That your boyfriend is an abusive man—such an awful accusation, you have to have an awful amount of courage to make it. You have to be sure. Except that when you’re abused, you aren’t sure of anything anymore…
Louisa is in an abusive relationship—but she doesn’t realise it yet. On an idyllic holiday in Barbados, her suppressed and secret past catches up with her. She falls in love with another man, and her world comes crashing down around her. The resulting pain, always before anaesthetised with alcohol, shows her a reality that can no longer be ignored.
“Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.” – Anais Nin
A guided tour of non-monogamy, A World in Us begins with Louisa and her husband Gilles, who love each other but whose marriage is going nowhere. They decide to explore polyamory, falling for another couple and trying to forge a life together as a quad. But they are challenged in ways they didn’t expect, and their experimentation forces them to accept a new understanding of themselves and each other.
This chronicle is followed by Louisa’s letters to her younger self. Sometimes love and good intention isn’t enough. Do you cut your losses and return to monogamy, or do you rise from the ashes? In this compilation of her previous works, The Husband Swap and Lessons in Love and Life to My Younger Self, Louisa offers candid insight into the polyamorous heart.”
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – Anais Nin
Vilified by the media for her outspoken non-monogamous lifestyle, Louisa Leontiades is, unbeknownst to the outside world, being defeated by mundanity. Four years of caring for toddlers and living in tracksuits has left her anxious, exhausted, and virtually celibate. Her partner, Morten, falls in love with Yasmin, whose family will never allow their relationship unless he leaves Louisa. Louisa falls for Janus, a terminal cancer patient looking for a mother for his children before he dies.
As Louisa and Morten seem poised to be torn apart, Louisa learns she has a potentially fatal tumour. Should she start a family with Janus (if she lives)? Would Yasmin make a good stepmother for her children (if she dies)? Necessary to Life takes an unflinching look at the importance of seizing the moment and the costs of following your heart.
“Dreams are necessary to life.” ― Anaïs Nin
The Deforming Mirror:
A memoir of Lost Identity and Found Intimacy
Louisa Leontiades: feminist, polyamory activist, adoptee. In a climate of political upheaval, where civil rights activists are fighting for the right to exist “as God made them”, Louisa grapples not only with oppression, but with the uncertainty of how she was made. Dropped into a world prejudiced against illegitimacy, with every element of her original identity redacted and replaced, she contends with alienation, distrust, and despair to find a life that can give her the meaning once denied her.
Part-memoir, part-treatise, The Deforming Mirror offers the reader an in-the-field look of how the psychological and sociological effects of suppressed identity can pose challenges to forming bonds, finding stability, and fostering intimacy. Traumas of separation and narcissistic parenting can form an abusive world within a hall of distorted emotional truths where compulsion is safety and attachment is treachery.
Such challenges require a tenacious skillset; Louisa lays out the emotional tools she’s cultivated over her lifetime, from an adopted child to a mother in multiple committed romantic relationships, growing perilously tall in spite of unknowable roots.
“One discovers that destiny can be diverted, that one does not have to remain in bondage to the first wax imprint made on childhood sensibilities. Once the deforming mirror has been smashed, there is a possibility of wholeness. There is a possibility of joy.” – Anais Nin