Afterglow

To the men who are single: I’m single too. I Tinder to make flames, I’ve seen Plenty of Fish, and even Cupid can be okay at times.

I’m full figured. Fat. A Big Beautiful Woman, that’s BBW for you internet pros.

I take selfies, and post them, and full body shots too – so guys know that I’m bigger, so I’m not misleading them with my photogenic portraits.

I have kids. That’s sometimes a turn off, or turn on. It’s an instant family! It’s baggage. I’m not as free as others may be… but that’s okay. I’m just me.

To the men I’ve encountered… Mostly single, some pretending to be single… some married… Why lie? Don’t you know that the truth always comes out? Don’t you realize that the only people you’re hurting are your wife? You? Maybe even me when I’ve dated you and fucked you and then found out that you were never really going to be mine?

So I turn to friends, whom I have benefits with. We fuck. We talk. We cuddle. We sleep. We watch tv. We fuck. We eat. We hold hands. We fuck. We get feelings for each other, more than we should. We fuck. We cuddle. We sleep. We talk. I smile and wish you luck on all your dates. You do the same for me. We fuck. Until we decide we’re committed to someone else, we fuck. And I know you’re not my boyfriend… but you’re almost like a boyfriend. Except I’m not good enough for you to call your own… so we talk, and we eat, and we cuddle… and we sleep… and we fuck. Until the day comes that you move on. I’m left alone, to rinse and repeat and find a new friend to have benefits with.

In this day and age loyalty is hard to come by. As is honesty. I get more calls from wives telling me that I’ve been talking to their husbands… than I get calls from actual suitors who could be a potential mate.

And so I go out… and I find someone… and we fuck. And we become friends… and we have benefits…

And it’s so very alone, when I’m laying next to you, after we fuck, knowing that I’m giving you all of me, and in the end, I can’t keep you. For you see, after we fuck, I’m alone.

 

Boundaries

Boundaries are important to set in life. In friendships, in relationships, in families… the boundaries we set for what we will tolerate in how we are treated are especially important.

Respect is something that people should give one another at all times unless someone has shown they do not deserve respect. Having been abused for so long, I allowed a lot of awful things to be done to me, I allowed people to treat me poorly for a long time… and still smiled and treated them nicely.

I was a doormat. I was taken advantage of. I did and gave to people to help them, and to try to earn favor among them. I do things freely, but at some point, you have to draw a line.

Tonight I stood up for myself when I was treated poorly by a man I had romantic interest in. We spent time together twice, and each time after he freaked out at me and lashed out. After the last time, I backed off completely and told him to message me if/when he wanted to talk. That time, was apparently, today.

I had plans with my friend, to play Magic, to watch a movie, to listen to music. I was not going to change those plans just because now suddenly this man wanted to sniff around me again. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I was not going to fall for it a third time.

He told me to message him when I was done playing with my friend. I did. He copped an attitude with me and when I stood up for myself, he started calling me names. He deleted me off Facebook. He then turned it around and tried to blame me.

Classic abuser behavior. Just like with my ex husband.

I will never again allow someone to treat me that way. So goodbye… go away. Good riddance. I have boundaries set now, and I will not allow people to treat me that way anymore.

Dear Family Court Mediator

Dear Family Court Mediator,

I know my soon to be ex husband presents himself well. He is a narcissist. It’s what he does. I understand that compared to people who get thrown into walls, punched, and kicked.. that my internal scars from the years of abuse are hard to see or understand… but please, for the sake of my children, do not discount his form of abuse.

His form of abuse leaves mental scars. His form of abuse hurts the heart. His form of abuse will make you doubt yourself until you are convinced you are wrong, even when you didn’t do anything wrong.

Just because he isn’t showing signs of physical aggression does not mean he is not abusing my children or myself. The tones in his voice. The way he treats the children and I. These are abusive.

When he admits to purposefully ignoring me when picking up the children – he is admitting his lack of respect, his malice towards me, which he presents in front of our children. He is purposefully showing our children it is okay to treat someone disrespectfully. The fact he is not willing to take a co-parenting class with me to better ourselves for our children’s sake shows how evil he truly is.

And you permit it. You dismiss his chuckling as I stand firm that we need this class for our children, and you tell me you don’t see a reason to include it.

He is gaslighting. It is what he does. It is his preferred form of abuse. And you? You are allowing it to continue on.

You are telling him it is okay to treat someone with disrespect. You are permitting him to continue to abuse me and my children.

By not requiring him to get the help he needs, you are sentencing my children and I to a continued form of domestic violence, and it is not okay.

This man raped me. This man threw our oldest into a wall. This man is not stable. He is on psychiatric medication and using marijuana in conjunction with it which in and of itself is bad.

However, you allow this.

You, dear Mediator, who has probably never been a victim of domestic violence.. you sat there behind your desk comparing our abuse to the grand scale of things, yet again… and while we may not have black eyes and bruises, we suffer. You, dear Mediator, have allowed domestic violence to continue without a second thought as to my children or myself..

To you we are just another case, one of many in your work week… to you, he presented himself well, and oh, his offenses were minor so you aren’t going to recommend the things I’m asking for… but live our lives for 8 years… Live under the constant mental distress and abuse daily, and then tell me how minor it truly is.

Tales from POF: The Creation

I sighed, glanced at the computer screen, a blaring blue and white website shining at me in the darkness of my living room, and placed my fingers on the keyboard with trepidation. My best girlfriend had been on Plenty of Fish for months, and gone on many dates with a lot of hot men. They all seemed hot enough, she just had really odd standards and didn’t like to put out – something I wasn’t afraid of.

I drew my bottom lip into my mouth and grazed it with my lip as I entered my old username and began to create my profile. Over a year prior, I had to create a profile to view the multitude of profiles my friend was sending me. “Check out this super hot guy in London! I can move to the UK!” or “Ooooh, look at this hot Irish man! He’s a ginger!!”… so my profile sat naked, bare, and was ignored… until today.

Hmmm.. my tagline? I tap my foot as I think of a million cheesy lines ranging from “Let’s rearrange the alphabet and put you and I together” to “Looking for love in all the wrong places…” but decided to settle on, “Hello old friend… so we meet again.”

About Jessica? Hmmm… well, my mama always said honest is the best policy:

“So I’m sitting here chillaxing, listening to Pandora, got the kids in bed.. and yeah.. I’m like.. alone.

I guess we’re all kind of alone until we meet someone special who sparks something inside of us. I thought I had met that person, got knocked up, twice, and married – 7 years! But life isn’t a fairy tale, and people kind of suck a lot most of the time.

I don’t even really know what I’m doing here again.. I met like, one cool person who wasn’t a total creeper last time I tried.

So my expectations here are basically where I’ll get hit on a lot and solicited for intimate encounters of which I’ll reject because, let’s face it gentlemen, is this REALLY the best place to meet someone? Probably not. You’re probably better off in a bar, face to face with some beer goggles on, or in my case vodka goggles.. I mean, I’ll throw back some beer – but really, I like Fireball whiskey and vodka.

Pro life tip: keep your expectations low and you’ll always have them exceeded.

I’m a weirdly optimistic pessimist tonight. LOL.

I’m an Esthetician. I specialize in waxing. I am learning guitar, but it is SO HARD TO HIT THAT C CHORD!!! (Yes, that was me yelling, my finger tips are practically bleeding while I’m typing this…) Ummm… I’m goofy, but serious. I’m a leader, but I’ll gladly step back and follow. I get super passionate and into stuff and then leave it and let it fall to the way-side. I have two beautiful girls that are my world. I feed the local homeless often because the struggle is real and if it was me in that position, I’d want someone to help me. We need to help each other more in life. If you take nothing else from this TLDR post, go spread some kindness… feed a homeless person, hold open a door, smile at a stranger, wave… I mean, you only get this one life – unless you believe in reincarnation – but even then, live in the moment.. be an amazing human being every chance you get.

I’ve been called a mother hen. I’ve been called a TARDIS because I save my friends and my heart is supposedly bigger on the inside, but no Doctor has come to verify those findings yet. I watch Disney movies without the kids, and I have no shame.

I’m an open book. I ramble. I write poetry. I blog. I sing, especially karaoke. I paint. I can fix pipes and broken things like a boss. I’m a jack of all trades and master of none.

I guess I just want to find someone to hang out with, who respects me, who treats me as well as I treat them. Someone who appreciates me. Someone who actually puts me first. If that’s you, and you’ve read this whole freaking thing then cool. Let’s do this thing. Hit me up.”

What do I want to do on my first date?! Is this real life? Okay… keep it cool Jess..

“First dates are always the most awkward thing… gosh. So, I’ll go out of my way to look super cute for you, and I’ll arrive 15 minutes early to our date because I’m generally always early for appointments. Maybe we’ll do dinner or lunch, maybe we’ll go for a stroll in a park, or a hike, or chill and watch a movie… maybe we’ll go for a walk on the pier… I mean, who knows? I prefer to let the guys plan the first date, and I like for first dates to be shorter so if there is no chemistry or if it’s awkward there is an exit plan in place. Like, “Yeah, cool.. thanks for the coffee but I have to run! We should do this again!” But you know you’ll never see each other again. Or maybe you’re super awesome, in which case, exit plan can be tossed out the window and maybe you’ll even get a kiss if you play your cards right. It’s just so silly to write about a fictional first date when you have no clue what the other person likes, too.. or their schedule. What if you’re a vampire and we can only do nighttime dates? What if you’re a time traveler and the only possible time I can enter your timeline has passed and we’ll never get to meet face to face but somehow we can communicate through this thing? I mean.. the possibilities are endless…

So let’s get to know each other and then figure out the first date. No pressure.”

Perfect… Perfect..  Now let’s see what Fish we catch.

Changes

As people ebb and flow through our lives, it is important we have a solid grasp on who we are. We simply cannot let people who treat us badly change how we treat others. That is the root of us becoming jaded.

I have come to terms with the fact that I have a lot of stuff going on, and while I’m fucking awesome, I’m probably not going to be the right cup of tea for a lot of people. Which is a shame, but that’s life… because when the right person comes along, they’ll want me, and my kids, just as much as I’ll want them.

My heart was broken the other night. It was Winter Solstice and my oldest daughter came out of her bedroom after my youngest fell asleep. I could sense something was off… I hugged her and asked her what was up. She sadly said nothing… I hugged her and told her it was Winter Solstice, and I asked if she wanted to light a candle with me and make a wish… and sure enough, she did. Her wish? For me to find her a step daddy to love her better. I was crushed. I held my tears back and held her close to me. I kissed her head and I told her I would do my best to find her a good step daddy, but that I had to make sure they would be good to her and her sister, and that I wasn’t going to settle for anyone less than awesome for us all. I reassured her everything would  be alright, and that in the meantime there were plenty of people who loved her very much.

I don’t know if I’m ready to get back into a relationship, but my mommy side wants to be able to help my daughter feel loved, and have that special someone. It’s so conflicted. After 8 years of abuse, I am finding it really hard to connect with guys. I love many people in many different ways, but I just have this tension at the thought of jumping back into a relationship.I guess when the right guy comes along, that tension will melt away… but having to consider whomever I date may wind up as the step father to my children is definitely the toughest thing about the divorce. I don’t want to make the same mistake I did 8 years ago, and I won’t. I refuse to parade guys around my kids. I won’t be that mom that has a new boyfriend every week… and if you are that mom, know I’m not saying that from a place of judgment – that’s just not what I want for my children… you do you, girlfriend.

My kids are my everything, and I just wish I could fix all the damage my ex did to my oldest. I am trying my best, and at the end of the day, I guess that’s all anyone can ask for. I continue to show her love, kindness, and joy. I know we will get through these times, look back and say, “Wow, we did it.” I just wanted her to have a better, loving, caring, father that let her know just how special she is and how loved she is.

 

The Joy of Divorce

For me, there is joy and sadness in everything in life. The joy of getting pregnant, the sadness of realizing your life is forever going to change when you bring a baby into the word when you feel you aren’t ready. The joy of finding someone you think you love, the sadness of realizing they aren’t who you thought they truly were. The joy in coming together in holy matrimony, only to have sadness set in when you realize you married out of fear and not love… but then there is a new found joy: The joy of getting divorced.

The joy of gaining your own independence, of no longer having to ask another human being permission to do whatever your heart desires, of no longer having to account to another person, of no longer having someone tell you why you can’t instead of being supportive and telling you that you can do anything you put your heart and soul into.

There is a certain clarity that comes when you separate yourself from someone toxic. I see now that the abusive behavior I underwent from my ex-husband was based on his own self-perception and he took it out on me. He still tries to do things to me emotionally and mentally – but he is no longer in control. I am free. I got away. I have never been happier and I am so proud of myself.

Don’t get me wrong, the struggle financially is there – if he would pay the child support that the calculator says he would, I could actually breathe a bit.. but I just have to hold on for one more month, and then the court will order it, and I will be okay. I’m working in my salon, which is really just paying for itself, and I also work as a domestic caregiver. On the side, I’ve been doing odd jobs like making commissioned jewelry. I’m very fortunate because I have had many friends rally around me during this separation who are helping me with my children’s needs and have helped me financially. My parents are helping with what they can, but they’re on a fixed income, so it’s hard for them.

I’ve humbled myself. I use resources like WIC, and I got on food stamps… humble is when you buy your child’s birthday cake with foodstamps because it’s the only way you can afford it. I’ve learned to accept help from my friends and be okay with it. I used to have a lot of pride, but I realize I have to do what I have to do in order to make sure I can provide for my children.

All of the struggle though? It’s so worth it. In leaving my husband, I found myself. In freeing myself from the abuse, I am able to fly. The sky is the limit… and I will NEVER make the same mistakes. I have a higher sense of worth now. I will never allow someone else to abuse me in that way again. I have found strength where I once was afraid. I took a leap, and I have no regrets at all.

It really is true that when sometimes you feel like everything is falling apart, things are really just falling into place.

If you’re facing a similar situation, I want to encourage you to take that leap, too. Free yourself. Find yourself. It’s worth it…. trust me and take that running jump. You won’t regret it. There is no sadness in Divorce, there is only joy and liberation.

 

 

A Letter to My (Almost) Ex Husband on Basic Decency

Dear Almost Ex Husband,

Listen, I know things are awkward between us. I understand this whole not married, living apart thing is new and sudden and that it’s weird for you – it’s weird for me too… but you have to understand that I’ve wanted to leave you since our oldest daughter was a baby. Things have been toxic and bad between us for almost all 8 years we were together. I gave it the best shot I could. I did what I could to keep the peace between us until I almost lost myself. I came back fighting to stay true to myself – and despite all your efforts to control the situation, you couldn’t anymore. Let me be clear on something though, just because you can’t control me anymore doesn’t mean you have a right to treat me with disrespect or without common decency.

When I bring your daughters to your home, I expect you to say hello to me, just as when you come over to my apartment for the girls, I say hello to you. When you say goodbye, I also say goodbye and I expect that in return. It’s a common decency thing, and something you should do in front of the children. I don’t care if the kids aren’t around and you don’t want to say a word to me, but if you think for half a second it is okay to treat me that way in front of the children, to set that kind of an example for them as an acceptable way to treat me, let me be the first one to tell you, it isn’t.

You’ve been abusive from the beginning. You’ve hidden it well from the world. I have journal entries from our entire marriage of the emotional, mental, and yes even at times physical abuse you have put the girls and I through. I got upset at myself when I read an entry from February 9, 2011 where you apparently went on a spanking binge with Samantha and where I said even THEN that I wished I had the courage to leave you. I realize, had I left you then, we wouldn’t have Kaitlyn, and I firmly believe everything happens as it is meant to when it is meant to, so I have no regrets. You can try to pretend to be something you aren’t, but I know the truth, and the people who have known us our whole marriage know too.

Your behavior is really deplorable. You try and spin things like I’m the bad guy – but the proof is all there in the texts, the witnesses to our conversations, the journal entries… It’s disappointing to say the least.

We don’t have to be friends, don’t get me wrong. I don’t care for you in that capacity, nor will I ever again. All you are to me is the father of my children, and that’s all you’ll ever be  to  me from now on. I do, however, expect you to treat me with respect in front of our children, and with basic decency, as foreign as that concept may be to you. Lord knows it takes me a ton of strength to look you in the eye and smile at you in front of our kids, but I do it. I hope you find the ability to muster that same strength for the sake of our children because the shit you pulled this morning? It’s not acceptable by any means.

Sincerely,

Your Almost Ex Wife

 

An Open Letter to my Rapist

Dear Rapist,

I have never been a victim of something as uncomfortable as rape. I had ONE close encounter when I was younger, and that in and of itself was close enough. If it weren’t for a brave stranger stepping in to help me, I probably would have been raped or hurt badly that evening. However when you got to me, there was no brave stranger to step in. When you got to me, we were alone in the house.

I was tired. Our children were sleeping, we had JUST gotten them to bed. I had work to do, and we had been intimate that morning. I was sore. I was not in the mood. I told you as much. Yet, that evening, no didn’t mean no to you. Despite me telling you repeatedly I didn’t want to have sex, you lingered, kept touching me unwantingly, kept standing over me while I was trying to work on my computer.

You were high. Using something that I toted as medicinal and good as a crutch and an excuse. You wouldn’t stop. You wouldn’t leave me alone. You kept bothering me until I caved in. I want you to know, caving in to unwanted pressure is not consent.

As I begrudgingly went to the bedroom and undressed as quickly as I could I thought of all of the times women are told to just lay there motionless when their assailant is raping them, and perhaps they will stop. So I did. I laid there, completely emotionless. Cold. Hoping you would ejaculate and finish and get off of me. You did stop. You got frustrated and angry at me for not being into it. You were mad at me for not being into something I didn’t want to do in the first place. I told you to just finish because I knew the repercussions would be so much worse if I didn’t. I knew the passive aggressive behavior would pickup and the emotional abuse would be so much worse than being violated.

I want you to know that my being your wife at that time did not grant you consent to sex whenever you wanted it. I was and am still a woman and when I choose to have sex is my decision. I did not owe you anything.

You claimed you couldn’t remember raping me because of the weed. I told my parents what you did, I told our roommate and my best friend at the time looking for support and love. They knew what you did when it happened. The worst thing was when I told people I thought were friends and they dismissed it, or tried to diminish what happened. “Isn’t rape a bit harsh?” “Can you even get raped by your husband?” “You’ve had sex with him before, so it can’t be rape.”

I didn’t go to the police and file a report because I didn’t want to hurt our children. How would they feel knowing Daddy had done something so terrible to their Mommy. You would have been arrested, or at the very least there would have been a restraining order placed against you if I had gone to the police over it. You were ashamed. You cut back on your smoking. You never told your family, your friends, or even your therapist. You waited months to tell your therapist what you did to me.

When I legitimately messed up by taking a nude picture of you and sending it to our friend, you quickly told everyone how terrible I was for sending it without your consent… you demonized me for sending a picture when just a few months prior to that you had raped me. You violated me.  I stopped being intimate with you. I still have trouble even thinking about being intimate. I don’t want to have sex. I don’t even want to masturbate. I replay what you did to me in my head over and over. It torments me. I feel sick everytime I think about even possibly being with someone.

We’re divorcing now. I’m glad to finally be free from your passive-aggression. There is light at the end of the tunnel for me. I know I will be stronger for what you have done to me. I know our girls will be happier and stronger too now that we will be away from you. I want you to know, I will never forget what you did to me. Thank you for the freedom now from the divorce we are undergoing. Thank you for making me stronger by having to stay functioning for our children despite  all of this. Thank you for the life lessons.

To my husband of almost 8 years, my rapist - despite the anxiety I have, the trauma I endure daily, the anguish I live with daily. I forgive you. 

Always,

Jessica

 

Escape

There is only so much one person can take, and I feel myself crumbling and shutting down. I feel like I’m on the edge of the precipice, constantly aching, near tears, alone.

I feel alone in a house full of people constantly.

I would rather be alone than in this house full of people. I don’t want to be around them anymore. I want my own space, my own sanctuary. I’m so tired of considering people, of caring, and being treated like shit or put down.

I don’t need it in my life right now. Life is so short. Why the fuck do I need to stay here in this?

I don’t want to do it anymore.

I want out. Anything has to be better than this.

yup