I do not need a hero. I do not need a saviour. I just need you to get the f*ck out of my way and let me do it myself.

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Maybe it’s because of Covid.

Or maybe it’s because I’m now in my 40’s and my I-No-Longer-Give-A-F*ck-What-You-Think-Of-Me attitude has amped up a notch or two. Either way, an undercurrent of change is churning inside me, pulling me to a place where I no longer feel the need to explain, justify or apologise for the woman I am. For the ways I have been broken by trauma. Changed by it. Shaped by it.

I’m done trying to be who I think I should be. Trying to please. Trying to conform. Trying to be normal, like those around me. Those who have not walked in my shoes…

In the loudness that is raising teenagers, I assure you — the loneliness is louder.

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Last week I caught five minutes with a friend whose daughters are the same age as mine. Earlier that particular day one of my daughters had been upset over friendship issues as I had once again endeavoured to find the balance in supporting her emotionally while also allowing her the chance to become more resilient.

“Is it just my daughters, or are yours struggling too?” I asked my friend. She assured me hers have experienced similar. It is a conversation crammed into only minutes yet affords me relief that I am not the only parent dealing with these issues. …

We must understand at the core of Rape Trauma Syndrome is the innate need for the permission to be human

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It’s late afternoon. I ride my bike; country roads, dirt roads, lonely places. Twenty kilometres turn into thirty, turns into forty-five. Lately, I have been riding more than usual. At some point, I realise it’s less about movement and more about escape. I don’t allow the thought to linger.

The winds bluster, bitter and relentless. An old farmer once explained them as the equinox winds. The blowing out of one season to make way for another. I resent the way they force themselves upon me; uninvited. I am angry at the way they won’t let up and my legs…

We actually make fantastic partners if we have a partner who is willing to understand our needs.

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My name is Kathy and I’m an Avoidant-Attachment.

Recently I was asked to write a poem on the theme, A Brief History Of Belonging. I’m always up for a challenging prompt, but this one I particularly struggled with. Obviously the prompt was open to interpretation and could have been steered in a myriad of different directions, except, I kept getting stuck on my own history of belonging — or more to the point, lack thereof.

Belonging, to me, is a warm word; one I associate with connection and bonding and nurturing and being grounded in love. It is a word I have grieved as long as I can…

We’re all doing the best we can, and that’s enough.

Photo by Jurica Koletić on Unsplash

A reminder if you haven’t been able to achieve what you’d hoped this week:

You don’t need more motivational quotes or inspirational memes or 20-point list articles on how to be more productive and whatever other capitalist bullshit is out there.

What you need is less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best.

We don’t all have the same 24 hours. Those with chronic illness and disability will not have the same 24 hours as those without. Those who can afford housekeepers and childcare will not have the same 24 hours as those who cannot. Those who have children and the responsibility of meeting their needs will not have the same…

The one seen to be the most f*ckable is the one most seen.

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“Whatever is deeply, essentially female — the life in a woman’s expression, the feel of her flesh, the shape of her breasts, the transformations after childbirth of her skin — is being reclassified as ugly, and ugliness as disease.” ~ Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth.

There is a moment, a while ago, where I am in a fitting room blinking away tears. Nothing fits properly, or feels good, or looks right. It is a moment where I hate on my body; seethe at its non-compliance. Loathe its inadequacy. Rage at its inferiority.

There is not a #bodypositivity quote that can…

Enough with the toxic positivity and woke rage already.

Photo courtesy Elijah O’Donnell/Pexels.com

Last week I published an article reflecting on my journey as a mother who’d had her children earlier in life and the grief I now felt, in my forties, over wondering where my last (best?) two decades had gone, aside from raising my family.

The article went viral; my inbox has been overflowing with messages from others who felt similar and wanted to share their experience. There were, however, also plenty of messages from those who wanted to shame me for daring to say motherhood was anything less than idyllic.

There were comments about how I should be thankful, and…

Hint: It’s not ‘I love you’.

Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

There was a time not long ago when my thirteen year-old daughter was feeling particularly sensitive to anything on television that unsettled her in the slightest — the news, high-action movies, television dramas with any kind of depiction of violence or trauma.

With two older brothers in the house — both partial to action-packed thrillers of any kind — it became increasingly difficult to find something suitable for everyone to watch.

The traditional Friday movie night would see us spending hours scrolling through Netflix, arguing back and forth over what to watch until eventually my daughter insisted she was happy…

Are the best years of my life still coming or have they already been and gone?

Photo by Benjamin Manley on Unsplash

Our time will come, right?

These words I wrote to a friend last week who, like me, has four children and who — also like me — has given the best part of her last two decades to raise said children. We were chatting about restless feet, eager to get out and explore unknown lands, yet still mired in family responsibility. The words were said with light-hearted flippancy, leaving me brilliantly unprepared for the outburst of tears that followed.

Whoa, I thought. Where the hell did that come from?!

Outside, wisteria leaves danced without sound onto pavers below; I watched…

The only thing left to do, is love

Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash

“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go” ~ Jamie Anderson

Grief is not a road we walk, or a journey we take.

It is not a process that can be defined by stages we are told we must feel — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. It is not a textbook diagram, or a framework we must comply to. It isn’t a task we must complete. …

Kathy Parker

Writer. Poet. Spoken Word Performer. Survivor. Warrior. www.kathyparker.com.au

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