My Monster

For many years, I believed the lie that the only way of coping with the parasitic fears and deep pain in my life was to bring injury to my body. I still remember the young teenage girl standing in front of a dressing room mirror, fighting back tears and thinking this was her only option.…

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Foodie

I am a foodie—and, I’m very ambivalent about that. I both love and excoriate myself for that. My food war is facilitated by my having dissociative identity disorder (DID). If you’re unfamiliar, DID is a survival mechanism of the mind in the face of great trauma. Imagine, if you will, the natural conflicting opinions of…

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Bewildered

It was the week of my 23rd birthday, and I was haggard with exhaustion after months of little sleep and relentless flashbacks. Just four months before, I had been violently awakened in the middle of the night when six men invaded my home and held my roommates and me at gunpoint. I had begged these…

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Sex and Chicken

I have a fear of raw chicken. The FDA recommends storing uncooked poultry for a maximum of 1-2 days in the refrigerator. My husband Michael is looser. He feels comfortable waiting a few days past the sell by date. We are at odds.

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Her Hair Tells A Story

Standing in the bathroom, a place of horrific and shameful abuse.  I am getting another haircut that strips away my femininity.  I’m 11 years old and in the midst of a war that revolves around my hair length.  Much of my childhood has already been stolen. My inner little girl is screaming “Please mom, stop! Don’t…

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Rupture. Release. Beauty

I’m getting divorced. Three simple words.  Three simple words that don’t convey the pain and messiness of this season.  Three simple words that don’t feel real.  Three simple words that represent an impossibly complicated emotional state of being.

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Debridement

She’s giggling, running, faster and faster, So fast that chubby legs cannot keep up with internal thrill But she tries valiantly…and goes down. I’m watching, delighting in her delight Yet simultaneously cognizant of the great risk of physical abandon and asphalt to her toddler body. Gravity–real life–fulfills what I had hoped against. Bright pink shorts…

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Coloring My Roots

Before there was gray, I colored my hair to match the roots. Deep brunette painted golden highlights, bringing warmth to summer kissed skin. Transitioning to fall, a blank canvas disguised the need for a practical solution to the “what ifs” that laid ahead. Looking at myself in the mirror that day brought memories of carefree…

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Middle Age

The scent of my mother’s Clairol Nice and Easy solution in Medium Warm Brown wafts through our kitchen. I sit at our cherry wood table staring at my Algebra textbook. She unwraps the cellophane from her head and cranes her neck under the kitchen faucet to rinse. “It always starts out a little dark,” she says…

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Calling Ourselves Home

I was sitting in a room full of men. Okay, this isn’t that rare, but I was taken aback at how uneasy I felt in the moment. In between some semi-offensive comments made by one man, and other talk that I couldn’t participate in, I realized that I had shrunk–I began taking up less and…

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