When last we left off, our intrepid little damsel-just-barely-out-of-distress was standing on the balcony of her quaint bedroom at Turning Point Women’s Recovery Home watching the 99 red balloons float away.

Her nightmare was over, and the future was so damned bright she had to wear shades.

She’d escaped with her life, all of her teeth, and most of her brain cells still intact. It was nothing short of a MIRACLE!

I Am Woman

Happy at last, I found myself surrounded with women friends for the first time in my life. Living with nineteen women was helping me get in touch with my feminine side.

As a teenager I’d decided that all women are bitches; I did not like their reindeer mean girl games. Or maybe it wasn’t that I didn’t like their our games so much as that I was am really terrible at them. Either way, I’d found boys’ games much more fun. At least I thought the rules were simpler to follow.

But now it seemed that boys played too rough and I needed a break–possibly permanent–from their entire–completely effed up–gender.

Out of curiosity, I confess that I kissed a girl but discovered right away that, unlike Katy Perry, I didn’t like it. She wasn’t wearing cherry Chapstick, but I don’t think that would have helped.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure lesbians have it great. But from my point of view being a lesbian is like going to an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet that only serves up appetizers.

Sure, I like appetizers.

I like appetizers a lot.

From time to time I’ve even been known to make an entire meal out of appetizers.

But I’m not built to live on a strict diet of appetizers.

If sex was a diet, I’m Paleo.

Not liking women that way and being done with men, the thought occurred to me that I should probably never fuck anyone ever again as long as I lived. That was the sure way to go.

(Gee Chloe. Extreme much?)

And basically everyone in my life from my AA Sponsor to all the women I lived with whole-heartedly agreed with this plan.

I was going to go to work, go to school, make something of myself, and maybe buy myself a vibrator for those inevitable lonely nights.

I felt really good about this decision. I knew it was the right one. I was at peace. I would live my life as a completely self-sufficient woman who didn’t need a man.

It was the 1980’s!

I didn’t need a man to complete me!

What I really needed were self-help books. Lots and lots of self-help books.

  • The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
  • The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
  • The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner
  • Men Who Hate Woman and the Women Who Love them by Dr. Susan Forward
  • Your Erroneous Zones by Dr. Wayne Dyer
  • Dancing in the Light by Shirley Mclaine

I read them all and some others I don’t remember. And then I read them again.

All of these books said basically the same thing: I created my own reality and I’d done a crap job of it up until now.

But if I created my own reality then I sure as shit could start creating a much better one.

For the first time in my life I was completely self-supporting.  I had a pretty good job and in five months I saved up enough money to buy my own car.

True, it might be possible that the backseat of this car did not have any floor boards, but it had a new engine and was reliable. Passengers just had to hold their feet up, that’s all.  I was thrilled as hell not to have to walk to work in 4″ heels anymore.

Life was a wonderful whirlwind of girlfriends, AA meetings, work, school, and self-improvement.

On the day I met Jeff, like Katy Perry sings, I was wide awake.

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