He Didn’t Need his Fists, the Justice System Abused Me for Him: Part Four.

If you haven’t yet, please take the time to read Part Three. This is a multi-part series. A new chapter of my personal experiences will be posted every Monday and Thursday. Disclosure: If you have any form of PTSD, I do not go into the details of the abuse, but I do describe my time in booking. 

I refuse to dream of him. I’ve conditioned to my body to obey this one demand.

The night of the altercation, I had a nightmare of what could have been. The blood that could have been spilled. Mine, his. I woke up with the taste of it in the back of my throat, the smell clinging to my nostrils. My hands ached with bruises, both real and phantom. I could still feel the knife in my hand, a terrible reminder of the way my life had gone.

I had a nightmare not too long after that night. He was throwing things at me, screaming at me as I cowered in a corner, shielding my dog. The nightmare didn’t last for more than a couple of moments. I woke up with a hiss on my lips, anger jolting my system. I was betrayed by my thoughts and my mind. I should be safe when I sleep, if not anywhere else.

Every other night when I sleep, his face flashes in my dreams, a cruel trick. My body has been conditioned to wake when I see him, but I won’t fall back asleep simply because I don’t want to tempt my brain into dreaming of him.

Two days after my release, my mother forced me to recall every time he was abusive. And that was just something I wasn’t ready to face. If I kept it tucked away, it didn’t bother anybody. It didn’t hurt anybody. I was my burden and it was one I would gladly seal away. I didn’t want to remember.

Part Four

The fear was there but so was the embarrassment. I had once been strong. And when he began to hurt me, I was too embarrassed to admit to the world that I had become that woman. That I was allowing a man to knock me down and speak to me as if I wasn’t his equal. I had pretended for so long, I was willing to keep on pretending.

My mother was screaming at me, demanding I let it go, and still I couldn’t. I was tainted. Just being in their home worried me beyond comprehension. I was smearing the good nature of the environment they had built. I had brought that danger to their doorstep. How could I open up and bring even more?

Finally, I gave in.

Remembering it all again, I pretended to be calm in front for my mother. I told her exactly what had happened step by step the night he was arrested. While she kept telling me again and again how she knew there was something wrong with him. How, next time, she would tell me if she thought the next man in my life wasn’t a good guy.

I told her it helped to talk about it. And then I went into my room and cried as silently as possible, so she couldn’t hear me. I felt filthy. I felt dirtier than I had before. Why should I trust myself to start another relationship if she didn’t?

And when we met with the lawyer just an hour later, I had to listen to her use the same lines. I had to watch her speak for me and cry for me. But it was my story, it was my pain. She didn’t deserve to carry it. How could I let her carry it?

I realized she wasn’t the one I was angry with. It was him. He put me in this terrible position. I gave him everything, I loved him like I had never loved another man and he took it and returned it to me with violence and hate.

The ride back home, I kept my head down, put my sunglasses on, and wept in silence. I couldn’t break in front of my parents, not when my mother was falling apart every other day. One of us had to remain strong. We both couldn’t crumble.

And I quickly understood my mother was only trying to protect me and wanted what was best for me. She would do anything to make sure I was safe and that another man could never hurt me again.

It’s getting easier to talk about him, offhandedly.

There are times I don’t even recall I’m bringing him up. And then somebody else will and I automatically shut down. I don’t want to hear other people talk about him. I don’t want to know what they think of him or how they feel about him.

And one day he won’t have that power over me.

Part Five Coming Soon…


Domestic violence is all around you, even if you can’t see it. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience physical violence in their lifetime. If you’re being abused and don’t have the support you deserve, call the hotline where trained advocates will give you the advice you need. You’re not alone. For more information, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website here.

domestic abuse hotline


Check out my most popular posts:

Why I Haven’t Lost Hope When it Comes to Love and Men 

Human Nature Can Surprise you Sometimes

The Update to my “Lost Hope” YouTube Video

And as always, thanks for reading – Dani

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He Didn’t Need his Fists, The Justice System Abused Me for Him: Part Three

If you haven’t yet, please take the time to read Part Two. This is a multi-part series. A new chapter of my personal experiences will be posted every Monday and Thursday. Disclosure: If you have any form of PTSD, I do not go into the details of the abuse, but I do describe my time in booking. 

I got, maybe, an hour of sleep.

WW (withdrawing women) kept me awake with their gas and sudden outbursts of pain. They peed in the community toilet every fifteen minutes and the flush was louder than a jet plane.

At seven in the morning, we were given another brown bag. Again I refused. The food was disgusting, I was too cold to be hungry, and I didn’t want to have to use the toilet. And by this time, I was cranky and developing a bit of an attitude.

The guards ignored the girls when they asked for blankets. Then all hell broke loose when the cell of girls who were processed after us was led one by one to see the second commissioner. All of us were banging on the walls, the doors. Standing on the bench to kick the small window. The guards didn’t even bother to tell us to stop.

By noon, I was infuriated. Screw ice, I was bubbling with lava. A male prisoner handed me a brown bag of lunch and I threw it across the cell. One of the WWs scampered over and began eating it as if it was her last meal.

I paced around my cell, trying to stay warm and active.

I began counting the seconds with my footsteps. And every fifteen minutes I banged on the door of my cell and demanded when I was going to be seen by the second commissioner. When I was ignored, I banged on the door till a guard would saunter over. I told them I was thirsty. Told them we needed blankets. She was irritated that I was calling her over for petty things, but if you weren’t going to do your job fairly than I wasn’t going to make your job easy.

I would not go unheard.

Then finally, girls in our cell were starting to be called to see the second commissioner. We quickly learned if they didn’t return, they were being released. If they came back to use the phone, they needed to post bail. They had to change into the pink prison suits and were escorted to the “Domes” as everybody called them. Dome One was where the really bad bitches were incarcerated. Dome Two was where everybody else went. I didn’t care to know which one I would be subjected to if the commissioner decided I was going to have to sit until bail was posted.

At three in the afternoon, my name was called to see the second commissioner.

I was led to a tiny, dingy room with olive green walls. It was covered in graffiti from ballpoint pens. There was a glass wall dividing the room in two. On the other side was a woman who was glued to her computer. She was surrounded by books and papers, not a single fraction of organization apparent.

Another woman was ushered in and introduced herself to me as my lawyer. She was a “Glamazon” of a woman with a thick body, mocha skin, and wild hair. She wore a black suit and had on black framed glasses. I felt all my energy of hope shift to her. I gave her everything I had left. And she seemed ready. Competent.

She assured me the commissioner couldn’t hear a thing and asked me to explain why I was there. She was surprised the incident itself happened two months, which seemed to be the consensus all around. When she had heard all she needed, she gestured to the commissioner she was ready.

The commissioner explained to me that the SAO had signed off on my warrant had suggested my bail be set at $25,000.

 

Part Three

My actual state’s recommendation for conditions of release. 

 

I gasped and turned, stunned. My lawyer simply shook her head. “These charges are absolutely ridiculous. Not only is this retaliation, but now she’s been victimized twice.”

She told the commissioner what had happened between him and me, again saying it was completely ludicrous as to why I was there. And the second commissioner agreed. She released me on my own recognizance. As we waited for the paperwork, my lawyer asked to see my warrant and which “asshole commissioner” signed off on it. When she saw the name, she rolled her eyes.

“He’s the biggest man bitch I’ve ever met,” she grumbled. “Give me your mother’s number. I’ll call her and let her know you’ll be out within a couple of hours.”

I admit, I melted a little. Tears fell from exhaustion, from relief. I was led to another room, another cop asked what I was in there for. After another explanation, he took shook his head.

“We see this all the time.”

Why do they see this all the time? Why don’t victims have any rights?

I was taken to the pre-trial service room where a woman explained to me I couldn’t have any contact with my husband, couldn’t return to my home. As if he was worried for his life. And by four in the afternoon, I was in another holding cell, waiting to be released and gather my belongings.

One of my friends was waiting to be released as well. The moment I stepped into the room, we threw our arms around each other and congratulated one another. For the first time in twenty-eight hours, we were smiling. When they handed over our items and buzzed us out, we emerged in a waiting room. There was nobody waiting in the chairs. The lawyer had told me she was going to call my mother, but I figured she must have not been able to reach her since she wasn’t waiting for me. Since I didn’t have my phone, I made my way to the numerous pay phones.

“They don’t work,” said the secretary, before I could lift the phone from the receiver. She looked up from her report and grinned. “You must be Danielle.”

Although it will continually bother me when people call me by the wrong name, I said, “Yeah, that’s me.”

“You have somebody outside waiting for you.”

I nearly ran up those stairs and threw myself through the sliding glass doors. But I didn’t see her. As I began to walk down the street, I heard my name called. My mother only calls me “Daniella” when she’s irritated with me, and as she stepped out of the car, her fists were placed on her hips. I was miffed for a second, thinking she may have thought all this was my fault. But she opened her arms and pulled me into a hug.

“I’m fine,” I assured her, which was truth. I was glad to be away from that place.

“I’m not.” She helped me into the car where my father was waiting.

They told me they had taken care of my dog and cat while I was away. That they had found a lawyer. My mother was a furious emotional mess, upset that I hadn’t eaten or used the bathroom in over twenty-nine hours by that time.

And when I got home, I dragged my feet into the shower, turned the handle to as hot as it could go. I crumpled to the floor, curled up into the fetal position and cried.

And cried, and cried.

I didn’t know a heart could feel so much grief. I thought leaving him was the worst pain I could experience but I was so wrong. This was.

Fear. Anger. Frustration. Desperation. Humiliation. All of it inside my heart and it would surely make me ill. So I cried, hoping it would ease some of the pressure.

When I was able to stand again, the water had become cold. I allowed my body to freeze up again. I would be ice once more. I would not give him the satisfaction of breaking.

Part Four Coming Soon…


Domestic violence is all around you, even if you can’t see it. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience physical violence in their lifetime. If you’re being abused and don’t have the support you deserve, call the hotline where trained advocates will give you the advice you need. You’re not alone. For more information, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website here.

domestic abuse hotline


Check out my most popular posts:

Why I Haven’t Lost Hope When it Comes to Love and Men 

Human Nature Can Surprise you Sometimes

The Update to my “Lost Hope” YouTube Video

And as always, thanks for reading – Dani

Fantasy Friday WK 1: “Books Are Magic”

Every Friday you’ll find a short story based on a picture, portrait or painting. The stories and rights to the fiction are my own. Hope you enjoy! 

Fantasy Friday 1

He sat beside the opened window alone, passing the time with a small paperback book. His seat cushion was worn to the wood and was mildly uncomfortable. Not enough for Michael to pick a new spot. He loved it there, loved how the sun streamed in to provide natural light. His classmates tried to convince him to read in the library where the chairs were plush and the lamps were always on. But he needed to be near open air.

Michael was waiting for something. He just didn’t know what.

Often times, he was so absorbed in the tale of a book Michael would forget to go to class. Forget to eat and forget to sleep. And when he would remember to do all those things, he rushed to complete his errands, his nose still in the book trying to finish just one more chapter. This would cause him to run into people and furniture.

At first, his classmates found that irritating. Spilled coffee and shattered vases spoiled even the best of moods. But they found his absentminded apology and brief smile endearing. It didn’t take long for people to understand him. And now when they saw him coming, they darted out his path and guided him around heavy tables.

Michael fell in love with books early in his life. Every night, for as long as he could remember, his mother would read him a bedtime story. She would be so animated, assigning each character their own voice and tone. He always went to sleep happy. And when he was old enough to read and choose his own stories, he couldn’t help but use his imagination to really hear them. She taught him to see without images. He could walk along the Great Wall of China, feel the stone under his feet. He could witness the Vampire Queen Lilith sire a lover and feel revolted and sympathetic to her pain.

That was the power of written words. Books were magic. So why would anyone waste their time worrying about the mundane follies of reality?

He felt a breeze tease the smoke from his pipe. But it felt different. Deliberate. Michael lifted his eyes from the page and glanced around the room. He was indeed still alone. He peered outside. Not a soul in sight.

Did he just feel…?

Michael looked back down at his book, shaking his head. But he couldn’t concentrate on the words. The breeze returned and this time it fluttered the pages of his book and tugged on the collar of his shirt. He closed the book gently and sat up.

Roses.

He could smell a woman’s rose perfume, strong and intoxicating. There wasn’t a lady in sight and all his classmates were men. This was a sign. A warning? Is this what he had been waiting for? Michael felt the breeze sneak through the open window again and brush against the cord of his neck. And he was damn sure he felt a pair of delicate lips press lightly against his flesh.

Women carried a power all on their own, simply by existing. And if they had a man’s heart, that magic was infinite. Apparently, there was soon to be a woman in his future. And she had a power so raw, so pure, he could already feel her. She was sending him hints of what was to come. Michael was already under her spell. A woman who disliked his smoking habits. A woman who would demand his attention over his books.

And he would give it. She would take it, although he wouldn’t be able to help but offer it. He brushed a hand along his neck, where she had already pressed a kiss. And noted the red lipstick smeared on his fingers. She was a temptress and wielded passion like a double bladed sword. She would doom and delight him.

Michael placed his book aside and smiled to himself. He understood the magic of books so easily he was able to sense the magic of reality as well. His books had prepared him for this. For her. His fingers were already flexing in anticipation.

Finally, his story would be more interesting than the pages of his book. And he was ready for their first chapter.

He Didn’t Need his Fists, the Justice System Abused Me for Him: Part Two

If you haven’t yet, please take the time to read Part One. This is a multi-part series. A new chapter of my personal experiences will be posted every Monday and Thursday. Disclosure: If you have any form of PTSD, I do not go into the details of the abuse, but I do describe my time in booking. 

central booking.jpg

I was placed in a wagon, the officers having to buckle me in.

My left hand was numb from the pressure of the cuffs. Being tall, my head kept bouncing into the top of the wagon. With my hands behind my back, I couldn’t catch myself from being jostled. It seemed the driver was purposely rolling roughly into every pothole he could manage. I was sore by the time the vehicle stopped.

In central booking, the female guards don’t care who are, why you’re there or how long it will take to get you out. It was made very clear as I stepped up to the dirty acrylic window. They checked in my belongings, logging away my sweater and sealing it in a bag. I was wearing a bodycon dress, one designed to hug and display my body and with the sweater gone, I felt exposed.

I was ushered into a holding cell with ten other girls. The green cement bench was already full to capacity. One girl was asleep on the floor. Another leaned against the toilet. I opted to stand and peered out the small window, watching.

The guards stood around in clusters, laughing and joking. Ignoring the calls of the girls who were asking for water or blankets. I watched them for two hours before I was pulled to see the nurse. They made me pee in a cup to make sure I wasn’t pregnant or high. And lucky for me and my collapsible veins, the nurse wasn’t confident enough to take any blood and spared me of that test. I was thrown back into another holding cell with different girls. It was clear I was going to be there for a while, so we took the time to get to know one another.

I banded with two girls who were arrested for second-degree assault, and another who was there for attempted murder and fleeing the scene.

Until then, I hadn’t looked at my own charges. First and second-degree assault and four other misdemeanors. I tried to remain calm although the pulse in my neck and wrist were leaping.

They must have seen the look on my face and quickly worked hard to try and convince me that everything was going to be okay. After all, it was my first arrest. The law should be lenient. The four of us sat in one corner of the bench, swapping and reading our warrants, and grimaced at the older women who were withdrawing on the other side of the cell.  Another hour later, our holding cell group was moved to another holding cell to wait our turn with the commissioner.

And we were led past the male holding cells.

Not trying to sound superficial, but I didn’t look like anybody else. I wasn’t an addict and I wasn’t from the streets. My hair fell down to my rear, my makeup was done, and remember, I was in that body con dress. I felt every male eye on me, traveling up and down the length of my person. Some men know how to deliberately make a stare feel insulting. Some men were so used to violence, they could only picture a woman with bruises covering the flesh over their cheekbones, around their wrists. And that negativity quickly swirled around me like black smoke. It stuck to my flesh, my hair and my clothes.

But I had to remain ice. I wouldn’t shatter.

I had to wait another few hours before the commissioner saw me. I thought I could finally plead my case. Tell them how wrong they had it. I didn’t belong there; I was the victim. But the commissioner merely asked me if I wanted to represent myself, hire a private attorney or have one supplied to me.

I went with the final choice and was led back to the holding cell, frustration starting to harden my jaw.

I still had to wait to see the second commissioner. By this time, it was six in the evening. I had been sitting in a cell for about five hours. A male prisoner brought me a brown bag of food. Inside was a bruised apple, a smushed sandwich with one slice of artificial bologna, and a carton of milk. When I refused to eat it, one of the high girls asked for it and I gave it willingly.

As we waited for the rest of the girls to see the commissioner, Attempted Murder girl began to weep. She had a one month baby at home and was, of course, missing him. She knew it was going to be a long time before she saw him again. It had taken her eleven hours just to see the first commissioner. Fear spread quickly around the cell. And in a move that both moved and surprised me, we linked hands and muttered a small prayer.

“May this go in our favor, may we get out of this without debt, and may we see our loved ones soon.”

Again, we were moved to another holding cell. Inside, it was only about fifty degrees. My teeth were chattering and my hands were shaking. The hours moved slower than I had ever experienced. The old withdrawing women started moaning in pain, denying any of us the right to relax or sleep. There were eight of us in the cell, and regardless of the outbursts, all of them linked together in the corner, desperate for warmth. I purposely sat underneath the air vent, reveling in the ice cold air.

I was pulled out another hour later to finally be fingerprinted and have my mugshot taken. As I waited for the guard to clean my fingertips, she asked me if I had hurt him as much as he did me. I looked up and wondered how she knew. How could she see it so easily?

“I had a knife, but I didn’t touch him,” I replied flatly.

“Honey. If you’re going to go to jail anyway, next time you make sure you cut him.” She tucked a hair behind my ear, a tender gesture, and scanned my fingerprints into their database.

A male guard strolled through the office and stopped mid bustle when he spotted me. He watched me a couple of moments and asked, “Whatchya in here for, baby girl?”

“I used a knife to protect myself from my husband,” I replied, just as flatly as before.

“He out there?” he asked, jabbing a thumb over his shoulder where I could see a line of men in handcuffs. “I’ll show him a rough time.”

I shook my head. “He pressed charges today, but the fight happened two months ago.”

He told me I was going to be fine, as I hadn’t been arrested before. And on his way out, he muttered, “He a punk-ass bitch.” I actually smirked.

I was not one of them. I didn’t belong. I returned to my cell and again I refused to snuggle with them in the corner. I sat under the vent and tucked my arms and knees into my dress. After more time had passed, I asked a guard for the time. Four in the morning. My eyes were getting heavy.

I couldn’t deny it any longer. I was going to spend the night in a cell.

Read Part Three Here. 


Domestic violence is all around you, even if you can’t see it. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience physical violence in their lifetime. If you’re being abused and don’t have the support you deserve, call the hotline where trained advocates will give you the advice you need. You’re not alone. For more information, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website here.

domestic abuse hotline


Check out my most popular posts:

Why I Haven’t Lost Hope When it Comes to Love and Men 

Human Nature Can Surprise you Sometimes

The Update to my “Lost Hope” YouTube Video

And as always, thanks for reading – Dani

He Didn’t Need his Fists Anymore ​Because the Justice System Abused Me for Him: Part One

This is a multi-part series. A new chapter of my personal experiences will be posted every Monday and Thursday. Disclosure: If you have any form of PTSD, I do not go into the details of the abuse, but I do describe my time in booking. 

Even now, I shy away from the word abuse.

Domestic Abuse

I know there are women who have had it worse than I tolerated, and stayed. What I experienced, until it escalated, was something I thought would go away if I ignored it. I’m not going to go into details. At least not yet.

The first time he hit me was in mid-December. It wasn’t simple. The emotions are so much more complex than just mere fear. I was of course frightened. Embarrassed. Devastated. Heartbroken. I ran to my parents’ house with him following me in the car.

And after a day, I went back to him.

In mid-January, I went to the Women’s March. And when I came back, he wasn’t home. He was off getting drunk somewhere and when I caught him in a lie, the verbal abuse spewed out of numbed lips. He called me names a man should never say in front of his wife, let alone to her. I packed my bags and left.

And after twenty-one days of letting him talk his way into my life and courting me again, I went back to him. But he was ready for me this time. He was ready to put me in my place. To bend me into compliance. And to make sure I was punished for embarrassing him.

What I thought was going to be a night of finding ourselves turned out to be one of the worst nights of my life. Things escalated and I was fed up with his manipulation. In plainest terms, I fought back.

The police were called and I had been rendered to a domestic violence victim.

He was arrested for assault and my parents ushered me into the car and back to their home where I’ve been since then.

Two months was a long time to wait for our case to be seen by a judge.

My heart was racing. My thoughts were scrambled. I was too wired to sleep. I gave up around four in the morning. I unhooked my mirror off the wall and lowered it to the floor. I sat down, crossing my legs and just stared at my reflection. I stared at the kind of woman I had become, the kind of life I was being forced to live.

But it was going to be over. Finally. Two months of looking over my shoulder, wondering if he was going to be two steps behind me. I often wondered how he would behave should he had the urge to seek me out. Would he play the sorry man? Or would he finish me where I stood?

As I walked into the courthouse, I felt a million eyes on me. Felt the weight of their gaze on my shoulders. I looked down at my feet, willing it not to bother me. I didn’t belong here. How did I get it so wrong? I checked in with the state attorney, and I was pulled aside to be interviewed. I explained to her what had happened between him and I. Gave her the facts as concise as I could. I kept the tears back. Forced them back.

I was ice. And I wouldn’t give him one more tear.

She asked what happened when we fought, pressing for clearer details.

There was a knife involved. I remembered his face just a hair widths from mine. The hate so vivid in his eyes, wheeling in their sockets, his teeth bared in a snarl. Even then I wasn’t scared. All I felt was anger and the need to survive. But sitting there, re-living it, the fear came on so suddenly. So fiercely. I pressed a hand over my mouth hoping to stifle a sob I knew would open the floodgates.

And there he was. A couple of benches down, watching me with an amused grin on his face.

I was ice. I may have melted, but I wouldn’t break.

I took the moment to compose myself and finished what I had to say. Not even minutes later, his lawyer pulled me aside and asked what I wanted to see happen at the end of the day. I couldn’t help but openly gape. He was representing a man who assaulted his wife. A man who would have been a murderer if I hadn’t unearthed superhuman strength.

“He assaulted me. He deserves jail time.”

The lawyer smiled and shrugged. “Okay,” was all he said. And that’s when everything fell apart.

As his lawyer strutted around the courtroom, filing any ear he was close enough to whisper into, I felt my image begin to shift from a grieving victim to a controlling, lunatic of a wife. People were looking at me differently. My case was called and as I stood in front of the judge, the State’s Attorney bent into my own ear. She told me she was going to ask to have the case postponed so I could seek council regarding my fifth amendment rights.

He was pressing charges against me. Sixty days after the incident.

There was now a warrant out for my arrest and a public defender recommended I surrendered myself so I would seem corporative.

As if I had no choice but to comply. What was the alternative? Flee and live on the street? I took off my jewelry and gave my mother my purse. I was handcuffed and led away by an officer. All those eyes that stared at me as if I didn’t belong were now rolling. I was just another statistic.

My mother’s sobs echoed in my heart. But still, I remained ice.

Read Part Two Here.

Read Part Three Here. 


Domestic violence is all around you, even if you can’t see it. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience physical violence in their lifetime. If you’re being abused and don’t have the support you deserve, call the hotline where trained advocates will give you the advice you need. You’re not alone. For more information, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website here. 

domestic abuse hotline


Check out my most popular posts:

Why I Haven’t Lost Hope When it Comes to Love and Men 

Human Nature Can Surprise you Sometimes

The Update to my “Lost Hope” YouTube Video

And as always, thanks for reading – Dani

My Mother is Superior than Yours. Happy Mother’s Day!

My mother didn’t have an easy childhood. But it allowed her to understand exactly just what kind of mother she wanted to be.

She’s loving.

There wasn’t a time in my life I wasn’t aware just how much she adored me and my siblings. We’re entirely too spoiled but it’s a trait most people find endearing (sarcasm). She drove us to school every single day. She drove us to work when we got jobs. She let us stay home so long as we were in enrolled at a university. She takes us on trips, out to fancy restaurants. There’s so much more but I’d just make the rest of you jealous.

Mom and I

She’s fiercely protective.

With how my marriage exploded and how vulnerable I am at times, it’s turned her into an emotional wreck. She has gone above and beyond what any normal mother would do to make sure I, and my doggy, are safe. We weren’t allowed at sleepovers because she didn’t trust other people to care for us. We weren’t allowed to ride on buses because she didn’t trust their driving. We weren’t allowed to leave the house by ourselves unless the oldest three were together. And you know what? We were never afraid, we were never uncomfortable, and we were never in reckless situations.

She adores my dog.

It sounds stupid to other people. I know the difference between a child and a dog. Mostly. She’s a red nose APBT and is a pain in the ass sometimes. But my mother turns into a giggly girl whenever she and Dolly are playing. If she spoils my dog, I can’t wait to see how she’ll treat my child.

Mom and I text

She gives good advice, even when we don’t want it.

I’m not going to expand on this. It’s something my siblings and I detest, even though it’s usually helpful. And listing it now would add to her already booming ego.

It’s always interesting to see how genetics play into a personality.

I have my father’s ability to love freely and unconditionally, but I have my mother’s cautiousness to make sure I only give it to a select few. And like my mother, I AM SO LOUD. Sometimes I don’t even know I’m loud until my family acts like they’re going deaf. I speak before I think, and although I have my father’s patience, I have my mother’s attitude. All qualities I love about myself.

And to my Honorary Godmother.

She listened and understood. She loves me like one of her own children. She loves me like a sister.

Mom and I 3

I love my mommy so much. And I will always want her in my life.

Thanks for reading – Dani

The Update to my “Lost Hope” Youtube Video.

It’s not a happy update. But it isn’t bad news either.

Recently, the YouTube video I posted on August 2nd, 2016 has been getting a lot of views and comments just these past couple of weeks. You can find the video here on Youtube, or simply watch it below yourself. Basically, I describe the pains and the worries I had with the cyst on my left ovary.

My right ovary had been removed in September of 2013 because of a 9 cm dermoid cyst was found. They had to open me up to remove the ovary and two small cysts on my left ovary. And whereas I had no clue the cyst on my right ovary existed, the one returning to my left was painful and I was fully aware of its presence. I was pretty emotional, as you can see in the vlog. My husband and I at the time wanted to start a family as soon as possible because the doctors wanted to remove my last ovary.

Now, jump one week into the future. I have my ultrasound and get the results of the pictures they had taken. I had two four centimeter cysts on my left ovary. My doctor at the time didn’t prescribe me any medication because she didn’t think they were dermoid. However, she wanted me to do another ultrasound in a month to see if they would fix themselves.

I did some research on what I could do to help them heal. I read that women were having success with eating lots of protein and drinking grapefruit juice. So for every morning, I made myself eggs for breakfast with a glass of grapefruit juice.

 

 

I had my ultrasound. External and internal. My husband at the time was freaked out that something so long could be shoved up my nether-region. And in October, I was told they were correcting themselves. Both had shrunk down to two centimeters and they were not dermoid, they were hemorrhage cysts.

The deadlines my doctors had given me were shattered. I could take the time I needed to relax and start a family. My doctor was concerned that I hadn’t had luck conceiving in over a year and recommended fertility treatments. But I was between insurances and put it off.

Jump ahead another seven months. I am separated from my husband. I stopped taking care of myself, and I haven’t been to a doctor since. The pain has returned in my left ovary. The “pinch” I feel when I sit is back. My ovulations are a million times more painful than my actual periods, and they aren’t any walks in the park.

strong

But as of last week, I’ve started working out again. I am eating eggs, not as often as I should. But I do drink my grapefruit juice! Hopefully, with diligence, they’ll correct themselves once more. Although I have a lot of shit going on in my life, health is important, and I plan on giving my ovary all the chances it deserves!

Thanks for reading! – Dani

Human Nature can Surprise you Sometimes.

I’m not going to beat around the bush. Life hasn’t been easy this year. I keep telling myself it’s been a test. That I’ve been chosen to remind myself of the kind of woman I used to be. That I’ve been chosen because if it had to be somebody, it had to be me because other women in my position would have crumbled by now.

But I haven’t gone through this by my lonesome.

This isn’t some kind of epiphany. I don’t need to write a book explaining how to cope with depression and grief. Or how the people closest to you should react and behave. Because all of it matters. Every little effort matters. To everybody, I want you to know every minute you use to think of me matters. Again, I don’t say it’s an epiphany. But it is a surprise.

Human nature can do that sometimes.

First, I need to thank the strangers who take the time to flatter me (the majority of them men). Although I know I’m a pretty girl, my self-esteem has taken a hit. Being rejected by somebody you loved can do that. So when I hear, “Hey, beautiful.” or, “You’re eyes or gorgeous.” it lifts me up just a little more.

To the woman at the dog park I see a couple of times a week, I thank you for the time you take to listen to me when I’m drained and my headache is practically visible, like a storm cloud thundering around my ears. When your eyes flare with sympathetic fury, it extinguishes some of my own.

thank you gif

There are a few friends from high school who have taken the time to reach out to me. Two girls in particular periodically message me just to check to see how I’m feeling. There’s a man who I knew, briefly, before I moved away from California who’s reminded me of the snarkiness I once had. At times, it’s easiest to share all the shit I’m going through with him, simply because he’s the farthest. I feel terrible for forcing him to listen to all my insecurities and sadness. But I choose to be selfish because I know he’ll listen, set it aside for me, and remain unjudging.

As far as blood goes, I know some of them ask my parents how I’m doing. But there is one family member of mine, who probably won’t read this, but I think of him all the same. My grandfather is a quiet man but he’s sought me out, checking on me personally. He doesn’t pretend to worry about me or inquire my well being just to prove his dedication. Now that I’m an adult, frivolity is something I find irritating, and he’s a man who feels the same. It’s a kinship I didn’t know we had, and it’s something I’m starting to cherish.

My dog. She cuddles me the countless nights I cry myself to sleep. She’s not a human but she offers what most people can’t.

dolly and I

My best friend. She seeks my advice which is like a breath of fresh air. Trying to hold onto control is like trying to grasp water in my hands. I can get so lost and she gives me something to hold on to, even if it’s for minutes. She shares with me a bubbliness that’s so endearing you can’t help but smile with her. I’ll use the analogy once more, she’s like a breath of fresh air and I don’t get it as often as I like.

My Godparents. They’re on the other side of the country, but I know if they had the means and the ways, they would be here by my side. Because, after all, family is supposed to be with you through the good and the bad. It wouldn’t have even been a question. Of course, they would be here if they could.

 

I couldn’t begin to explain how much I love my siblings. How dear they are to me. They understand how difficult it is for me to share my feelings, and they don’t ask me to. But they continue to show me how fiercely they love me in return. They are ready to stand in front of me to protect me from the unknown. Have already stood between me and viciousness.

sibs

And lastly, of course, my parents. My sisters stand in front of me but my parents stand behind me. The shove me up when I start to fall back. They grab the back of my shirt when I trip to keep me from falling on my face. They push me left when they see I shouldn’t be going right. My mother and I discussed today how much I’m like my father. I bottle my feelings and avoid sharing them. She insists I discuss them, but most times I tell her I don’t have anything to say. And it’s usually true because I have people in my life who give and take a little.

Each and every one of them absorbs a little of my pain and offer their support and sympathy. Each of them, of you, allow me to stand tall.

So how can he look upon so much light? I can guarantee it’ll blind him. And how can somebody attempt to swallow all that love? Those before have choked on it. And it will still be true tomorrow, next year, for all of the eternity.

Human nature is surprising in its predictability. There will always somebody who wants to break you. But there is always somebody willing to put you back together. You don’t even have to ask for them. They’re already there with you.

With me.

thank you gif 2

Why I Haven’t Lost Hope When it Comes to Love and Men.

Let’s face it. I’ve always been a helpless romantic.

Ever since I had read “Pride and Prejudice”, I was hooked on the idea of being involved in something greater than myself: a partnership. It didn’t have to be marriage, in fact, all throughout high school and my early years in college, I swore marriage was absolutely out of the question. I didn’t need a man to take care of me. But I craved that someone. That someone I could share my life with.

PP GIF

 

He called me his co-pilot.

And I think that’s when I dove head first into a committed relationship. I think that’s when I started to force myself to grow up and make adult decisions. He offered what I was so desperately seeking.

Then years passed. Naivety vanished. And reality set in.

 

Four years later, I no longer had a partner or security. I didn’t have the affection I craved. I could have fallen into depression – if I haven’t already. I don’t think I have. Though that’s a question for those who see me daily, who are probably treading lighter around me. I could have given up. I could have closed up and put up walls. But I didn’t, and that was because I have the best role models: my parents. My father most of all.

Mom and Dad

Last night as I laid in bed, I was feeling down on myself.

I didn’t feel like writing (I had just received my first rejection). I didn’t feel like playing with my dog and cat, although they whined for my attention. And I didn’t feel like responding to any of my friends, although they took the time to text me. What was the point? I wondered.

And that’s when I heard them.

I knew what the downstairs looked like, without having to be down there. My father was sitting in his chair, on his tablet reading something that only he’d find interesting. My mother was sitting on the couch reading a book only she’d find interesting. The television was on (too loud, I have to add that should they read this). But I was able to hear my father get up. And he had to pass my mother on the couch on his way up to the bedroom.

I’m not sure what was said first, though I know they were talking about how good my father smelled, as he can hold the clean scent of cologne on him all throughout the day. She was laughing. My father teased her slightly and then he laughed too. But it was his laugh that had me sitting up in bed.

This laugh, as my father rarely does so in front of his children, was completely and inexplicably free. He’s entirely too composed around us, though we would never fault him for that. So when I heard it, it was completely foreign to my ears. In this simple chuckle, I heard the devotion, the adoration, the amusement, and the innate love he had for my mother. He cherished her. Despite the complications of life, he wanted her.

PP laughing GIF.gif

And that was my epiphany. He was never mine. And I was never his.

Because a man who wants me will laugh at me just as my father laughed at my mom. He’ll find me amusing and sexy at the same time. He’ll take pictures of me because he’ll find me entirely too beautiful, even in my rattiest clothes.

I always had hope. The romantic in me didn’t die. But my father assured me that men loved. Not just hopelessly, but ridiculously.

Thanks for reading! -Dani 

Sultry Rose Eye and Lip for When You Go Out on a Romantic Spring Evening.

Yesterday I shared a pink spring look that you could utilize for work or brunch, and you can see that here. Today I wanted to stick with a pink palette and do a look you could use for your night out with the girls or a hot date.

Sultry Rose Makeup.jpg

Again, it’s bold without screaming you have a ton of makeup painted on your face. Also, the palette is neutral so you can use this look with any color or style of outfit.

 

I particularly love pink for my own skin tone. I’ve grown fond of this look for a first date or anytime I want to be romantic. And it’s sexy without looking like a siren.

Sultry Rose Collage

For the Eye:

I used a rose matte shadow and covered my entire lid. Then I used a black shadow for the crease which I applied carefully and lightly. For under the brow, I used a brown/champagne glitter shadow which blended the black shadow (use a fluffy blush so you don’t see much of the color). And then I used the same brown/champagne shadow in the corner of the eye. I reflected the black and rose shadow by lining it under my eye. I used a black pencil to make a long, thin wing. Fiber mascara instead of lashes softens the eye, although you can use falsies to make it more dramatic.

For the Lip:

I used a matte rose/wine lip crayon. It’s a Forever21 brand; nothing special. And the brown/champagne shadow I used for my eye? I patted it against my bottom lip and lined my cupid’s bow to give it that highlight.

For the Face:

I used your typical foundation and covered my entire face. I contoured my nose as usual. And added just a bit of brown contour under my cheeks. I used a beige blush instead of pink. I didn’t want to go overboard with the pink palette. Then the same brown/champagne I used for the highlight on my lip and eye, I used on my cheek bone and nose.

Sultry Rose Collage 2

What’s your go to Romantic look? Show me in the comments!

Thanks for reading! – Dani