Princess Lucy

           “It’s a girl.” The doctor informed my father in the hospital waiting room on a wintery morning in 1963. (In those days, family members weren’t allowed in labor and delivery.) After three boys—Scott, Joseph and Peter—my father was thrilled to finally have his little girl.

           Later, when the nurse handed my father his bundle of joy, she said, “Congratulations. It’s a boy.”

           “We’ll see about that.” said Father, and then he pulled off my diaper.

           Yep. I have a vagina—making me the family “princess,” and, at the same time, a second class citizen in the LDS (Mormon) church.

           Two more brothers—Jeffery and Corey—were born after me and my role as “princess” became a necessary tool for survival. As with many Mormon families, my fight for attention began early in life. When no one in the neighborhood came to see Mother’s new addition to the family, she rectified the situation by taking me for a walk on the first sunny day in February. One step out the front door onto a thin layer of ice and down we toppled to the bottom of three concrete steps, granting me my first performance as “cry baby.” The neighbors came running. Mother was overjoyed.

            As with Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, I was born of goodly parents. Father was the absent-minded scientist and mother was the playful playwright—think Mary Poppins with a typewriter. Both were loving but nerdy. Neither had much time or inclination to parent us beyond the basic necessities. The Mormon way of raising obedient, drug-free, temple-worthy—virgin and non-critically thinking—children is to feed ‘em and send ‘em out the door to school, church, or sports.

By age nine, an emotional disconnect was fully in place, not just with my parents, but with my siblings as well. After school one day, I was watching Gilligan’s Island when Peter turned to me and said, “Pull my finger.”

           “No.” I said. “I don’t want to pull your finger. You’ll fart.”

           Peter farted anyway, even though I never pulled his finger, and then roared with laughter. My brothers and all of their buddies laughed too and then lifted their legs to poison one another with more toxic gas. I covered my nose and prayed for a sister‒a confidant who could share my disgust for ill-mannered boys. Maleness surrounded me, evidenced by toilet seats in upright positions and dried tacky urine on tiled bathroom floors. Even the dog, Dudley, was male and prone to dog farts. I complained to my parents but Father explained that flatus was a natural human function; which, he elaborated, “typically takes place eight to twenty times a day and is merely the expulsion of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane, the byproduct of bacterial fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract. The Nitrogen,” he qualified his statement, “however, is not produced in the body, but is a component of environmental air, which enters the body via swallowing.”

           It was important to him that I understand gas is not totally generated in the stomach or bowels as some persons erroneously believe. Father continued to pontificate, “It’s unnecessary to maintain excessive gas in the alimentary canal because it causes undue pain and therefore should be released whenever the need arises.” He punctuated his statement with a loud flatus emission and Mother smiled lovingly at him.

           Someday, I said to myself, “I’ll marry a handsome prince who’ll take me far, far, away.”

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Captive Listener

After leaving an abusive marriage, my mother updated family members on my recovery in this way, “Lucy no longer looks around the room for permission to laugh.” I wasn’t even aware I’d been doing this until it was pointed out to me. For this reason, I chose to write this poem in third person.

Captive Listener
By Lucy Furr

When others laugh…

She sits quietly

Dousing joy

Unsmiling

Until laughter is approved

Her ears prick outward
straining to hear his crackle of euphoria blend with others in happy, symphonic unison.

Musicians tell her she has “no ear”

“Just mouth the words, don’t sing,” they say.

But they are wrong
Her hearing is fine-tuned
She hears subtleties
She hears his silence amidst thunderous cachinnation and, on cue, mimics ill-at-ease

Or, plucks his laughter from raucous seas and yokes her laugh to his.

On these rare moments…
her heart sings.

Fuck You, Dickhead

Disclaimer: This is based on a true story. Certain names and details have been changed.

Are we back in kindergarten? Seriously, Richard—Dick…head—Franco, you don’t like poetry? Fuck you!

Those are the words I should’ve voiced last night when you said, “Stop with all the poetry on your blog.” But I can’t always get to the root of my real feelings until hours, sometimes days, later.

Not everyone likes poetry. I get that. You probably got turned off to poetry after reading Walt Whitman back in junior high. There’s no telling how many budding poets fucking Whitman will underrun. If I was his English teacher, I’d have taken a great big red marker to his papers…or just fucked flunked him.

Not all poetry is created equal. Some poetry gives me poemgasms and others make me want shoot the poet for raping his lexicon. Poetry is personal. What speaks to me, may not speak to you. But to take the whole genre of poetry and toss it in the trash is asinine, you smartass swine. (Ha! Proof that rhyme makes lines sublime!) It’s like eating liver as a child and then refusing to eat steak because you hate beef.

What you don’t understand, Dickhead, is that poetry saved my life. Yeah, I know that sounds melodramatic so I’ll explain. When I was married to a Fuckiopath, I adhered to a shitload of unwritten fuckcrazy rules. Here are just a few:

  • Keep Fuckiopath Happy.
  • Don’t say or do anything to upset Fuckiopath.
  • When Fuckiopath hurts me, don’t cry. Tears make him, “uncomfortable” e.g. unhappy.

So I screamed inside my head—a lot. But, after thirty years of holding in the tears, eventually, I sprung a leak and poems seeped out. Poetry gave pain a voice. And, just as a small trickle of water soon becomes a stream and the stream a torrent and the torrent a flood sweeping all before it, my words tore our so-called perfect pretty Mormon family-life asunder—setting me free from that suicidal monster.

In this year’s super bowl ads, this public service announcement demonstrates how dangerous it is for a victim to speak. Please take a moment to watch this 30 second ad. (http://youtu.be/tJaSj_qipic)

The take away is: “When it’s hard to talk, it’s up to us to listen.”

That’s right, Dickhead, even if my words come out in rhyme…or gibberish, listen up. They have deeper meaning than kindergarten small-minds comprehend. I’m grateful that you’re reading my blog. Truly, I’m honored. I’m merely asking you to take a moment, use your big boy brain—the brain you use to engineer architectural masterpieces, speak three languages fluently, and waltz with world-class grace—to hear me…savor my beauty—my work of art.

Yes, I write poems. I’d say I wrote this one just for you but I didn’t. It trickled out four years ago as I began to understand the complexities and value of poetry. But, don’t worry, I’m writing a poem just for you. It’s called, Fuck You, Dickhead.

Poems Right Me

by Lucy Furr

I write poems

sudoku poems

swapping words

back to front, front to back,

up, down

crisscross

NO

more like Rubik’s poems

multi-dimensional in purpose and meaning

a playground for my prisoned thoughts

respite for my battered soul

a sunny afternoon spent tête-à-tête with great minds

poets, dead and living

a melancholy waltz in God’s embrace

words lines rhymes

alliteration

buried secrets

twisted reality

knots unwinding

mysteries revealed

truth spins round and round

I am right

poems I write

poems right me

Oh, and by the way, Richard. Thanks for holding me last night in that awkward moment when I cried on the dancefloor—out in front of everyone. You knew it was cathartic and patiently let the tears flow uninhibited. That took nerves of steel, especially for an engineer, to not step in and fix the leak. Your gentle act was…well…poetic. And, thanks for encouraging me to write this scathing post for you. That took courage, too. You are, indeed, a dear friend. Thank you. (((Hugs)))

Obscured Superiority

“I don’t have a fancy diploma that tells the world how f**king amazing I am. I’m not an artist with a gallery of paintings to be admired. But my accomplishments are just as beautiful, if not more beautiful, than a Botticelli angel. My life’s work has been the sacrifices I’ve made to give my children a bright and happy future. Sadly, my shattered family unity eclipses my greatest accomplishments. Maybe, I’m writing my own life story because it’s painful to be lumped into the category of an unsuccessful, slutty, exmo, divorcee.”

Those are the words I shared with a gentleman today. They are the same words I often share with people when I feel my hackles rise. I’m not as defensive as I once was–when I initially left Mormonism. I’m getting more comfortable in my new skin. But there are times when someone hits my “hot” button and I get really pissed. Today was one of those days.

In a message, this nice gentleman presented himself as a rather magnificent catch. While I was impressed with the many fine qualities he could bring to a relationship, his closing words were off-putting.

“I have only slept with women I have loved, so you can imagine I have slept with only a few women in this life. I am saving myself for that one special love that is my future. I will know her, and she will get all of me. I won’t expect that of her, because we each have our own path to walk where love is concerned. But I will be able to say to her, I turned down many invitations waiting for you. And the only way I will give myself to her is that my inner knowing sees her as the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Thus, she will know that I honor myself, not in some religious way or prudish puritan fashion, for I have known a few lovers, but in a way that says, I don’t give myself away until I give myself a way to love you forever. That way you could be assured that, when we had sex, it really meant something profound, and that feeling allows the friendship I desire to build into a relationship I cannot imagine life without. And when that happens, you have all of me, all of me, both feet in, and fully present.

For most women, this would seem like a really great guy. Not a player. Awesome. But for some f**ked-up reason, it left me feeling as though he’d placed himself on an altruistic pedestal and was pointing his judgmental middle-finger down at me. And even though he claimed he won’t judge another woman for having taken a different path, his words still stung with obscured superiority.

I know it wasn’t his intention to shame me, but, suddenly, I felt shamed. As I explore my sexuality sans ecclesiastical guidelines, I’ve found, much of society has this f**ked-up idea that it’s not only “okay” for a guy to score some pussy, but it’s actually really “cool” when he does. And, yet, when a woman puts more than one dick inside her, she’s a bona fide slut.

Following is my utterly defensive response to his glowing representation of himself:

 “To be truly honest, I’m not sure how to feel about your message. In some ways, you’ve led me to believe you’re the perfect man and, yet, I feel as though you’ve talked down to me–as though I’m lesser than you. I’m sure your cog dissonance will chalk up my reaction to my being an insecure person, but I assure you I’m every bit as competent and confident as you.

I’m a daughter of a literal genius (my father), and an accomplished, six-time award-winning playwright (mother), a genetically perfect blend of left and right brained talents. Like you, my EQ (Emotional IQ) is off the charts. I’m so f**king brilliant that I kept a hoarding f**kopath incredibly happy for thirty f**king years. Every day of my life was spent reading the emotional nuanced signals he sent out. I had to adapt quickly to all kinds of bizarre scenarios and irrational thinking in order to keep my children and me safe. While in this environment, I didn’t have emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial support from a normal husband. As a result, I raised our children as though I was a single mom. The entire burden of providing for them, nurturing and teaching them lay squarely on my shoulders. But it was more difficult than just being a single mom because having a f**ktard for a husband was akin to having one more child…and not just any child…a special needs child. And not just any special needs child…a child who sought daily to destroy me because eight years into the marriage I made him angry when I asked for a divorce–even though I didn’t go through with it. For the next twenty-two years, he attacked me with Machiavellian-style cruelty. He was so bent on destroying me the he didn’t mind hurting his own children in the process–the worst hurt that can be inflicted on a mother. I didn’t receive help from church or community because we appeared to be a normal functioning family. It was me that presented this picture to the world because that was what was required of me.

On top of these challenges–or as Mormons would say, “Growth Opportunities”–was the burden of caring for a child who was also personality disordered. While raising her I didn’t know anything about personality disorders, so I was left to my own motherly instincts and creative devices to help this child face major hurdles in life. This meant I battled a f**ked-up school system that doesn’t cater to non-mainstream children while attempting to keep the daily emotional outbursts to a minimum.

Simultaneously, I launched and maintained a successful real estate career, nursed my ailing father—a stroke victim requiring 24/7 care for nearly three years—assisted my emotionally-imbalanced histrionic mother, faithfully fulfilled my numerous church callings, ran herd over my other children, and took care of all the household needs of cleaning, repairs and maintenance, including yardwork. I did all this with a smile on my face and stilettos on my dainty feet. I did all this with a major ball-and-chain-of-a-husband hanging on my leg, holding me back from every attempt I made to get help for our daughter. While in the midst of her multiple suicide attempts, he repeatedly counseled me, “If we just live the gospel, she’ll be fine. The Lord will help us. Psychologists are full of shit.”

My dear friend, I know you didn’t intend to make me feel defensive. I’m sure most of that is coming from me. I guess I just had to unabashedly brag a bit because, from the onset, I believe you may have misjudged me. I assure you that I’ve not responded in this message as a plea to have you as my lover. I’m in no way interested in a lover right now. I’m glad that you’ll be helping individuals with your brilliance. We aren’t much different from one another. We’re both good people with big hearts and much to give and share with the world–and with a future soul mate. I truly wish you all the best in your endeavors.

Warmest regards,

Lucy”

Note: For more on the topic of slut shaming, please visit, Laci Green at sex+

http://youtu.be/CCw2MzKjpoo

RE: JENNAMARBLES’ “SLUT EDITION”…

The Knucklehead – a f**ked up poem

Disclaimer: This post is based on a true story. Certain names and details have been changed.

The knucklehead shot his head, then bled dark red.

I am well-bred, well-read, web-fed

and fought him not…then fled instead.

 

Note: The knucklehead survived without debilitating him, though his pearly white smile is drastically altered. In 1980, when we were dating, I tried to break up with him. (My first attempted escape.) To keep me, he resorted to self-harm and cut his face and hands with a broken beer bottle, then arrived, bleeding, at my doorstep with the words, “Evil spirits took over my body. I don’t know how I got away. I only feel safe with you.” I didn’t know anything about personality disorders or mental illnesses so I didn’t realize this was a great big red flag–a weapon of control. As a Mormon, I believed it was my christian duty to take care of this broken man. Instead of running from him I married him. When I finally left him thirty years later, he resorted to the only thing he believed would bring me back: self harm. This time his self harm didn’t work because I’d been educated about psychological manipulation and control. My then-husband wasn’t really attempting suicide. Hell, he was a hoarder and had an arsenal of weapons at his disposal. Choosing a .22 pistol pointed at the back of his throat was his lame attempt at winning me back.When he came out of surgery, the first thing he wrote on a piece of paper was my name.  So romantic. It’s a wonder I didn’t go running back.

 

A F**king Good Question

Disclaimer: This post is based on real events. Certain names and details have been changed

I was fifty—f**king—years-old and had never asked myself, “What does Lucy want?”

I sat in a worn, brown leather armchair in Kristen’s sparsely, but tastefully, decorated office at the women’s shelter. I was assigned to her, the rape crisis specialist, even though I’d told the intake counselor I’d forgiven my perpetrator a long time ago. This was my first visit with a therapist, of any kind, and I was nervous. But after a few minutes, her kind demeanor helped me relax into comfortable and meaningful conversation. Eventually she asked me what I wanted to do and I rambled off a list of things that I figured my husband, children, mother, friends, and church leaders wanted me to do.

Kristen chuckled.

“What’s so funny?” I asked, confused, my answer was straight forward, filled with sincere concerns that pressed on my mind.

“Do you hear yourself?”

“No. What? …maybe I don’t understand your question.”

“I asked you what YOU want to do.”

I squirmed in my chair, searching for an answer. She sat quietly, waiting as I fidgeted. I finally looked up and said, “I have no idea.”  I’ve always done what everyone else wants me to do.

Nowadays, I’d just say, “I have no f**king idea.” But back then I wasn’t the f**king Mormon, well, actually, I was the f**king Mormon, like about 6000 times during my thirty-year-marriage; which was not an actual count because we never owned a bedpost. Based on our sexual “terms of agreement,” which I’ll explain in just a sec, and subtracting out the less frequent sex in the latter part of our marriage due to early stages of erectile dysfunction, the approximation is quite accurate.

But let me back up…all the way to my first sexual encounter. Mormons just love creating family trees, so here’s my perverted “pre-marital sex-tree.”

Premarital Sex Tree

Beginning at age four or five—because that’s when my older brother became curious about girls—sex began with the usual stuff:

  1. Childhood Molestation (a secret, but common, occurrence in many Mormon homes).
  2. One sexual assault that would’ve been rape but, fortunately, the perpetrator hadn’t f**ked anyone before and didn’t know what the f**k he was doing.
  3. The onset of my own curiosity and subsequent caressing and exploration that oftentimes takes place during sleepovers with girlfriends.
  4. First Orgasm. A very erotic experimentation with cunnilingus, post high school, with a married man—whom I believed was single—and still has me yearning for more.
  5. One failed attempt at masturbation with the end of a hair brush. Didn’t know about vibrators; wish I had. It might have kept me from throwing myself at men. But, again, Mormon’s don’t masturbate.
  6. A date-rape.
  7. Lots of Levi-Lovin (dry humping) at BYU, which wasn’t allowed, though everyone did it anyway and then lied about it or confessed to their bishops and were promptly forgiven. Except for the girls who, with childlike understanding of date rape, confessed to date rapes. Those girls were disfellowshipped; which is another long story that will require lots more wine or maybe even some whiskey.

Okay, back to f**king during marriage. Naturally, it wasn’t frowned upon if you were licensed to f**k. Silly me, I actually framed and hung my f**king license in the bedroom just like attorneys and doctors hang licenses in their offices to practice law and medicine. And practice is probably the best description of it because it lacked the intimacy that most couples strive for in marriage. When attempting to orgasm every day became a chore for me, I suggested a new schedule. But not achieving my O every day was akin to me saying I didn’t love him. So, as a good f**king Mormon wife, I proposed and he (after a colossal temper-tantrum) agreed to the following terms of sex:

My ex could f**k me day or night, anytime, anywhere, and as many times a day as he wanted as long as he didn’t require me to achieve my O as often as him. I was required to have my O—and I never-ever faked it—every third day. Not an easy feat, mind you, in a loveless marriage lacking much foreplay. Though he had no idea it was loveless because I faked being madly in love with him right up to the two hours prior to landing in the women’s shelter.

Right about now, you might be wondering how I achieved so many O’s (about 3000 and hoping for 3000 more). Well…that was easy as making homemade pussy pie—a skill not taught at Enrichment classes on Thursday nights. While ridin his red rodding hood, my mind was busy creating wild sex scenes in my head—there were about six plots that got me off quickly because a good f**king wife performs posthaste—and my ex never once starred, or even appeared, in a single mind-porn show.

“What does Lucy want?” my therapist was asking and I’m still trying to answer it. That was the first of many questions I started asking myself. “What does Lucy want?” is a question I still ask myself every day, a question I ask when someone’s pushing me to do something I’m not sure I want to do, or when—as a f**king Mormon people-pleaser—I feel obligated to do. In these moments, I silently ask myself, “What does Lucy want to do? And if I’m really honest with myself, the answer is always decisively clear. This question keeps me safe.

For those of you who can relate with the people-pleaser mentality, I’m hoping this question will help you too. Please share your stories, thoughts, feelings, opinions in the comments below.

Single Woman Problems: Dating at this age sucks

When my date leaned forward, the back of his t-shirt slid up exposing a white gauzy padding that looked suspiciously like the Depend underwear my father wore just before his death. Horrified, I froze. “What the f**k!” I screamed inside my head, “Is my date wearing a diaper?!”

Hyper focusing on this assumption, I craned my neck towards his backside and ogled his butt. Whether my date noticed the sudden, unusual, absence of words streaming from my otherwise chatty mouth or just followed my gaze, I know not. But one thing is certain; he knew my thoughts. “Oh, that?” he stammered, twisting his torso while pointing at his rear, “That’s just an Icy Hot medicinal dressing for my back. I…uh…strained it playing volleyball the other day.”

“Oh,” I said, waving my hand as though it were nothing. “I figured that’s all it was.”

(Dating, at this age, sucks.)