self worth


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.

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.

In My Mind

I became pregnant in Dec of last year. Me a mother of two, married for 13 years. Me a woman who suffers from General Anxiety Disorder. Me an emotional empath who can be a basket case. Me a trauma filled "little girl" in the body of a 34 year old. Me who spends all of her life in her own fantasy of wants. Me the one who suffers from mental health issues due to hormonal imbalances. Me the one who chose to choose my mental health over another life. I chose myself, for once I chose myself first. I had an abortion that January. It was a trauma that was the ending to my beginning. The beginning of myself. Of me the woman who learned how to love herself

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.