Tuesday, May 28, 2013


"Just as beautiful as you are 
It's so pitiful what you are"

"We are never going to work! You know why? Because I admit I have a problem! You don't! You live in denial!"
"I told you I have a problem, I don't deny that!"
"Yah, but you want me to give up drugs, something that I've struggled with long before you came along, and you're unwilling to get better too." 
"I accepted that you do it and I've left you alone!" 
"I don't want you to accept it! I just want you to stop arguing with me about it! You exhaust me! I'm trying to sober up and then I've got your starving bull shit to worry about too!"
"I told you it's my problem and I let you deal with yours."
"I do because I love you but it's getting old." 
I look at the ground, look into his blue eyes which reveal he used again today, then dart them back down at the floor. 
He's right. 
"I miss the girl I started dating. I don't know who you are anymore, and if you don't figure it out soon, we're done." 

"Your insecurities are concealed by your pride
Pretty soon your ego will kill what's left inside" 

I ate last night after our hour and a half argument when he went in to shower as a sort of token white flag.
The scale was up again today. 
Always up. Never down. 
It could be because I haven't been drinking much water at work. 
Or burning 500 calories every day at the gym with working every day. I'm on my feet for 8 hours... I'm sorry, I just get so sore in my hips. 
Do muscles retain water when they're sore to repair? I lifted really good yesterday for leg day. 
I don't know but I do know I just need a little loss. 
I shouldn't feel this way though! I'm getting so toned! I'm actually getting a body to be proud of! 
Instead, I feel shame putting on my clothes every day...

"Visually you're stimulating to my eyes
Your Cinderella syndrome, full of lies"

Things don't feel right anymore. 
If I'm not at work or at the gym then I don't know what to do with myself. 
I have no emotions. Literally. When I do, they are sad or anger when we argue at night. 
He told me the only time he can get any response from me is when he actually attacks me in our arguments, otherwise I just stare off into space. 
It's almost scary at this point. 
So you all wanna starve for the summer? This is what you can look forward too. It sickens me when girls name this thing "Ana" and "Mia" like they're people. 
They aren't there when you're frozen over without emotion.
Maybe this is a worthless post, but I just need to write for no other reason than to open myself up just a crack.

I wish I could unzip my skin. 
This time, to let the hurt out. 
This time, to feel something again. 

"It's so pitiful what you are
As beautiful as you are 
Should have seen this coming all along"

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Try a Little Harder

Imagine a day when you felt the beauty you hoped to radiate.

My first day of work as a cook in an assisted living facility for the elderly went well. My supervisor told me that I was really fun to work with and picked up everything quickly. After supper was served my supervisor made a plate since cooks are allowed to eat for free.
"Aren't you going to eat anything?"
"Nah, I'm fine!"
"You sure? We're just going to have to throw some of it away."
"No really, I'm not even hungry."

You're so fat. You had five bites of the breakfast burrito, then you made some oatmeal and had a pear before work, then you had a little spoon of frosting you made for the dessert, four strawberries, and then you had a few bites of the supper. Don't even get me started on the Special K protein bar you had on your break.

I'm sorry... I can't get any smaller... I'm trying so hard...
Fat. Whore. Ugly. 

Then I went to my grandma's to get some shoes and had a big bowl of ice cream to fight off the PMS sweet tooth. Then four pieces of chocolate. Purged. I already knew I was going to because I have been a very gluttonous person today.
Came home.
I could barely undress myself to shower because I was so ashamed of my body.
I'm bloated because my period is coming. I was standing and doing things all day so it wasn't like I didn't burn calories. Anything eaten was in bites except for the 1/4 cup oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of PB2.
Tony came home and asked me if I was hungry just as I got out of the shower.
"I don't think so. I feel really fat today."
"Of course you do. You always do."
Argument because I didn't want anything, argued further because I told him I didn't want to ask him for anything and that I don't ask anyone for anything when I need things because I don't want to burden anyone.   
He told me we shouldn't even be dating if that's how it is and that why am I even his girlfriend if I don't let him do anything?
Then he left to take back a tool to his friend's and work on his car.

I wasn't going to eat. I swear I wasn't... I'm sorry... I felt hungry. I think.
You're weak. You're weak and you're pathetic. Ugly. 
I made a little bowl of veggies and then a can, a CAN of peaches. When they were canned it was in Splenda water syrup whatever. I put them in a colander and rinsed them just in case.
A can. You should be so ashamed. That's why you can't lose anymore weight. You eat things. You eat things and then you take rest days from the gym. 
But I was so sore.. I'm so sorry.. I just couldn't do it this morning.

You poor thing. You are not a flower nor a skeleton. I don't know what you are but you fill yourself up  thinking you'll be empty. You're still empty but it's not your body. 

I feel so ashamed...
I upped my cardio time and now I burn 500 calories every time and then go on to weights.
My protein intake has been terrible and has been in beans or a handful of nuts, the usual stupid peanut butter binge topped with honey.

How do you sleep living in the skin you're in? 

I barely can.
In fact, I just had some more peanut butter and honey when I went to take my antibiotic.
I can't win. I always give in.
You can't be trusted in the kitchen. 
You can't be trusted at restaurants. 
You can't be trusted to be strong and say no. You always choose the temporary feel good thing. 
I want so desperately to unzip my skin and step out in the tiny body I should have. I want tout. I can't live in my skin.
Things were going better for maybe two weeks and the scale won't go down. It reads "fat, fat, fat" every time I weigh. Every time.

I don't want to eat anymore. I want to work out until there is no fat left to stick to my insides. It's suffocating.
You're weak. 
I don't want to be anymore.
I can't trust myself to be around food.
I don't want to leave my job because maybe I'll eat at home.
I don't want to leave the gym because if I'm not burning calories then I'm a waste of space.
Try harder . 
No one cherishes excess skin. 

There's so much of me...
You can't really ever stop hearing that voice and escape the disordered behavior.
I just want to lose six or seven pounds, so let's see if I can. I just want that insulting voice and the feeling of failure to stop.
Better work hard. No one believes you. 
I can't let myself down, not this time.
Or at least that's what you think it feels like. 

Monday, May 20, 2013


"Red loved the man at his feet and he loved the rain. But more than either he loved himself, even though the real him rarely measured up to the him he loved so much." -Skin

With summer here and the slight lull between finals and finding work I've found plenty of time to have my nose buried in a book. Currently I'm finishing up Skin by Ted Dekker and this is probably my fourth or fifth time reading it. I know people recommend books and it's sort of like a song in that they speak to you or they don't. He's known for writing suspenseful books that also make you think and actually consider your morals. He does it to me every time and I'm not sure how, but the basis of this book is that there are five people brought together by this killer and they are required to kill the ugliest.
I have always been fascinated by it.
We don't really hate ourselves. We hate ourselves now, but we love the unrealistic construction we think we'll be someday.
When I was younger and then a younger teen I think I idolized beauty, but my views and ideas were still only in the formative stage (or are ideas really ever out of it?). I grew up with a Christian faith and I was raised by a mother torn by self consciousness and yet so beautifully giving of her time and heart to others. I saw these two positive influences modeled for me and I tried very hard to give because you're supposed to. It's more than just giving though, it's giving because you love others. I was hurting, being a current sexual abuse victim and not the most popular kid at school (I swear I have friends at college ha!) and that was beauty to me. The world doesn't care though. Taking is beautiful to it.
You start to learn after enough times that beautiful people draw others like moths to a candle. If they aren't good or nice people, the candle may extinguish for a moment, but soon enough the moths are drawn back.
You do not have the opportunity to show you're beautiful unless your skin is.
I hated myself.
Pudgy and academic. Better at music than sports. Deeper thinking and creative. Talkative and silly. Too many of my extrovert personality traits clashing with my learned introvert ones. Sometimes, with a tumultuous home life and an unaccepting outside one you learn to harden your skin then you begin to mold it and shine it like glass.
Anorexia became my disorder of choice from the chaos and beauty became the all encompassing theme.
Still I was trying to scratch the surface.
I would ask God why I had such a big heart but was so ugly. When I would ask that I could feel a sadness that to this day I don't think was me.

I still have the notes from one day in church. The service was about God's compassion and that we must confidently believe that we deserve His grace and His love, that no sin or ugliness could ever stop Him from loving us if we only just come to Him. You must believe and submit yourself because not letting go slows you down.
I wrote this and a few lines of a poem:

God loves the UGLY, even me.

It's ugly, beautiful, vanity fair
Awaken this beast if you dare
Strip this heart, make it new
I've become too weak for what has ensued
There is my treasure, there is my heart
Striving for empty, back to the start

Now that I'm 22 beauty is more. I know people my age and older will still think of it as purely skin, but when I see pictures people post of thinspo or I see adds and commercials and everything else, I don't know if they're beautiful or not. Outside yes.
"What a lovely shell you have."
That's the compliment you give more or less.
If I don't know the person or don't know what they've done, their intent, see their eyes, how do I know they're beautiful?
I don't think I've looked at a girl in a while and felt envy because of her looks.
The people I have envied are good, generous, loving, caring, and love Jesus with all their heart. Love people with all their heart. They radiate beauty. It's as though a light has been put inside of them and it's so bright that it shines out.

"This is what he knew about people: few ever set aside their sweet helpings of self-delusion to taste the bitter paste of truth." -Skin

Ah, but that's the kicker, isn't it? It doesn't matter. We like this sort of beauty, but we tire of it because it is a process. You can't change your skin to have it. You can't shine that glass more because it's the heart, and that burns with the fire of life and desire and motivation and challenge and despair and love.

I chase this beauty endlessly and I will never attain it fully. That's perfection.
I tired endlessly of  seeing girls trying to become this or that model, quoting Kate Moss. Let's go with something new.
That's why I feel so ugly though. No matter how unselfish people say I am or that I'm not mean or I'm not this or that, I am human. Humanity is gritty and dirty and ugly. What we do to others is gritty and dirty and ugly.

"'You became an officer because you don't believe you have an intrinsic worth.' she said softly, placing both hands on his knees. 'Since you have no value, you have to serve others to justify your existence?' ...So then if you're put in a position where you can't help others, such as this one, what does that make you?' Worthless. She had it right. But he didn't have the courage to be brutally honest, even now." -Skin

This excerpt hit me hard this time.
My worth is what I do for others. I will give and give then give some more because what am I worth?
I am ugly.
I am human.
Many many situations contribute to the belief that I'm worthless and I can't imagine how many times I've reinforced that same belief in others by careless words and actions.

Scrape off the surface.
Let's do something new.
Let's think.
For many of my followers, new and old, we struggle with eating disorders and I'm not telling you to give it up; I myself struggle with it. Mine has changed though, a more "pure" focus if you will. Trying to purify my heart, failing, and punishing. I know I need to cut myself some slack but I don't.
Some day.
All in stride.
And I will try to let go and stop polishing my glass skin.
For now, I have a question and if you would like, you can answer it. I love hearing your thoughts and I love the perspective that everyone contributes. It definitely makes me think more. I also want to thank everyone that supports me when I struggle. This is what this community is for, I would say.

What is the skin you wear for everyone and what's underneath? What is YOUR idea of beauty and what is the false one you try to attain? 

"Truth is, you are the light of the world. You are the joy of heaven. You are powerful, not helpless. You have infinite worth. Infinite. All you need to do is change the way you see. For those who have eyes to see, let them see." -Ted Dekker

Saturday, May 18, 2013


<Things get worse before they get better often times.>

I didn't weigh myself today; I went back up when I weighed yesterday, like I assumed. Overslept today so no gym since I have to go to my dad's. Maybe I'll refresh old memories and run down that country road.
Another night of fighting came. This time it was me that planted the time bomb. There's always a comment about me growing up or me being selfish. When he left to clean out his car I walked to the kitchen and borrowed the razor blade he has on the fridge.
Morbid display.
I now have ten cuts between both tops of my thighs. I don't self harm. I put ointment on them before falling asleep and they're pretty shallow. Couple days and they'll be fine, red marks.
I don't understand. I didn't even need that release of pain; I needed to punish myself for the hurtful things I've said and done. This urge comes stronger and stronger every day. Believe me, I'm just as ugly.
He said I was tainted, in reference to me cheating with a Hispanic guy. I thought to myself, I've been tainted since I was 6 or 7, so what does it matter?
I know how to say the most cutting things, down to bone, no trying. It's only because I know the truth about people. You can't miss it if you look into their eyes, hear the tones of their voices as they say something. Watch them sometime. It might take a minute, but you can see it all. It saddens me, that inner pain I see in everyone.
It saddens me I hurt them more sometimes.
We may lie through our teeth but we shine through our eyes. I keep a hold on my mouth because it's the single meanest thing about me.
Not as successful the past three nights of hour plus arguing, however.
"You're selfish! Everyone thinks so!"
Don't worry, I do too.
Growing quieter every day. Depression has been curling it's fingers around my arm, pulling me back.
My friend said she never knew anyone that hates themselves as much as me.
What an honor.
"You have nothing to be depressed about."
No, you're absolutely right.
I'm terrified though. I'm terrified because I was forced to grow up fast but then had to hold fast at that level as life was pulling and pushing, tossing and turning around me. After everyone moved on and things smoothed, I was expected to resume. I don't know how. I've made progress but the more I'm forced to hurry, the more my progress gets slowed.
My GRE study books came.
I got a job cooking at an assisted living facility for the elderly working 11:30-7. Time to work out and time to do whatever at night.
I need to find a grad school.
I need to be thinner. I'm sick and tired of being stuck here at this weight. Always at the ledge and then I get hungry.
Of course I'm going to be hungry; I'm doing hard cardio and lifting weights.
Just make the world a little quieter...
I'm trying to do what I'm supposed to...
It doesn't matter anymore though.
I need the world to be a little quieter for just a minute. My car is going out, I'm going to graduate and need to know where I'll be. I probably shouldn't be with my bf but I love him. He has taught me a lot life skills and when someone does that for you, it means a lot because adulthood is a scary place and I'm about to have to learn to fly.
A lot is coming at me.
Somehow that triggers a self destruct button, disguised as a helping hand.
I don't want food. It tastes fine. Feels fine. I just don't want it. I'm not hungry but I'll eat sometimes anyway. I don't want to because I don't think I feel hungry. There's no forcing myself away from it or any of that. It's a non existence of hunger and a lack of appetite. Somehow that's symbolic of my growing lack of appetite for life. Every day I feel more hollow and every day I feel a vacancy opening.
I tell God I'm sorry for the bad things I've done to others because I can't live with myself, with my selfishness. I pray for cardiac arrest at the gym, a car wreck. I want life but I feel like I don't deserve it so I wait and see if my actions deserve repercussions deeper than what has happened.
I'm crazy. I tell myself that.
I'm not. I'm a depressed 22 year old looking for her place in the world that probably sounds really freaking dramatic.
I'm sorry. Might as well apologize for my ramblings.
This too shall pass.
This emotional low will work back to a high. It's life.
It's falling into lows more and more so all I can do is pray and ride it out.
And maybe lose five pounds.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bottle Bottoms and Bathroom Floors

I'm going to start out this post with a disclaimer. It's gonna be long. It's gonna messy.
This is sort of a therapeutic post for me because it was a really just... I don't know.
I get into town at about 6:30 to see my best friend and I brought the cupcakes and huge bottle of moscato (her favorite) to do a little early birthday celebration. First we head to the mall though and find her a shirt she can wear to the concert/paint party at this bar the next day. It's been a long drive for me and she worked all day so we're thinking stay in, but her roommate invites us out to a party and after two glasses of moscato each we're thinking going out sounds like a fantastic idea! Me saying this already should have you face palming. I had a feeling something was going to happen and of course I don't heed my usually always right intuition.
Dress on, hair half up, not really any effort into my appearance but I look decent.
I'm face palming myself right now because I'm so embarrassed... ughh
We get some Bacardi and cranberry juice and head to the house. I'm tipsy and a social butterfly sober as it is so I'm especially easily assimilating into the group I've never met at this point. We all form a circle and play three rounds of tippy cup which has me drunk. Her roommate dumped a crap ton of liquor in my cup at about the second round so about thirty minutes to an hour later I'm slipping further and further into no inhibition drunkenness  Not just the regular drunkenness  This guy keeps talking to me and he's really attractive and we're talking piercings and tattoos.
Just stop. That's what I'm telling my memory right now. I need a freaking rewind button.
We sit down and talk and I think making out comes up in the conversation but for the life of me I really don't know who had that grand idea. He takes my hand and takes me up the stairs and over to a bedroom. The lights are off, I'm up against the wall making out with him. I think he's good, so at least that's the only positive we can pull from this... All of a sudden he's leading me to the bed and..
No we didn't fuck but we did stuff.
I don't know HOW it happened. I literally don't know how. He didn't force me but I don't even feel like I was inhabiting my body.
I came out, went to the bathroom, and had a mental I don't even know what to call it.
Pause for funny moment, there was no toilet paper so I used the shower curtain. I told my best friend the next day and she said she used the rug. WTF haha
Came out of the bathroom and sat on the couch. Her roommate's friend, the one we rode with, comes over and sits by me. I don't know where the guy went or even where my best friend or her roommate are but I think he can tell I'm really starting to get upset. He asks what's wrong and I tell him that I want to go home and so he rounds the girls up and we get in the car.
Cue freak out.
And a rewind.
Two or three days ago the bf and I had sex and it has been a while so it was a little painful. TMI, don't care. We did a position that he likes and I just did it because that was his favorite and I was done anyway. After, he asked me why I didn't say something because he would have. For whatever reason this triggered me and brought me back to when I talked to someone about my sexual abuse and that it was 7 years of it and they told me "why didn't you say something? I would have." I was starting to tear up and T thought it was him, I tried to explain it was sort of a trigger back to when people found out and the whole thing was sort of awkward and emotional and we didn't really talk about it and he didn't want me to explain (which I think is because he felt bad it triggered me and anger is usually how he reacts when he can't do anything to help) so I mentally had to calm myself down. I don't know why it happened. I have managed to hold the backlash feelings from my sexual abuse down for my entire life and little things are just popping the seams in spots.
Fast forward.
We get in the car and tears are starting to roll down my cheeks. I'm looking at the window and all I can remember thinking was that I was a fat, stupid whore and that I let things happen to me because that's what I'm good for. I kept asking myself why I don't just say no and the best way I can describe it to people that have never been sexually abused is that you feel a sense of obligation and nervousness that makes no sense. I don't owe anyone anything. You just do it. I don't know how to describe it. You go into a different place. Like your mind turns off and your body just does things. There's no other way to describe it. So I realize all this again and it's another trigger. My best friend is in the back seat asking me what's wrong and I'm trying to control my voice saying nothing. She's being obnoxious about me having something mysterious wrong though and tears are coming bigger and faster. I'm not making any noise as I cry. That's what was strange. Her roommate's friend reaches over and he grabs my hand and holds it as we drive home. Her roommate asked me what's wrong and from the back seat I hear my best friend answer, "She's just a bitch." I look over at her friend and tell him quietly that I'm so sorry over and over and he just starts to stroke my hand.
Thank God.
We get out, my best friend goes into the house and they both stand next to me and ask what's wrong. I tell them I was sexually abused and I'm just having some PTSD. No biggie/I'm sorry/I'm embarrassed. I don't know what else to call it besides PTSD. It's not quite, but it's something. They don't pry, they don't say anything but that it's okay and I don't need to keep apologizing and we go in. I thought I would be embarrassed to see her roommate the next morning but she acted like nothing happened and was cool. I'm hoping her friend won't care either because they're cool people and I was ashamed.
They head to another party and I go into the bathroom, sink to the floor, and start sobbing.
I haven't felt that much self hatred for a while. I'm not a self harmer, but if I wasn't as drunk as I was I would have went to the kitchen to get a knife. It scares me how intensely I wanted to hurt myself for what happened. Not even taking my abuse into account. Just purely upset and angry. I forget her other roommate is home and she opens the door and asks if I'm okay. Same answer. Then I tell her I'm sorry, she tells me that it's okay and she goes back to bed.
I'm scrolling through my phone looking for someone to be my 3 am call because I'm going to hurt myself. I literally want to kill myself for being a whore and I'm not kidding you.
No answer. No answer. No answer.
Finally, the fourth person I call, who I always call, my guy friend M answers.
I'm sobbing, he's asking questions and listening, giving advice now and then when needed, and talks to me until I calm down. I feel so bad for her roommate because a wall separates their rooms and I'm sobbing. I haven't sobbed that hard in God knows how long.
Finally, I pass out. I don't even hear her come home.
She didn't even remember that night really but said she called me a bitch because I wouldn't tell her what was wrong and she thought I was mad at her. Told me she loves me. That stuff.
I don't even really remember the night. I've never but maybe one other time been unable to clearly remember. I've been pass out drunk and remembered everything perfectly but this time was different...
Don't tell me to break up with the bf.
I know.
Don't tell me I'm a whore.
I know.
I can't even process why that happened or how but it was such an intensely triggering moment I swear to you I would have let myself bleed on that bathroom floor and I don't know why.
It's really uncharacteristic of me.
For once, my amazing analytical powers can't quite wrap themselves around the moment. I wasn't forced or anything. I was a robot. I, I don't know.
Saturday went great, concert was fun, although I've got some bruises. It's a rock concert though. :D We got the front by some magic, which is a trend for me. If you want front row, I'm your girl. Like the lucky charm of concerts. Seriously!
The paint party was really fun and we didn't even get drunk.We even met a group of guys that were really cool and danced with us and weren't trying to be all over us. Just honestly fun people.
Got up, called and wished mom a happy mother's day (we're getting ice cream later) and drove home.
Look, I don't always get into these situations when I drink. Most of the time it's been regular fun and dancing and then go home and sleep it off. No regrets. The last three times I've had guys want me and been extremely flirty. Saying I should have a boyfriend should be coming out of my mouth, whether we're on thinning strings or not. It doesn't though because I don't intend anything to go anywhere. I don't even need the affection or attention. It just happens. I'm a good flirter and sometimes I forget flirting is actually supposed to go somewhere. Well, it doesn't have to, but it has lately. I'm also fun to be around, I would like to, without being full of myself, say. I don't mind talking with new people, I have that light, carefree feel, and I'm easy to get to know and get along with. My best friend gets jealous of me and says all the guys like me because I'm skinny and I've tried so hard to explain to her that a.) no, peel back my layers and you'll see there's some issues there and b.) I'm fun.
I tell her people are just drawn to other people that appear to not care what others think and look like they have fun, talk to people easily, and smile/joke a lot. I really think she would get more guys by not caring. Yes, she's heavier. She's so pretty though. Beautiful even! The fact is that I make her insecure and that makes me insecure because I take people with me. I was the friend that would do anything to bring my friends to my level if I got better in something. I want to make my friends better people. The only thing I can say in the end is eat clean and work out for the body you want. I have a disorder and I may look great on the outside but inside shit's a mess I'm still trying to organize.
So there you have it. I'm gonna be doing some reflection for a bit because wow. Two triggers and a mishap in the span of a week. Doesn't ever happen to me and it's time to pry a little deeper, maybe. I need a healthy mind and I need to heal from my abuse.
I hope you guys have had a fantastic weekend! <3 

Thursday, May 9, 2013


"Tell me something I don't know," she said
Stop time 
Mend my spaces and pieces

Spin me a line

"I'll tell you where you won't go," he said 

To your limit 

I'll make you feel beautiful

Pull the poison from those veins
Make you see
Take the place on yourself you lay blame

Then paint me a new perfection 
And I'll choose the frame
Make me up 
Shake me down
Mold me like clay

You're pretty on the outside
Sometimes inside too
But that's not enough 
For me and you

Then I'll take you in 
With green eyes
So you won't notice 
My disguise 
Under the petals of crafted lies

All in time.

You kissed me 
As I whispered nothings sweet

Because that's what you needed 
Soft lips 
Grasp hips
Facade of complete

You see me,
In my duality

Embodiment of simplicity

Pain me
With your honesty
Stretch me to my limit
So I can make you bleed

Pages of emotions
You've long since forgot
A person
You thought being, you could not

No end to my greed

That's the thing
With duality.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Barb Wire Memories

<My longest relationship was with someone that was an addict, five years older than me, and not a positive force in my life. He took care of me and gave me a safe place to go during my parents' divorce and through the difficult family struggles. It wasn't healthy and we fought bitterly, cheated on each other, yet clung to one another anyway. In the moment that I'm writing this we haven't been together for half a year, but I still remember things he taught me, both good and bad.>

I've checked Facebook, my email, my college homework site, and my Twitter multiple times.
Just nerves.
It's 1:30 pm on a Thursday and I'm pacing. Got ready too quickly.
Standing up, I go to my mirror to do last minute make up and hair touch ups and take out all the earrings I possibly can, making sure to limit myself to one ring and a necklace.
Smooth my shirt.
Nope, this one won't work; the material could be considered too thin, the neck too low.
Go to the closet and find my favorite screen t-shirt.
Turn around to inspect the back; pants just tight enough to show my curves, assess my reflection.
Scooping up my keys I go out to my car and slide my sunglasses on, turn the radio up a little.
Left here, straight down until I reach A, take a right, down, down, down, left, another few miles and another right, I have arrived.
I assess the daunting barbwire fence, the guard towers, and the high wall on the left side as I lock my car and walk in the direction a few people are headed.
The penitentiary.
Suddenly I feel so small and unsure of myself.
Open the door and feel the slightly cool but humid air, I walk down two sets of stairs and head to the front desk.
I've only been here a few times.
You can always spot someone that's new.
The guard at the front desk is a woman in her early thirties, minimal makeup, natural blonde hair in a pony tail.
"Who are you here to see?"
"<first name> <last name>"
"Driver's license please."
I internally panic as I dig around my wallet. No license, no visit. It's hidden behind my debit card.
"Can you take anymore of your piercings out?"
"No, they're secured by a ball. Oh, I have surface piercings on my chest too."
I'm nervous and she can tell. They all have somewhat of a gruff manner initially.
"Don't forget to sign in in the book."
She hands me my locker key, stamps my left wrist with a black light visible stamp, and I stuff my purse inside my numbered locker, keeping my phone to entertain me until the last minute.
First name, last name, where I'm from, who I'm visiting, time signing in.
I take my place in a outdated colored metal and plastic chair and wait for 45 whole minutes. More people come in, some of the kids get candy from the little dispenser.
Finally, the names of the person we're visiting get called.
Shoes off, necklaces and rings off, watches off, belts off, locker key, anything metal.
Through the metal detector you step as your things go through an x-ray machine like in airports.
As my things go through, I'm taken into a little side room where another guard has me stand feet apart and arms straight out.
She pats both my legs down, arms, feels lightly at my chest, close to my neck, remembering my piercings. I have to finish up showing the soles of both my feet. Protocol.
I come out of the little room and put on my shoes, ring, and necklace then take my pass from the other guard behind the desk.
He pushes a button and I open the door, take a left and up some stairs, left at the top of the stairs and I reach a plate glass, metal reinforced door.
The guard in the control room pushes a button and it begins to slowly open. I slide through the beginning crack in the door quickly.
Pushes the button again and the door shuts. I'm in a little square box of glass and metal and I can see across the glass some inmates waiting in a holding area.
Pushes another button and the final door opens.
I quickly walk the short distance of the room to go through the door to the larger room where two guards sit at a plain desk to hand them my pass.
My eyes search the best and most private spot to sit. There are none. I choose the one by the wall.
More people shuffle in and I can feel my tension build.
Finally, the door on the right side of the room opens. I can feel my adrenaline surging!
It's not him. I look down in disappointment. Five more minutes, another inmate comes out.
I watch each happily reunite with their girlfriends, mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, and their children.
As I watch one father hoist his son into the air, both giggling happily, he comes out.
His hair is shorter and he's in the required khaki shirt and pants, shirt tucked in, white tshirt underneath, regulation black boots. He looks more muscular.
He smiles at me, genuinely happy, and walks to the desk to hand the guards his pass then covers the few feet to get to me in mere strides.
All the tension eases, all the worry and aching eases as he embraces me, picking me up in the process, then kisses me.
All we have is 15 seconds. That's the rules.
For three hours we talk and talk. He tells me stories of the inmates he's sort of befriending, the stories of daily life, the job he has to do and how he's only paid cents a day for it, how the food looks like dog food and he has to get more money on his books to buy tuna so he can get protein, how much he misses home, how much he misses me and our dogs.
He asks about my life like we haven't been sending each other one to two letters a week and as I animatedly tell him a story he strokes my hand.
I want so badly to kiss him and I absently put my hand on the back of his chair and stroke his neck.
"I'm sorry ma'am, but you can't do that. Hands only."
My faces flushes red. Newb move.
"One minute left. Everyone wrap it up."
No! It's too fast! My eyes flash to his and begin to well up with tears. His do too. I miss him so much it hurts.
"It will be okay, Eve. You'll be back next week. I need to use my time to call my aunt tonight, but I'll call you tomorrow."
I bravely nod and kiss him, this time an open mouth kiss. I'm always shy on the first one, but no one cares about the shows of affection as long as the guards don't. We're all aching for our loved ones.
"Okay! Time's up."
Our hug fades to a hand hold which fades to blowing a kiss and an I love you. He can't go past the red line.
My heart aches.
Sometimes the kids cry as they leave their fathers and I can see the pained looks on the faces of the men. Every single one, no matter how hardened some look, all struggle keep a poker face and you can feel the hearts that have merged together become pulled apart again.
We line up in the first room and the guard shines a black light over the stamp. I never understood why they did it, but I wondered every time.
The same slow doors open and shut again and we come downstairs to get our things from the lockers and trade the key for our driver's license.
From there I emerge into the fresh air, seeing some of the men behind the fence walking a track or sitting at a table. I turn around and try not to look back.

A year ago I was visiting him, savoring those three hour, two day a week moments. He was only allowed 15 minutes on the phone a day and only at certain times of the day. Some days we could only talk for five minutes so that he could call family. Some days I had him to myself, others it wasn't my turn. Always the same annoying, automated female voice telling us we had one minute remaining. Always squeezing in fifty I love and miss you's. Last minute asking me to tell this family member or that this or that. Phone time cost $50 for however many minutes/hours it was. I spent a lot on phone time and stamps. Another way to rip you off, but I didn't care.
Miss a call and you risked tears. He would have to try again. We would have to plan each day according to schedule when was best to call and I wouldn't miss it for the world. I would check my mailbox every day, sometimes I would be surprised to find a beautifully and intricately drawn picture on my envelope (something he traded another guy that could draw a snack for just to give me a decorated envelope) and every day I would wait.
He must be a terrible person to end up in the state penitentiary for eight months, right?
A lot of people are there that aren't bad people. His cell mate was 19 years old and was there for stealing two blankets from the Salvation Army.
He was set up by an informant that knew he used for cocaine distribution, meaning he knew where to get it for someone.
That period of time before his arrest makes me ache because of how badly he was addicted.
I get so upset just thinking about how our country prosecutes and doesn't care about change. Justice, not an issue we could help.
Whatever you've been told about prisons, addicts, and the like, I can tell you differently.
January 2012-August 2012 my view of the people in prisons, the criminal justice system, and the views society holds changed greatly. No, not all want to change. Not all want to leave. We don't make it easy for someone to start over. We require them to suffer over and over. We tell them to get jobs but we make it so they can't with a felony.
We judge them. We whisper about them as they walk by.
They are human.
I watched a little boy pull at his mother's hand in tears, asking where his father had to go.
"Back to work honey."
I began to tear up.
I've seen grungy people visiting, I've seen wealthy looking people visiting, and everyone in between. I've seen a elderly man come out in prison issue khakis, and I've seen them my age. I've talked with girls my age and with women older.
All have a story. We all went on every day supporting our loved ones.
Some of us cheated while they were gone. Some got married in prison. Some met their children for the first time.
Threads of lives.

It takes me back every time I drive on one of the streets or I hear a song that would play on the radio. I can feel it and recall it like it was yesterday.
I feel the shame of cheating unnecessarily like it was yesterday.
The whole year still feels surreal.
And I'll hold him a little tighter, if for nothing else than to say I'm sorry for betraying a month before his release.
I really do love him dearly and in four and a half years we've seen both spectrums of beauty and ugliness.
A few times I've been in the passenger seat, drunk, as we drive home from a bar, slumped down, and I see the walls of the maximum security side of the prison as we drive by. My eyes will still well up from time to time.
Every time, no matter what state, as long as my friends and I drive by, I become somber.
These are my barb wire memories.