Today I received dozens of unwelcome and intrusive messages from a male client, for whom I’ve written copy. He thinks that because he’s acquainted with me through my business that this entitles him to message me endlessly on social media. As though this isn’t tedious enough, he also started texting and phoning me after finding my phone number on my website.
You’d think that someone, faced with the indignity and humiliation of literally dozens of unanswered messages, would get the hint that I’m not interested. You would hope that they’d realise that I am uncomfortable and upset.
Don’t tell me that time heals all wounds. It does not.
My mum died nine years ago today. Despite the passage of almost a decade, I still can’t believe I’m writing the words ‘my mum died’. It’s still the most searingly painful of wounds, a debilitating and relentless turmoil that, despite what I’d hoped and expected, never really eases.
I’ve written mournful pieces about my mum’s death before and will probably continue to do so. Her death was and continues to be the most profound and far-reaching event of my life. Three years after my mum passed, my father died…
Most of us are aware of the stigma that surrounds single women — we’re sad, lonely, and depressed. We’re failures and inherently defective and thus fair game for patronising and insulting remarks with regard to why we haven’t been “snapped up” yet.
The pervasive perception is that single women are to be pitied for the sad, lonely singletons we are. Because single women are bound to be miserable, right? If you’re single people seem to feel compelled to offer their condolences, as though some kind of tragedy has befallen you.
Women are conditioned to think that finding “Mr. Right” is…
It’s almost nine years since my life was shattered by the passing of my beloved mother. I thought that things would be easier by now, but it turns out they’re not.
Every day without her is agonizing, but birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries intensify the grief — a reminder, perhaps, of a gaping wound that will never heal.
I could never have imagined the impact her death would have on me. Despite her terminal lung cancer diagnosis, I felt wholly unprepared for her rapid deterioration, her subsequent death and the sheer desolation I would feel still feel years later.
As I squinted into the ferocious sunshine to look at the vast, sprawling desert ahead of me, I reflected on the sad events that led to me being there.
Death Valley National Park is unimaginably huge, an incomprehensible wilderness that sometimes defies description. It has acre after acre of largely uninhabited territory, interspersed with motels and gas stations as the only reminder that despite its desolation, human beings can occasionally be found.
The serenity of Death Valley appealed to me — I’d scarcely had a minute’s peace since my daughter was born two years previously.
I’d chosen to take on…
It’s January 2014, and I’m mid-way through a pile of about a dozen chocolate bars, stuffing them into my mouth, rapidly and mindlessly.
I’m eating so quickly I’m not even tasting them properly, I’m just vaguely aware of their sweet taste. I swallow them as quickly as I’m able, preoccupied with how few I have left.
I can’t appreciate the sweet taste that I’d usually savour in less frenzied moments. I start relatively slowly, building up the pace until it’s frantic, devouring every morsel until the whole pile is gone.
But I’m not done.
I scour the cupboards for something…
I’ve never been brave enough to talk about my mental health problems before, even less write about them. I suppose I feel emboldened by others speaking out, and I hope now, as I write this, that I will not be judged.
It’s sad, I suppose, that I am gripped by fear because of the potential consequences of sharing how I felt and feel; that I’m even considering any adverse effects I might experience. Will people think less of me? Will I be ridiculed? I suppose I’m about to find out.
Although things are slowly changing, admitting to having poor mental…
Imagine a young girl, who trusts her mother implicitly, skipping along happily holding her hand. Imagine her joy to be going to a party, looking forward to the day ahead, without a care in the world.
Imagine her entering a house to be bundled to the ground and restrained by strangers, one of whom is brandishing a blade. Imagine her blood-curdling screams as her clitoris is removed with a razor blade and her labia hacked off. Imagine the terror in her eyes, the searing pain, and the pool of blood on the floor. Imagine her confusion, her devastation at her…
The care assistant was feeding my dad liquidised sponge cake.
Tears pricked my eyes as I looked around the dingy nursing home lounge where my dad spent his days. I tried in vain to block out the terrible images I was presented with: a dozen elderly people — all bewildered and wretched, all suffering the effects of the irrevocable, debilitating and devastatingly cruel illness that is dementia.
All the home’s inhabitants had dementia — all were confused and disorientated, every one as pitiful as the next. All the residents manifested a different behaviour — there was incoherent rambling, aggressive shouting…