Posts in Tag

fear

The morning chill hasn’t been enough to quell the heat of anxiety as it blooms in my belly upon waking. I fight dread off my chest and scrape myself off the bed as worry turns itself up. I have worked hard daily not to listen to fearful thoughts. Attention feeds them and then they grow. But today I found getting up easier even though the chatter was already present and rising. I got up feeling safe in myself, so I listened. It’s not easy to separate the threads of fear, and

Wednesday morning, my boys asked the result of the election and began assembling a nuclear fallout kit. We couldn’t catch them. They tore through the house gathering canned foods and Nerf guns, certain this election spelled doom. “Will they know I’m of color?” my eldest asked me not long ago. I cried over the question. He was talking about the police, a group he is likely to run in with as he grows due to his neurology. “High functioning” is code for “normal-looking” when it comes to Autism. The term

Oh, America. I have loved you from birth but today you have let me down. Me and countless others who look to you for safety, freedom and progress. I woke up wondering if I had slipped into an alternate reality. I wish I had so I could claw my way back to safe purchase. I have never been so disappointed than to wake up and learn that fear has won. I had such hope. Now I have anger and sadness, a bitter mix. What will become of us? I can

I’ve been reading The Good Men Project for awhile. The content there is educational and interesting. Recently, Sarah Fader came on as an editor. She and I had a couple of discussions about how I could contribute. We decided my first piece should be a revisitation of the work I wrote for Straight White Man Seeks Knowledge. It’s always frightening to write about race and violence for me, but I trust Sarah. She’s a way paver for those of us trying to deconstruct the boxes we’ve been placed in through

Friday kicked off the beginning of a series of guest posts on The Honeyed Quill. Drew Sheldon shared his story of abuse and survival in an intimate essay titled “The Beast Within.” If you haven’t read it, please go here. It’s not an essay you want to miss. As part of the exchange, I provided an essay for Drew. It took us awhile to come up with a theme. In email, I told Drew I am afraid of white men, but not him. He chewed on that for awhile before

Trigger warning for abuse. As a survivor of childhood abuse, it’s hard for me to accept compliments. Many people describe me as sweet and sensitive. I often deflect these compliments by crediting my mother or even the abuse I suffered. It’s easy to be nice to people so that you can feel that you’re not like your abuser. The problem is, though, I am sometimes like my abuser. I try to warn people about the beast within me, and they often refuse to believe me. Very few people have seen

Students come to my classes afraid. They arrive because of the title and they want to leave because of the title. I understand. Really. I did years of talk therapy before I realized that dredging up painful memories was serving to keep the memories fresh rather than aid me in releasing them. I began a private practice of expressive writing because talk therapy always left me open. Vulnerable. Wounded. Raw. I am an inconsistent journaler at best, so I didn’t treat the writing as journaling. I didn’t treat it as anything other

Raising Mothers published a piece I wrote exploring my choices about speaking Arabic in a racially charged society. I wrote this piece because it crunches my heart. It’s publication came in time with an Islamophobic attack on a friend of mine right here in my town which is to say, it may seem like things have calmed down when it comes to open-faced aggression against Muslims and Arabs. It hasn’t. It has just slid under the cover of normalcy. I hope you’ll head over and read the rest of my story. Maybe

Not everyone can come to my classes to write through trauma in a supportive group setting, so I decided when I started teaching that I would provide my core in-class resources on my site. I believe writing is an excellent tool in the self-care kit. I’ve put these posts in an order that you can use as an in-home syllabus. Consider working with one post per week, and complementing it with prompts from the linked page (see below).  While I believe the safest way to start an expressive writing practice for the

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.

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