Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Today's Funk: When Practical Is A Punishment

Struggling post divorce is typical. Loss, disappointment, trying to be capable, strong and wise in front of your children... And financial devastation.

Each and every one made worse when the whole mess is a result of domestic violence.

The result: Some days, I just don't feel up to being, well, me.

I would just bury my face in my dog's fur and cry (his coat absorbed many tears of mine over the years), let his sweet gaze fill me with comfort and hope, but I had to put my beloved dog to sleep a year ago.

I miss him desperately.

I have tried to cope with the loss of him. I have coped with hope. The hope that this year was the year I might get a puppy for Christmas, but, well, practicality is often a punishment, if not it's own hell.

There's still a girl dog here; but she doesn't give a hoot for me. Despite my having raised her from a pup nearly a year before moving in with the current (and last!) husband, this dog is his dog, not mine. She brings me no comfort. She only demands things from me -- actually stops snuggling or playing with my husband to come get me to take her out to go potty!

She is not my dog.

I miss my dog.

You know, I have a certificate for a companion therapy animal. It's supposed to prevent a loss of housing and whatnot for having a pet; protection for the discrimination against the anxiety ridden and/or depressed. But the certificate does not provide a dog or money for a dog. (It's never just the cost of the dog, but the ongoing costs.) Nor does it make the dog I have become a therapy animal or even my companion. Stupid dog can't read. And probably wouldn't care even if she could.

I had no illusions about really finding a puppy under the imaginary Christmas tree. I know the balance in the old bank account. I just hoped that somehow one would find it's way there, my very own Christmas miracle. But there wasn't -- either a Christmas miracle or a puppy.

I was OK. Resigned enough not to pout, anyway. But then today...

Papers were delivered regarding court action on an old medical bill. Horror! Shame! I swallowed them under the usual calm-headed practicality of a survivor who knows that you just have to keep struggling, comforting myself with the fact that this bill, while more than we have now, is something we can accomplish. Eventually. (If only the car would stop needing repairs, if only those other "bumps" in the road of life wouldn't set us back each month, threatening to return me to my post-traumatic induced agoraphobic-dressed bed. The thing, induced by violence, that led to the companion animal certificate.)

And then, not 10 minutes later, the phone rang. "Hello! We have Basset Hound puppies -- and there's a male available for you!"

I then did the worst thing possible: I went to look at pictures of the pups online.

How can something so cute knock you to your knees? Make you want to vomit? Make you cry with all the self-pity of a self-absorbed teenage girl? Force you to humble yourself with a "Dear Diary" entry online -- or risk balling all the way into the family dinner time, alarming all?

I blame no one else. I should have said, "No, thank you, not this time," and got off the phone.

I should not even have asked, "How much?" (In some perverted twist of irony, the exact same price as the medical bill -- and both available/due within similar time frame, give or take a week, as puppies, not claims, are flexible with their dates.)

I should not have gone to look at them.

I broke my own heart.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that the bad news of the medical bill situation has me too sober to even kid myself into the dream -- which means that now hubby won't be forced into playing The Bad Cop, forced to introduce dreaming me to the sad reality that we cannot afford a puppy.

He, however, can console himself with his dog.


I guess I just get to take his dog out before it pees on the carpet and makes more work for me.

And blog to vent so that I don't end up scaring, scarring, the children. Or stuck in my bed. Again.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Home Must Support You

The above graphic illustrates what I mean here. Just how much respect is Mr. Arrogant showing for his wife? I use the word respect here even though I have written on respect before because it is nearly impossible to separate respect from support in a relationship. The advertisement this cartoon comes from has a happy ending. The washer they end up with is one with exactly the features she wanted a machine to have. In real life however, Mr. A is unlikely to be any more supportive of his wife in the future then he is depicted here.

When you are trying to recover from an abusive relationship the last thing you want to do is trade one kind of abuse for another. If you’re here and reading this I’m willing to bet the look on her face is all too familiar… and so is his. Although the artist has done a good job of illustrating the hurt on her face, there is no way to show the pain in her heart. The kind of man who will laugh at your ideas, will laugh at you. In his unthinking heart you are just one of his “things”. “Hey Bob, how ya doin.” “Oh, fine. Say, what you think of my car, my house, and my golf clubs and… oh yeah, my wife”.

If you are still in a relationship like that you may survive, but you will never thrive. You need to have the dreaded “we need to talk about our relationship” discussion. You need to let you partner know that you need his support not ridicule. If he refuses to recognize what he is doing or laughs it off, then you have to decide what kind of life you want to live.

Harsh words perhaps but I’ve been down that road. There are more kinds of abuse than physical. If you stay with a partner who belittles you then every day a piece of you dies. That’s what happened to me and I wouldn’t want anybody to go through that. I was so sick after years of feeling worthless that I was literally dying. The only thing that saved me was my partner left me. A week after, a friend found me on the floor in my bathroom, unconscious, and took me to the hospital. After a short time, I was stabilized and in ICU but I didn’t improve. Why?

Because I just…didn’t…care.

I won’t bore you with the details but it was six months before I left that hospital. So full of drugs that nothing mattered. So I muddled along, taking the pills the shrink gave me, still not caring.

What brought me back was a CB. On the radio you are anonymous, the 70’s version of chat rooms. You can be anyone you want to be. You can talk only to people who don’t belittle you. And, like the story with the happy ending, I met a person, a wonderful person. A person who accepted me just as I was, “warts and all”. Someone who didn’t laugh at my dreams. Someone who didn’t say “I told you so” when they didn’t work out.

Someone who supported me.

You are unique, I’ve said it before. You deserve a partner who supports you, who respects you, one who, unlike Mr. Arrogant up there, doesn’t laugh at you or your hopes, dreams, or ideas. As I said above, if you don’t have that kind of support from your partner, you need to decide what kind of life you want to live. If you are recovering from that kind of relationship, find something, anything, that you like or wanted to do, and do it! If Bozo isn’t around anymore there is nothing to stop you. But it will help you to start feeling good about yourself again. It will help you to see that you have value in the world. And, if you get to the point where you are thinking about a new relationship, remember to look for someone who helps you realize your hopes, dreams, and ideas.

Someone who helps you to thrive.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Your Bra Matters

I've written before about bras and depression -- or, more accurately, how not wearing a bra, feeling sloppy, can make you feel depressed. Improperly fitting bras also negatively affect your mental and physical well-being, which is something that bra coach Ali Cudby has noted and we've discussed in interviews.

I've interviewed Ali, as has co-blogger here, Deanna, at her other site (part one, part two). And I'm giving away signed copies of Ali's new book, Busted! The FabFoundations Guide To Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic. Enter the contest here!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Home must respect You

Only the second blog and I’m changing the sequence already. I just couldn’t make it work, writing about being supportive without first talking about respect. So, here we go!

A Home must respect You

A Home is or should be an environment of mutual support and respect. The Home is where you need to feel valued most of all. When you walk in that door you need to know that you are in a place where you are wanted. You shouldn’t have to fear voicing your feelings on any subject, especially those involving your Home. In fact, your opinions should be asked for. There is no place in the Home for being belittled or ignored when you speak up.

You should never be treated with disrespect to your person. This is exactly why I felt the subject of respect should follow the one about violence. There are more kinds of violence however, than being struck. The verbal put-downs that all too often happen in the Home simple have no place! You do not have to put up with a partner who is constantly referring to you with words that are demeaning or rude. You have the right to insist that they do not continue. If they do continue, then you or your partner should find the door. You deserve a life with dignity!

If yours is a Home with children then respect is crucial to raising them. Children will learn the habits they see in the Home. If a son sees his father treat his wife with disrespect, that son will then think it’s proper for him to be disrespectful to his mother and any future wife. The cycle has just been continued. If a daughter sees it, she will either learn to hate her father (bad) or she will learn to expect it in her future relationships (worse!).

If disrespect in your Home is angering, then disrespect in public from your partner is not only angering, it’s so embarrassing that it actually, physically, hurts. It is another form of unfaithfulness. That may seem a little strong but think about it. You should be the most important person in your partner’s life. If they are being disrespectful in public, they are telling you and the world what little value they have for you. If you do not have respect from the one you love then as I said before, you do not have a partner; you have a room-mate.

If you are recovering from a relationship where disrespect was a common occurrence there is another form of respect you must have in your life, respect for yourself. One of the most damaging results of an abusive relationship is self-loathing, the feeling that you have somehow deserved the lack of respect you received. The damage to the opinion you have of yourself hits from two directions. The first is that when you have been told a lie long enough you start to think there is at least some basis for it. The feeling that “Well, if I had been a better this or a better that, I would have had more respect.” That’s exactly what the abuser wants you to think. The abuser wants you to think you have somehow deserved his lack of respect. Even if it were true that you are or were doing something your partner disapproves of it is no excuse for abuse. If they disapprove of something you were doing, or saying they should attempt to communicate their feelings and if there was no solution or common ground then again, it’s time to find the door.

The other damaging side of self-loathing is when you have realized that you have tolerated the abuse for far too long. This is the feeling that says “How could I have put up with that bozo, how could I have been so blind?” It is twice as damaging because you are now disrespecting yourself. If bozo finds out, he is going to be ecstatic. If you think about it you should realize that it is normal not to want to give up. If you ever loved the person it is normal to think that you can work it out, that you can fix it. If the words faithfulness or fidelity mean anything to you then you will try, and try, and try again to make it work. Again, it is normal to be that way; unfortunately the abusive partner doesn’t feel that way. Don’t beat yourself up over this just be glad you are out of it. Focus on realizing that you are a unique creation. A human being who deserves and should demand respect and the first person you should demand it of is yourself! Do something you are good at whether it be at work or at home. Do the things that make you feel good. Buy that Harley, go on that cruise, volunteer at the women’s center helping other women out of abusive environments, anything that is rewarding to you.

When you are ready to find that relationship you deserve remember, if you are to thrive you can’t spend your life downcast, waiting for the next disappointing comment. If you are to thrive you must have the respect of the person you love. If you are to thrive you must feel like, you must BE, the most respected person in your partner’s life.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What a Home should, MUST, be

What a Home should, MUST be.

I want to start this off by making a few points about what this is and is not. These are my feelings on what is necessary to have a thriving and happy Home. I had to arrange them into individual topics just to keep me from rambling too much. In an effort to not cover the same ground over and over I should let you know what the topics will be (as of now).

A Home must be free from violence.
A Home must support you.
A Home must respect you.
A Home must give you the right to be the person you are, not what someone expects you to be.
A Home must respect your children
A Home must protect your children.
A Home must allow your children the right to speak up if a parent or sibling is abusing them.
In a Home you have the right to leave if you or your children are threatened with or subjected to violence.

The topics aren’t the result of hours of research at a university or hospital. Some of them will overlap because in the end you can’t put a Home into little boxes. The topics I picked and the things I have to say about them come from life. I have suffered through more than one divorce and when I talk about where the mind goes on the cold, dark, night; it’s my own journey down that road that I refer to. That journey has determined what I have to say. I am no Oprah or Dr. Phil. However, if anything I write here, gives you comfort, helps you on your own journey, helps you through that night, helps you to thrive, then it was worth dragging up those old memories ten times over.

With that in mind, here we go, topic number one (for good reason).

1. A Home must be free from violence.

A Home is a place of refuge. It is where you go when the world bears down on you. There is where you must feel safe.

A person who violates the sanctity of the Home is the lowest form of life. When a person comes home, looking for, hoping for, the welcoming kiss or hug but instead finds the slap, the hit, the slam against the wall, the damage is devastating!

There are no words that can describe the hurt, the disbelief, the shock, THE BETRAYAL which assaults ones mind the first time violence appears in a Home. The attack on ones psyche when Love turns to fear under the hand of violence will always be remembered. In the dark, cold night, the tears will burn, the heart will break, and nothing will ever be the same.

When a couple establishes a Home, that is, when they decide to share lives, hopes, dreams, and futures, they are making a commitment to each other. It is not a one-way relationship where one person exercises total dominion over the other. A more direct way of stating that is, in the Home no person is entitled to force the other person into a specific behavior. Any expectations of what a person is to do or not do should be decided and discussed before the commitment to a life together is made.

Of course people change. If the relationship is expected to last for years, it will happen. When this does occur, if one of the partners is unhappy or uneasy with the change it’s time to talk, now, not later when the changed behavior becomes unbearable. If your partner is unwilling to talk and instead becomes angry to the point that you are subjected to violence whether it be physical or mental, then you no longer have a Home, you no longer have a partner. You have a room-mate that you can’t trust and there is only one safe alternative…leave. Leave before violence becomes part of your life. Recovering from a failed relationship is hard enough. When violence becomes part of the formula you will feel naked, helpless, and friendless, without resource or a place to turn. That is not true, it is a lie the violent room-mate would love to have you believe.

If you are to thrive, your home must be a safe place! If you are currently in a relationship be sure it is one where the joy of discovery is shared, where beauty is not only appreciated but sought after. If you are by yourself, you should do everything in your power to make your Home a place that is pleasing to your heart, your spirit, your soul. Music, art, and most importantly, constructive contemplation of the fact that you are a precious thing, a human being who has value and is valued all contribute to a Home where you can thrive.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Before You Diagnose Yourself With Depression Or Low Self-Esteem...

First make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

Absolutely true!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

We Are In Process; Change Or Not

I found this post so poignant, so moving, that I had to share it -- even if I don't have much to add to the conversation...

I went back and read a post from a year ago, a post of mine. I used to be so caring and there was such a compassion there when I blogged. 1 year and month later I can absolutely see a separation, larger, from how normal I was a year ago. It’s just more convincing for me that I really am pretending to be normal. I see I am beginning to become more calloused and I don’t really want to be that way.

I'm not bipolar, but I have my swings...

If I have anything constructive to say about this post is that journaling can be therapeutic; so can reading our own words. But sometimes, we might not like what we see/read... We are in process.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Do I Seem More Or Less Credible To You Now? (Or, The Real Affects Of TMI In Mental Health Journaling)

At first I used to worry if discussing my pain, my craziness was a good thing. Journaling is agreed upon as a good therapeutic tool; but only a tool shares such things in public under their own name, right?

Journaling in public, aka blogging under your own name, can negatively impact one's career. I mean, would you hire me to write for you, to consult for your business? For a number of years I hid my true identity from thoughts/posts like these. But writing under a pen name felt... well, dirty, somehow. As if I couldn't wouldn't own my own words. If I want to encourage other survivors, the anxious, the depressed, into the empowerment that is writing, sharing, communicating -- if I want them to feel like they are worth more than they and society say they are, I need to walk the walk about the talk. So in the end I opted to out myself. Plus, multiple identities is exhausting.

But while I battled with the issues of me, myself and my credibility, time was passing...

Now my kids are older. They use The FaceBook. They sometimes visit my FaceBook page. (And admit it by posting on my wall!) Do I want them to read all this?

It's one thing to post about the stuff they do and say; it's just another way parents embarrass their kids. Right?

Seriously, I do try to keep mum on specific details, others involved, etc., as much as possible. And I don't post many of the more sensitive posts either. But do they need to know how bad things are in my head and soul? And what about the others who Google my name... I'm not paranoid; I've been presented in court with print-outs of the comments of others on my posts to be used against me. (Another, very long, topic.) Just how upsetting, or, in the legal vernacular, detrimental, are posts like these?

Yet, if I -- if we -- don't share out thoughts and experiences, how many others will go crazy, believe they are alone, suffer...

It's a fine line. One I'm continually redrawing.

I'd love to hear from others on this subject.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Emotional Laxatives

As I said, talking about domestic violence is difficult, but the risks of not talking about or dealing with the realities of it and what lies in its wake is even worse...

I think this is the number one problem faced by women who survive abuse. Society assists us in the silencing of ourselves; we live in a culture of The Good Woman and complaining -- no matter what the injustice -- just isn't something a nice girl does.

This conditioning to worry about duties to others, how we appear to others, above our own needs is a major part of our lives as women -- it's what assists the abuser in the first place, and perpetuates the further abuses we'll face from authorities (police, courts, etc.) as well as family and friends.

I think this vintage clipping captures our position of selflessness at our own expense.

Her preservation of appearance and duty to work must come before her own comfort or even her health; like most things, it's funny because it's true.

Women, especially survivors of violence and other abuses, need to speak up or risk suffering the consequences of emotional constipation.

Image via Gordon Pym -- site is NWS.

Monday, February 7, 2011

"To Drive Sadness From The Mind"

As PenileCodeAvenger herself confessed, one of the ugly truths about depression is not taking showers, so I found this tidbit published in Modern Woman magazine (volume 17 number 1, 1948) interesting:

Most of us have seen this truth in our children; they get crabby or just a little off their sunny dispositions when they skip their baths. Why don't we realize that this is also true of adults?

That other adage, about those who seem least likely to want a hug are most in need of it, is also true.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Something Simple & Positive #2

Ten minutes of scrubbing the walls, light switches, handrails, in a hallway can easily turn into 30 once you start looking. But do 10 minutes now; get to the rest, or another spot, the next day (or even later the same day when you find yourself with a burst of energy -- once you start moving, you’d be surprised how your body itches to have you move again!)

Not only will you get that heart rate up and clean the house, but you’ll really start to feel better about yourself as you chip-away at the overwhelming household, your weight, your depression.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Something Simple & Positive #1

Drink a glass of milk before bed. As an insomniac, I find a ritual or two helps my mind start to settle and give me a better chance at sleeping -- and drinking the glass of milk also does a few extra things too.

They say milk assists in weight loss and with protein before bed does too. If you’re trying to cut down on soda pop or coffee and fit something healthy in, this is the time to do it.

For those of you who feel that budget-wise you are stealing from your kids, let me remind you that you’re supposed to be taking care of yourself, your own health, too. Plus milk is far cheaper than pop or other grown-up beverages.

Your glass of milk doesn't need to be warm, but here are some tips on that too.

Brave Enough To Say It

In talking with the other bloggers here, we all were lamenting our weight. Not that that's anything new for women in our culture. But in our cases, we all put on weight once the enormity and depression of it all hit us. Part of the point of this blog is to document our individual processes in trying to (among other things) lose the ugly weight. (Ugly not only because it's fat, but because it is a heavy reminder of sadness that we literally lug around everywhere; in losing it, we let go of the past. We hope.)

Being as it was my idea to start this blog, I'm going to be brave enough to put a number on it.


I have never weighed that much in my life; not even when pregnant.

It's nearly 100 pounds overweight -- and I'm not saying that based on some height-weight chart; that's what I used to weigh, after my first child.

Now, since I've been so brave as to say this, the rest of the girls promise to chime in with their simple little tips on weight loss.

(We all will note our progress as things go along too.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Workbook: Start At The Beginning

Like I said before, you have to start somewhere. Too many times, however, we let the planning get in the way of starting.

We want to lose weight, so we list all the things we need... New workout shoes, a gym membership or workout DVD, a diet or weight-loss program membership -- heck we even need a scale! But all that, any part of that, costs money; so we'll just wait until we save that much money. We even put-off our plans waiting for a diet buddy or walking partner who has to settle a few things before they can commit.

We want to clear up the clutter in our house, the basement, or whatnot; so we make a checklist to organize ourselves. But then there's the cost of all those storage bins... Or we become overwhelmed by the sheer size of the project and aren't able to check a thing off the list -- other than "Make List."

We want to begin the process of healing, of addressing our depression, but how? Maybe we decide to start with losing weight or cleaning up the physical clutter to free our emotional clutter -- but, well, see above. *sigh* Or we decide to call about counseling or medication, but we never get around to making that call...

When you're anxious, depressed, &/or facing any undertaking, it can seem insurmountable; it's easy to become overcome with the emotions &/or the motions of so many tasks.

For some, breaking things down into steps is motivating -- if only so we can check things off -- and if it is for you, please do proceed that way! But for many of us, breaking things down into so many steps only makes us see how much work is involved and, feeling inferior to the tasks, it stupefies us. For those in the latter group, don't sweat-out the list making; just pick something to do and do it. Don't worry about The Big Picture in terms of all the many steps or hour or weeks; just focus on The Big Picture in terms of doing one little thing that could get you there.

It's important to remember that any change is a process, not a recipe. It doesn't matter so much whether we follow the steps or not; if we complete them in order or at all, in fact. It doesn't matter if we start multiple meals at the same time, biting off more than we can chew, leaving the rest to wait; it won't rot or be wasteful. It doesn't even matter if we start without all the ingredients available. It only matters that we start. Somewhere.

So your goal for today is to think of one little thing you believe you should be doing for yourself and do it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Surviving The Cold Numbness (Or How Slips Saved My Life)

Sometime after Crisis Mode, the Cold Numbness of Survival creeps in. You'd think there'd be a marked difference to note, a precise precarious moment when survival mode relaxes or hardens into this blank place of isolation and waiting... But if there is a moment to pinpoint, I didn't notice it.

Some point after the heated frenzy action of police involvement, divorce process, financial assistance, counseling, and the concerned reactions of family and friends, you find you and your frozen heart settling into Life As You Now Know It. Aside from the daily grind of Be Brave And Carry-On For Your Kids, life becomes filled with The Silent Tundra Of Waiting.

You wait for the next day to ease the physical pains. You wait for all the seeds you've planted and forms you've filled out to bear some fruit.You wait for the cold-sweats to go away and leave you alone. You wait for the grades and calls from school to assist you in the evaluation of how well your kids are adjusting. You wait for the nightmares to stop. You wait for the wheels of justice to reach a decision. You wait for the sorrow and grief of loss to pass. You wait for the phone to ring with news -- or at least a call from someone to care how you're doing. You wait for the fear to dissipate. You wait for the weight of the world on your shoulders to lessen. You wait for the next day to bring a little sunshine.

Most of your waiting is done alone.  Even if you're around other people, you find yourself wearing that stupid Brave Face -- or risking annoying and alienating others by being The Downer; this in and of itself is an isolating experience.

It's no wonder when each day that the sunshine doesn't come along to warm you, you, if not die a little, find yourself becoming a frozen hard little thing. At least on the inside. The outside is a different beast.

For some of us, the weight we lost during Crisis Mode returns... And more of it too.  It's not because we are eating too much; quite the opposite. But whatever we eat clings to us like the ick and fear we feel we are already coated in.

It's like our body is trying to insulate us from the cold.  It has the added benefit of keeping male attentions at bay; we don't trust them near us and the fat removes us from the part of the population they'd prey on.  (Although, some predators look for the extra flesh as a sign of being the weakest in the herd, so it's not a guarantee of safety; nothing is, really.)

So there you are one night, alone on the sofa after the kids are in bed, fighting off tears and fears and feeling as disconnected from yourself as you can get.  You catch the image of yourself reflected in the TV screen and hardly recognize yourself.

Your clothes don't fit -- at least not like they used to. You are all soft and puffy on the outside, but hard and brittle on the inside. You laugh a bitter laugh at yourself, at those shadows that are always around you -- the echoes of their accusations that you are hyper-sexual.  (That's a very common accusation thrown at women in court; nothing is as scary as a woman who owns her sexuality nor as inappropriate a parent.)  You? This blob on the sofa ready to crack and fall apart? Hyper-sexual? Ha!

But your laughter snaps into tears as you realize you haven't felt like a woman in ages... There's nothing soft about you anymore, not even your tears. But then they, like you, have to fight and force themselves into existence.

Sure, you have your reasons for becoming like this. But the understandable situation is not tolerable.

Your hands seem tied. You have so few resources -- and the children should come first. But you also know that you need to do more than survive if they are to thrive. ...If your goal is for each of them to safely, happily be themselves, how do you best teach this?  By example.  But that leads back to so few resources. And you're constantly judged for how you use your resources...

You cry harder; the hot anguish of desire and the pain of futility colliding once again in your heart.

After one such long hard cry on the sofa I asked myself what my happier self would look like.  I couldn't wave away the weight, in pounds or sadness, but I could feel better somehow... Right? And that's when I lit upon the idea of lingerie.

As long as I've been an adult, I've enjoyed the feeling of lingerie.  It was something that, no matter my income level or sexual status, I've always treated myself to.  Something that makes me feel alive and glad to be female.

I knew that going to try on my favorite pieces would be another devastating debilitating exercise for my ego, so I gave myself permission to take $5 and got to the thrift store the next day.  With $5 I knew I could get at least one vintage slip.  And while I couldn't wear that under my daily mom attire, I would be able to wear it while cleaning and lounging around the house.  It would be modest enough not to cause any sort of a ruckus in court etc. It would give me something to look forward to. It was something that would feel far more luxurious and pretty than it cost. It would help me to once again enjoy feeling female.

It did.

Just  putting a nylon slip on is relaxing; it feels like cool water poured over parched dirty skin. When you wear it, it slinks and slides, reminding you of your female curves. More then just a reminder of your sensual nature, you are reminded of your other womanly ways: your warm generous spirit, your resilient strength, your ability to nourish and nurture -- including yourself.

The slinky nylon gently washed away the aches and pains of my abusive and abrasive life and, at the same time, stroked the female fires -- not (only) in a lusty way, but in the deeper ways, the things you need to be restored and fed in order to feel anything akin to arousal.  You have to love and trust yourself, life itself, first. The sensual nature of the slip reminded me to love and forgive myself, nourished my soul so that I had more to give my children (and later a new husband).

You see, with the slip I was romancing myself.  After the years of his abuse, his hatred and belittling of me and womankind, after the beatings, in person with his fists and those blows delivered by the court, I was once again celebrating my womanhood. 

I do credit slips with helping me find my way back from the dark frozen place. I'm not all the way back or healed, but I continue to wear slips and other lingerie and celebrate myself as a woman.

It was a simple $1.49 cent thrift store slip; but it saved my life. Give one a try yourself and see what it can do for you.