I’m Still Not Here

At 14, I read the entire Bible, front to back. When I attended sleepovers, other kids brought plastic clamshells of eye shadow or bottles of nail polish, clattering in their backpacks like marbles. I brought my leather-bound Bible. I was always the last to fall asleep. As my friends dropped off into unconsciousness and heavyContinue reading “I’m Still Not Here”

What Are You So Afraid of?

If I’m being honest? Well, everything. Let’s start with coconuts. If you’ve never spared a thought for what can fall out of trees and kill you, maybe you should. In 1777, a woman in the Cook Islands was killed by a falling coconut. In 1952, a coconut murdered an infant. In 1966, a perfectly innocentContinue reading “What Are You So Afraid of?”

How LITTLE WOMEN Saved Me

On my tenth Christmas, I peeled back the wrapping paper to find a book about the size of a dictionary. The cover was printed with the image of a living room. Around a piano, five white women stood singing in the light of a hurricane lamp. Their dresses could easily be mistaken for curtains. TheContinue reading “How LITTLE WOMEN Saved Me”

The Fetishization of Girlhood

I first realized that men look at girls as sexual objects on the day of my kindergarten graduation. Our teacher had set the theme as a Hawaiian luau (yes, cultural appropriation was all the rage in the 1980s). The girls had made skirts of green paper streamers to wear over our swimsuits as well asContinue reading “The Fetishization of Girlhood”

Handling Resentment

I’m not a pro at this. I’m not here to give advice. I’m just saying that sometimes I look at people who’ve had it easier than I did for their first 30 years on this planet—people who have the education, the financial stability, the family—and who think they have all that because they’re awesome. NotContinue reading “Handling Resentment”

Gratitude

It’s been two weeks since the MRI. One and a half weeks since the results: Normal. Normal. Unremarkable. Normal. No edemas. No infarcts. No tumors. My brain is clear. No cancer. Nothing structural that would cause these symptoms. They are exclusively electrochemical, and they will not kill me. I had expected good results would leadContinue reading “Gratitude”

Life and Death

I apologize for being MIA the last week and a half. Things have been happening. Those of you who have been following me for a while know that I have chronic migraines. I developed migraines shortly after the first assault I survived at age 12, and they became chronic shortly after the last assault atContinue reading “Life and Death”

Gaslight (1944): How Abusers Destroy You

You apologize for things you didn’t do. You feel a wave of self-doubt whenever anyone points out that maybe you just misunderstood or maybe you didn’t remember right. Maybe it’s true, you tell yourself. You’re always messing up anyway. You look at others and feel inferior—when you can muster the courage to lift your eyesContinue reading “Gaslight (1944): How Abusers Destroy You”

Commonality

I cannot thank you enough. For in reading my story, you have become part of it now, too. All survivors need to be heard. Need to be believed. It is part of how we can heal each other. It is a gift. Thank you. But my story has only been a grain of sand inContinue reading “Commonality”

Reconnection

One morning I woke up, and my teeth were not clenched anymore. My face wasn’t twisted by nightmares. I had grieved for more than a year, and I felt cleansed. I could shelve books beside men in the stacks, and I no longer wanted to punch them. I no longer imagined a knife in myContinue reading “Reconnection”