30DOW: Day 7



*I’ve temporarily put aside the thankfulness and am letting the creativity pull me where it will. 30 Days of Writing

Between the Covers

I want to read your words, he tells me. I want to know what you think about, the things that you don’t feel like you can tell me. 

Through the cracked bathroom doorway I stand after my evening shower and watch him bent down by the side of the bed, rifling through my journal. I know he will find things he won’t like, things he won’t understand. I lean an arm against the doorway and rest my head against it for a moment, mouthing the words I know he is reading. I can hear him flipping the pages quickly, he is looking for something specific.

I wonder how I should approach this, can i really be mad? After all, I have posted many personal things on my blog that complete strangers have read, what is one more stranger reading my words.

I stand and watch him until he is finished. He returns the leather bound notebook back to it’s hiding spot between the mattress and the boxspring and then I turn out the light and step into the bedroom, towel drying my hair, all the while my eyes on him. He smiles slightly at me but I can see in his eyes that he has read something he didn’t like.

Climbing into bed next to him I turn to hold him close but he pretends to stretch and wraps the blanket tightly around himself.

What is it, I whisper, What’s wrong.

He is silent for a moment before he speaks.

You’re not happy, he says, his tone flat yet hurt at the same time. You’re waiting for someone. 

Not someone, something, I say quietly.

I know my words have hurt him. I know he will think that everything he does is not enough, that he is not enough, and in a way he’s right. I am waiting, I have always been waiting. But for what, I do not know.

I struggle to find the words to comfort him and find myself at a loss. I love him, he understands me better than anyone else in the world, yet there is still an emptiness that I cannot fill. When I am sure he is asleep, long after the early morning hours, I crawl over him and carefully pull my journal out from under his side of the bed. I write about the love I dream of, of acceptance and understanding that I desire, I write about hurt and anger that I know he will never understand.


30DOT:Day 5



Laying next to the little girl, she listens to the even breathing. The baby’s face is buried underneath a dingy, pink, heart-covered blanket but she’s not worried. The blanket is thin. The baby has had it since she was two. Her favorite thing since her black monkey was taken from her, swept back into the darkness. The woman imagines the stuffed monkey hanging in the thick darkness of that dungeon from a noose made from strands of string. The thought makes her shiver.

The little girl rarely speaks of that monkey. Sometimes she will grow a little sad when she sees pictures of her and it, images from the past that her young mind does not fully grasp, yet the pictures jog something familiar, as does the dull ache in her heart. But she is content with her heart blanket. It has brought her much comfort over the years. It has dried many of her tears, has made her feel safe when she started kindergarten with a new teacher and all new friends, it helped her to relax through the long drive out of town when she and her family went to a magical place where they saw animals of all sorts. She loves her blanket. It is her favorite thing.

The woman used to think often about asking for the monkey back, calling and asking for an official to accompany her back to the Land of Darkness and wait for her while she battled the dangerous demons that dwell within while she rescues the first precious object her small child ever loved. But the thought of being back in that land terrifies her. She fears that even a brief moment inside will infect her and trap her like she was trapped so many years before.

She has searched high and low for the same monkey, it was just an inexpensive thing from an inexpensive store, but it has been irreplaceable. She wonders if it hurts her little girl’s heart to not have it in her life. It hurts the woman’s heart to think it might. But her fear of the darkness makes her want to forget the monkey.

The blanket came into the Little Girl’s life at exactly the right moment. A moment when she needed the most comfort, when she needed something material, when she needed something consistent. It has seen her through fevers, long car rides, a tooth removal, the first day of kindergarten, scary things for such a small person.

The woman thinks of that monkey often and hopes and prays that it faired better than she did in the Land of Darkness. She prays that it wasn’t tortured like she was, that it wasn’t bruised, maimed, broken, beaten and scarred.

She thinks of that monkey and prays that one day it will be able to escape just as she and her soldiers did. She prays that it will be strong just as she and her soldiers did. She prays that if that monkey has any consciousness that it will remember the Little Girl and somehow find it’s way back to her.

But mostly the woman hopes the demon had mercy on the monkey and cast it out of the Land of Darkness for being a lost soul out in the world would be better than being a condemned one in that evil place.

30DOT: Day 4


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The hours fly by so quickly. The morning finds my joints and muscles aching. I reach for my pill and feel it slide down my throat with the warm water. I tell myself this is helping.

I reach over and hold him. His warmth makes me crave just a few more moments in bed. I draw strength from the peacefulness he emits in his sleep. He is my saving grace.

But the hour is growing late and there is so much to be done this day. I trudge through the motions as I brush this and that, dress, pull on my holy shoes. He keeps telling me I should get new ones but shoes aren’t cheap while I am. With my money that is. I would much rather spend my dollars on journals and books.

I wonder if I cleaned the dishes from dinner last night and try to breathe through a moment of panic. Is the kitchen clean? Will he have clean clothes to wear to work today? The anxiety grips me and makes it impossible to go through the motions of making sure everything is in order. Will I be replaced like I was with another when I started slipping? Will I be punished with ridiculous chores? But the Mister is not like this. He is a genuinely kind and gentle soul in a world that is so lacking. Yet the fear is still there.

I think about when I got these shoes. It was at the Transitional Living Facility. A place for people to live while they work and save up money. It was supposed to be a place to help those who were down and out. It was much the way I imagine prison must be.

I woke when I was told. I slept and ate when I was told. Classes, there were always so many classes. Parenting, life skills, counseling- group and individual. And never did we ever feel safe enough to speak of the happenings in that place.

There was a woman I befriended. She had been clean for almost a year. Her faith in God was what had helped her to succeed. She had a little girl the same age as my oldest daughter. They became quick friends, as did she and I.

She was such a beautiful woman. Inside and out. She radiated joy and peacefulness. After having been down for so long, she was excited at all life had to offer now that she was back on the track to climbing her way back up. I was proud of her and felt proud to know her.

Chores were punishment in this place. Cleaning, scrubbing, raking, mowing. Five hours of hard labor for every inconsistency. Home a minute after curfew? Five hours. Left a dirty dish behind too long? Five hours of labor. Bedroom not clean to standards? Five hours of labor.

Laying next to Him I try to push away these horrible memories. I am not there anymore. I am no longer losing my mind. I am no longer afraid. But the memories haunt me.

Sometimes I dream about that place. I wake up with a heavy heart and a twinge of fear on the weekends. Did I miss check in? Did I not wake up at 7 a.m. and sign my name on the dry erase board? Is there anyone who can vouch for me? Or is that another five hours of chores on my only two days off?

In the freedom of my own home now, I clean furiously, quickly. I clean in spurts.

“Sit down and relax, Babe,” he tells me. “You work just as hard as I do. You deserve to relax.”

He repeats it like a mantra. It pains him to see me grinding my fingers down to the bone while I exhaust myself in an attempt to be perfect. To be worth loving. He tells me it’s not the things I do that matter, it’s who I am inside that he loves. A voice in my head whispers that these words aren’t true. Is he making fun of me?

But I cannot sit still. The past has shown me that there are consequences for dropping the ball. And I cannot afford the fine any longer. My fingers slide through his and he tries to grasp my fingertips while I smile sadly at him and hurry off to scrub the spots that only I can see.

30DOT: Day 3


THE DANCE 💝 (Friends)

She stands against the wall, pretending to examine something on her frilly, blue formal dress. The taffetta seemed like such a good choice at the time but now she wonders if she should have chosen something silkier, something more grown up. Every other girl around her is clad in sequins and lace fabrics that shimmer and glimmer with every move they make. Their makeup looks professional, their hair that of beauty queens in thick, round, bouncy curls. She runs her hand over her own hairdo, an elaborate bun that she had spent hours trying to perfect after watching dozens of videos on the internet.

The music is loud and upbeat. There’s bodies jumping, twisting, turning, pulsating along with the beat. Yet she leans one shoulder against the wall and pretends to stare at something on her high heel. She feels so out of place here, a stranger in her own environment. Dozens and dozens of faces surround her, none of whose names she knows. Not that she cares to know them. They are not like her and she is not like them. She has accepted this long ago and it no longers hurts her.

She wonders why she even came. She scoffs at her silly notions of the mysterious stranger who would magically appear and whisk her off her feet. But then the music changes and she feels a hand, small and gentle clasping her own. She looks up into bright blue eyes and feels her own tear up. Her heart fills with joy.

“May I have this dance?”

Her friend. Her best friend. She doesn’t care what the staring eyes will think of her dancing with another woman. She can hear the snickers, can almost see the evil, dirty thoughts in the closed minds of these children, but in this moment she doesn’t care.

Her friend, her sister, her heart. A woman who had seen her every last tear. A woman who had always tried her best to soothe her friend’s anxious heart, mind, and soul. Her soulmate.

In that moment, she felt complete. At peace. Whole.

In that moment she felt loved.

30DOT: Day 2




The Army

Once upon a time I brought three tiny humans into a world I could not protect them from. Knowing that I was already imprisoned in that castle’s highest tower, locked far away from light, from hope, from salvation, I still welcomed this army onto the battlefield with open arms.  I told myself they would be my salvation. I told myself their presence would be the key to ultimate freedom.

But my defenses were slowly destroyed. The drawbridge failed to close us off from harm. I tried my best to equip them with the best armor I could build them from what I could find. I tried to equip them with the proper weapons with which to fight. We fought so bravely when we should not have had to fight at all. Our love for each other lit the treacherous path long after the embers from the raging fires had died down. We fought to keep our flickering flames from snuffing out.

We lost nearly every battle we fought but came out victorious in the war. We could’ve hung our heads in defeat and submitted to the darkness, but we took such care to nurture those precious flames. Tiny adults thrown onto the battlefield much too soon, their armor is chipped and cracked much like my own, yet they still wear it so proudly.

My tiny soldiers gave me strength.

They gave me hope.

Fighters, they are.

Fighters, we all are.