I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

What You Can’t See (TW)


I recently added some old pictures of myself and friends to my facebook photos. For some reason the picture below got the most attention. And it surprised me to no end. You’ll find the picture and comments from my friends (edited for identity of course) and then I shall explain why this surprised me and my thoughts about the picture and that time itself. I was 15 years old in this pic:

  • Friend love the posters
  • Notblue Atall Ha! Yeah, one wall was all G’N’R, one was all The Doors and one was mostly Nirvana.
  • Friend such a cutie:)
  • Notblue Atall Wish I knew that then…too busy wanting to die back then. Ha!
  • Friend Alternative Goddess.
  • Notblue Atall Oh what the fuck ever, ______! Ha-ha! You kill me! ♥
  • Friend Te he!
  • Friend Wow. I see you in a whole new light. Instead of merely “irrepressibly perky but yet somehow sarcastically cool”… I agree with ______!


    Notblue Atall Omigod!I’m so blogging about this damn picture. Y’allz crazy! Ha! ♥

(Trigger Warning for talk of abuse, rape and suicidal thoughts)

This picture! When I posted it I just thought it was cute and showed a bit of my young self and my old room and whatnot. I was fifteen years old. At this time in my life, well, things could not have been worse. “You could have been homeless!” some might say, but at that time I would have welcomed that. A year prior I was a freshman in high school and hated it! I cut class as much as possible and hung out with the stoners and hippies on “the island” (a large round grassy knoll/median in the middle of a road across from our high school). My best friend at the time was Joyce who always encouraged the lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. I sometimes worshiped her and sometimes hated her. I was fourteen, this was normal.

Towards the end of the school year I was barely even showing up to half of my classes. My teachers either gave up on me (as my dad had at this point–I once heard him tell the attendance office, “What am I supposed to do? Hold her hand and walk her to each class?!”) or simply hated my guts like my social studies teacher did (she totally picked on me and I was the only one in the class who she called by last name only). I was boy crazy, for sure and as per usual, had a bunch of friends and rarely was without plans on any given evening. I had lost my virginity (or gave it away, it felt like a burden when everyone thought I was a slut for hanging out with Joyce already) that January and was ready to find something or someone more mature. I was ready to break free and get the heck out of, I dunno, everything?

Little did I know that an old friend and enemy would suddenly pop into my life to set me up with some guy. Ugh! Why did I ever think this was even close to a good idea? Why did I suddenly allow this person to set me up when I hated her to her very core? Oh well, hind sight is 20-20, no? Well she called me to set me up with some guy and my life would never be the same again. This “guy” she set me up with was a 21 year old alcoholic. He courted me proper and called me his “Queen.” *Barfs* So fucking typical/classic/cliche bullshit. Sorry. Anyway, it wasn’t until a few months in and he’d convinced me to drop out of high school (that was actually a lot easier for me than the rest) and threaten my dad with running away if he didn’t let this guy move in with me. In our family home, in my room?!

It was shortly after he moved in that the abuse began. Three months of dating and maybe only a few weeks of him living with me/us and he beat the shit out of me. And he continued to do so on a nearly daily basis for the next five years. Yes, I tried to leave him. Yes, I called the cops (they laughed at me). He once beat me in front of a very good friend whom I had grown up with, she said and did nothing. It changed how I saw her and the outside world, too. I dreamt of a white knight, in the form of an ex-boyfriend, and would make secret plans of escape always.

When I look at this picture I don’t see cute chubby cheeks and innocent eyes. I see someone who would have done anything to escape, even suicide. Suicide and thinking about it was all I had for comfort at times. When he would strangle me to unconsciousness and I would wake up devastated that he hadn’t succeeded this time. When he would rape me and tell me how much I loved it. When he would threaten to kill my family in front of me or while I was at work if I didn’t comply with his every fucking whim. I see in this picture the perfect image of shame, guilt, desperation and sadness. There is no joy in that face. Music was a refuge in a way I had never known. My friends long gone or pushed away (by him or by me due to shame). This girl in this photo hadn’t known the pleasures of true love or even a decent orgasm. She hadn’t known that she was worth anything at all.

When I finally escaped his grips and started my life over again from scratch at age 19 I didn’t know who I was. All I knew was that I survived the unsurvivable. I had been through something so unspeakable I hadn’t told a soul. I wouldn’t even talk about it at all until about two years ago.  Most of my friends, even from back then, still don’t know the true horrors I’ve seen. Some have an idea and some were there to put me back together when I was piecing myself into a whole person again. And when another guy shattered what was left of my far too young heart? There were two gals that never turned their backs on me. They are still my best friends no matter the time or distance between us. That chubby girl in the picture up there? She thought death was too good for her; that she deserved every punishing blow her abuser could deal.

This fat gal typing this blog everyday? She now knows that she is worth her very heavy fucking weight in goddamn platinum and gold! Diamonds and pearls and everything else! I now know that I matter to someone and to many. I now know that I have a voice that is valid and sincere and worth listening to. And I hope, if you’re reading this right now, that you know or come to find that the same is true for you. You are worth every ounce of effort and goodness and any struggles you encounter, there is a better you waiting when you get through it all. And I’m your Big Fat Auntie with arms open waiting to embrace you. And you can be a big fat auntie, too. <3

**Also, “irrepressibly perky but yet somehow sarcastically cool” has to be the best compliment I’ve received!

23 Comments to

“What You Can’t See (TW)”

  1. On February 11th, 2011 at 11:44 am Twistie Says:

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but you know what? The story you tell isn’t visible in that picture. And that’s why the words are important. People need to know that what they don’t see, can actually be going on.

    it is a cute picture, and it immediately made me think of strength. But the amount of courage in that picture? Was something I could never have begun to guess.

    That’s the part that shows to me in the picture, even if it isn’t obvious in the words. And that’s why we need both words and illustrations. Either by itself isn’t enough.

    Just being here you are proof positive that a person can make it out the other side of abuse and still be okay. That’s an amazing thing to be able to say.

    And not only is ‘irrepressibly perky but yet somehow sarcastically cool’ is not only the most bitchin’ of compliments, but also an entirely accurate description of you.

  2. On February 11th, 2011 at 12:04 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    I just received some really bad news, but reading your comment my darling? Made me smile! Thank you! <3

  3. On February 11th, 2011 at 1:38 pm Twistie Says:

    (sending comforting thoughts and homemade virtual pie your way to give you more smiles)

  4. On February 11th, 2011 at 1:51 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, hun, but now I want PIE!!! <3

  5. On February 11th, 2011 at 2:37 pm Sarah B Says:

    I lurk a lot but haven’t commented, but after this one, I just had to. Thank you for having the courage to talk about things that have to be hard to talk about. From the TMI days to serious things like this, well that shit is hard and I don’t have the courage to do it, but I wanted you to know that it’s appreciated. I wish I had friends (or a fat auntie!) like you. You’re awesome.

    That is all.

  6. On February 11th, 2011 at 2:41 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow! Thank YOU! Thank you for reading and for Commenting! Woo! I’ll be your fat auntie until you can either find a permanent replacement or become your own, cool?

  7. On February 11th, 2011 at 3:33 pm Patsy Nevins Says:

    I send you hugs & healing energy from a fellow survivor & extra good thoughts for whatever the bad news was. Take care.

  8. On February 11th, 2011 at 3:43 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you so much. I lost a good friend today. But I am grateful that she is no longer in pain. <3

  9. On February 11th, 2011 at 5:10 pm Regina T Says:

    It’s funny (not really) how pictures of us during some of the most difficult and dysfunctional times of our lives can send a completely different message. Though I can see pain in your eyes, for the most part, this picture could be of any 15 year old girl anywhere. Seeking her identity, trying to find her way in the world, experimenting with things and people and activities.
    I, too suffered many of the tragedies you did, and they changed me. As a Mom of two girls, one 25 the other 11, I would literally die if any of the things that I endured happened to either of them. I find solace in the fact that my girls have never been raped or molested or beaten up. It still doesn’t change what I went through, but it does make me feel strong today because what I endured did not kill me, even when I wanted it to.

    Like you, I fought to regain my worthiness and have used what I learned to motivate, love, encourage, support and help others. Thank you for all that you do. 🙂

  10. On February 12th, 2011 at 9:52 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you! I cannot yet imagine what motherhood is like, but I am glad to hear from you and know that it’s possible in this world to raise children without violence. =0)

  11. On February 11th, 2011 at 5:13 pm Bearlyonearth Says:

    Before I dive into the main course of this post, I’d like to note how much I love looking at photos of people when they are young!

    I don’t even know where to begin commenting on the rest of this… partly because the only relationship I’ve ever been in was with someone who was emotionally abusive- and the whole thing really broke my spirit for years, so I cant even imagine the pain, fear, and anguish that you must have gone through in that relationship. Then there’s the courage and bravery that you possesses today, that gives you the strength to talk about the abuse that you survived- my own mother ( her sisters and their mother) lived through 2 decades of a constant onslaught of domestic violence, rape, and all the emotional torture that is served up in these relationships, and none of them can talk about it in anything but generalizations (I don’t blame them, I cant even wrap my head around it).

    I am so glad you found a way to be away from this man- I’m sure it was a long road to healing those wounds or finding ways to rebuild your esteem. If that isn’t a reason to love love love yourself, I don’t know what is. And thank you for writing about this- its paying forward something priceless to someone who will read this, and feel the strength to talk about their own experience.

    Have you ever read any Derrick Jensen? If not, he wrote one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read in my whole fucking life about the parallels between domestic violence, emotional abuse and how we as a culture treat the planet- he cites his own childhood that involved his father terrorizing his whole family (by means of rape and beatings).

    I read through the comments as well, I’m really sorry for your loss and I hope your friend has found the peace she deserves.

  12. On February 12th, 2011 at 9:51 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you. I have not heard of Jensen, but I will look that up for sure! Thank you. I believe in my heart that she is free from the pain she was in and that is comfort enough. <3

  13. On February 11th, 2011 at 9:23 pm withoutscene Says:


  14. On February 12th, 2011 at 9:48 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks. *hugs back* <3

  15. On February 12th, 2011 at 2:06 am Kath Says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Voices like yours need to be heard.

    What do I see when I look at that photo? A vulnerable girl with pain in her eyes. But also a spirit that would survive. I see that deep in her eyes, behind the pain and self loathing.

    I thank God you survived. So that I could know you now.

  16. On February 12th, 2011 at 9:48 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Me, too, Kath! So glad to have you in my life! <3 Thank you.

  17. On February 12th, 2011 at 7:57 am rachel m Says:

    The girl in that picture is a beautiful girl and I love the flowers in her hair!
    Im glad she and you made it through those years–cuz now we get to know you and your stories and are made richer for it!

  18. On February 12th, 2011 at 9:47 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, doll. I appreciate it. <3

  19. On February 13th, 2011 at 8:58 am Mrs. Sprat Says:

    I don’t really know what to say except thank you. You’ve been so great to me, helping me get my blog a following and offering me encouraging words. If it weren’t for you I would still be blogging to imaginary people. Thank you for being so strong, for sharing your story and your life and for having the courage to be you. I think you’re amazing.

  20. On February 13th, 2011 at 11:28 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow! Well, um…You’re Very Welcome! And thank you! You have so much to offer FA that we haven’t seen before so I do think that you are a much needed addition. This whole community has been such a source of strength and wisdom that hearing someone else start ablog and take that scary plunge? I know what that’s like yet I am so grateful for it and you! <3

  21. On February 15th, 2011 at 6:16 am Psycho Sue Says:

    you took my breath away. xoxoxo i can relate so much. looking at pics of younger me i just feel sorry for that person and have no attached feelings of happiness for her. she is like another person all together. she died and i was born. i just love you!

  22. On February 15th, 2011 at 10:47 am Not Blue at All Says:

    You said it so perfectly, she died and I was born. I think this is so true of me as well. Thank you Sue for all that you do, I love you too! <3

  23. On August 16th, 2016 at 1:20 pm NotBlueAtAll » Blog Archive » Step 6: Take Lots of Pictures Says:

    […] some of you  may recall my post about a picture I’d found from when I was about 15 or 16. It still surprises me what others see in photos of me. There was a picture of me looking very odd […]

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