• Debbie Slaughter

A Woman I Know - The Last Chapter

For the month of June I shared four stories from my new book,

Notes from a Writer's Heart,

here on the blog, as well as Instagram and Facebook.

I took a week off to decide whether or not I wanted to share anything from the last chapter, because the last chapter is different from the rest and I'm never sure how the stories there will be received.

But, after thinking about it, I've decided to introduce the last chapter and share one of the stories exclusively on the blog, for those who make the effort to pop over.

Let's start with the introduction to what these stories are about and how they came to be...


Many of these stories have been written and stored on my computer under the title SHE ESSAYS for several years now. Like the other stories in this book, I would write, save, collect them in a folder on my desktop and tell myself I would do something with them "one day."

When the day finally came to put all the stories and essays together, I debated on whether to add the She Essays or not. They were personal, in the way that they spoke of feelings and vulnerability, and they were sensitive, in the way that others may see themselves or someone they know in the words.

But, ultimately, I decided that they needed to be shared because all along, as I was writing them, I had one goal in mind...to connect with other women on a deeper level, because I believe we all share similar feelings, insecurities, and desires to be known.

So, not knowing any better way to get these stories into the hands of other women, I decided to add them to the book and though I still cringe a little at the vulnerability of them, I know it was the right thing to do.

And, to give you a taste of this special chapter, here's one of the stories (p. 91) from the chapter titled A Woman I Know...


The Mask

She's not like the rest of us...or maybe she is. I'm really not sure because she wears this mask. Though it's not ugly, in the mask way of thinking - it's definitely

covering up that which she is trying to hide.

At first glance, she is beautiful, well groomed, made up and perfect. You can't help but notice her. She stands out. But then, you realize that there must be something else

underneath the designer clothes, heavy make-up, and processed hair.

There has to be.

Because, honestly, no one can look like that all the time.

I mean, where are the jeans - faded and comfortable?

Where are the sneakers, worn because heels just don't

need to go with everything?

And where are the days of just hanging around the house,

with no primping? Where are the sweatshirts in the winter

and the ponytail on a rainy day? I want to know if she ever just lets herself be. And why does she feel like she has to be perfect all the time? What makes her hide the natural with the fake?

These questions haunt me, every time I see her. I want to know. And I want to be the voice of all of those

who keep their distance

and I want to tell her that her plan

is having the opposite effect. Yes, initially she attracts people,

but then they quickly fade,

because they aren't sure who she is,

yet they know she isn't like them.

But how do you ask someone to take off their mask?

You can't. So, you don't.

You go on pretending that this person

sitting next to you is real.

But all the while, you're searching - looking for

that glimpse into the normal girl who got lost along the way.

And you wish, just for once, she would take off her mask,

put up her hair...and just be.

And then you could take yours off, as well.


Do you see what I mean?

As I wrote each of these essays, I made observations about myself, as well as the woman I was writing about, because, as I said...the feelings are universal, I believe.

My goal was to make the reader think about how they can relate or how they can see that woman on a deeper level.

Though each woman struggles with a different issue, the story should cause you to reflect on some aspect of your own life and therefore, have more compassion on the woman in the story.


A Woman I Know is a chapter worth reading and I hope my explanation will help you to read the stories with an open heart and mind, toward yourself and the women in your life.

As always, thanks for stopping by and for reading my words. I couldn't ask for more.

Until Next Time...


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