Trigger warning: sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape Recently, when I watched the now infamous video of Trump bragging about grabbing pussies, I was reminded of one man in particular: my stepfather, Tom. Tom used to crawl into my twin-sized bed and lay next to me while wearing his white briefs. Tom used to speak of wishing I were ten years older so he could marry me. Tom told me once, with much vengeance in his voice, that he wanted to break me in a way he’d never been able
His hand on you call the police his hand on you call the police his hand the police call phone in your pocket call his hand, you, the police you, a shield his hand hammer his hand axe his hand promise you hurt you call the police his hand your phone your pocket you call.
I have a friend who lives in a fearful situation. We have had several amazing conversations about how much she does not want to admit that her situation has to change, and that she has to change it. She has taken steps forward and backward, knowing that neither place is where she wants to be. Now she finds herself sapped and exhausted, her creative well dry. Fight or flight, the human fear response, means, when threatened, you defend either by standing up in defiance or running away to stay safe.
I was the child of a difficult situation. I write most frequently about abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and survival. However, I take care to infuse everything I write with the glow of hope that I learned from the first person who decided to interrupt the cycle: my mother. It may seem strange that I can write about physical and emotional trials and gratefulness in the same breath, but the truth is I am grateful. My experiences helped create who I am today. I am strong, full of courage and I
I hope you enjoy this collection of #LinkYourLife posts! It’s a fantastic roundup with some welcome new voices. Be sure to search #LinkYourLife on Twitter, as contributors have tagged images not represented here. I would like to invite all contributors to link your social media and personal websites in comments below. And for newbie Lifers, you can find the hashtag rules and previous roundups here, but this is the gist: Your heartfelt, your humor, your headaches, your love sprains, your wisdom & mistakes, your work, your truth, your REAL: #LinkYourLife! Read,
What a week! I’m sorry to get this up so late, but better late than never. Tomorrow will be the third #LinkYourLife event, so I am happy to squeak this one out under the wire. @allisonmaruska’s writing story started with a truck. @ShareenM honors her husband’s unrelenting support through chronic illness. @UlaWrites composed a beautiful reflection on impermanence and grief. @Ruebi shared “Hold your breath and count to ten.” @rksteg linked an important post on escaping emotionally abusive relationships. My share (@shawnamawna) was my inclusion in ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL. Some of you
This is how it happens: We contort ourselves, like paper flowers. We wait, twisted in our beautiful shapes until the tears fall to melt us away. Damp, we wilt. Damp, we tear easily. We are not quickly mended. This is how it happens when we love with our full hearts, when we turn down our brain chatter, the endless no, not this one. Not like this: We grow twisted into beholder-defined beauty. We wait, in our places. We wait to be plucked up in delicate fingers. We hold the pose
I can’t tell you how excited I am to have my work included in the empowering collection Jennifer Pastilloff has put together on The Manifest-Station. The voices there are compelling, brave and unerringly honest. To have my work accepted is a BFG (big freakin’ deal), especially considering this letter is a list–a form not often selected. It is incredibly rewarding to find my piece in such a far-reaching forum. I hope you’ll hop on over and read. “The Letter No One Wrote My Mother” is the piece that brought me
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
It took me ten years to work up the courage to write about my childhood. In that time, I explored every field except nonfiction, earning an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) with a thesis my husband describes as “stories in which girls don’t act quite the way they should”. Fiction was a safety net-a space where I could address my sexual, physical and emotional fears without honestly admitting to them. During workshops of my short stories, I often felt personally attacked as my writing was critiqued. While my peers were