In the Chat Room

Once a few years ago my confidence was at an all time low. I then went onto a chat site to talk to people to boost my confidence. I would get a good number of messages from guys and that definitely made me feel good about myself. One time in particular I didn't respond to this guy who was being kind of rude to me. 

That made this guy pissed off so he searched my username on various social media sites found my pictures and decided to try to threaten me with them if I didn't give him what he wanted. The pictures he had of me weren't bad pictures but he would take a picture of me and then on the other half of the picture would take a girl of my same stature nude and claim that was me. Since I wouldn't give him what he wanted (which was actual inappropriate pictures of me) he decided to post those pictures he had created of me and post them on a revenge porn site along with my information including where I lived. 

He also had one of my social media sites directly linked to the site I was on. He told me all of this would go away and he would take the pictures down if I would just give him what he wanted. And if I didn't he would tell my parents. One thing he didn't know was that I was extremely close with my parents so I told them as soon as this stuff started happening. My family and I took this issue to the police but they did nothing. 

Now almost two years later I'm still dealing with the repercussions of that incident. But ive learned several things from that experience. I've learned to put my social media sites on the highest privacy setting as possible. I've learned not to talk to people I don't know online because there are some sick people out there. And most importantly I've learned not to let someone bully me into doing something I don't want to do. I've also learned that no matter how bad the situation is there are still people out there to help you get through it! 

Hopefully this encourages people in some way!


I have this fear of everything around me falling apart. As a result, I take responsibility of everything all around me. I hoard responsibility. I worry for the sake of worrying. I take on other people's worries. And God forbid I should let anyone down! I feel guilty establishing normal, healthy boundaries. It is so hard to just "let go" and let the chips fall where they may. Living among chaos during your formative years can meld you into a person that yearns for structure and control, even it is to your own detriment.

I now know that whatever will happen WILL happen, whether I want it to or not. Learning to let go is a constant battle. It gave me such anxiety to cut things loose, I could barely breathe. It gets better with practice. It gets better because I'm keenly aware of how not healthy it is to be everything for everyone. ..all.the.time.  

We're all a work in progress.

Middle School Cafeteria

I was, like the rest of us, tortured in Middle School. It was horrible. Own of these experiences that made those years so bad is also the one that made me a woman. 

I only attended one school dance ever. 

I chose an outfit that I thought was pretty cool, not a normal flirty dress and heals like the others girls. But, this decision would prove to be a wonderful thing. I had a blast, danced all night long. But, when it came time to leave, something was wrong. I stood around waiting for my mother to pick me up, talking with everyone I had just spent the night dancing with. But, they were acting weird. I figured, “Eh, they are probably just tired or something.” Nope, it was me.

I got home to realize, in horror, I had started my period for the first time at the dance. Lucky for me, it wasn’t so noticeable because of my plaid pants. But, you could see the stain across the back. How embarrassing?! I realized everyone was acting strangely towards me because they saw the stain once we left the dark cafeteria. They were judging me. I felt utterly disgusting.

I never wore those pants again. I never went to another school dance. I have never been the same. 

To this day, as a much older woman, I am terrified of a menstrual leak, a stain on my pants.

Coming Out of the "Green Closet"

Surviving a disabling and life changing car accident was awesome.

The chronic pain, multiple surgeries and numerous pain pills that followed was my hell on earth. As I struggled to put my life back together, my doctors gave me large quantities of powerful pain medication. The drugs were taking its toll on my body.

My medical chart reads, "substance abuse" because I was honest about my weed usage. I don't drink alcohol or take any dangerous drugs but there it was as plain as day ... SUBSTANCE ABUSE.

One day, I just woke up and decided that this wasn't the path for me. I started to use marijuana to ease my suffering. What a difference! No matter how much I smoked, I didn't have that hungover drugged feeling or any of the misery associated with the pills. The only negative side effect was jail. I couldn't afford to buy marijuana, so I grew my own plants and made edibles and medicated butter. Louisiana is not a medical marijuana approved state so when the police came, I was arrested and faced five years in jail.

Me. A woman in her late thirties with no previous record was about to spend time behind bars. Had I kept taking drugs instead of medicating with marijuana, I might not be here to tell this story.

My parents don't even acknowledge my cannabis usage. My father refuses to even talk about weed. I've been honest about my marijuana usage but they immediately change the subject or get very quiet when I have enough courage to even mention my life changing decision.

Many things have happened to me after I came out of "the green closet" about my marijuana consumption. I've been ostracized by family and friends who stopped inviting me to functions because I am a crazy drug addict.

That's when the depression got worse. I just wanted to end my suffering. End my life. Everyday. Multiple times a day. Who would miss me? The truth was, I'd miss me. I missed being able to live and be happy. Cannabis has given me the strength and ability to walk my path with reduced pain. I've paid the price and have suffered enough. I found my inner peace and the strength to keep moving.

If anyone is out there and can relate to my pain, know that you are loved. Know that you are an amazing human being with the power to move mountains. Embrace your reflection. Kiss the mirror. Find yourself and own who you are destined to be.

At His Doorstep

I had been talking to this wonderful guy for weeks. It was exactly what I needed. I hadn't dated in years, nor was I really interested in dating.

See, I weighted over 350 lbs. I stopped being visible to the world. Isn't it funny that you can be the biggest person in the room, but no one can see you? After thinking long and hard about my life, I decided to start living. I took drastic measures to lose my weight. I had surgery.

After 7 months, I had lost enough weight and my confidence grew. I thought I was pretty again, could see my collarbones. I started living! My mission was to not be invisible to people, especially to men. After texting for weeks the anticipation was growing. We both wanted to see each other. I was so nervous and excited! I put on my favorite clothes that would make me feel special. I drove to his house and was so giddy! We were both nervous! We knew from pictures what we looked liked, but this was the real deal! I remember getting out of my car and he met me. He hugged me tightly but I could see something was different. He saw me, but it wasn't ME he was seeing.

He saw my stomach that wasn't as small as he had hoped. What I saw was in his eyes were disappointment. It felt like high school all over again. I went from the confident woman to feeling embarrassed. It really messed up my mind. Yes, we talked in his house, but it was awkward in my head. I wished he had seen the true person who I am, instead I felt ashamed. It shattered me because I cared. All I could do was cry. And I did.


We were three days into our road trip and I was fed up with my travel buddy. We parted ways. I was in Flagstaff, AZ with nothing but my backpack.

I had 2 weeks to make my way up to Seattle to catch a flight home for the holidays. Just ten minutes of walking alone and a man approached me, said his dog liked following me. He was young and attractive. He told me he was driving to LA from Denver and asked if I wanted to come along. I said yes.

I'd traveled alone before- I'm a smart person. I know when things are good ideas and when things are bad ideas. But sometimes I don't listen to myself. We drove through the desert, arriving at his new home around midnight. He said the hostel was closed and asked if I wanted to make out. Half the drive had consisted of him talking about his time fighting in Iraq, and the other half of the drive consisted of me talking about how queer I am. So when he asked me to "make out", I was very surprised but sort of just added it to the list of unfortunate experiences I'd had with cis men. I said no.

I told him I was learning to set boundaries. Sitting in his truck, the awkward tension grew heavier and heavier until I said we could. I was so used to being taken advantage of by cis men in sexual situations, I felt that it wouldn't make me feel more like a victim than before. After his stubbly face and thick tongue practically gagged me, I found the courage to say no, and stop him from "kissing" me. When his roommate arrived and let us into the house, I laid down to go to sleep.

We slept until 6 am, but woke up to our bodies touching. He began kissing me again. I allowed it because that's what I always did. I told myself if I never said the word "no", then it wasn't rape. But this time was different. I did tell him no. I told him he couldn't go inside of me because he didn't have a condom and because I had my menstrual cup inside of me. He didn't care. He slipped his body into mine and completely checked out. He no longer engaged with me as a human.

His sweat dripped onto my face, as I lay there on his bed in some house in Los Angeles, being raped. My menstrual cup being pushed further inside of me every time he penetrated my body. "I did this to myself," I thought, "I got in his car, I allowed him to kiss me, I didn't get up out of bed and leave. I can't blame him. I can only blame me." He pulled out and ejaculated onto my skin, looking down at me, he said "That was the best thing a veteran could've got on Veteran's Day." I will never forget that disgusting statement.

He rolled off of me and fell asleep instantly. I got up, put my clothes on, grabbed my backpack, and walked to the beach. I called my ex girlfriend but she didn't answer. She lived on the other side of the planet but I just needed someone to protect me. I took a train down the coast and stayed with a friend for a couple of nights. I couldn't stop thinking about him. I hated him so much but I wanted to take my power back. I passed through LA later that week and stayed with him again. I was trying to fix it so I "wasn't raped." I had sex with my rapist again so that it would feel less like rape. So I could feel like the choice to have sex was in my hands, not his. I know now that I fooled myself.

But I do not blame myself.

Driving the Dark Highway

I was 12 years old the first time I thought about killing myself. I walked into my parents room for some mundane purpose and suddenly remembered that my stepdad kept a hunting rifle in the closet. I wondered if it was loaded, or if anyone would hear me. I wondered who would find me. I didn't want to leave a mess. 

That thought kept me alive for a long time. Once, many years later, I tried to kill myself with a different gun in my parents' room. It was not loaded. 

As an adult, I don't keep guns in my house. I still think of killing myself sometimes. It's just a weird mental tic I live with.

Behind the Gas Station

I once gave a homeless man at a gas station a dollar. He then grabbed me and shoved his tongue in my mouth. He tried to drag me behind the building. I remember thinking this is it, he is going to rape me. I thought all those moments when I tried to mentally prepare myself for how I would not let myself be that victim. But I froze. I was so afraid. I fought back but he was three times my size. I couldn't preform any of the things I thought I could in my head. I couldn't throw dirt in his eyes because my arms were pinned. I couldn't scream because his mouth was covering mine. I couldn't kick him because my legs were pinned. 

And no one did anything to help me.

I felt helpless. I felt agony. I felt myself disappearing. And then he just let go. He let go and walked away laughing. He didn't rape me. I will never understand why he did what he did. Why he let go. Why anyone would do this to someone. He simply climbed off of me and stumbled away. 

I never called the police. I just got in my car and drove home. Statistics say one in five women have been the victims of sexual assault. I'm a middle aged woman. I was assaulted as a young girl, I was almost assaulted again. I think the statistics are higher. I think there is a part of us that gives way to a sort of reservation. That at the end of it all there is nothing we can really do to stop it, or change it. 

I felt like a coward. I was so afraid. I always thought, I won't be that woman who doesn't report it. But here I am. I learned that what other women choose to do is only up to them. We can never shame each other. All our choices are unique. And until you are that person in those shoes standing in that moment, you don't know. 

We have to be better allies to each other. We have to build one another up and never compete with each other. Tell each other how beautiful we are. Respect each other's choices and decisions. Be there for each other.

My Parents Room

I was 12 years old the first time I thought about killing myself. I walked into my parents room for some mundane purpose and suddenly remembered that my stepdad kept a hunting rifle in the closet. I wondered if it was loaded, or if anyone would hear me. I wondered who would find me. I didn't want to leave a mess. 

That thought kept me alive for a long time. Once, many years later, I tried to kill myself with a different gun in my parents' room. It was not loaded. 

As an adult, I don't keep guns in my house. I still think of killing myself sometimes. It's just a weird mental tic I live with.

In the Cafe

Some friends and I were busily chatting while we worked on our laptops. A friend came in needing a hug. She was having a rough couple months, and we already knew the details.

But this time you could tell the stress of it all was emotionally ripping her apart. Ive been there, in almost the same situation. I know we all learn at our own paces, but just hoped I could help her avoid some of what I knew would come.

I was very open with her about how Ive found a way out of that type of situation and what she needs to do. She didn't hear a word I said. Just brushed it off like the crumbs from her muffin. That actually really hurt.

I guess she only wanted to complain, but maybe after it all falls apart she will remember my advice and be stronger next time.

I just hope I wont let it hold me back from giving advice again.........

My Life

I always felt invisible.

I never felt attractive and always hated my body.

Recently I went through a difficult separation and lost my appetite from the depression. I lost about 40/50 lbs. All of a sudden everyone was telling me how good I looked and I could tell that I wasn't invisible anymore. I realized how shallow we are. I realized how shallow I am and have been my whole life.

I was raised in a fat shaming household. I have always dreamed of being a skinny person and now that I am I feel very empty inside. I see who I was for the first time and I have no idea who I am now. I hope that this realization can be a positive one.

How do I fight this from the other side. Where do I go from here?

In the Dark

It's funny how your mind drifts when it's supposed to be awake, but snaps to high alert when it's time to sleep.

That's when it hits me. It crushes the life out of me. Dread bearing almost physical weight. Overwhelmed. Inadequate. Insufficient. Desperate. Drowning. Nothing can rescue me from the dark but myself.

I'm a strong woman, like many of you, but sometimes I crumple in the quiet of the night; bent under the weight of my worry. My loved ones are peacefully sleeping, but I'll stay wide awake, waiting for the daylight so I can breathe again.


For the last ten years I have been battling depression and bulimia. I've never said the words out loud to anyone. Ever. Not my husband, not my parents, not my best friend. I know they all know. How could they not? I always want to tell them. To thank them for getting me through it time and time again. For taking care of me and for loving me even when I was unable to take care of myself. I wouldn't be here writing this if it weren't for them. 

Thank you.

I love you.

I'm still here.

In My Head

I feel everything around me. Sometimes I can tell what your next move will be or how you feel and react to a given situation. It can be extremely overwhelming.

I'm getting better at blocking stuff out or just removing myself from the situation when I can't. I try not to talk about it much, I'm trying to figure this thing out, I try not to pay it too much attention.

I don't want to be that crazy girl you know.

In My Past

I remember every single detail; I was nine.

About seven months prior, my parents gathered us in the living room and made an announcement: we were going to have a sister. I crawled off the couch, put my head in my mom's lap, and cried. I'd never been happier or more filled with hope.

Would she have dark hair like me? What would her voice sound like? Is she already alive somewhere else, just waiting to be born?

Those seven months flew by, and one day my parent's called another family meeting: we wouldn't have a sister after all. There was something called an umbilical cord that fed the baby, it got a kink, and my sister starved to death.

Later that day, my parents brought me and my older sister to the front yard. We stood around a tiny red bird house my dad had built earlier that day. My mom explained that she wanted us to see my sister. She said that what we were about to see wasn’t funny or gross, that we should try and understand the sadness.

I remember having no idea what she was talking about and I turned my face up and looked at her. When I turned back, my dad had removed the lid to the bird house, and there she was, my sister. I’d never seen anything so beautiful or horrible. I hid my face in my mom’s side and tried to scream, but I couldn’t make any sound. I ran to my room and cried, and I didn’t speak for weeks.

My sister was lying on her left side, her tiny face was twisted in pain, and her mouth was open as if she were screaming. She even had a furrowed brow, or what I imagined was a furrowed brow. Her head was slightly deflated, I guess from the lack of development. Her hands looked to be about the size of a penny. But she was perfect to me. I loved her completely. I built a little cross out of scrap wood, and my family had a ceremony together in the evening. We buried her on our land, which now belongs to someone else.

I stopped praying to anyone but her. We started having conversations. I told her I missed her and knew that someday we would be together. I imagined that she lived in a vast field with tall grass. I told her what was happening at school and what it was like to turn ten. I promised her I’d never forget. I was sad she left me behind. Time passed.

My mom had another baby who turned into my redemption from deep depression and loneliness. She brought me back to an earth filled with hope simply because she existed. We spent every waking hour together, and found ways to travel the whole world: books, an old canoe we found back in the woods, stories, everything.But after all this time, I’ve still not forgotten my little sister. And I will always miss her.

Her name was Passie, because she died on Passover.



If I posted the entire story people who really know me would know so I will skip to the end of the book and share the happiness that I found.

My husband of 5 years was a bachelor before I married him. He was only engaged once twelve years ago but sadly she passed away. He is a military vet who fought the doctors and tests after being injured to not be qualified as disabled. He does his best to mask his pain. While he was being a bachelor I was in a horrible marriage complete with psycho in laws who my ex-husband did not protect our kids or I from. How could he when he was buried in the bottle.

My husband and I met about eleven years ago. I knew the second his hand shook mine he would change my life one day. I didn't know that he secretly loved me for years. Had he known what I was going through he says he would of. No one really knew. They saw a woman working 3 jobs, going to school, fighting in-laws and thought a strong woman. How was anyone to know the damage that was being done.

Eventually I got my ex a job, we moved, but he wasn't interested in me or the kids much. His thoughts were among other people and floating in rum or whatever he could drink. His job also kept him gone 5 days a week. 5 days a week we weren't in hell. I knew he had a new GF. My husband and I started to talk more. I thought it was in my head that I was just seeking comfort but it wasn't.

He loved me more everyday and kept quiet until one day he and my ex went to the store. My ex complained about me. They got back my now husband and I went to a different store but had the same conversation. Came home my husband said my ex and I should talk we did ten minutes later Divorce was decided.

My husband seized the day pulled me aside talked to me and now here we are. It took all his savings and A lot of love, patience and understanding but he did it all. The three kids live with us full time. I couldn't of dreamed a better ending.

He also has helped my kids heal from everything they have been through. He says I saved him and calmed his PTSD and gave him a home and a place, a family but he is the real hero. My knight in shining armor.

After Bible Study

Have you ever had a crush that felt monumental?

Not like puppy love or that giggly-girl crush but something that made your skin tingle? He was beautiful multi-colored eyes and a mischievous smile. He was that boy that makes you glad you're a girl. He was tall and kind and, for a moment, he was mine. I could feel it when he walked into a room. I'd never felt physical desire like that. Like a punch to the gut, if a punch to the gut could be pleasant. This wasn't butterflies in your stomach this was a stampede of horses in your chest. It was horrible and glorious, all at once.

Because I was that girl, the girl that guys were friends with, the tom boy, the one that all the guys liked, but didn't LIKE, if you get my drift. And there were moments when I though he felt the same. Conversations between the two of us had an edge. Not like flirting but more like meaning. That our words were loaded with more than just consonants and vowels.

I remember that night, there was a storm. The power went out and all the teenagers were down in my sister and I's room talking and waiting for the power to come back on. The conversation turned to guy/girl dynamics, as they are wont to when you have young people of the opposite sex together. He said, 'A guy always knows when a girl likes him.' While saying this he was looking directly at me. I felt emboldened so I grinned and said, 'Is that right?' He smiled back and said yes.

I remember thinking that this was finally it, he was going to say something, anything, and what had been wishing and dreaming and insubstantial but so incredibly there, would become an actual reality. I would no longer be that girl, I would be a girl someone liked, heck, a girl someone would maybe one day love.

But the conversation continued and he made another statement: That if the guy liked a girl back, he acted on it.

He never acted on it. Never.

You know that feeling when hope dies? The sinking, slow death that makes your stomach hurt and your eyes ache? That dagger to your chest when you realize that maybe it was just in your head all along and maybe you'll always be that girl?


Random Restaurant

I knew my him for over ten years. We even dated for a little while in college.

After being married, having kids, divorcing from a toxic and abusive relationship, I prayed every day for a soul mate that would be a partner and want the same things in life. I have so much love to give.

Then, one day, my friend asked me on a date. I said yes, but I was inexplicably nervous. I arrived in time, but sat in my car for 35 minutes before gathering the courage to go in. Then, I sat on the waiting bench for another 15 to get the courage to join him at a table where he'd been waiting for an hour.

The moment we met eyes, I KNEW this was serious stuff. And I knew HE knew. And we both KNEW. It was almost laughable because I never believed in instant love nor had I considered him more than a friend since our brief tryst many years before.

We married 3 months later. It's been three years, and despite what sounds to be an impulsive move on our parts, we still KNOW. Our marriage is the best thing that has ever happened to me or our children.

At A Music Venue

I was in high school. It was my first punk show, which sounds silly now, but at the time it felt nice to be able to align myself with some kind of culture or community. Especially one that I saw as "radically progressive". Especially one that seemed all inclusive. Especially one in which mosh pits existed.

It was an all female band, and I was excited to go because I had just learned about riot grrrl and was starting to read a lot of bell hooks and feminist theory. I was on the edge of the crowd. People were everywhere so it was impossible not to bump into someone, and while I was alone, I felt safe. I figured I was with my own kind, that nothing bad would happen here. That we all had the same morals and ethics and ideals and political values. These were likeminded people and we were all in support of each other. And then I felt a hand reach up my skirt in a way that could never be interpreted as accidental.

I didn't know what to do, and by the time I turned around, the person was already gone. My stomach was starting to knot up and I didn't know how to feel. I felt ashamed that I had let it happen. I was embarrassed, and helpless and terrified.

The rest of the show was a blur and I distinctly remember trying not to cry at one point. I felt so helpless. I wanted to tell a bouncer but talked myself out of it because I didn't know what the guy looked like. I didn't think the bouncer would believe me. I thought he would accuse me of making it up. Or that I should have known something like that would happen because I was a girl, alone, in a skirt, at a crowded show where things were bound to out of hand. That I had been asking for it to happen.

I didn't go to another show for years after that.