Malcolm’s voice broke through the static, forcing Richard to look up like a deer in the headlights. It was laughable, how much of the therapist stereotype Malcolm looked, dressed in his army-green cardigan, dishevelled black curls peppered with grey, and slumped shoulders that carried the weight of everyone’s demons and denials.
‘Let’s begin,’ said Malcolm, turning the tape recorder on. It was old-school, he knew, but he preferred taking notes in this way, by writing it down after the session.
Richard pursed his lips as he waited for more uncomfortable questioning from gentle calm Malcolm as he tried to unlock the doors in Richard’s mind. …
Spoilers for new parents — as wonderful as parenthood is, it can also be an irritating psychologist, pushing you to face traumas you might not be ready to face. No one tells you about that. They don’t tell you that your favorite human is going to teach you some enlightening lessons about parenthood that you might not want to learn. But you need to learn them — because even though processing trauma can be scary, you’ll be a better parent after because you’ll be a healthier adult.
The truth is, parents, don’t care about themselves. This becomes prominent when we have children — their needs come before anything else in the whole wide world, even before your immediate needs. …
I placed my parents on a pedestal, big time. Their word was gospel, and I would never dream of defying them. This only resulted in me watching them plunge from the heights in which I had placed them, and brought on a crisis where I’m still trying to claw my way back to being OK with what it really means to be human – by eliminating the idea of perfection.
I was not like the teenagers in my favorite sitcoms. I didn’t identify with Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who didn’t seem phased when people called him big ears, when girls turned him down, or when he got caught sneaking in from clubs at 3am. …
I’m a very anxious person. I only leave the house if I have to, largely in part because I’m happy surrounded by my books and live a simple life — but on bad days leaving the house is a very stressful task for me. My anxiety has also stopped me from taking opportunities in the past, such as enrolling in courses, applying for jobs, attending interviews, inductions, and trying anything new that involves a crowd, or people watching me.
Most of us have been there. A lot of us have dealt with crippling anxiety or the debilitating effects of chronic stress. …
He looked at me, briefly, his long hair hanging over his big blue eyes. He is only four years old, but suddenly, he looks so grown up. No one warns you of just how quickly your kids grow up, and it’s not a gradual thing either. It happens overnight. It’s happened again to Leo; he looks so much older all of a sudden. I want him to slow down, just a little. I know it’s selfish, but I’m just a typical mother — I want just a little bit more time with my baby.
‘Leo, can I ask you something? Am I a good mommy?’ …
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities
One of the most famous quotes from one of the most famous writers. …
It is an extremely annoying habit of adults to become uncomfortable when their child won’t do what is expected of them. Not hugging or kissing a relative is considered rude and impolite — but the real crime here is adults who should know better than not respecting a child’s boundaries.
If you’re expecting your child to hug and kiss a relative who they’ve only met a handful of times, or perhaps hasn’t met until Christmas Day, then expect your child to be extremely uncomfortable and refuse to do so. …
It’s been a bizarre year. It’s also been a year full of lessons. I hope what writers have taken from this year is the importance of self care and avoiding both creative burnout and writer’s guilt. So you didn’t write during lockdown, big deal. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about it.
You can write as much or as little as you like. Don’t feel discouraged if someone is doing “better” than you. Things have been beyond the realm of normality to say the least, so don’t feel pressured into creating something if you don’t want to. Christmas should be a time for things you love and a time of rest an contemplation. If you can’t write, that’s OK. You really ought to give yourself permission to take some time off. …
Falling down the rabbit hole is an unpleasant experience that every writer has been through at some point in their life. What can first tip you over the edge could be a rejection, bad feedback from a beta reader, or negative comments from friends and family who should be more supportive. It is these setbacks that cause us to spiral down like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Writers overanalyze their ability to write an engaging story, which leads to asking these debilitating questions: What if I’m not good enough? What did I do wrong? …
To my sisters,
I have always been envious of your intellect.
I did not realize that this was spawned from adults who thought it perfectly OK to see three children as flowers that could be compared.
We are meant to bloom differently.
We were meant to feed each other with kind words and encouragement.
If you never knew how proud I was of you then for that, I am sorry.
To my sisters,
There were many things you saw before I did.
I thought there was something wrong with you.
Then I thought there was something special about you.
You could see the things I couldn’t.
Then I thought there was something wrong with me.
Now I realize it was my greatest power.
Forgive me, I had to survive.
I had no control.
If you ever felt frustrated at my blurred vision, I am sorry.
I am trying to clear the fog but it is no easy feat.
It is like walking through the woods not knowing what’s hiding behind the trees that the enemies built so that you couldn’t escape.
I should have been proud of you for getting out so soon. …