“I’m not sure why people keep saying my pieces are painful to read,” I say to Justin. “I mean, it’s usually a part of a ‘but I love them’ kind of comment. But yeah, they’re always saying they’re painful. And I’m not sure why.”
“It makes them think about themselves and their lives,” » Read more
“I hate my job,” she says.
“Understandably,” I tell her. “They don’t treat you well.”
She starts to complain once again about her working conditions. The bullying and harassment. This is a very familiar recap. I’ve heard her talk about it many times before. It’s an extremely toxic workplace. As she talks, » Read more
I’ve changed a lot over the years. I used to think that when you loved someone it meant that their fears took precedence over your own. And that you should do anything to keep from hurting them.
I still have an old journal from my first semester at college (1999). It has a fabric yellow cover, » Read more
I remember standing in the movie theater staring at a game I couldn’t take my eyes off. It was there, wedged in between the spiral wishing well funnel you dropped coins into and what was essentially a glorified mood ring, where you’d press as hard as you could, and it would tell you how stressed you were — » Read more
Surviving abuse can be one of the most lonely experiences there is.
That’s because in most people’s eyes, you can’t claim your abuse without naming your abuser. The suffering is real, but unless you have a bona fide monster to pin it on, it gets argued away (see just world bias). » Read more
I learned something in the coat room in elementary school.
If they can, people will touch your body without permission.
Especially if it’s dark. And quick. And there are enough people around that you can’t be sure who exactly touched you. Let alone call them out on it.
Sometimes more than one kid would cop a feel as we shuffled out to meet our teacher, » Read more
“You should hear what he says about you when you’re not around,” she says.
“Oh?” I say. She has my attention.
“He says your writing is too personal, that you open up and share too much,” she says.
I’m stunned by this news. To my face he’s never been anything other than complimentary. » Read more
“God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
-William Shakespeare, Hamlet
On countless mornings, I glimpse my reflection in the mirror and want to punch myself in the face.
Because I look like her at certain angles.
Her chin, » Read more
PTSD Is Like Grieving Your Own Death, Comforting Your Own Ghost
“You should really write fiction again,” Justin says.
I shudder. “Ugh. Why?”
He looks at me curiously. “Because you’ve got a hell of a brain. And your non-fiction is so good. It draws people in. Imagine what you could do with fiction.” » Read more
I’m thinking about Charlie Howard again. Although queer kids from Maine don’t really stop thinking about him.
If you’ve read Stephen King’s It (or watched the miniseries from the 90’s), you may be familiar with the scene where teenagers throw a gay man into the river.
But it’s not just a horrific scene. » Read more