“Dreamwood” by Adrienne Rich

  In the old, scratched, cheap wood of the typing stand there is a landscape, veined, which only a child can see or the child’s older self, a poet, a woman dreaming when she should be typing the last report of the day. If this were a map, she thinks, a map laid down to memorize because she might be walking it, it shows ridge upon ridge fading into hazed desert here and there a sign of aquifers and one possible watering-hole. If this were a map it would be the map of the last age of her life, not…

Read more

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,…

Read more

What Is My Purpose?

Sometimes I ask: What is my purpose in life? Why am I here while my brothers are not?   Why did all that awful stuff happen to me if I did not deserve it? To us? Why does it happen to so many? And then Oprah’s Life Class questions came up again. Am I stuck on my story?  Do I expect people to feel sorry for me? What do I want to accomplish by sharing my stories? What do I know? I want to harm no one. I want to help girls and women whose lives may mirror mine in…

Read more

Thank You

Thank you for allowing me good housing, warmth, ample food, healthcare and good health. Thank you for my eyes and having the ability to see without them. Thank you for my ears and not needing them to hear. Thank you for the gift of intuition, compassion for myself and others, stubbornness, the strength and integrity to trust and be trusted, and, perhaps the most important of all, patience. Thank you for laughter, quiet, music, workouts that pour sweat, the sweetness of good friendship, and for the helping professions, which guided me through the process of saving my life. Thank you…

Read more