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My Way or the Highway
by Madison Grant

Recently I had the pleasure of returning home to visit with family and friends. Some of the friends I had not seen in nearly fifteen years. It was great to see everyone again. I now recall how everyone reacted to each other as we met again for the first time. There were the usual comments of "gee you look great!' or even better "you haven't changed a bit!". But as for me, I was unlike the other girls who either retained their weight as they had in high school or lost the weight they had, I was the one who gained the weight. Now, I had just had surgery last year. It was a complete hysterectomy.

Highway 163 - Monument Valley,  Arizona
Highway 163 - Monument Valley, Arizona
Nagler

Naturally any woman who has gone through that will put on the weight. The usual hormones that are present to help maintain your balance are no longer there. And let me tell you, when I say I had put on the weight, it was desperately needed! I had survived an abusive marriage and undergone a nasty divorce and during all of that I had dropped down to only eighty-nine pounds. I was a skeleton with skin. The weight that would come with the hysterectomy was more than welcomed on my part! I now only weigh one hundred and fifteen pounds. And for someone of my height of five foot one that was pretty average. Even though most of the girls hadn't mentioned me "putting on the weight" they said I looked better than I ever had.

Days later, when I was returning to my ex-in law's house to pick up my son, I ran into their neighbor. He had lost weight and trimmed up quite nicely I might add and I didn't recognize him at first. He looked; well to put it nicely as possible, "delicious"! We talked briefly about my visit back home and how I would be traveling back out of state that evening. As I walked away, my niece informed me, he checked out my rear end and smiled widely as he said "It sure was good to see YOU again!" I felt great! I felt alive! Someone else had noticed that I looked good for the first time in years!

Now I will tell you that I have, ahem make that had, a boyfriend back where I now lived who was eagerly waiting for me to come home. Before I left for the trip back I called him to let him know I was on my way. He said he probably wouldn't recognize me. He said I probably had my hair cut and dyed and lost a bunch of weight while I was away. I guess he figured I would be so miserable without him that I wouldn't eat while I was gone. Much to his surprise I came home the same person as when I had left.

A few days later he was working in the garage and I went out to talk to him. I wanted to catch up with him and see what he had been up to while I was away. The usual banter about work and his family was all I received. He grew distant from me in the next few days and I was finally able to pin him down to talk to him about a week after my return home. I asked him what was bothering him. He began to tell me how I didn't respect him or his wishes and that I ignored everything that he had to say. When I questioned for specifics he stated. "I told you that I would like for you to be about one hundred and eight pounds with a set of six pack abs. But you don't seem to want to work out and don't care what you look like." I informed him that I didn't need to change my appearance for him. If I was to change I would do it for myself. To which he replied. "Well for this relationship to work it is my way or no way at all. Start listening to me and I will be happy. And if I am happy then you will be happy too." I laughed and asked. "Do you mean to tell me that you are standing here in front of me actually telling me that it is 'my way or the highway'? "Yes." He simply replied.

Now coming from the abusive marriage I was able to look for signs of an abuser. His demanding me to lose weight and his demanding that things go his way or no way at all were enough for me to see that he was a control freak! He acted as if my wants and my opinions didn't matter. So I guess you can figure out my response to him. I took the highway. And you know what? I put the pedal to the metal, climbed to sixty-five miles and hour and never looked back. I knew what to look for and got out before he could gain control over me. So now, I am on the joy ride of my life and loving every minute of it! Maybe one day I will get the courage to look up that awesome neighbor!

BIO: Madison Grant is a freelance writer and poet from Kentucky. She has been writing since the age of fourteen . Madison has completed a poetry compilation as well as her first book titled Saving Madison. In addition to these two works she is writing a fiction romance novel, the non-fiction sequel to Saving Madison and short stories and poetry when inspiration presents itself.


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