Grrrl Chillin

Grrrl Chilling Studio by J.A. Kauppinen

As I sit down to write this #MondayBlog today, I realize I am late. However, I won’t worry about that. I’m getting one in long before Tuesday, which makes me happy. Speaking of joy, I feel good today. Why am I happy, you ask? Especially when: There are 540 fires burning in my province and, even in Vancouver, the air quality is BC’s worst in history and the worst in the world. I am stuck indoors in hot temperatures (no air con) because I don’t want to risk endangering my health any more than it already is. I would love…

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Bill of Sexual Rights

I have a right to my own body. I have a right to my own feelings, beliefs, opinions and perceptions. I have a right to trust my own values about sexual contact. I have the right to set my own sexual limits. I have a right to say yes. I have a right to say no. I have a right to sexual pleasure. I have a right to be sexually assertive. I have the right to be the initiator in a sexual relationship. I have a right to be in control of my sexual experience. I have a right to…

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Excerpt of First Draft of ‘That Terry’

  She pointed to the door. I knew better than not to hurry so I jumped through it as fast as I could. I squatted in the hall closet, trying not to touch daddy’s baseball bats with my toes. I didn’t want him mad at me. I could still see mommy and heard daddy at the front door. I didn’t tell mommy I wanted to see daddy. I loved when he was home! He cuddles me. Tickles me and blows on my tummy. That makes me laugh. My big brothers call me pet, but I don’t care. “Now don’t come…

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My Elegant Solution

“I’m taking Butch out,” I said, while standing in the hallway outside my parents room. It was 7 a.m. on a Friday morning in August and I was reporting my activities to them, as I had to do all the time. I was sixteen. School was out and I got no reprieve from either of them. How I hated summer for this reason. There was no answer. Perfect. I unhooked our small black Lab from the indoor leash they kept him on. At least he wasn’t muzzled overnight like at other times. I bent down to pet him. Tears welled…

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Five Things That Make Me Proud

  Despite life obstacles that make Mt. Everest look like a speed bump, I found my way and continue to use a checks-and-balances approach to life. Even with the focus that takes, which I slip up on sometimes, I seem to have fashioned a career of sorts for myself, thanks to my laptop. The fact that it involves words and writing is absolute heaven to me.   I ran away and never went back, when I was in Grade ten, so only I motivated myself to stay in school, which provided a necessary structure for me. My wish to learn…

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Moving Forward, 1988 (Warning: Difficult Content)

Slashing became a part of my life at 21. Shocking behavior, some might think, but not so to me. I’d been two decades in a severely-dysfunctional family and I could only guess at what healthy was. Cutting and hurting myself gave me a strange sense of elation. I was alive. I could feel. There was hope. The first major event that led to what I now know as my non-feeling state, happened when I was in Grade three. Mom had left Dad, so my two brothers, sister and I joined her to live with my grandparents. Overall, this arrangement was…

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Sexual Abuse and the System: Fighting Back

A year ago I wrote a story on my use of anti-depressant drugs and my experiences in the mental health system. My subsequent choice against anti-depressants has led me into a different arena–the criminal justice system. Last February, I made several police statements implicating two uncles (one for allegedly molesting me when I was about three or four years old, and another for allegedly doing the same to my brothers); my mother and stepfather; and two other men (for allegedly raping me when I was 17). When I mailed the letters to the out-of-province jurisdictions in which the incidents occurred,…

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My Poem – “Hard” – Originally Entitled “Fourteen” – True Story

HARD If only I had known How tough it would be to be jump-started daily by a vacuum cleaner hose Cracked over my legs And Mom’s shrill tones Yelling, accusing. Frantic, I fall out of bed still shaking and sweating ice from being locked up Alone, last night in the attic. Hope crystallizes and evaporates I love yous and hugs do not exist Only the verbal machete, punctuated by blows from my own baseball bat. While somewhere, laughter echoes from A joke only I could not grasp. At school, peer pressure dealt me another nerve-grating punch Piercing and curious eyes…

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