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  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

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

If you are coming here via HuffPo, welcome! This piece is linked because it provides a partial origin story to my anxiety. If this doesn’t quite resonate, feel free to check out “Confessions of an Almost-Abuser” as it more directly addresses PTSD and its source. If you are looking for something more positive, check out “She Could Love Herself.  *** As the media machine shines its unrelenting spotlight into the personal life of yet one more victim, the internet scrambles to separate itself into a frenzy of individual voices, although

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