My Mother’s Book

Not many people get the privilege of reading about a childhood they scarcely remember. It is, I would imagine, a most remarkable event. And I also imagine that the day I discovered my adoptive mother Janet had written a book about my childhood, would have been remarkable if only it hadn’t been the second most remarkable event that year. These … Read More

The Rapist in the Mirror

But what of the men who were genetic fathers to these lost children? Male privilege absolved them of personal responsibility.

Reflections on Losing My Mind

Memory loss is one of the symptoms of living with high anxiety, which in itself is one of the symptoms of complex trauma..

Destined to be a Burden

It seems impossible to me now that I shouldn’t have known this. Yet I didn’t ever, ever consider the label C-PTSD, despite overwhelming evidence.

Square Peg, Round hole

I didn’t feel odd, or unconventional. I fit. I felt like this was my family, my tribe, with all its weird and wonderful troubles and joys. 

No, Doesn’t Always Mean No

I’ve been raped twice already so it’s not like I believe in my own self-worth enough to even make a legitimate attempt to refuse you.

Is Love just Relief from Anxiety?

It’s less about the dopamine high and more about the euphoria of finally feeling confident and capable. Feeling relaxed. Trusting that my children are safe.

The Story of the High Speed Train

This is what my anxiety feels like. There is a valve which regulates my stress levels and it needs to be maintained, and strengthened through self-care.

Like The Poppy

When my self esteem was low, my relationships were abusive. Yet I always assumed that when my self-esteem was higher that my relationships would be healthy.

I Called It Love

But it wasn’t about love, it was about power. About how far I would be willing to go. About how much abuse I might be prepared to accept.

Being A Shapeshifter

The desire to change beckons. The voice tickles and taunts as it invites me out to play and it says… time to change, time to have fun, why so serious?

Beware of Feeding Sharks

Addiction might be called a curse, but that’s only one way to look at it. Alcohol addiction used to be a way of tapping into a power I didn’t have, a release of pain I had trapped inside me.

Why Doesn’t She Leave Him?

The smallness of each indicator made it impossible. But then you made a mistake, and you punched me in the face.

A Proper Family Christmas

My children do not count as ‘proper’ grandchildren because I didn’t grow up with our mother. For him there are two criteria. Blood AND environment.

Why are all the Men I date Assholes?

I have a son and a daughter (with a man who is as far removed from being an asshole as it is possible to be). If either of them were ever caught up in a situation where they were the perpetrator or the victim of such a situation, I don’t know how I would contain my vitriol …or my guilt. Because in both positions, my children would be operating out of a place of low self-esteem. One who needed to feed their ego by taking power to control and manipulate. One who felt they were worth very little and that this was the only relationship they deserved.

Grieving the Grandmother I Never Knew

My grandmother was the essence of respectability, sometimes sharp tongued and very much cultured. And to insiders – who knows? For I am not one of them.

What’s Behind the Mask?

I know fear. I have felt it. What happens if you let go of the mask and there is nothing behind it? What if you are nothing good?

The Devil and the Angel

That you desire to earn money from writing out your paltry experiences is exploitative, unskilled and ultimately worth nothing. But of course you know all of this even as you try and cover it with swathes of denial.

The Bouncer

The guilt of who I am, what I have done is so shameful that I cannot face the pain. There is no point in holding someone who is shattered and worthless.

Not Giving a Shit is a Good Thing (Part 3)

The most useful tool I’ve discovered on our life journey is compassionate honesty. It heals so many wounds. This month has given me the chance to compassionately and honestly re-examine the relationship between my adopted Mother and I, to see whether the wound has healed between us. But my mother continues to want to play the game of ‘who-is-right-and-wrong’, and … Read More

Letter to My Estranged Mother (Part 2)

We have each claimed our respective subjective realities to be ‘the’ one and only truth over the years, but as it turns out there is no one and only truth. We can’t change our realities, only accept that my experience is true for me as your experience is true for you. I am not trying to make you wrong. But nor will I undermine my own reality to make you right.

Letter to My Estranged Mother (Part 1)

I discovered last week that you read my blog. This blog! Although my initial reaction was one of fear, after 5 seconds I started laughing at what I imagine your reaction to be when you read about my not-so-private sex life out there on the web.

How Freedom can Kill

My unhappy oppressed soul had been searching for escape. Any escape. And the escape I needed, was to be an adult even as a child. Because an adult was free.

The Last Fight

I don’t know whether the roaring was in my head or from his throat, but it felt like I had gone mad.

How Alcohol Made Me Love Myself

And in an instant, late at night, I changed. This person was in pain. Ugly and blank. My features were twisted into a belligerent mask.