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.

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 His Car

I stayed the night with a guy friend once. I was young so I didn't have when my period would come down yet. Well, it surprised me. I woke up in his bed bleeding.

He took me home in his car and when I got out I saw a big stain on the seat. I was so embarrassed. I couldn't even talk to him for days. I hate that I felt so bad about myself because of something I couldn't control.

In My Own House

I was always thin. Too thin. Did everything I could think of not to be thin. Nothing worked. There are pictures of me as a college girl trying to stand in such a way that you cannot tell how thin I am. So later when I was married, I was a really happy pregnant girl because it was actually fun to gain all that weight - whoa! FIFTY pounds! Of course it came right off again. Three times.

Three wonderful children. But my husband lost his job and we were poor. For a long time. So poor I became insecure about whether I would be able to feed my children. So I didn't eat. I felt like a failure. I fantasized about who I could give my children to because clearly I was not fit to care for them. Then my mother was diagnosed with cancer. There was too much I could not fix. I wanted to disappear. And I almost did.

One day I went to the doctor because I wasn't feeling well. He asked "When did you lose all this weight?" I said "I've always been thin." He said, "Not this thin. You weight 82 pounds." I was hospitalized for a week while they ran all sorts of tests. Diagnosis: Anorexia & severe clinic depression. No kidding.

Long, hard road back to health. I remember the day I crawled off the bed and went to the phone to call for help - I knew I had to do that much for myself, but I also knew I needed help. Lots of love, lots of learning. I still struggle with my body not looking like it is "supposed to."

And all I can do is to remain aware of that and try to be determined never to go down like that again. I am vigilant.