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Trauma

Especially when we are writing for release, we should make good use of the writer’s drawer. Writing Traumas to Life I think graduate school was when I felt the most alive as a writer. It was a time of intense transition for me. I was studying what I was the most passionate about (the craft of writing). I began teaching adults for the first time. I found it vastly more stimulating and fulfilling than working with preschool age children. I became a mother, and with that family transition, I discovered

I have struggled in mightily in my marriage. Part of this is due to surviving violence and sexual assault. Part is finding my partner in high school and the two of us growing up together. My husband and I have worked very hard to create a thriving marriage. I have been invited to create a guest post on this topic, so more on that soon. What I want to mention right now is this: Bret and Christine Eartheart are a super couple that has helped us smash patterns of codependency

There are two years of my life I don’t remember. They say your mind protects you when you are the most vulnerable, refusing to form memories. These two years occurred when another family was staying with us. The mother was abusive. I have two very strong memories from that period–one of which was being protected by my sibling from this woman when she was trying to beat me. I once worked with a therapist to repattern some memories. We travelled through my subconcious to the places I was stuck in

Did you know that self-harm is not a suicide attempt or even necessarily a cry for help?     I practiced self-harm as a teen as did many other people I know. I was fortunate in that my harming only lasted for a couple of months and I was able to recover with little relapse. This is not the case for many.  Have you struggled with self-harm? Do you know someone who does?  Find out more about self-harm, support and recovery in my piece On the Verge.

I woke up this morning to find a pitch rejection in my inbox. This was happy because the rejection was expected, but not within four hours of submission. I expected to wait 2-3 weeks for any response. I can’t take the immediate rejection as an insult because, while the pitched piece is strong, the essay walks just over the line of what this magazine publishes. I was well aware of that, having done my research first by reading their published pieces. What I said to myself was, “It can be

Three years ago, I sat in my therapist’s office with my face in my hands. I wanted to look anywhere but at her because she was looking at me, she was waiting for me to release whatever had me wound up and fidgeting. “I’ve been reading the news,” I finally said. Our sessions often opened with a long silence followed by me trying to connect with her life, her as a person, her as someone who was not me. She drew her eyebrows together in concern. “How long has this been

On 9/11, my husband and I stood in our living room. The TV was on and I remember trying to turn my body to force my eyes to look away. The second plane hit. My husband’s hand covered his mouth. He felt too far away. I couldn’t move closer. One of us was saying, “Those people. All the people. Why would anyone do this?” At that time, we were learning to be practicing Muslims. I helped my university Muslim Student Union set up interfaith dinners where we sat with college students and

You ever feel all tipped-over like? Rolling in humiliation of over and done and can’t take it back? Learned since then, but maybe it doesn’t matter because you clawed a hole in a wall that was someone and blood came out right on your hands. You cupped it and caught it and held them down so you could tip back in the gold of their life-flow, but it was too late. Your hands weren’t clean. You left them toxic. You know, right? How you crawled away all wadded up and

One of the ways I defined myself in middle school was writing timed, rhymed poetry on a topic chosen by a peer. Me classmates considered it something of a superpower- a handy party trick I could pull out at a moment’s notice, often using the topic itself as an acronym that began each line. They would then take a copy of the poem for themselves, sometimes even place bets on whether or not I could complete a piece, say, on leprechauns in three minutes. I earned my fair share of

As expected, my public confessions of abuse resulted in an emotional barrage akin to a hurricane. The response was so swift and fierce that I was left breathless. It arrived via text message and frantic, tear-and-shallow-breath-filled phone calls. I read. I listened. I paused. Were the allegations true? Was I an emotionally unstable child in a woman’s body acting unfairly? Were my experiences the manufacture of an overactive imagination, my admissions false and vindictive? The accusations battered me. I shed my own tears, but I remembered my goals, assessed whether

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