I look deep into my face in a circular mirror smudged with impressions. Some fingerprints and dental debris. Did I make this mess? Maybe they are messages from the other side? I stop and wipe them away. I pause and consider my reflection which I barely have the effort or the energy to do most days. Tiny holes and small pinpricks. I see my eyes and catch my consciousness for a second only to dart them away. Hazel and unsure. I don’t know that person. I see instead my pores.Read More
The beginning of the New Year is filled with urgent and strong worded resolutions. Weight loss is always at the top of the list for most Americans, especially women. That is why I was I surprised to experience the realization that my body is worth acceptance, no matter the size, in January of 2018. I can look in the mirror and accept myself.Read More
Just eight minutes, but it felt like forever. I sat there dumbfounded wondering if that really happened or if I was so drunk I had imagined it. I was sixteen years old at a party. Like always my boyfriend and I were in a huge fight, so I was flirting with a guy he hated.Read More
For years, my hair had been my nemesis—more foe than friend. Being called names such as curly, bush, and frizzy, it’s no wonder I had identity issues. While the girls in school had long, flowing locks, my tresses grew sideways instead of down, causing me to try any and all options to gain control. And so began my use of a litany of products from Dippity-Do, large curlers, and pink tape, to jumbo brushes, blow dryers, and flat irons.Read More
Ten months ago, I stood in front of the mirror and called my body “beautiful.” For the first time in years, I did not criticize my appearance. I did not disparage my physical features. I admired every curve, every scar, every tensed muscle. I discovered strength cloaked behind weakness -- a powerful, invisible strength I have carried with me for my entire life.Read More
Dear Cerebral Palsy,
Although you are and have always been a part of me, I’ve worked hard to make certain I don’t allow you to consume my life. If I am honest, it has been a rather difficult process. Let’s start from the beginning though.Read More
As I stared at my computer screen reading about whether or not my gynecologist would judge me for my unshaven wooly mammoth legs, I quickly realized that the internet is both the best friend and the worst enemy of an anxious woman. I absorbed the weight of each comment into my warring thoughts:Read More
Part of me didn’t care what happened to the body. Mom had spent years abusing it, drinking and smoking, eventually producing the bloated, blackened cadaver before me. I had spent the past week alternately praying it into miraculous recovery and begging Mom to leave it because it was a completely useless thing now. On about the fourth day of her coma Dr. Carvahlo had suggest draining the infection and running tests on the pus. My argument was: who cares what the disease was, after it had shut down her kidneys, gangrened her legs and hands, and rendered her lungs useless? Two days later, Mom’s only working organ slowed to a stop - her heart.Read More
Growing up I had a love-hate relationship with scars. Well…Not exactly love-hate, more a covetous-content relationship. I desperately wanted a battle wound to proudly display for the world to see and yet I was intensely afraid of any permanent marks.Read More
The last time I saw my mother, I received the gift of some powerful clarity about something, and it's something I need reminding of every day.
She saw herself, and thus this world and me, through a filter where all she saw was weight. It truly was ALL SHE SAW when she looked at me. Or at anyone.Read More
I still remember the first time that I became aware of my arms.
I was reading a fashion magazine and an actress was quoted saying that of all her body parts, she was most concerned about her arms and keeping them in shape. It was the first time I realized that arms COULDN’T be in shape, and I wondered how mine fell on the spectrum. I felt disappointed and concerned, wondering if there were other parts of my body that I’d essentially neglected to stress about. I hoped that I’d never find out.Read More
I have a tattoo on my neck that reads D I V I N A.
It is the feminine term for divine, in Spanish. You see, I have chosen to affirm my greatness through my body, and I consider this tattoo a proclamation to myself and an affirmation to my female ancestors. I love this tattoo because it is an indicator for outsiders to know who they are dealing with, when they approach me.Read More