I am not my dress size

I am not my dress size.

No matter what I do,

you will always see me as large, fat, lazy.

You will always feel that you are more than me

Simply because you are smaller.

 

I don’t judge you.

I celebrate your success.

I know you worked for that body of yours.

I know you’ve shed blood, sweat and tears for it.

I’m proud of you.

I learn from you.

It’s such a simple thing to judge someone by.

The color of their skin.

The way they dress.

The elastic on their waist band.

Their education or lack thereof.

We are quick to call someone stupid

simply because

they don’t have the same knowledge as us.

Everyone is an expert at something.

Medicine, music,

sports,

drywall,

food,

movies,

games,

gaming systems,

computers, phones…

The list goes on.

I don’t judge you for your ignorance,

I work to educate you.

I am not so arrogant as to believe

that there are no topic in which I am stupid.

But I am more than that.

I am more than the knowledge I’ve obtained

or the weight that I’ve acquired.

I am…

hell, YOU are…

beautiful.

I don’t mean the beauty of my skin.

I mean that I am a beautiful person

I mean that my heart is large

I mean that my mind is anything but lazy.

I mean that I am big on success.

And those hurdles that you judge me on…

One day, I will overcome them.

Just as I hope that one day you will overcome yours as well.

I am not my dress size.

And Neither are you.

Summer Dreams

It was a warm, breezy summer night when I chose to enter her bedroom window. I stood in her driveway for what seemed like hours, staring at her white lace curtains blowing in towards her, beckoning me to enter. This wasn’t the first time I had stood here. Many hours of my teenage years were spent below her window, watching her evening routing and deciding when to make my move. I watched as she brushed her hair, read her favorite books, lit her favorite candle and I waited for the light to go out. It was only then when my mind would wander inside there and into her bed. The things I would do and say to her were well planned in my head, but I had yet to find the courage. So instead I stood there, hands on my hips, tugging on my lower lip with my teeth and peering at the girl I admired so very much. But tonight, there was music. In my head or in her room, I couldn’t be certain. It was something of a concerto and it was calling me to her. So I answered.

Climbing over her desk was a slight challenge, but I managed to stop an angel figurine from falling just before it woke her. Careful. I crept past her desk and made my way beside her bed. It was strange being here uninvited. Especially since just earlier that week we had been playing on her computer on that very same desk. The relationship until this point had remained mostly innocent. She had teased me for years, of course, pressing her ample breasts up against my arm as we played. Just earlier this day, we had been curled up on the couch eating chocolate chip cookie dough and watching The Never Ending Story. She pulled my head into her lap and stroked my hair and I felt safe and at home. She called me Angel then, which perhaps made it all the more sinful that I wanted her so.

I walked towards the edge of her bed, taking a moment to admire her once again. The moonlight kissed the pale flesh of her shoulders just so, exposing them to me and making me smile. The tower fan beside her osculated towards her and I watched her shiver. Her long chestnut curls where splayed along her side, framing her just right. She was stunning. I slipped carefully into bed beside her, sliding my palm beneath the covers to wrap around her hip. My lips immediately found her shoulder blade where I planted my first kiss.

“Angel?” she whispered… “What are you…?”

“Shhhh….”

My fingers slid forward along her waistline to find her belly, making slow circles there and pulling her tightly against me.

We had been dating for months now and it had yet to come to this point. We had kissed, of course. Sometimes, I would spend hours pressed up against a wall and lost in her lips. But it had never gone beyond that. Tonight, I was determined to taste her.

My fingers dipped below the waistline of her pajama bottoms and shrugged them past her hips. My lips, eager to search her body, grazed between her exposed shoulder blades flicking my tongue against her spine. I was rewarded with a quiet moan and so I continued my quest. Her hips instinctively began to roll back towards mine, making my task much easier as I slid her bottoms down to her knees. I took a moment then to slide the covers back so I could view her. Damn. That’s my girl. That dip in her spine just above her ass was perhaps my favorite part of her. I immediately moved my hands there to slide her top up to expose it and dove down to allow my tongue to play there. A sheer piece of lace was all that was keeping me from my prize now. I was determined to win it.

She was the first girl I knew our age to wear thongs. A happy surprise she used to tell me when she talked about teasing her boyfriends. Fuck, you’re teasing me too, bitch… I’d think. Of course, I’d never have told her that. Instead, I was the supportive girl… friend. But nothing was going to stop me from taking her in my dreams. Nothing at all. The day I confessed to her that I was attracted to girls, I was hoping she would confess back. Instead, she waited months. When she finally did, we dove head on into a relationship.

“So do you wanna be my girlfriend?” she asked, holding my hand as we walked down the street, looking at old vintage shops.

“Do you want to be mine?” I grinned and asked back.

And that was it. We were two teenage girls bound together. It changed nothing about us, really. We were still as affectionate as we had been before. It’s just that kissing was now acceptable. Romance was now something I could direct towards her. She could now leave sweet, adoring notes in my locker that would make me giggle. I could leave her flowers.

“Ohhh…Angel…” she groaned as my fingers toyed at her spine.

I grinned and took my cue to flip her over to face me now. I shifted upward so my eyes would meet hers when they opened. Those deep brown eyes of hers always slayed me. Pausing a moment to watch her, I slid my thumb along her sweet rosebud lips before I bent down to kiss her. This was my favorite place to be. I could drink her in for days, our tongues finding each other, her quiet moans meeting mine. She wrapped her arms around my shoulders, clinging tightly to me as I positioned myself carefully between her now open thighs. There was always a desperate rhythm to our kisses. A hungry, exotic dance. We rocked, moved, caressed, undulated…and before I knew it…I had managed to maneuver her panties from beneath her hips and off completely. There she was, exposed for me. Her soft, supple flesh mine for the taking.

There was a certain power in having her nearly nude beneath me as I was still fully clothed, but I knew it was also unfair. So I knelt back on the bed for just a moment, sliding my tshirt above my head and pulling my sports bra off with it. My young, round breasts sprung free, the cool breeze immediately erecting my nipples. Her eyes found mine again as I looked down at her.

“You are so beautiful,” she told me.

“Hush,” I grunted and moved back down to kiss her.

Her own moans were now met with mine as her hands began to wander. The weight of my breasts were now resting in her palms as she used her thumb and forefingers to roll my nipples between them. I began to shudder and shake against her. My nipples have always been so sensitive and the overwhelming feeling of being so near her, and her touch on my sensitive parts was driving me insane. I needed to have her…and now. My own hands moved to push her knees as wide as they would go as I used the back of my hand to stroke down her inner thigh. I didn’t need to touch her to know that I would find her sex bare. This was another detail she had chosen to share with me in passing, how freeing it felt to shave her pussy clean, how it was scented with peach shaving cream, how smooth it felt to the touch. It was all I could do back then not to rape her then and now I was finally going to touch it.

I stopped inches from her mound to feel it’s warmth, waiting for her to squirm.

“Are you ready?” I whispered huskily at her, she nodded vigorously.

I chuckled ever so slightly as she inched closer to me. I pulled back just a bit, waiting for that perfect moment before I allowed my thumb to search for that spot. There it went, past that horseshoe opening at her mound and into her slippery folds. I watched her face and stopped as she winced a bit. Yes, here will do. My index finger moved inward now beside it, peeling back at the hood of her clit and rolling the slippery bud against the pads of my fingertips. Ohhh fuck…she’s so fucking wet already… My eyes never left her as her own closed, her hands moving from my breasts to above her head. She began to lose control of her movements as her hips began to buck when I touched those tender exposed spots on her clit. It was amazing watching her buck. Adjusting myself just so, I moved so to heel of my hand was pressed firmly against my own crotch.

“Shit…oh god…” I grunted as her movements caused a grinding motion with my hand. That was it, I needed to be inside her now.

My hands moved to the back of her knees…pushing them back towards either side of her head. Twisting my hand around, I planted my thumb on her clit and plunged two fingers past silky lips until she cried out. This took a bit of remembering. I had yet to be with a girl, of course, but I knew the spots that made me feel just right. So I went diving inside her and up towards her pelvic bone. I stopped at that soft, spongy surface at the front. She nearly jumped when I touched her there. Shit…that’s the spot. So I stayed there, moving my own hips now against the heel of my hand in order to shift my fingers inside her. The pressure grinding through my pants is just enough to cause my own breath to quicken at the same pace as hers. Thus I began my slow, deliberate rocking motion…taking my time to feel ever inch of her warm slit. My fingers drawing circles around her sensitive spots, applying pressure randomly to make her scream. She moved her ankles now to my shoulders and my eyes grew dark. My own noises were deep and guttural as my movements became more urgent and quickened. I’d move back, nearly pulling entirely out of her, only to push down deep into the hilt of her. The friction on my end sending waves of pleasure through me. I could barely stand it. I needed to make her cum for me. My movements were deliberate now. My thumb began feverishly mashing at her clit as I fucked her, the sweet sloshing sounds of her cunt driving me inside as I took her…claimed her. Her eyes were open now, watching me as I fucked her, needing me to take every last drop from inside her. Her hips moved to meet my own thrusts, pushing my hand back against me and causing me to scream.

“Fuck, I’m close…” I groaned.

“Me too…cum with me, Angel…”

Her hips were moving in methodical thrusts as she watched me, her own eyes were nearly black, a slight sweat could be found across her brow. And with one last thrust…I felt her spurting into my palm. I grunted and groaned with her, thrusting back and forth with every spurt of her hot, sticky cum. The feel of her muscles tightening around my fingers was driving me insane. I could do nothing but fuck and with one last thrust, I cried out and came with her. Bowing down to feverishly kiss her while I pushed out every last drop, feeling her rock with me in slow syncopation. With one last spurt, I collapsed on top of her, smiling down into her eyes, not daring to leave the comfort of her womb. She wrapped her legs around my back as I turned my cheek to rest on her chest and we lay there just like this…content for hours.

An Old Friend

In the wee hours of the morning, I find myself turning to the empty pages of my life.  Like prayer, I sadly find that it is much easier to turn to you, my dear pages, when faced with turmoil and strife.  I may go months without reaching for you.  When I do, I truly need you, my friend.  So I call out to you.

Rake through the abyss that is my troubled mind.  Weed out the pebbles and large clumps of matter.  Sweep away the bugs.  Allow me, instead, to see you clearly.  Let me use you to get through this.  Grant me the courage to seek within for my answers.  And try not to judge me for not turning to you sooner.

Emotional Abuse

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“You’re being abused.”

I remember the first time my therapist told me this. Why this one memory rings so true to me, I could not tell you. It wasn’t the first time that someone had accused my husband of abusing me. In fact, the first time had been nearly 5 years prior, and it was by his sister. But today, when my therapist looked me straight in the eye and told me that I was being abused, I resonated with me. I had come home after a long day at work to disarray. My husband had decided to take every drawer in our home and empty it upside down in our bedroom. You could tell he had done this with some form of force because a few of the wooden drawers and splintered and a couple of the plastic ones were completely broken. I was alone when I found it; he was still at work. So I took a moment, took a deep breath, and started cleaning. When he came home I had almost finished refolding every piece of laundry and was about to put the drawers up. I didn’t make eye contact with him. I didn’t even ask him why. I had been sick and tired of fighting with that brick wall that was his ego. Instead, I kept cleaning. I was on the last drawer when he sat down on the bed.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?” he looked at me as he spoke.
“Nope. There’s no point,” I whispered while placing a drawer back in its slot.
“I’ve been looking for this shirt for weeks,” he said. “So I’ve decided, I’m not going to yell any more. No, I’m just going to blow things up. If this keeps happening, I’ll start throwing things out. If that doesn’t work, I’ll burn everything to the ground.”
This was the moment in the story when my therapist had intervened.
“Wait, this was because he couldn’t find a shirt?” She put her pen down and met her eyes with mine for clarity.
“Yeah, I’m really bad about doing all of the laundry in one day. I guess his shirt must have been stuck at the bottom of the pile or something,” I was stammering, avoiding eye contact.
“That is abuse, Lauren,” her voice was worried, her resolve strong.
You might find it odd that someone had to tell me that I was being abused. After all, it should be obvious to us all. The truth of the matter is that abuse isn’t always black and white. The abuser doesn’t always hit its target. Sometimes, the abuser just tears the abused down emotionally. Sometimes, the abused spends years making up excuses, only to wake up one day and realize that it really wasn’t ok.
I’ve spent most of life studying psychology. As the product of an unstable home, I have trained myself to be very aware of my surroundings. Through years of marriage, I had become even more in tuned to the subtleties of the English language, choice of words, body language, silence even. So the moment when I realized that I was, in fact, in an abusive marriage, my very next question was eminent. How did I get here? I found myself suddenly disgusted that I had let it get this far. As strong, intelligent women, we like to think that when surrounded by a situation where we have become a victim, we will stand up and simply walk away. Throw a punch at me; the next thing you’ll see will be me walking out the door. It’s easy to have this resolve when abuse is so easily defined as a violent act.
After all, life would be must simpler if all of the bad people wore blinking hats that cautioned “Beware.” It would be even simpler to assume that a person can be purely bad. If the monsters in the world were purely monsters, we’d be less likely to end up where we are today. Statistically speaking, females are more likely to be victims of intimate assault.

I specify intimate assault because the abusers are not always of the opposite sex. In fact, there is a complete subset of domestic abuse that is specific to lesbian relationships. In a society where we are trained that it is never acceptable for a man to hit a woman, little is spoken of female on female abuse, or male on male abuse. As a society we seem to have lowered our standards when seeking a partner in life. Is it asking too much to assume that your partner just won’t “go there”? Perhaps it is.
It seems that the emotionally abused do not take their abuse very seriously. I remember confronting my husband and telling him that he frightens me when he throws tables and breaks things in front of me. His response was simple, “Have I ever put my hands on you?” In the absence of physical violence, it is easy for both the abused and the abuser to take their situation less seriously. It’s easier to reason this away as “anger issues”. It’s easy to remind yourself of all the “good things” your partner does and to ignore the reality.

Some tactics of emotional abuse by an abuser are to:
• Isolate a woman from her friends, family, cultural or faith community, care providers, and prevent her from having independent activities such as work, English as a Second Language classes or other education;
• Act overly jealous or possessive; accuse a woman of having affairs if she talks to another man; coerce her into sexual activity to prove her love;
• Criticize a woman constantly – her actions, size and appearance, and abilities;
• Use a woman’s disability or deafness to demean or control her;
• Threaten, intimidate, harass, or punish a woman if she does not comply with her abusive partner’s demands;
• Use the children to control a woman, for example undermine her authority as a parent or threaten to take them if she should leave;
• Make all of the decisions in the family, withhold information and refuse to consult her or about important matters such as where they live, or the family’s finances;
• Control the money – what is spent, how it is spent, not allow a woman access to financial resources, or conversely not contribute to any of the household expenses.

I’ve combed through my years of marriage and tried to find those defining moments when I should have left. I went back and screamed at my former self “What are you doing?” I’ve listened to my friends and coworkers and therapists and I now see the warning signs. But the reality is that when you are in the trenches, you are paralyzed. You’ve given up your control to someone you love very deeply and you see no way of getting it back. You find yourself unworthy, you echo to yourself …
“Well maybe he’s right.”
“Maybe I am unattractive.”

“Maybe I am lazy.”

“Is he really asking too much to have the laundry done in one day?”

“Well, he doesn’t hit me.”

“He’s a good man.”

“I have so many flaws.”

“I’m fat.”

“How could he want me?”

“How could anyone want me?”

A once confident woman suddenly finds herself powerless behind these words. They become heavy chains, weighing her down and raping her of her will to leave. When asked over and over again “Why do you stay?” my response was always the same, “I’m not ready.” Not ready for what? To be without abuse? To be alone? To hear the things I would inevitably hear were I to end it?
I’d love to tell you that I was brave and suddenly realized I couldn’t take it any more. The reality, however is that he ended it. And much in the way he controlled me in our marriage, he ended it in such a way as to make me feel as low and unworthy as possible. Still, regardless of how he ended it, he did me a favor. In his absence, I can find clarity again. I can begin to dissect those moments and to draw clear lines in the sand for next time. And with my own words, I can hopefully stop someone else from being in the same situation as I was.

A Rose By Any Other Name

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So much has happened since I last wrote that it’s hard to imagine where to begin in thought.  Perhaps another introduction is necessary at this point.  I began this blog years ago as an anonymous voice, or inner voice as it were.  I have always been (and perhaps always will be) fascinated by my own inner voice.  I’ve tried my best to explain to you, my readers, the true catharsis that is writing my thoughts down on paper.  It’s more than that, though.  My words solve things for me.  They help me to work through the trouble in my life.  They allow me a voice in the abyss that is the internet.  They help me make sense of the enigma that has been put before me.  Without my words, there is no me.  So perhaps I should begin by stripping myself of the anonymity.

My name is Lauren Ferguson, or perhaps Baker, I haven’t really decided yet.  Gazzano maybe?  Or perhaps another name entirely.  No, no, let’s begin with birth.  I was born Lauren Nicole Baker to my parents Jay and Susan in a town in the San Francisco Bay Area called Redwood City.  I spent the first twenty-four years of my life in California until I found myself fleeing the scene of the crime that is my family and departing to Arkansas.  I spent two years there to the day.  On December 1st of 2008, my new husband and I moved back to California for just under a year.  It was in late 2009 when I moved to Texas where I still reside.

Ferguson is my married name which began on July 7th of 2008.  I had met a man whom I loved dearly.  I loved him so much, in fact, that just five months after meeting him we went to justice of the peace and I took his name.  It’s so very easy to get married these days.  For straight people anyway.  I woke up one morning, we drove the the courthouse, we were married, and then I went to work later that day.  Our marriage lasted for 6 1/2 years and across 2000 miles until one day in December of 2014.  I was cuddling my puppy on the couch.  She had been spayed the night before and the only way she could be comfortable was by laying on top of me.  So I slept there with her draped across my chest and I woke up to the end.  It was no surprise.  Really, it had ended years ago.  Nonetheless, I went from being a married woman to being an unknown.  Perhaps even a lesbian.  This has yet to be decided.

You can imagine now my hesitancy to return to Lauren Baker.  I know the name well, don’t get me wrong.  But she is so very distant a memory that she seems like an old friend.  No, a friend’s daughter.  The Lauren that was once Baker I think of as so innocent now.  The truth is she was anything but innocent.  Unlived maybe?  Yes, I’m aware this isn’t a word.  Let’s create it now.  Lauren Baker had yet to live.  There were far too few miles on her tires.  Though she had been through much, she was still very new and shiny.  More than that.  She was still a believer.

Lauren Baker believed in good and evil.  More than anything, she believed in good. Lauren Baker believed in romance.  Her smile would light up a room.  She was constantly chasing her dreams, even when she didn’t know what they were.  What she chased above all else was love.  Lauren Baker was an idealist.

So no, after six years of pain and turmoil.  After four years of infidelity and abuse.  After thousands of miles and moving again and again.  Lauren Baker seems too far a distant memory to return to.  She simply does not exist any more, however lovely she once was.  After all Lauren Baker was where Lauren Ferguson began.  How could I willingly go back to a place where I was once so stupid.

I hadn’t began this article as an introduction to me.  In fact, I had meant to reflect on this past year of my life.  It seems we will have to explore this in a later entry.  I will say this.  I’ve spent the past year of my life speechless.  Anyone who knows me at all knows what a rare phenomenon this is.  I’ve stumbled on these old entires recently and have found myself reflective on the place I once was only to find myself happy to consider it so past-tense.  It will be a year-to-date on December 22nd when my end began.  Only now am I able to begin the healing process of writing about it.  So for now, I will simply revel in the many versions of myself.  For now, I will explore the name Sally (taken from my paternal grandmother).  Let us see where Sally takes me.  Perhaps I will take solace as her.

So, hello.  It’s nice to meet you.  I’m Sally.  What is your name?

Echoes

There are echoes in my mind

Every day.

Past memories

Bells that can never be unrung.

 

When I don’t understand the puzzle

I keep repeating it

Over and over again.

 

It tortures me.

This incessant pain

Relived

Revived

Fresher now than it was at the beginning.

 

I wish I could just let it go

I wish I could be comfortable

With the things that I can’t change

Confident enough in myself

To not need others to understand.

 

I wish I could walk away

And just forget.

 

But once you’ve passed that long windy corridor to my heart

Once you’ve nestled in the cockles that need warming

I just can’t let you go

And I care.

I care how you are.

I care what you think.

I care that you don’t care.

 

So there you are

My echo

Torturing me

Raping me of my closure

 

My echo.

Your silence.

Your Voice

I can’t stop hearing your voice at night.
It echoes in my ears
Stopping me from sleeping.

Your words still pierce me months later.
The years haven’t worn away at their potency.

They are like an unsolved puzzle in my mind.
I play them over and over again
Until I understand them.
I fear it may be years before I do.
If I can.

I want to forgive you.
To begin to see you as someone I love again.

We walked that fine line between love and hate
For far too long
And I’m terrified that now
Once I’ve jumped over the line
And set camp in the hatred
I’ll never be able to go back.

It’s not that I need to love you.
Or I think we have a chance.
It’s more that I don’t like the places
You’ve made my mind go.
I don’t like the dark and twisted corners
Of my mind
Where I seemed to have made a home.

I blame you for leading me here.
And not leading me back.

I can’t stop hearing your voice at night.
Please…make it stop.

Loveless

The first time is forever.
There is no possibility
that things will ever be different.

You are the one.

We belong together.

It was fate that brought us together.

I need you.

I love you.

You complete me.

But as the years chisel away
at the perfection
That once was your love:
As you find yourselves
miles away from where you began.

You look back on your beginning
and realize you really weren’t special.
Your relationship
was no different.

It is in that moment
when you stop believing
In fairytales.

When your sense of romance
dissolves
into
nothingness.

And you retreat into yourself.
Forever balled into
an emotional fetal position.
Comfortable hiding
behind a wall of thorns.

You lose your taste
for love.

Your desire to be part of a unit
Has disappeared
behind layers of exhaustion.

You’ve the lost your fight
And the appeal of that
feel-good whirlwind
that is a new relationship
is nonexistent.

And so you begin the journey
of seclusion.

You enjoy the safety
of your solitude.

You find the best relationship
you have ever had
has been with yourself.

So the next time
you choose to venture out
onto that long twiggy branch
that you call love
You will be wearing your protective gear.

And you will know that regardless of the outcome,
Or how far you fall.
You won’t be beaten
And you will still have
your greatest love—yourself.

Just Now

I just now realized that you’re my ex.

It’s been nearly two months now since you’ve ended it.

It’s been all I can do until now just to breathe.

I’ve worked and slept
I’ve smiled and cried
But mostly I’ve just worked.

I’ve buried myself in the labor
And forgotten the pain.

Until just now
When I called you my ex.
And now I can’t work through the tears.

And now the truth is that I miss you.
We were wrong together.
We were miserable.
We brought out the worst in each other.

But I miss you.
That first kiss.
How you made me weak in the knees.
How we built a life together.

I miss our family.
Hell I even miss the fights.

And now as I meditate on the fact that you’re my ex…I just can’t breathe.