Dear Beth

Dear Past Me,

It’s been what seems like an eternity since I last thought of you.  The memories of you terrify me to the point of disbelief.  Perhaps, it’s because I’ve told myself it’s nonessential as to how our life started out so why dwell on the past?

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Dear Kim

Dear Girl:

I saw a version of you today. She’s about your age and looks a little like you except she’s skinny and you are a miserable pudge. I bet she’s been living the life you live although you have cut out all the drugs by now. That near arrest scared the fuck out of you so now you have winnowed all your bad habits down to getting drunk every day. This girl slammed her car, going 40 per, into another car because she was high. She was unharmed and got out of the car and stumbled around in the crosswalk like you are about to do and like you, she’s horrified. What you are about to do will be inescapably your fault, but it is also true that you have no more control over your behavior than this girl does.


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Dear Holly

Dear Past Me,

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but those aren’t orgasms. You’ll learn this years down the road when you finally get your medication cocktail right, and you discover that you’re deserving of pleasure. You have a lot of learning to do, and you’ll get there eventually. Trust me, things will start to feel a lot better soon, and you won’t have to fake it anymore, even if in your heart of hearts, you feel like it’s sincere. Those moans aren’t real. Soon you’ll learn what it’s like to laugh during sex, for all the right reasons. We won’t get there without some tears, though.

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Dear Rebecca

Dear Past Self,

 I wish I could’ve told you how much it hurts to have your tonsils removed.

Not as much as your cholesteatoma, chicken pox, shingles or having an IUD inserted, but it would’ve been nice to be prepared to throw up blood constantly for two days.

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Dear Lesley

Dear Past Me,

The one sitting by an incubator in the NICU. I see you- I am you. Today was hard. A doctor with a brash attitude blindsided you in a room full of people. She told you to pull the plug- to abandon hope because even if your sick child does manage to pull through- the burden will be too great. Her words- not yours, not mine. 

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Dear Karen

Dear Past Me,

It’s your first day of college sleeping under crisp new sheets in your bed in your dorm room. You’re listening to your roommates breathing softly in the dark, two complete strangers who have been randomly picked to become your best friends, the people whom you are to navigate through this scary change with. You’re questioning the first big decision your mom has not made for you: college. You’re wondering why you ever decided to attend college three thousand miles away from your family and how you’ll survive until winter break.

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Dear Eleisha

Dear Past me,

I’ve never written a Dear Past me letter before, it never occurred to me. A Future Me letter makes more sense as I can store it away for you, me rather (Argh, confusing!) to read when you’re clearing out the cupboard, or that box under your desk where you put all the papers that have no proper place anywhere else in the house.

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Mr. Taylor

Probably a polar bear was not a good choice
for my first attempt at whittling. 
A hamster would have been simpler
and avoided the multiple leg fractures..
“Don’t worry girl, no problem”, Mr Taylor said,
when I showed it to him.

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My Disability Does Not Define Me

In School people always assumed that the reason I am in a wheelchair is because of an accident. And whenever I spokeup the conversation Stoppedin its tracks. Like most girls I hadinsecurities, but my insecurities are ones I could never hide from. Iremember just wanting to fit in like everyone else. Especially, when I hit middle school. Up until that point, Ihadfelt like every other kid my age. 

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Growing up with Cerebral Palsy

My name is Juliana Ruggiero.I’m eighteenand have Spastic Cerebral Palsy. My story begins in 1999. I was a fragile preemie who weighed only 3.10 pounds. My parents were not able to hold me when I was first born. Instead, I was taken away to the NICU.

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Julia NusbaumComment
For E

Can you remember our first time? We barely knew each other. Back then, we didn’t even carpool. 

I’ve always hated mom dating - the elusive art of trying to make new parent friends. It is hard enough fully clothed and on land. What was I thinking inviting you to the pool?

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Julia NusbaumComment
Five Cookies

Fingers curled around the cold edge of the kitchen sink; I hold on with the hope that I can outlast the temptation radiating from a flimsy grocery store cookie box. Inside are five, ordinary chocolate chip cookies that look more amazing than the ever-loving galaxy. I imagine my teeth sinking into the dough, dividing it cleanly into morsels of flavor washing over my tongue sending streaks of pleasure up into my brain.

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Size Matters

My name is Kelli J Gavin. I am 42 years old.  I have been 5'10" since I was 12 years old and I am a plus size woman.  All of the quotes above have been said to my face by others. And I have probably heard another thousand comments about my appearance, stature and size.

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