All posts by Dee Kelly

I'm a single mom who has gone through my share of struggles. As I work to improve my life I also hope to help others along the way. It hasn't been easy but it is always worth it.

I Need to Get Help, But Who Will Believe Me?

Pulling myself together I start to formulate a plan. I am safe as long as I don’t leave the cabin, but I can’t stay here forever. I will need food and supplies, if nothing else. What I was able to fit in my backpack won’t last more than a couple days, even if I’m careful. There is Wi-Fi here so I can still work, if I can keep my hands from shaking long enough to log into my laptop. I’ll need money, maybe a lot of it so this will be important.

I write these points down on the pad in front of me, not because I won’t remember, but because I feel somehow calmer by making this list.

I know eventually I need to get help, but who can I trust? Who will believe he isn’t the charmer he appears to be? I tried going to the police, but they won’t do anything. Apparently I can’t even get a restraining order unless he actually hurts me first. By then it may be too late. Not that a restraining order would stand in his way anyway.

My brother-in-law, Jeff, knows some ex-military types, people who know about not just hiding but also fighting, people who are trained in handling difficult situations. Maybe I can ask him to introduce me to someone. Another bullet added to the page.

I keep thinking there has to be something I can do, some way to handle this, but this is so far outside my experience I can’t even begin to imagine how to proceed. Suddenly getting help seems like the next critical step, more important even than getting groceries to hold me over.

I pick up my cell phone, prepared to text Jeff but the battery is dead. Fishing through the front pocket of my bag I find the charging cable and plug it into an outlet over the kitchen counter. Leaning my elbows on the laminate I power up the device and wait as it scrolls through the boot up routine. When I finally get to the home screen I start a text but realize this is going to require a phone call. I had left without talking to anyone, including my sister and her husband. They know nothing about the danger I’m in.

As I click on the phone icon in my contacts next to Jeff’s name, I briefly wonder if they will believe me when I tell them. Holding the phone to my ear I’m surprised I don’t hear it ringing. Looking at the screen I notice there’s no service.

That’s odd. Even in this somewhat remote location I know there are cell towers all over. I had service on the drive up the road that leads to the cabin. Maybe I just need to go back down the hill until I can connect.

It’s not completely illogical this would be the case, yet for some reason my blood runs cold as I head for the door.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Introduce and is part of something longer I am working on.

Why Is It Terrifying to Admit That I Like You?

Is it saying too much to say I have an affinity for you? Okay, I know I’m playing it safe. I don’t like to take risks, at least not with my heart.

Closing my eyes I take a deep breath and steel my nerves. Should I say more?

I like you. There, I said it. God, this is so hard. Terrifying really.

I like you because you are one of the few people who actually hear what I have to say. You don’t just listen, you also ask questions. You seem to truly understand me in a way that few do.

I like you because of your openness with me. When you tell me about your hopes and fears I can relate to you because they’re so similar to mine. Because you can talk to me I don’t worry about what you might be thinking. This is important to me because I always worry; I always doubt.

I like you because of your vulernability. When you’re feeling down you let me know and all I want to do is bring you joy. Your willingness to share your feelings lets me know how much you trust me, and helps me be a better friend.

I like you because you see the good in me. You see past my insecurities. You help polish the good and sweep away the bad. You understand I’m not perfect. I don’t think you have put me on a pedestal, and yet you see past the cobwebs to the best parts of me, the parts that others might miss.

I like you because you are honest with me. You have doubts. You worry. You have hope. You dream. And you share this all with me.

This is what I want. I want to hope and dream. I want to make our wishes come true. I want to create a life that is amazing, and I don’t want to do it alone. I want to go kayaking, and hike mountains. I want to write from a porch in the woods, and read what we’ve written to each other as we lay together in front of the fire. I want to travel to foreign lands and explore all the world has to offer. I want to find a secluded lake and feel like we’re the only two people on the planet. I want to bring our wildest fantasies to life.

But maybe this is saying too much.

I should keep this to myself for now. Until I’m ready, just know…I like you.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Affinity

Have I Just Ruined the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me?

I close my eyes and once again I can clearly see the crestfallen look on your face. The fact that I was the cause breaks my heart. Part of me wishes I could take it all back, unsay the words that have brought you so much sadness. But even if it weren’t too late, it had to be said.

I open my eyes and watch you walking away from me, your head down. I can’t tell if you’re as upset as I am or if you’re just lost in thought, reflecting on what I asked you to consider.

As I watch you move slowly toward the lake I am suddenly filled with doubt. Is it possible I just destroyed the best thing that ever happened to me? Thinking about it, I had hoped you would argue with me, maybe yell. I never expected you to just walk away. My stomach is clenched so tightly I feel like I might throw up. It takes every ounce of strength I have not to run after you and beg your forgiveness.

I can do nothing but stare at your retreating form. The bright sun hurting my eyes feels like just punishment. I can’t tell if the tears forming are from the dread that has filled me or a natural reaction to squinting against the setting sun, but they fall unbidden down my face. I don’t know, don’t care if anyone is watching. I am completely oblivious to anyone but you.

You stoop down as you reach the sandy shore of the lake, grabbing a handful of small stones someone had collected. One by one you hurl them into the water. I imagine I hear the soft plunk as they break the surface, but I know I’m too far away to actually hear.

What are you thinking?

Oh God, I can barely stand this. My legs start to tremble as again I wonder, worry about what I’ve done. Suddenly unable to stand I drop to my knees and bury my face in my hands. I am overcome with wracking sobs, finally releasing all my fear.

I don’t know how much time passes when I feel a hand on my arm, your hand. I slowly lift my tear streaked face and meet your gaze, only inches from me. I am speechless as we stare into each other’s eyes. With no warning your hand reaches up under my hair to cup the back of my neck as you pull me toward you. Your lips crush against mine with a passion that’s so intense I can’t breathe.

Suddenly my chest fills. Is it hope I’m feeling? Is it possible this will be okay? Or is this one last kiss, one to say goodbye?

Without breaking the connection you stand, using your other hand to guide me up. All thought is lost as you wrap me in your embrace and I melt into you. When you feel me relax you gently pull back, just enough so you can speak.

“I don’t give a fuck how hard this will be,” you tell me as you bear down on me again.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Crestfallen

Am I More Than Just an Obsession to You?

I don’t understand what is happening. I need time alone, to think, to figure out if my fear is justified or simply another attempt to push away someone who is trying to get too close. I know I have sabotaged relationships in the past, but did I really regret ending any of them? If I’m honest, no. Maybe I’m better off alone. Maybe deep down I don’t want to lose my independence. Maybe I don’t want to risk caring again just to have it all fall apart.

I swing open the gate and slowly I start down the steps toward the river to distance myself physically, to give myself space from what is happening. There are about 100 stairs that twist and turn, some steps taller than others, forcing me to pay close attention to what I’m doing. At the top of each new flight the handrails align with the top step, making me feel like I could tumble over the side. Briefly I wish you were there to hold my hand, steady me, protect me.

I shake my head to try to clear these thoughts from my mind but I can’t. This is exactly the problem. It was so easy to let you shelter me, keep me safe, fight for me. But now I worry that this is more limerence than love. Am I simply an obsession? Someone who made you feel good about yourself because I was weak? Could this be something more?

At one landing about halfway down I pause, wondering if this is far enough. I glance up the hill and spot you watching me from the porch of the cabin where we are staying. No. I definitely need to go further. With a sigh I continue down.

What are you thinking as you watch me?

I admit I needed help for a while. My divorce was more than I could handle alone. I was afraid my ex would hurt me and so I turned to you. You were so strong, and so willing.

But now I’m afraid. I’m scared that now that I don’t need you the way I did, you’ll still try to shelter me from any possible harm. I don’t want you to control me with obsessive worry. The imminent danger is gone and I don’t want to live in a bubble.

Maybe taking these rickety stairs was a test. Maybe I wanted to assert my independence, to make sure you wouldn’t try to stop me. I glance back to the porch but you are gone. Is it disappointment I feel? There’s something nice about having someone to lean on, someone to catch you if you fall.

Why do I automatically assume the worst? My ex was obsessive and controlling, but it’s not fair to assign those attributes to you as well. Truly you don’t deserve that. You have protected me but have also encouraged me to make each decision on my own. You have asked questions but have only offered advice when I wanted it. When I told you I was going to walk down to the river you didn’t try to stop me. You understood somehow this was something I needed to do.

Oh my God! I am pushing you away. You have done nothing wrong and yet I have let my relationship with my ex blind me to your true character.

I turn, suddenly in a hurry to get back up the stairs, to tell you that yes, I love you too! But I lose my balance and the railing isn’t high enough to stop my fall. I have just enough time to realize I’m about to plunge down the hill, when I feel a hand steady me, your hand.

You’re there, as you always are. I’m too relieved to worry about how you were close enough to stop me. I turn into your arms and lift my face, silently begging you to kiss me. When your lips touch mine I surrender to you. I know deep down this is more than just an obsession.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Limerence