The dull thump of a bass line carries through my house.
In the next room, my thirteen-year-old daughter dances to Ariana Grande. I pick up some clothes strewn on the stairs and take them to her room. Her bed is unmade, the stuffed dog she still falls asleep with every night squashed between the mattress and wall. There are Ella Diaries books scattered on the floor alongside nail polish, scrunchies, a pair of my high-heels she borrowed last week to play dress-ups with her sister and still hasn’t returned.
Somewhere in Texas, a thirteen-year-old girl is pregnant after being raped…
It’s late Sunday afternoon. I pour a cup of tea and sit at my desk, as I do every Sunday afternoon. Pull out my diary. Rule lines, draw graphs, make schedules, write goals. On paper, the week ahead looks manageable; better yet, conquerable. This week, I think to myself. This is the week I’ll finally smash some goals.
Two full days pass and I find myself face to face with Wednesday. I have not yet achieved one thing; in fact, I have not written a single word. It isn’t from lack of opportunity, or even lack of trying. I have…
I wake this morning once again to grey skies and gale-force winds and groan. I struggle to want to get out of bed. I struggle with this more often than I admit these days — having to be an adult; to be responsible for others.
I wonder if it’s burnout, the type all parents get at one point or another on this parenting journey. …
“You didn’t love her. You just didn’t want to be alone. Or maybe, maybe she was good for your ego. Or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life. But you didn’t love her, because you don’t destroy the person that you love” ~ Grey’s Anatomy
How desperate I must have been to call that love when in your hands I became so small; crushed by the heaviness of your fingers as they pressed into my skin, the imprint faded but still visible after all this time.
How eroded my worth became with each crash of furious words…
I was twelve years old the first time I learned of my duty to dress modestly, lest I cause a man to sin.
A flat-chested, athletic, tomboy of a girl, the last thing I saw myself as was an object of sexual desire, yet the message was clear: what I wore and how I acted made me responsible for a man’s thoughts and actions toward me.
I was yet to realise this message would stay with me for the next two decades of my life. That it would be the voice that would see me unable to wear a dress…
Just relax, he says.
I’m lying on my back, naked from the waist down as an older man in a position of authority stands over me and pries my legs farther apart.
It’s an uncomfortable moment for most women.
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it’s nothing less than traumatic.
It matters not the professionalism of the doctor, nor the years of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to distinguish rational fear from the irrational. …
This morning, Autumn sun filters through the window as magpies gather on the grass and call to one another with their song. I gaze outside and watch as geese stroll in their clumsy line while only the hum of dishwasher and crackle of fire compete with the silence of the house. There is life and movement and sound, and I am present and grounded at this moment.
It’s difficult on days like this when I feel so stable, so balanced, to imagine I can be anything other than this. It’s easy to believe I can, and will, always stay in…
“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I’d done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t do anything differently than I had done? What if I’d actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no…
In the humidity of this awakening the ocean rests at my feet
and I am found somewhere between the diving and the drowning.
I have always been one to swim too fast toward the horizon;
to lose myself in the place where I can no longer define
where sky and water meet. Where I end and you begin.
Caught in a knot of blurred lines; tangled limbs and shifting tides.
Undercurrents of unpredictability nip at my ankles, the push-pull
of this shoreline holding me ever out of reach. The language of silence
hangs heavy in our eyes; beads of disquiet…