Incest and the awful silence

Risking controversy, I’m going to be brutally honest and admit that I often wish I’d been abused by a celebrity. Or a teacher. Or at least a stranger. I’m not belittling anyone else’s experience. Really I’m not. It’s horrific to be sexually abused by anyone. Full stop. It isn’t easier or harder because you do…

Escape fantasy

The fantasy of escape takes up a lot of space in my imagination. This borderline obsession has resided in me for at least three years. I’ve made non-committal efforts to dislodge it, and had short-lived success here and there. Those little pushes aren’t significant though, because in truth, I know it will always be a…

I lied to my friend

He was once my closest friend. We met in our first year at university, and ended up living together for the whole time we were there. In our third year, we had this little apartment overlooking the seafront and I have loads of wonderful memories of the fun we had there. We did everything together,…

A letter I’m sending to my psychiatrist

Dear Dr L I am writing to inform you that I wish to be discharged from your care. I will not be attending my planned appointment on 13th July. After our last meeting I was very upset. I felt that you didn’t listen to me and didn’t give me the opportunity to explain what was…

I try to forget

They keep walking through while I sink into the stone cold sorrow of everything I have to lose and will continue to lose I see them moving away as I hide and try to forget Submerged in the solitude of a past existence that is everything to me but to them, unpalatable inconvenient. So they leave…

Is my therapist reading this?

Anonymity is a beautiful thing. I never intended to disclose my identity on this site. That has given me enormous freedom to just purge what’s in my head onto the page. This is the first time in my life I’ve been able to do that. What came up in therapy today, among a lot of…

Compelling choices

I’ve been blindsided by anger. It was sudden. It came up in therapy, although I can’t pinpoint exactly what evoked it. Somehow it just materialised and now it is all over me. I feel as though to spite me, my heart is deliberately pumping it around my body. It rushes up and crawls, prickly, all over…

Shards of my truth

I’m drinking these lines and their heavy meaning leaning on my desire to pause and hold my breath, because this is my story in forgotten, dusty fragments from the pens of those who didn’t know me How can it be mine? when stretching through time the design has dissipated the truth was desiccated and only dry shards…

Should I give up on therapy?

How do you know when you’ve reached the end of the line in therapy? I’m not referring to being ‘cured’, just to a sense that I am not making progress anymore. Maybe the progress has always been so incremental that I only notice it retrospectively, but lately there has been an air of futility about…

I’m not like them

The morning arrives once more to animate me it pushes in, uninvited and drags me into another day of compliance sitting and waiting and creating nothing while plagued with small talk politeness at best phony concern or voyeuristic interest at worst Chemicals make it vaguely tolerable, but there’s never enough Because I am not like…

Paranoia: My neighbour knows my secrets

A really shitty thing happened. One of my neighbours (I will probably never know who) opened and read my extremely personal notes from my psychiatrist. I meet with my doctor every couple of months and talk to him for around an hour about the most intimate details of my life. I speak about my work,…

Songwriting breakthrough: Don’t be a stranger

It’s been eight years since I wrote a song I thought was any good. But a couple of weeks ago I sat down at the piano one evening and this one almost wrote itself. You can hear a recording of it here.  Don’t be a stranger I’m haunted by these echoes Shadows of a history The…