to talk. My PM box is ALWAYS open... And I have been through a lot, so nothing will scare me away... I promise. <3

ShadowVyper says...

Thank you <3 I appreciate it!

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Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:44 pm
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Tuckster says...


The best and most beautiful things in the world can not be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.
— Helen Keller