This time of year, every year, I go see the dermatologist. We have our usual conversation. He says something like, “ you see any changes in the past year I should know about?” and I say, “ You find a way for Botox to be covered by my insurance?” Then he says, “Why would you want to lose your lines? The lines that define you, that tell your story?” And, I suppose, I don’t. Here’s my story..for you, my friends, the ladies who came before, the ones who will come after, and the ones who are here now, and for those who help us out, every day.
It was more than 30 years ago and I was a bright eyed college senior applying to graduate school. He looked like a Ken doll. And what’s more, he came from a well to do family. But handsome and well to do didn’t last long. Not too long after came swearing, bashed in doors, holes in walls, shoes flying over my head, fear for the dog, shattered glass, shattered hopes.
I knew the real danger was in the escalation. The mostly emotional and verbal, while inexcusable and unforgivable, could easily ratchet up. It could become physical in an instant and I could die. He could kill me.
But I was lucky. And here’s why. I had been given many gifts. Gifts which enabled me to get out. Gifts of education, a job, a family to go to, and friends to talk to. I didn’t think of them as blessings at the time but they were. I often fault myself for not seeing signs that may have been there but I don’t ever regret getting out. It was a life lesson.
Fast forward all these years — many lines and life lessons later. I am here to pass along another life lesson. There is hope. There is always hope. A Woman’s Place is hope.
I guess I’ll skip the Botox.