As my husband’s mental state worsened, so did mine.

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Photo by Gabriela Pereira from Pexels

My husband’s fist came down hard and fast on the box of juice packs sitting on the dining-room table. I’d purchased the juice earlier in the day but had yet to move the box to its proper cupboard in the kitchen.

Under the force of his fist, the cardboard crumpled and purple liquid squirted out the sides. I watched in shock as juice spilled to the beige carpet below.

I rushed for paper towels to sop up the mess. The rug didn’t wait for me. It absorbed the juice as if it were drinking it.

My husband didn’t stick around to help me to clean up his mess either. He stormed out of the room, leaving me alone to deal with it. …

I was afraid to leave, but I could at least remove the symbol.

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

I wanted the ring off my finger — but it wouldn’t budge. What did I expect? I’d been wearing it for ten years straight. I’d gained weight since my wedding day, especially after giving birth to two children.

My finger had grown. The size of my wedding ring had not.

So now it was stuck on my finger. I couldn’t slide it over my knuckle.

The ring was like a shackle I couldn’t remove. That was an apt metaphor for how being married made me feel at that point.


My seemingly-perfect husband had become emotionally and financially abusive over the years. …

Here’s why it felt so violating.

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Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

I’d thrown on the shorts that morning without thinking much about it. That’s how you get dressed when you’re rushing out the door first thing to get to the farmers market in time to buy a tray of homemade lasagna before the vendor sells out.

I put on the shorts because they’re comfortable for bike riding, perfect for the short trip to the market.

Here in L.A., even in mid-October, it can still feel like summer. The shorts help keep me cool.

They used to be a pair of jeans that I cut by hand. Sure, I probably cut them a little too short — at least for a middle-aged woman. …


Elle Silver

Storyteller and owner of unpopular opinions. Love letters, hate mail, and story ideas: elleissilver@gmail.com

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