When she met him she was successful, single and free. She traveled the world, singing, dancing, laughing and being. She woke up to the beauty of the sunrise and went to sleep to in the arms of adoration. She was everything she had dreamed she would be.

When she wanted to sleep alone, she did and when she did not; she was not short on company.

As she got older, she let the voices of others in her head and her desire to wed overwhelm her. Her freedom turned into anxiety and her dancing turned into mourning. Her laughter grew faint. Where was “her” happily ever after? She was told it included one man.

It never dawned on her that she was her happily ever after.

As she flipped through the Gram, deceived by selfies of couples in matching pajamas and rings, not knowing that he was somewhere else and she was somewhere else but they were there in the photo.


Her runs in the park turned into moments of lamentation as she watched Mommy’s push strollers and play with little ones some man had left them with.

She never saw anything other than what she wanted to see.

The sharks smelled her blood in the water and one bit her heart.

She went from trusting her own compass to blindly following his.

She went from being her to being his girl, his woman, his fiancé and tragically his wife.

Immediately after ” I do” she would need his permission to sing her songs, dance her dances and pack her bags.

He was always there with a controlling eye in the guise of protection. Making the decisions he claimed she was to weak to make but by every measure, she was more than he.

Soon, he told her it was time to conceive. He wanted a child and the reproductive freedom she once knew became something he had a say in.

He had subdued her and now he would rule her and unloading his semen deep in her vaginal cavity was apart of that plan.

Baby number 1, baby number two, baby number 3. He started working late with number 1, later with number 2 and just started sleeping at the office by number 3.

Soon she was faced with her reality. The other woman, the other women were always there and never leaving even though their names and faces would change.

Every time she gathered the courage to do something on her own he reminded her that she belonged to him and they were a “team”.

Today, she rocked her babies as she read the divorce papers he left pinned on the bedroom door with a note “sign these”.

His terms all laid out. When, where and how. What he was going to do and what she was going to do and how his kids would be raised once he was gone.

Not one dime of alimony and the child support he offered was calculated to the cent. Not a dime more than what a strange judge sitting on the bench would have awarded her.

She stood looking at herself in the mirror. Now weathered from the life she had bore. Still pretty but no where near her beautiful. She gave the very best of herself to a man who was now telling her that she would get nothing for it and their kids would get from him the bare minimum.

He had even picked out her apartment.

She called her Mama, packed her bags and placed her babies in their car seats and began the long trip home back to her Mama’s house and back to herself.

She did sign those papers with her new signature.

“Fuck you”.

-Dana Lena’

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